New Humanity Movement

Social Harmony and Art


The Philippines: a guitar teacher comes upon a group of children living on the roadside, in need of everything and forgotten by all. He decides to dedicate his time, but especially his heart, to improve the living conditions of these last, involving friends and institutions, finding them a home, and teaching to these "little" the secrets of the music.

Tacloban City is located on the island of Leyte, in the North East of the Philippines. In this city lives Placido Mega, known by everyone with the name of "Plash", who, since 1991 has lived the ideal of fraternity, striving to make concrete this commitment in everyday life.
In 1996, Placido started working as a guitarist, teaching how to play, to children from different elementary schools. Therefore the teaching becomes for him an opportunity to love and serve the others, through his musical talent.

Year 2000: walking along the streets of Ormoc, a city of the province, Placido noticed some children lying on the road using cardboards and newspapers as carpets and shelter. Other children did not have any right garment for protection from the cold. He decided to approach them and learnt that they didn’t even have anything to eat, and, almost always, went to sleep on an empty stomach.

Impressed by the situation, Placido bought a little food to offer to children who, feeling welcomed and loved, opened up about their situation with Plash. Plash decided to return the next day to meet the children: they, the most forgotten and the most defenseless in the city, were finding a new friend, and were abuzz with happiness.

Placido remembered the words that Chiara Lubich had addressed to some people: «When we give something of ourselves, putting love in every action, life grows within us». And the happiness he felt that evening, because of the meeting with those children, was the proof.

The day after Placido was back on the road and held the promise to spend some “quality time” with his little friends. At the same time he felt he had to do something more, take care of them, looking for a decent and comfortable accommodation.

The Ideal that Placido had received years ago, had now a huge opportunity to become present, modern, effective, concrete: by taking on the situations at the margins of the society, of those to whom no one thinks about, those who become the "last" of the city, but at the same time the privileged of our thought and our action.

Placido presented the issue to the City Hall, contacted the Non-Governmental Organizations operating in the area, to get their attention to the problem. Without any fear of being laughed at and misunderstood, continued to seek a solution, bearing in mind the consequences of the actions not so much on himself, but in the interest of the others, in this case of the children.

Thus, he succeeded in his plan to get involved other people, who, like him, lived for the same purpose. And he realized that when the evangelic love becomes the "rule" of our lives, we all become more creative, more courageous and sometimes even heroic.
Placido was not satisfied by fixing an emergency situation, but felt compelled to put children in a position, so that they could themselves give something, to have them experience the same joy he had felt when he had opened up to the next. Therefore he taught the children how to play a little guitar, Ukulele, creating a small repertoire which the little children presented in two shows, receiving the applause of the people.

Now the children live in Lingap Center, a former rehabilitation house converted into dorm by the Department of Social Health. Placido continues to visit the children, teaching them not only to play, but also to pray. In particular, he stays very close to them, even now that he is also a happy husband and father.

The City Project, that here has been realized right on the street, in this small plot of land in the Philippines, is a strong and vibrant witness to the revolution that can take place in a city, when you do things with love.

© Photo Copyright Stefan Munder, Creative Commons License

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