A Bedtime Story

Every posting is about the kids. We love our kids. We love their smiles. We know the pain and try to only show the positive sides to the struggles they face every day.

But there are the amazing people who watch over these kids. Fight for them day in and day out. And for many of these people there is no reprieve. They cannot walk away from helping these kids.

Here’s a story we wanted to share …


The Ticking of the Clockalice-in-wonderland-kellie-hogben[1]

I hear the ticking of the clock and it’s way past midnight.  Everybody has fallen asleep, even Thursday our darling feline.  I can still hear the ticking of the clock and with it comes to mind the younger days I had.  Do people of same age feel the very same way?  I miss those days when life was as simple and we have gentle order in our days. When we know how to patiently wait and there’s no need rushing.  Anything instant was still very  far out.

We used to live in a big house, with huge capiz windows and stained glass, a spacious living room and the dining area and kitchen are all together.  This is where my Mother would prepare our meals using a built in metal stove with rice husks as fuel.  The stove  has  three burner  and food, rice and even hot water are cooked simultaneously.  Black  soot would be all over my arms whenever I was the one cooking. I was about 14 0r 15 then.   Life was quite simple and laid back. A black and white TV set lorded our living room.  Sign on was 12 noon with a Sunday variety show.  Come next at one pm would be old movies of Gloria Romero, Susan Roces,  Nida Blanca and other Sampaguita Pictures actors and actresses.

Leila Grade 3, and Older Brother Grade 6.  Doris and Rizza barely 6 and 2.

Leila Grade 3, and Older Brother Grade 6. Doris and Rizza barely 6 and 2.

My mother would doze off most of the time and since we have seen those movies a couple of times  we would quietly sneak out and play outside, piko, jumping rope, hide and seek and  bahay-bahayan.  Tinda-tindahanan was an all time favorite.  We gather fresh and dry leaves of mangoes, kaimito, santol, lanzones and coconut fronds and have specific names of fish for each leaf taken.  Cooking oil would be pounded gumamela flowers and its leaves.  Our medium of exchange was small stones and pebbles and we had our small native baskets filled up.  Sheer fun, pure joy best describes those growing up days.

Come snack time, we would get back to the house and partake what my Mother has prepared much earlier.  Sunday snacks were special.  She would cook rice cakes – inangit, guinatan  and arroz caldo or sotanghon whatever the requests of the five of us siblings. Majority wins.  It was such a delight.


Piko played by the kids at Bethlehem House of Bread

Turning  back the hands of time in those days of pure bliss and quiet afternoons, we had simple needs and subtle whims.  We know how to wait and immersed in day dreaming.  Fast forward today and all we see are people rushing, all stressed and puffing from one task on top of another.  Never knowing how and when to stop and keep still.  Everything  is time bound and we end up as restless souls.

The ticking of the clock could be unnerving and rattling, but it could also be a gentle reminder that hey, there could not be the most opportune time but NOW –  a time to pat gentle kisses, give big hugs, share laughter, and simply relish every second  the ticking of the clock is counting away.


Leila Fernando-Tolosa

Leila is the administrator of our partnering orphanage, Bethlehem House of Bread. She works 6-7 days a week, often leaving the office late night. Her life is devoted solely to the benefit of children who have been abused, malnourished and abandoned.  But she never abandons them or her duties.

When she mentioned she wanted to take a creative writing class, we were ecstatic. Finally, she was able to do something besides screaming at kids, answering 3 telephones, responding to emails, writing “thank you” notes.

She sent a story that she wrote, and we wanted to share with you.

We hope you enjoyed Leila’s first published piece here on Maya’s Hope’s blog!


If you would like to sponsor a child in the Philippines or would like to send a care package to Bethlehem House of Bread, email maya @!


Submitted by Maya Rowencak.



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