Bianca Umali imagines a world where Filipino children can fulfill their dreams
For actress Bianca Umali, a new year is both about an end and a beginning. “It’s clearly an end of a grounding year and the beginning of a year full of dreams. A fresh start. A beautiful perspective,” the 23-year-old says. “I look forward to new beginnings, deep connections, personal growth, a peaceful wellbeing and a year where dreams turn in to reality.”
Ironically, turning dreams into reality doesn’t involve goal-setting for Bianca. “I don’t set goals because I love living my life in spontaneity,” she explains.
The dreamer and doer has been a World Vision ambassador since 2017, having even gone into the field to do relief work, like visiting child-friendly spaces in Marawi after the siege. This year, Bianca wants to do even more for the campaign to End Violence Against Children (End VAC). “I also want to focus on representing children and women, their needs and their rights,” the actress adds.
Asked to describe her involvement with World Vision, she uses a Filipino phrase – buong puso (wholehearted). “Ever since I became part of World Vision, I’ve felt like I am able to serve my purpose in life,” Bianca confesses. “I am so proud to be an ambassador for Education for Children and Ending Violence Against Children. I am proud to have led the Sponsor a Child and the #GirlsCan campaign.” The bubbly young lady looks forward to opportunities to do more volunteer work in the field, knowing that what she does makes a difference.
But Bianca’s first involvement with World Vision is a little more low-key – through child sponsorship. “I was young and it brought me so much joy knowing that I am able to help a fellow child,” she recalls. The experience helped her realize that every child, regardless of background, deserves to have a good life and a wonderful future. “Children deserve education, shelter and support,” Bianca explains. “Because children are actually our future.”
Bianca remembers a time when being a sponsor brought her to tears. “The child I sponsored sent me [a] letter saying thank you. It made me see that we are all equal, both old and young. We all deserve the best. What better way could we bring that to each other [than] by helping each other?” she shares. The Kapuso star hopes to sponsor more children in the coming years. She sees herself as an ate (older sister), and wants to be that to the whole world.
And Bianca’s youthful idealism shows in her vision for the future.
“In a perfect world, Filipino children won’t have to walk for hours through mountains and valleys just to go to school,” she begins. “They would have access to the best form of education available. They can achieve and be whatever it is that they dream of. Their families would be supportive, they would never feel that they are different, that they are poor. They would be in beautiful gardens, houses and schools playing with anyone and everyone else.”
The way to achieve that dream is for everyone to help. “For children to thrive, especially those with limited resources, I believe what they need are people like us,” Bianca begins. “We need to be willing to help them, be with them and raise them as our own. Children deserve education. They deserve to play. They need to be loved in order for them to thrive in love.”
“Nothing is impossible if we all agree to help and lift each other up. Imagine a world where we all are holding each other’s hands living in kindness, peace and hope. What a beautiful world that would be,” she says with her bright smile.