Stories of hope


    ChildHaus has helped more than 17,000 children and adult beneficiaries in the past 16 years – and it plans to help more. At the center, the children not only get medical attention and proper nutrition in a good and nurturing environment, they also receive spiritual and moral guidance, and the support of volunteers who include celebrities and private individuals.

    As it marks its 16th year, Childhaus recalls three stories of hope, the cases of 6-month-old Sython Rinos, teen Aliya Sayler, and beauty queen Ronalyn Bataller.

    Sython Rinos was six months old when he was rushed to Tacloban Public Hospital because of extreme vomiting and discoloration. Two months later, he suffered a seizure. He needed a heart surgery.

    With the Childhaus kids are Tates Gana (Childhaus QC director), Ricky Reyes, Mr. and Mrs. Hans and Caroline Sy, Isabelita Mercado, Edna Calixto, Maribel Eusebio, and Jeanette Cu (Childhaus QC assistant director)
    With the Childhaus kids are Tates Gana (Childhaus QC director), Ricky Reyes, Mr. and Mrs. Hans and Caroline Sy, Isabelita Mercado, Edna Calixto, Maribel Eusebio, and Jeanette Cu (Childhaus QC assistant director)

    Sython, who was born in Javier, Leyte to a 25-year old farmer, Elton John and housewife Syrin, was referred to ChildHaus by their town mayor, Sandy Javier. Due to the baby’s weak condition, he could not undergo a heart bypass. Sleeping with an oxygen machine by his side, Sython stayed at ChildHaus with his parents. After 11 months at the center, Sython ready for his surgery at the Philippine Heart Center.

    Aliya Sayler was 13 years old when she was diagnosed with leukemia. She was bedridden when she was brought to the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) for eight cycles of chemotherapy and two sessions of bone marrow aspiration (BMA). The Saylers’ travel from Cavite to Manila for the treatment proved to be too difficult to the weak child. At ChildHaus, Aliya was able to rest and regain her health. She also got free medical care. After completing all her treatments, Aliya now actively participates in most activities in ChildHaus. She has stayed there for three years and is now ready to leave with her new leg braces, a gift from ChildHaus. The 17-year-old only needs a few more visits to PGH for monitoring.

    The first runner-up of Miss Teen Matacon in Bicol is Ronalyn Bataller of Polangui, Albay. Ronalyn is a beauty queen, a breadwinner, and also afflicted with Stage 4 lymphoma.

    Beauty queen Ronalyn Bataller
    Beauty queen Ronalyn Bataller

    Three years ago, she got diagnosed with cancer, underwent an ovarian surgery and given four months to live. The heartbreaking news did not dampen her spirit. Instead, she resolved to survive for her two siblings.

    Ronalyn has always been a fighter. She was only 5 years old when her mother died. Her father, a farmer, remarried after a year and left them to live with his new wife in another town. Ronalyn, together with her two younger siblings, were left under the care of their grandparents. Her father occasionally sent them money. As if to compound Ronalyn’s anguish, a typhoon hit their town and left their house in shambles and eventually led to the death of her grandparents. She took odd jobs as babysitter and cook. At 15, she joined local pageants just to earn money. One day, she fell ill and was brought to Bicol Provincial Hospital where she was diagnosed with cancer, Stage 4. The findings of the doctors at the Bicol Provincial Hospital were confirmed when she was brought by her friends to PGH. Facing a grim future, Ronalyn sought the help of ChildHaus.

    She is now 19, a beautiful inspiration inside ChildHaus, acting as big sister to the afflicted children at the center. Her story touched the hearts of good Samaritans from GMA Entertainment Group who gifted Ronalyn with a livelihood package.

    ChildHaus, now on its 16th year, is home of a lot of inspiring stories; stories of survival, stories of sacrifice, and stories of joy and love, as evidenced by the lives of Ronalyn, Sython, Aliya and many more. And everything became possible because of the determination and generosity of Ricky Reyes and SM’s Hans Sy, plus big-hearted volunteers, including celebrities like Karylle, Sarah Geronimo, Richard Gutierrez, Dingdong Dantes, Marian Rivera, Anne Curtis, Luis Manzano, Ogie Diaz, Iza Calzado, Gloria Romero, among others.

    It was business tycoon Hans Sy who built the first Childhaus in Diliman, Quezon City. He then built a 7-story building on Agoncillo Street in Paco, near the PGH for the temporary shelter of children with cancer.

    During the recent anniversary celebration, Hans excitedly announced that he would be building a center in Cebu for children from Visayas and Mindanao. The ChildHaus in Cebu will incorporate a livelihood-training program, under the supervision of Ricky Reyes, for the guardians of the afflicted children. Sy envisions having an outlet where mothers can sell commodities from their livelihood projects.