A portrait of a boy with cats puppies at Children's…
At SOS Children's Village Manila, Tony is like any other child; what distinguishes him from the others is his love for the sweet little kittens...
A portrait of a boy with cats puppies at Children's Villages Manila, Philippines.
At SOS Children's Village Manila, Tony is like any other child; what distinguishes him from the others is his love for the sweet little kittens.
Tony, the 'Cat's Eye' from SOS Children's Village Manila
"Cat's Eyes are windows enabling us to see into another world." - Irish Legend
Perhaps Tony, 7, discovered it early. No one knows when his friendship with the feline and furry family began. "I love these tiny creatures and I very much care for them," is the innocent reply when people ask too many questions about it. But his siblings are very much willing to extend a helping hand when he needs them to tend to his tiny friends.
"Currently, he takes care of Jason, one of three black tiny cats at the village. He does not forget to feed it even right before leaving for school, and sometimes the children save their snacks for their pet." says Vicente Tejada, director of SOS Children's Village Manila.
"It is lovely to see him with Jason. He speaks with the kitten while his fingers caress the soft furs and the tiny creature relaxes and glues to his lap," says SOS co-worker Jennifer Federizo. And, take heart, Jason has a birthday which Tony celebrates promptly with cake and candles. It's another matter when the children start singing "Happy Birthday; then, the kitten vanishes outside looking at all the hullabaloo around.
Tony similarly tends to his studies as to his pet. And, he is not without ambition, too. "I want to become a successful person like my Pilot Kuya (big brother) and become a police officer someday," says thoughtful Tony. Harris, who grew up in SOS Children's Village Manila in the same family, is a pilot.
The responsible he is, Tony spends his weekend well. While many children choose to spend their Sundays playing and going to malls, Tony 'serves the Lord' as an altar boy for the St. James Parish near the village. Still, Tony also loves to have fun watching cartoons and playing with toys (for now, he longs to have his own set of interlocking colourful plastic bricks), badminton, taguan (hide-and-seek), and patintero (a traditional Filipino kids' outdoor game).
"He likes playing with other kids and is very sociable, a true team-player. Besides, Tony is an artist with good dancing skills and a penchant for stage performance. When not in front of a live audience, Tony fills his time drawing" says SOS mother Babie.
She proudly says, "My son is a big help around the house as well, cleaning the backyard every morning. He likes gardening, making sure to take good care of his favourite fruit tree, the atis (sugar apple)."
"It is good to see how he adjusted after coming into the SOS Children's Village Manila family. His parents separated and set a bleak and uncertain future for him. I am happy that my son is growing up normally and has so many good qualities," SOS mother Babie says relaxed. "Five years back, one morning when I kissed two-year-old Tony he touched my cheeks with his tiny fingers and his eyes smiling, and I still remember that particular moment," she continues, "Now in fifth grade at the Blessed Trinity School, he has grown into a responsible and affectionate young individual."
Tony's preference does not end with cats, though. He now owns an aquarium he cleans every day. Perhaps there is some kind of basic instinct in this boy to care for others, whether it's animals or his siblings, friends or his mother.
The name of the child has been changed for the privacy reasons
A portrait of a smiling boy at Children's Village Kotayk, Armenia
Once there was a boy of nine who wanted to make his little sister happy. He started by telling her stories to amuse her. He stopped there. Here's why.
Tale of little Serob, the writer
In a village not so far away under a mountain with eternal snows once there lived a boy named Serob. Serob had three younger sisters whom he loved and cared for dearly. The smallest, Mary, was quiet and sad. Stricken by a misfortune at birth, little Mary was bound to her bed.
Serob was sad to see his little sister lie in bed all day watching the other children play through the window. He would sit by her side reading tales or singing merry rhymes. Soon, all the tales were read and all the songs were sang. Little Mary looked out of the window at children playing and was sad again. So was Serob.
Serob went to his mother. "Mother, isn't there something we could do to make Mary walk fine again?" he asked. His mother looked upon her only son with teary eyes and sighed deeply. "I don't know, my boy, I don't know," she said. The mother had taken little Mary to every doctor in the land, held little Mary's hand through treatments, but alas, all was in vain. Little Mary's sad gaze out the window made Serob sad again.
The next day little Serob asked his school master if there were no new books of tales he could read to his little sister. They looked through the dusty racks and found nothing. Little Serob was even sadder. "You know, little Serob," the school master said. "There may not be new tales in these books, but there are many new tales in your heart." At this, little Serob's dark eyes sparkled.
Little Serob was quiet on the ride home that day. He spoke to no one and kept looking out to the great mountain with everlasting snows. That evening, little Serob went to the bed of his baby sister and told her a tale of two children who lived on a mountain far away in the land of eternal winter and how they played with the forest animals and made snow people and got their shoes and socks wet and how the little sister fell ill that night and the brother had to walk for miles to the first town to fetch the doctor and the rabbit and the deer and the crow kept him company and when he came back the doctor cured his sister and they played again in the snow and had tea at the fireplace listening to the stories of their grandpa.
Mary listened to every word of her big brother's tale. When he finished she fell asleep and dreamt of the snowy land and the rabbit, the deer and the crow following the boy. In the morning Mary asked for the story again, but Serob was in school. Little Mary was sad all day until her big brother came home. In the evening Serob told little Mary the story of the snowy lands again. When she fell asleep, Serob wrote down the story and gave it to his mother. "So you can read it to Mary when I'm at school," the boy said.
Shortly after, the children's mother took Mary to another doctor who made her a little better. She started to walk around the house. One day Mary walked outside among the other children. There she told the story of the snowy lands. All children stood in awe listening to the wonderful tale. They went back home and told their sisters. Their sisters told their brothers and their brothers told their mothers. Soon word reached the head of the village.
The head of the village read the story and made an offer to little Serob to send it to the nearest town to next year's competition. After agreeing, Serob asked if his tale was interesting. "My boy, this story is one of the best I've read," said the head of the village and added, "Do you have more?"
'Twas then that Serob decided to write more tales. But, Serob the writer wanted for Mary to be the first to hear his tales. The doctor said that little Mary has to walk a lot to exercise, so little Serob walked with her, holding her hand and telling her new stories. And so to this day, little Serob comes up with new tales from his heart.