Abandoned Valenzuela City seniors move into their new home

Published July 17, 2021, 8:33 PM

by Joseph Pedrajas

Abandoned senior citizens in Valenzuela City have found a new home at the Bahay Kanlungan, a newly opened home for the aged.

(Photo from Mayor Rex Gatchalian)

“First night in their new home, Bahay Kanlungan, home for our abandoned senior citizens,” Mayor Rex Gatchalian said in a Facebook post Friday night.

This came after the city’s abandoned senior citizens moved in on the same day to the four-story facility with wooden furniture apparently reminiscent of the senior’s early years all over the place.

Several photos shared by the mayor also showed the senior citizens basking under the sun while doing their morning exercise.

“First time that they’re using the exercise area of Bahay Kanlungan, para maarawan sila (to let them get sunlight). Of course we have house parents supervising them to avoid any injuries. Our seniors seem to like it,” Gatchalian said.

Many social media users were amazed by the local government’s initiative. As of this writing, Gatchalian’s post already garnered at least 72,000 likes and 34,000 shares.

“Wow, mayor pa ampon hehe. Thank you mayor sa pag aalaga sa amin mga taga Valenzuelano (Please adopt me there, mayor. Thank you for taking care of us in Valenzuela),” a certain Lea Conechado said in the comments section.

“Sana sa bawat probinsya ng Pilipinas meron din ganito (Hoping that each province in the Philippines has those facility),” added Rizchelle Deguzman.

Bahay Kanlungan is Valenzuela City’s third facility dedicated to the most vulnerable sectors of the society. Others are Bahay Kalinga, which was created for the neglected and abused children; and Bahay Pag-asa, which was established for juvenile offenders and children in conflict with the law.

The local government inspired the design of Bahay Kanlungan from Filipino houses “of the yesteryears to give it a nostalgic but cozy vibe and make the clients feel at home.”

The four-story facility “is spacious enough” to cater to 75 elderly residents and adults with mental illnesses, who were originally from Bahay Kalinga, the local government added.

It also has areas for various activities, such as dining area or multipurpose hall, administration office, clinic, receiving area, kitchen, laundry area, sleeping quarters, entertainment area, isolation room, and garden with a wide-open space.