As stars descended on the red carpet of the ABS-CBN Ball Saturday, many of them had pinned on their suits and dresses blue ribbons that symbolize a cause being championed in this year’s gathering.
With “Share the Love” as its tagline this year, ABS-CBN Ball aims to raise funds and bring attention to the programs of Bantay Bata 163, specifically the re-launch of its Children’s Village in Norzagaray, Bulacan.
“It’s a place where we bring the children we rescue,” Bantay Bata 163 program director Jing Castañeda said during the ball's primer aired on ANC. “We call it a ‘home that heals,’ a home that gives hope. Because that’s what the children we rescue lose — the sense of hope, and that’s where we teach them to dream again.”
Referring to the blue ribbon worn by celebrities at the ABS-CBN Ball, Castañeda explained: “This is actually the international color for child abuse. Child abuse is a worldwide phenomenon. It’s not just a problem in the Philippines; it’s a problem in several countries. This is our way of promoting prevention of child abuse.”
Aside from the fundraising efforts of the ABS-CBN Ball, Castañeda believes Bantay Bata 163 stands to benefit as well from the buzz surrounding the annual event, which is regarded as the biggest gathering of stars in local showbiz.
“The mere fact that we are the beneficiary, it’s a huge help in generating awareness for our advocacy, which is prevention of child abuse,” she said.
Castañeda added that the organization is looking forward to forging partnerships with stars attending the ball, not just for the Children’s Village, but also for Bantay Bata 163’s other programs.
Established in 1997, Bantay Bata 163 works to protect and ensure the welfare of children, also through medical and educational assistance. Since its inception, the organization has helped more than a million Filipino children.