Balloons Around the World Philippines began in 2006 when Patricia Lim Paule wanted to begin a certain type of outreach involving balloons. She already had an existing "partypreneur" business so all her resources needed were a tried and tested mission and mechanic. On October 29, I was invited to join this year's event held at Concordia Children's Services center in Sta. Mesa, Manila.
After researching balloon events globally via the internet Patricia came upon the work of Balloons Around the World head organizer Jeff Brown from Alaska and she contacted him to express interest in laying down the foundation for the Philippine movement. Patricia then registered the Philippines as part of the Balloons Around the World charity movement and the rest was history.
Balloons Around the World Philippines has been annually "delivering smiles one balloon at a time," bringing their event to different local institutions and delighting audiences with the art of balloon twisting just as their slogan says.
Balloons Around the World Philippines has brought smiles and inflated joy to the following institutions over the last 10 years of its events (with gap in between):
2006 Rogationist Seminary, 2007 Brgy. All-top Merville, 2008 P.I. D, 2009 My Father's House, 2010 DSWD RSCC, 2011 L.I.F.E., 2012 Tahanang Walang Hagdan (2013-2015 Patricia had to go abroad), 2016 Concordia Children's Services, Sta. Mesa, Manila.
I personally was taught by Patricia how to make a dog balloon and by her balloon twisting partner how to make the flower on the right.
The organization brings food stalls (from sponsors) and packed meals, family, fun, and balloons, of course. "We pray, we twist, we eat, we give." Gift giving happens at the end of the event and loot bags for the children are made possible through donations and sponsors. The event is organized annually every October.
The children were overcome with excitement after seeing the balloons twisted into different shapes and figures. The flower in particular was a big hit. After I was taught how to make one and started making a couple of flowers for myself (balloon twisting as it turns out is kind of therapeutic), lots of children began to approach me to ask me to make some for them. This little girl wanted a pink one.
For those interested in showing support for the Balloons Around the World Philippines endeavor as a sponsor or donor for next year's event you may reach Patricia Lim Paule, founder of Balloons Around the World Philippines via email: [email protected].
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Photography by Julia Arenas