Sunga sisters volunteer on Philippines service trip



Krystelle and Arabella talk with children as they eat lunch.

Senior Krystelle and Sophomore Arabella Sunga took a one-month trip with their family to the Philippines this past summer to work with young orphans.

Their trip took them to Saint Rita’s Orphanage and the Dominican Sisters Aeta Ministry, two places located in an impoverished, remote region in the mountains. In the time they spent there, they performed various acts of community service, such as teaching the children Tagalog and basic English, preparing and serving meals, joining them in games during playtime, and purchasing new clothes, toiletries, and groceries to distribute to children and families.

Krystelle Sunga explained her and her sister’s mission to “not just help, but to make the kids and their families happy!”

The Catalyst asked Krystelle about the emotional impact her trip had on her, to which she replied, “There’s this little girl named April who suffers from hydrocephalus [a buildup of cerebral fluid which causes severe brain damage]. I met her 2 years ago and was very happy to see her again. The first time we met she could barely move because of the size of her head and this time around I was delighted to see her walking.”

Volunteers such as the Sunga sisters raised funds to help pay for the surgery that April needed to save her life, as well as funds to rebuild classrooms at the children’s schools.

There they also met a 7-year old, John, a boy who helps his family making charcoal, producing one sack after several days of work only for a profit of the equivalent to 60 US cents. Despite his setbacks, John continues to attend school and has hopes of fighting his way out of poverty.

These amazing children’s stories have strongly inspired and touched the hearts of Krystelle and Arabella who grew up doing volunteer work in the Philippines such as this. They plan to continue helping these children and families and hope that their mission inspires people to also work for those who need our help most.