On October 31, 2021, birthday of the Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ), upon his approval, inaugurated its very first orphanage, which is situated behind the Philippine Arena within the Ciudad de Victoria Complex in Bocaue, Bulacan, Philippines.
Brother Glicerio P. Santos IV, the Church’s General Auditor, led the opening ceremony.
“Our Aid to Humanity in past years saw the Church always giving aid to orphanages of various organizations, especially outside the Philippines. Indeed, having this orphanage has always been the aim of our Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo Manalo,” Brother Santos explained. “He embraces the children, by giving them a good life and promising future.”
For that, he added, the Church’s first humanitarian institution for orphans was aptly named Yakap Orphanage. Yakap means embrace in Pilipino.
The orphanage, which complies with the high standards set by the Philippine government for such a facility, including having qualified social workers on site, pertinent permits or licenses from various governmental agencies, was registered with the national government through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Even the physical design of the facility was aimed at conveying a sense of warm welcome and belonging for its beneficiaries. “The concept of the design of our orphanage is yakap (embrace) because we want the children to feel the warmth, that sense of belonging, feeling at-home as soon as they enter here,” interior designer Kyla Kirsten Capulong explained.
“We aim to help not only children of Church members but even nonmembers who are in need of care,” said Paula Angela Francisco, the orphanage’s finance officer.
“The Ciudad de Victoria, having hectares-wide land area, gives a wide space for the orphanage,” said Atty. Enrile Teodoro, legal adviser. The Ciudad de Victoria Complex was chosen as the site of the project so that there is a room for the orphanage to grow as well as accommodate other structures that may, in time, be needed for the welfare of the children, such as a school.
“This project of our Executive Minister is very important. This shows the importance of taking care of the family. Just as how the CFO was organized within the Church, through this orphanage the Executive Minister once again proved the importance of all the more strengthening every Iglesia Ni Cristo family,” said Brother Charmil S. Castro, a minister of the gospel assigned in the Christian Family Organizations (CFO) Office.
Speaking about the humanitarian programs of the Church, which now includes the operation of the Yakap Orphanage, Brother Santos said: “These Aid to Humanity programs of the Church has no other agenda than to obey God’s command of loving our fellowmen, which is why we will conduct these continuously, benefiting both Church members and nonmembers.” — With reports from INC News Section