An Invitation to Baby Love 2 – a Bacolod Fundraising Event

What are you doing this Saturday night? How does eat all you can pizza and pasta sound like with the added benefit of helping someone out? – Mea 🙂

We usually spend hundreds of pesos in eating out and while that’s not a bad thing, it only really benefits the restaurant and your tummy. That’s also not such a bad thing but what if we dine while helping someone out in the process? Sounds good, right? But, how? Three words: Baby Love 2.

The Back Story of the fundraising event

“When baby Gio was born on October 21 last year, Ian and I were clueless on how to care for his special needs. We didn’t have much time to prepare since we only knew of his condition 3 days before he was born—we were not ready emotionally and even financially for the additional expenses needed for cleft treatment. I was with our 5 year old daughter when I had my last ultrasound and it was Gianna who held my hand and comforted me when I cried after the doctor said our baby is a cleft. When I told Ian that evening, he was equally dumbfounded as I was earlier that day, but we agreed not to waste any more time sulking over it. Since there is no local support group for clefts, we turned to the internet for answers to our questions.
The biggest challenge we had when Gio came was his feeding. He can’t latch and he can’t suck. When he was 2 weeks old he had his palate obturator, but still he wouldn’t suck since it had been a frustrating experience for him from the start. He was dropper-fed for a month, and although he was given enough milk he would still cry endlessly after each feeding since he can’t satisfy his sucking reflex. Plus he was not gaining much weight which got us worried since he has to reach a certain weight to qualify for surgery. We tried different kinds of bottles and nipples available in local stores but to no avail. A college friend read a post I made on Facebook asking for advice on cleft feeders where another friend suggested the Pigeon Respironics bottle for cleft lip and palate from After a few days, this college friend who is now based in UK messaged me that he has asked a friend in the US to order the said feeder from Amazon, and another friend will bring it back to Manila after 2 weeks and mail it to me. I was overwhelmed with their kindness, to think the only connection I have with them is that we all went to the same university some 20 years back.

Indeed, God’s hand is at work here.

Baby Gio started using the bottle on his second month, and it was a big help to all of us. No more dropper feeding, no more crying because milk flows out without much effort when he sucks, and most importantly, it sped up his weight gain. This led me and Ian to decide to share this to other newborn clefts as well. Thus, the Love in a Bottle Project was conceptualized.

You may ask, why do we need to raise funds for Gio’s surgery when there are organizations that sponsor free operations for clefts? Unfortunately for us, we were told we won’t qualify as beneficiary of charity medical missions since Ian has work and that only indigent patients can be accommodated. My heart sank when the screening doctor said this since I know that no matter how much Ian would work overtime, we can’t raise the needed amount for Gio’s operations in three months’ time. But I know that with the collective support of our friends and family, we’ll be able to gather enough to defray baby Gio’s medical expenses. I am trusting God for another miracle through our network of friends and family.”

___ A letter from Gio’s Loving Mother, Daphne Villarosa – taken from her first invitation letter to Baby Love 1.

A Happy Baby Nonetheless

Now, Baby Love is happening again. This time, however, proceeds will go to the Love in a Bottle Project:

LOVE IN A BOTTLE PROJECT—we will buy special bottles for cleft affected babies. These are not easily accessible to cleft families here in the Philippines so every bottle counts. Gio’s first bottle was given by friends of my college friend, by kind people we don’t personally know. I wrote about this in my invitation for the dinner last February. As a way of paying it forward, we allotted part of the dinner proceeds to buy bottles from Pigeon Philippines, their last remaining pieces, which we sent to newborn cleft babies with feeding issues. We knew of their condition through the online community Cleft Support Group PH we started, together with another cleft mom I met on Facebook. Through this group, we intend to reach out to as many cleft affected families and assist them in their cleft journey though sharing of information and other resources, and by encouraging and praying for those who are scheduled for surgery. To date, we only have 3 bottles remaining yet the cleft group has been growing gradually and we have more cleft babies who are having feeding issues.”

___An excerpt from Daphne’s second invitational letter.

Happy After Surgery

So why not try something different? attend the baby love 2 fund raising event and eat while supporting something important (for a change).

If you believe in the cause, and it’s a good one in my opinion, come over and enjoy all the pizza and pasta you want from 6:00PM – 9:00PM, Saturday, Sept 12, 2015 at the Payag Pitstop, Hilado cor. Ipil Street, Shopping Bacolod City.

Charity Event

Helpful Links and Numbers

  • Event on Facebook
  • 0925 8742259 for tickets and other inquiries
  • Contact people: Daphne and Ian (very nice and welcoming couple)
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About the author /

Mea Pabiona is a Bacolod blogger who works as a fulltime online freelancer, specializing in SEO, content writing, and social media marketing. She's a beauty and skincare enthusiast, a dog-lover, a foodie, and a mother of one.

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