A Little About My Christmas, by Stephano

April 4, 2019 · 1 comment

Stephano Abalayan-guitar-CM-SIAC-Mar2019

Stephano has risen above his troubles, being a child of the city streets. Lift the Lid cherishes his essays and letters and has since he joined The School in a Cart at age twelve. He’s now sixteen and graduating from junior high. We’re dedicating this post to a longterm anonymous donor of Lift the Lid, who has helped make it possible for Stephano and children like him to go to school washed, dressed, fed and having the necessary supplies. We also make sure they know they are loved.

Stephano is recognized for his ability to encourage the other children at the Center, recently being appointed band leader. He has obvious musical talent, as well, having learned to play the drums and the guitar. (Lift the Lid started the band in 2014, providing instruments and lessons.) We are especially proud of his improved reading and writing skills as he graduates to high school this month!

We see Stephano’s maturity and gratitude and what matters most to him at heart in his essay on Christmas 2018. He writes, “We did not prepare plenty of food to feast on but just being together made us happy.”

Below are photos of Stephano, then and now, and here is the full translation of his essay from Tagalog:

“Hi! I am Stephano. I am already 16 years old, grade 10 and the Band drummer. I would like to share our Christmas and New Year celebrations. Before Christmas, I already received quite a few gifts. My big brother gave me one thousand pesos (US$19), his Christmas gift to me. I bought a pair of shoes on the 24th of December. We were getting ready for the Christmas midnight meal.

“We were together for the Christmas Eve meal. We did not prepare plenty of food to feast on but just being together made us happy. On the 25th of December, my siblings went to see their Godparents for their Christmas gift. I did not go because I was ashamed to ask. On New Year’s Eve, we went to visit our cousins, and there we had the New Year’s Eve meal. We have made this a yearly tradition, eating together with our cousins. We watched fireworks after. This was how we celebrated Christmas and New Year 2018.”

Stephano Abalayan-essay on Xmas-CM-SIAC-Mar2019.JPG

Stephano Abalayam-photo performing on the drums-SIAC-Jan2016-

Stephano Abalayan-CM-SIAC-Mar2019

  • http://www.saragoff.com/ Sara Goff


    We’re proud of you in so many ways! You’re on a good path and we’re right there with you. It might not be easy, but I have faith that you’ll meet your goals in life and see your dreams come true.

    Thank you for sending your essays. They always carry a message that inspires. Your courage and your good heart helps others to face their own daily challenges. Remember that words can travel great distances and have staying-power beyond what we can know. Keep writing!


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