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Sitel Baguio Leadership Team dressed up as superheroes while paying a visit at Bethesda Children’s Home (Photo courtesy of Kate Basawil)

The children and youth staying at a charitable non-government organization in Itogon, Benguet had the time of their lives on December 7 when “superheroes” paid them a visit.

Led by Vice President for Operations Ian Zafra, members of the Sitel Baguio Leadership Team donated rice, slippers and personal hygiene supplies for the wards of the Bethesda Children’s Home, run by the Bethesda International Ministries. The institution provides a home for children and youth who have been orphaned, neglected or abandoned by their families.

On top of the donations, the Sitel Leadership Team also gave the Bethesda kids another one-of-kind-gift: 16 team members did a cosplay, or dressed up as superhero characters from Hollywood franchises such as The Transformers, Marvel, DC, and Star Wars, much to the children’s delight.

Zafra and Tori Padua, Administrative Assistant, donned costumes as Transformers characters Optimus Prime and Bumble Bee. DC characters Wonder Woman, Bat Girl, Super Girl, and Cat Woman came to life in the persons of Marie Arellano, Administrative Assistant; Arlene Joy Ligot, Senior Operations Manager; Kate Valerie Basawil, IT Supervisor; and Nadja Mae Naje, Senior Process Improvement Manager, respectively.

(Photo courtesy of Kate Basawil)

On the other hand, the Marvel Universe also sent in their superheroes Thor, Captain America, Spiderman, Starlord, Black Widow, Dr. Strange, Storm, Scarlet Witch, and Captain Marvel, who were cosplayed by: Bryan Corpuz, Operations Manager Apprentice; Elton Pascua, Site Director; Kit Arvin Bernardez, Senior Quality Manager; Mark Caniedo, Real Estate and Facilities Manager; Shan Babiera, Leadership and Development Manager; Ron Ong, Operations Director; Anee Laxamana, Senior Finance Manager, Vida Haboc, Operations Director; and Jennifer Quirante, Senior Learning Manager, respectively. Rosemarie Grabador, Workforce Management Director, channeled Rey, the lead in the Star Wars film, The Last Jedi. The superhero team spent the day playing games with the kids and taking pictures with them.

“Dressing up as super heroes and seeing these children happy is definitely priceless,” said Zafra. “Our own little way of giving back to the community.”

Laxamana, who dressed up as Storm, shared the same sentiment as Zafra’s. “It has been four years since the Baguio Leadership Team last visited Bethesda Children’s Foundation. To see how the toddlers before have grown, and to see new kids as I’m sure most of the kids from before have already moved on to better places, it really brings me pure joy to see how we put smiles on the kids’ faces,” she said.

Laxamana continued: “I consider it a blessing to still be able to give back to the community despite the pandemic. What I have hoped to inspire to all the kids there is that all of them can also be heroes.”

Babiera, who wore a Black Widow costume, described the experience as humbling and heart-warming. “It was a humbling and heart-warming experience to be the source of joy of both the children and the staff even for that one day, simply by being there and dressing up as a ‘hero’.”

“The mother in me wanted to do more – especially for the little girls I got to meet that day,” Babiera said. “Their smiles and laughter will be one of my fondest memories of this year.”

To Babiera, the true heroes are the Bethesda staff. “Bethesda Ministries and their staff are the true heroes giving those kids a home and a nurturing environment,” she said.

Andrea T. Locano, Bethesda representative, expressed the organization’s appreciation of Sitel Baguio’s efforts.

“We would like to thank you and Sitel Group for sharing your blessings to Bethesda Children’s Home today,” said Locano. “We truly enjoyed our time together, the fun and happiness that you have seen on the faces of the children means a lot. May God continue to bless Sitel. Have a blessed Christmas Season!”

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