With Silver Hair Comes Wisdom: CBTL’s Brew Your Best Year Series visits the Elderly

Last April, the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf hosted another one of its exciting Brew Your Best Year Series of activities. 
Brewing our Best Year at San Lorenzo Home for the Elderly;
Here with the bubbly Lola Isabel!

The Brew Your Best Series is a witty project by CBTL to encourage its patrons to create an awesome 2014 by participating in various workshops and events which revolve around Arts and Crafts, Multimedia, Social responsibility, and more! 

I have attended the first workshop last January wherein Alessa Lanot of Lifeafterbreakfast.com showed us how to create awesome black board lettering with colored chalk as medium (See blog post here) . 

The next event I participated in happened last April and it focused on Social Responsibility. CBTL prepared the venue for us to share our time, talents, and treasure with lolos and lolas from the San Lorenzo Home for the Elderly in Manila.

Reminiscin’ with lolas 

I remember when I was a student nurse, I had fun conversing and learning from our elders in the community setting. Since then, I haven’t had the chance to immerse myself in such endeavour because I became busy with hospital work. Now that I was invited to the CBTL, I am nothing short of excited! 

The Venue

 I came to the event along with my husband and we were assigned to a table with Lolas Isabel, Elena, Soledad, and Carmen. While waiting for the program to start, we were given a few minutes to become acquainted with the lolas in our table. 

Getting acquainted with Lola Carmen

The program started with brief welcoming remarks given by Nella, a CBTL staff, and the sisters from San Lorenzo Home for the Elderly. They also challenged us to play the first game entitled “Guess the Song and Artist”. The CBTL staff divided the group to two – COFFEE vs BEAN. 

The sisters of San Lorenzo go around to chat with Lola Soledad and Lola Elena.

They then played some tunes, both old and new, and we had to guess the correct title and song artist. Luckily our team won the game 10-9!!! Whoopie! (I thought we were going to get prizes for this, CBTL?).

The YMCA Dance Challenge

Next, the CBTL staff called all volunteers forward and challenged us to create a song and dance performance for our lolos and lolas. We had to dance to the tune of “YMCA” by the Village People. It was quite nerve-wracking to be given a few minutes to come up with a catchy dance number but nevertheless we were able to do it! In the end, both teams of volunteers were tied for gold!

After the tiring yet exhilarating dance number, we were luckily served lunch. Our meal was composed of a tuna sandwich, unlimited sparkling sodas, and a cupcake for dessert all from CBTL. It was fun eating lunch and conversing with my seat mate, lola Isabel. 

Lunch time!

My favorite Chocolate cupcake!

Tuna Sandwich

Sparkling Iced tea

Lola shared with me her exciting life stories, which included trials and triumphs, but nevertheless still glorifying God at the end of each tale. I will always remember how she started her story with a peaceful look in her eyes, like staring at the far past and remembering how hard her life had been, but how amazing her life turned out despite her weaknesses.  

Lola Isabel came from the province then she decided to go to Manila to earn a living, since she believes there are still more job opportunities in the city. True enough, her adventures in Manila became lucrative and later, an opportunity came for her to become an OFW in Hong Kong. She stayed there in her younger years but decided to come home when she got older. She decided to get married back home in the province; however, they never had kids.

Grandma’s words of wisdom

With Lola Isabel

When her husband died and she was left alone, she decided to go back to the city to become a newspaper vendor in the La Salle, Taft area. She continued going about street vending until one day, she was feeling quite sluggish and fell on the side walk. She was brought to the hospital by a woman who saw her fall. Lola Isabel survived a stroke that day. 

By God’s grace, as she said, she was among the few women who were qualified to stay in the San Lorenzo Home for the Elderly. She had nobody to take care of her – no husband and children. She was an old woman who had nowhere to go and she attributed her qualification to enter the San Lorenzo as God’s way of taking care of her. 

She always reminded me, “tandaan mo (remember), ask and you shall receive anak” and based from her experience, she firmly believes that God had always been there in her journey throughout life. She kept telling me too, “Anak, God will take care of you, ‘wag ka matakot (don’t be afraid)”. 

When she said those words to me, I felt like I was being reminded of the higher power. Like it was God telling me these things through Lola Isabel as His messenger. 

I thought we came here to bless these ladies, well it seems like she blessed me more. Indeed with silver hair comes wisdom!

Show me some ShoeBoxLove

Margaux explained how she started ShoeBoxLove

After lunch, we welcomed Ms. Margaux Cortez, the community manager of Co.lab to talk about her personal project, Shoe box love. This project was born out of the initiatives from friends in response to the needs for the victims of typhoon Yolanda.  Here are some tips she gave us when she started Shoe Box Love. If you’re interested in starting your own project, you might want to read this! 

So those were the tips from the awesome Margaux! I realized from her presentation that no deed is too small when helping others, especially the less fortunate, because whatever it is, it makes all the difference. I hope these will inspire you to start your own project or any activity that would allow you to give back to the community! <3 

With Margaux

Our trip down in Manila was quite a blast! We were able to share stories and experiences with our elders and we also learned a lot from the pioneer of Shoe Box Love! Thanks Alexi and Nella for inviting us to this event and taking care of us. The experience was totally awesome!

Group photo with all the volunteers.

With Alexi of CBTL

With Nella of CBTL

Also, check out the YouTube video of TheCBTLPh of this event at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27HxyYc2N_k (I tried to imbed it here but I think settings don't permit it.)

For more information on the next Brew Your Best Series, check out brewyourbestyear.com today!  




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