Latest Stories

Little warriors live in this home

Child Haus has given shelter to more than 8,000 kids. After eight years, Ricky Reyes is still at it


DESPITE their condition, the kids are playful and active. JOSEPH AGCAOILI

The kids of 35 Ofelia Street in Project 8, Quezon City, are nothing short of a miracle.

They are not child prodigies, not dancing, singing, piano-playing Internet sensations. They are warriors who, every day, are battling the Big C. All are age 12 and below; some are barely a year old.

The kids are residents of Child Haus, a temporary shelter established by celebrity hairdresser and businessman Ricky Reyes for children undergoing chemotherapy. All are out-patients from the provinces who undergo treatment for three or six months, or even a whole year.

Instead of leaving them to sleep in hospital corridors or, worse, on the streets, Reyes decided to provide the kids and their families a decent home.

Child Haus has been around for eight years, and Reyes attributes its survival to “kind-hearted Filipinos who continue to support” the halfway home.

“The money we spend every year all come from donations,” says Reyes (“Mother” to Child Haus residents and staff). “Sometimes, someone adopts a child, then pays for his or her treatment.”

Volunteer teachers also drop by to conduct informal classes; nuns and priests provide catechetical guidance. There are also Reyes’ friends in media who help spread the word about Child Haus and their plight.

“I am able to use my ‘status’ as ‘celebrity’ to contaminate people into helping others,” he says.

The shelter was originally located in a revamped warehouse inside the old Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office compound. Then PCSO chair Honey Girl Singson de Leon was the one who came up with the name “Child,” Center for Health Improvement and Life Development, and Reyes affixed the word “Haus.”

Not contagious

THE INSPIRING kids of Child Haus in Quezon City PHOTO : JOSEPH AGCAOILI

After PCSO vacated the compound, Reyes had to look for another location. It was a difficult six-month process, he recalls, because once people found out that cancer patients would be living in the house they would refuse to rent it out. “They don’t realize that cancer is not contagious,” says Reyes. “If a kid’s condition starts to worsen, we immediately take him or her to the hospital.”

Their address now—still temporary, as Reyes eventually wants to buy a permanent home—is a three-floor, white-walled house which can accommodate up to 100 people. A large, colorful Child Haus banner welcomes one at the gate; inside, the spacious garage has a playground, small grotto, and an activity area with toys and books.

One is instantly met with warm smiles and courteous “good mornings” by the children, parents and staff. The bright, festive posters, artwork, and décor—plus the kids playfully running around—are more suggestive of a daycare center rather than a house of cancer patients.

“It’s really a home for them,” says Reyes. “They help each other out; mothers group themselves when doing the cooking, washing, cleaning. They have proper rooms, they live comfortably.”

Each child is accompanied by one parent, usually the mother; if the patient is an infant, then both parents are required to stay. There are around 50 double-deck beds; parents sleep on top while the kids stay in the lower bunk. A small space near the receiving area serves as chapel.

RICKY Reyes and the kids of Child Haus, with a guest sponsor of the Christmas party PHOTO BY ANNELLE TAYAO

“In eight years, we’ve benefited more than 8,000 children with cancer,” says Reyes. “Out of that, not 50 have passed away, because they have time to go to the hospital. They get the needed treatment, which gives them hope.”

The shelter has 16 partner hospitals and institutions which are responsible for referring patients to them. Dr. Rachael Rosario, a cancer survivor herself, is head of staff and oversees operations as well as medical care of the children. Reyes drops in from time to time, and is there whenever there is a special occasion.

“People have asked me, why children? These kids don’t fully understand the illness that has struck them,” Reyes says. “Nasa dulo na siya ng pisi ng buhay niya—hindi mo pa ba idudugtong ang kamay mo? (They are already hanging on for dear life—wouldn’t you reach out your hand to help them?)

Call 02-4548064 or 4562306. Visit www.childhaus.org.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: cancer , Child Haus , Children , Ricky Reyes

  • yousef

    A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.
    — St. Francis of Assisi
    If you have nothing else to do, look about you and see if there
    isn’t something close at hand that you can improve! It may make you
    wealthy, though it is more likely that it will make you happy.

    — George Matthew Adams

  • Anonymous

    mabuhay ka Ricky, you are making lots of people happy and blessed. Never ever join politics please!

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. How to enjoy Buntod
  2. Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  3. Life lessons I want to teach my son
  4. No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  5. ‘Wild West’ Masbate’s pristine marine gems
  6. The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  7. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  8. Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  9. What has happened to Barrio Fiesta and Singing Cooks & Waiters?
  10. Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. How to enjoy Buntod
  3. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  4. How Margie Moran-Floirendo keeps her dancer’s body
  5. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  6. Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  7. ‘Wild West’ Masbate’s pristine marine gems
  8. Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  9. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  10. Life lessons I want to teach my son
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  3. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  4. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  10. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer


  • Retired SC justice Lorenzo Relova; 98
  • Ligots fight 2nd forfeiture case
  • PH will be partly cloudy in afternoon, evening—Pagasa
  • Ex-COA chief nabbed for plunder
  • John Paul relics abound: Bloodied shirt, unwashed fork…
  • Sports

  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • NLEX roars to 7th D-League win
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Recovered’ Banksy works on display ahead of sale
  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Entertainment

  • Paul McCartney to play at Candlestick concert
  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • Business

  • PAL hailed for ban on shark fin cargo
  • BSP to change tint of P100 bill
  • Nielsen sees car buying boom in the Philippines
  • How author of best-seller exposed ‘one percent’ economic elite
  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Technology

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • Opinion

  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • A graduation story
  • Global Nation

  • Only 4 Etihad passengers not accounted for
  • Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  • Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  • HK victims to get P115M; traders raised money
  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 US doctors, including Fil-Am pediatrician