“The children are our future. If you do not love them, no one will love the future generations.” These words from the late founder of Bantay Bata 163, Gina Lopez, stuck with senior social worker Krystine Dale Jimenez since joining the organization in 2005.
These words have also guided Bantay Bata 163 for 22 years.
In her time with Bantay Bata 163, Gina showed everyone how to treat children. “The number one thing that we learned from her is to respect the child, because they come from different backgrounds and you have to treat them as your own,” said Loreta Ann Trinidad, a medical officer who has been with Bantay Bata since 2000.
Because of this kind of love that Gina showed, thousands of children have been cared for like family in Bantay Bata 163.
Bantay Bata 163‘s role in shaping the Filipino’s attitude towards helping children in need has been significant. “Aside from rescue operations, we have advocacy campaigns that we bring to the barangay level, allowing us to bring our lectures, and awareness campaigns even to parents. We even have children’s activities,” Bantay Bata 163 senior social worker Krystine Dale Jimenez said.
Not only is Bantay Bata 163 a crisis center today, it has become an organization with programs organized under four pillars – Bantay Proteksyon, Bantay Edukasyon, Bantay Kalusugan, and Bantay Pamilya – with its own Children’s Village where they care for rescued children through various activities that aim to raise them the right way.
Gina believed that a love for the environment starts with love for children. She believed that love for the child is the driving force behind making sure there is a safe and beautiful world to leave behind.
During her lifetime, Gina established three important foundations with advocacies that are intertwined – Bantay Bata, Bantay Kalikasan, and the I LOVE Foundation – the latter as an organization that pushes for environmentally and economically sustainable living. Because of the organizations that she built, Gina completed a puzzle as her legacy fills several voids on the way to making a better world for future generations.
To commemorate the way Gina loved, the 163 Heart icon will be launched on September 12. Inspired by her life, I Love You is not merely 1-4-3. With a heart that served as a home for children and their future, she loved more with I Love You 1-6-3.’ This year’s ABS-CBN Ball will honor her life and legacy.
In partnership with Twitter, the said icon will accompany the official ABS-CBN Ball 2019 hashtags - #RoadtoABSCBNBall and #ABSCBNBall2019.
The 2019 ABS-CBN Ball live red carpet coverage will air on September 14 at 6:00 PM via Metro Channel and theball.abs-cbn.com. Kapamilyas abroad may watch it via TFC.tv.