Two Worlds – don’t have to be apart! Giving Back and Bungee Jumping

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Just like any other third world countries, the Philippines has not reached it’s economic potential to the fullest. Poverty is its most significant problem and I can point out corruption in government, income inequalities, lower levels of education and huge population as culprits!

The Philippines just elected a new president, President P-Noy (Noynoy Aquino). The current polls show that approximately 84 percent of the Filipino people trust the new president. I pray and hope that he maintains to walk the “straight path” as opposed to the “crooked path”.

There are a lot of people who can give back to the community.
Some live close by and some live continents away.
Some will always consider Philippines "home" no matter where they'll be.

In his recent State of the Nation Address (SONA), he pointed out the many challenges he has in front of him. The one thing that stood out for me was :

“ The time when we will no longer be made to choose between our people’s security and the future of our children is upon us now.

We can build more classrooms, and we will fund service contracting under the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education Program (GASTPE). Conditional cash transfers that aim to lessen the burden of education on parents will also be funded if this partnership becomes a reality.”

I pray that P-Noy will get the support, guidance and strength that he needs to overcome the obstacles.
The children need his help!

In 2005, I visited Manila for the first time after being away for 21 years. And I guess, God has a plan for me and my children. We met 5 children and their “nanays” who live in makeshift houses in Fairview Quezon City. Through my cousin, Maiet Biliran, we founded the SISBA Scholarship Fund ( Click here for previous posting of SISBA )

I always believe that education is important in solving poverty. Most of the children from poor families are not motivated to go to school because even though public education is free, the transportation cost is a burden to them, too. The SISBA program encourages the kids and their mothers (since mothers play an important role in a child’s development) to continue to be in school from Pre-K to college. (My cousin’s initial vision was to turn these kids to lawyers – but mine is for them to pick a career or profession that they are happy with!)

Since then every year, we donate $100 to each child to help with their transportation. It’s not much but it’s hard work and commitment for the kid-sponsors who donated the monies. SISBA fund is kids helping children by putting aside a part of the kids-sponsor’s allowances or income every week. It’s putting aside twenty-eight cents a day for 52 weeks! It’s less than $2 a week! And then every few years, if we get extra funds, we try to give the kids and their mothers a little treat to make them feel special and loved.

This week, I was able to take them to Manila Ocean Park (MOP). First of all, I was so happy to see how much the kids have grown since the last time I saw them three years ago. The children and their “nanays: were so happy to see me as much as I was happy to see them. Taking a trip to the park, even to a nearby public park, Luneta Park, is a luxury for them. The SISBA program covered for the transportation, meals and entrance fee to Manila Ocean Park. Thanks to the staff of MOP, we were given a group discount.

After we got past the first hellos and hugs, we all toured together hand-in-hand the different fish tanks in MOP. I wish you could have heard their “oohhs” and “aahhhs”. I wish you could have seen the twinkle in their eyes.

We tried to make the trip a little educational by reading some of the information posted at every tank.

Funny thing, most of the kids commented on how the fish will taste good as stew, broiled or fried fish.

They even laughed on how much longer it will take to consume such enormity!

I’m no dare-devil but I am a mother! I wanted the kids to have a great ending to a wonderful trip – so even though I haven’t been on a roller coaster ride for a while now , I volunteered to go “bungee jump”.

Everyone was laughing and praying silently that “Manang Jeng-jeng won’t get hurt!”

It was indeed a wonderful experience for the children, myself, my cousin and my mom.

My cousin and I are planning on expanding the program to more neighborhoods. I think it’s my calling! ( I wanted to be a nun as a kid, but instead I fell in love or lust and have 4 wonderful children and a loving husband instead!).

Hopefully, by next year I can get more sponsors and more scholars.

If you’re interested in sponsoring a child or donating to the SISBA fund, please email me at

Share the Love, you’ll get more of it in return!
Hugs and kisses and keep smiling :-)

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  1. You really are sharing the love. What a wonderful thing you are doing.

  2. True love is shown through actions...You exemplify it. May God bless you more! Take care.

  3. Fabulous post. Thanks for being a follower on my blog. I have awarded you with the Versatile Blogger Award - you can see details here: :)


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