written by: Mr. Ricardo Abalena, Host Family from IloIlo Community

All the universe has come from love and to love all things return. For from joy all beings have come, by joy all they live, and up to joy they all return.” (The Taittiriya Upanishad)

Like other typical Filipino family, ours also tend to follow certain practices which we believe help strengthen our relationships as a family such as looking after the needs of relatives and perform fulfilling obligations to guide, care, and assist immediate friends. In the process, we come to think of our beliefs, attitudes, and actions as how we deal with someone accustomed to western culture.

The short stay of Milla in our home enables her to feel the love and special connection that we truly and deeply nurtured in our family. Having two different cultures in our home we found our ten-month experience fruitful, full of concern, love, and respect for one another. Though there are few personal attributes concerning food, yet I thank God our expectations have been met and our desire was fulfilled. Thus, this made us all happy.

On behalf of our family, I would like to express our sincere thanks to AFS in giving us the opportunity and a great experience to have Milla as our foster daughter. With this, we have extended to her our family’s principle of sharing and caring, serving and loving.

“We make a living by what we get; We make a life by what we give.” (Winston Churchill)