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Bacolod, Tagbilaran, Cebu

December 2015 Philippines

The final leg of our 22-day venture to give hearing in the Philippines began by stopping in Bacolod.

In this highly urbanized city, known for being a central hub of the sugar industry, we were continually greeted with bright smiles of more than 500 patients a day who received hearing aids.

We then headed to Tagbilaran, the name of which is derived from two Visayan words that mean ‘hidden shelter’ (tago bilaan). Our work there was anything but hidden as we were thrilled to see the thousands of Filipinos who we were able to help give hearing at our mission site.

Our final hearing mission of 2015 in the Philippines took place in Cebu. In an area that serves as a center of commerce and trade for the Philippines, we were able to finish strong giving the gift of hearing to people in need.

A special story from Cebu began with a message from Al “Sandy” Munroe. He has a special group of students at the school he oversees in Cebu who he knew would have their lives changed if they could get access to hearing aids.

He worked tirelessly trying to find a way to get these 11 students the hearing assistance they needed. Of the “2,253” emails he sent trying to find help, one of them finally landed in the inbox of our Executive Director, Brady Forseth.

From there, everything fell into place. All the connections needed were established to make it possible for these children to be seen during our hearing mission in Cebu.

All 11 students who we saw at our mission site were able to get the hearing aids they needed, and instantly we could see their faces light up as they entered into a world of sound.

When the students returned to school, what was once a very quiet classroom erupted to be full of sound as these students began learning with hearing. They are working to imitate and speak the words they are hearing, and their teachers are very excited about helping these students get an education that includes both hearing and speaking.

Special Thanks

Dr. Robert Ang; Dr. Salve Olaia; Knowles: Joseph Liwag, John Rodack; IDEA: Jopeth Laguna; Maria Evelyn Thai

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