It happened one day when Hans Sy, a scion of SM magnate Henry Sy Sr., chanced upon an emotional and tearful Ricky Reyes on a TV news report as he was talking about the sad prospect of losing Childhaus, a temporary shelter for children with cancer which Ricky founded in 2004. They were told by the new management of PCSO to vacate their premises located inside the PCSO compound in Quezon City.
Soon after and during one of Ricky’s visits to the then ailing Henry Sy, Ricky was asked by Hans about what he saw on TV. Relating to Hans his predicament and the uncertainty of finding a replacement home for the sick children, Hans was then thinking of what to do to help.
A few months later, Hans invited Ricky to a house in Quezon City and handed over a bunch of keys to him as he quipped, “It’s all yours Mader, a permanent home for your children…this is your Childhaus.”
It was located at No. 90 Mapang-akit Street, Barangay Pinyahan in Quezon City, which Hans Sy purchased for ChildHaus out of his own pocket. From then on, ChildHaus has helped provide temporary shelter to countless of cancer-stricken children coming from the provinces who have no place to stay in Manila.
Realizing the enormous requisites in providing for the sick children, Ricky tirelessly looked for means to sustain the day-to-day operation of the shelter and to provide for the continuous treatment of his wards at ChildHaus.
In the months that followed, Hans was witness to the health benefits that children get from ChildHaus and he couldn’t be happier. But noting the difficulties of children who need to travel to the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) for their treatment, Hans surprised everyone and Ricky Reyes even more when he built a 7-story building just a block away from PGH. It was located at 1448 Agoncillo Street in Malate. Hans was also able to secure from Hi-Precision Diagnostic Center an allocation of 50 free laboratory and diagnostic testing every month for the children’s availment.
Kuya Hans, as the people of ChildHaus now fondly call him, took to the refurbishment of the first ChildHaus on Mapang-akit Street in Quezon City. Strategically located near the Philippine Heart Center, East Avenue Medical Center, Philippine Children’s Medical Center, and the National Children’s Hospital, it can now provide shelter for children needing treatment at these hospitals.
The good deeds of Hans and Ricky created a ripple and inspired a lot of volunteer workers and donors who showed up at the shelter to lend a helping hand. The new ChidHaus in Quezon City is now even bigger and with more spaces conducive to the children’s well-being.
There is now an improved Lanai and Social Hall being adopted by businessman Sergio Yu; Manny Sy and Mariano “Jun” Gao adopted a separate dormitory for boys and girls. Jeannette Cu adopted the kitchen and dining area, while Leo Reingin took care of the entertainment area. Spouses Ramon and Annie Santos donated a mini playroom with rides and kiddie toys while Atty. Ped Faytairen adopted the Play and Learn Room. There is also an Isolation Room adopted by the family of the late Dr. Erwin Estimo and a Chapel in honor of Felicidad Sy.
The collective effort of these kind-hearted individuals has invited a lot of good Samaritans who came to help ChildHaus in any way they can. Businesswoman Eisa Mercado for instance, and many more donors have pledged and made it their duty to help the shelter in its financial needs.