CAUSES

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My Morning as a Construction Worker

Last Saturday, I went on my first Habitat for Humanity build at one of their project sites located in Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City. If you’re not familiar with the organization, Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit, Christian housing ministry that works both to eliminate poverty housing and to make adequate housing a matter of conscience and action. HFHI has built and rehabilitated more than 300,000 houses, sheltering more than 1,500,000 people in thousands of communities in North America, Latin America and the Caribbean,...

HIV: It's real. It's here. Just a few minutes of your time can save lives.

I first heard about HIV and AIDS through that Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington movie, Philadelphia. Back then, I thought the virus and the condition were both extremely rare. Fast forward to 2004. I started working at MTV, and one of the projects that I got to work on was the MTV Staying Alive campaign and the MTV Music Summit for HIV/AIDS. Thanks to our partnerships with The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and UNICEF, I got more...

You have a special message to deliver. Do you know what it is?

Did you know that you’re a messenger? You are. In fact, we’re all messengers. Every day, our lives carry messages. Some of these can be messages of love and hope, and some can be messages of bitterness and anger. The options are endless. Every life tells a different story, and every story is made up of different messages. Do you know what messages you carry? Are your messages getting to where they need to be? I’ll help you answer those...

ROCK and RUN on June 19!

Hi Friends! As some of you may or may not know, I’m part of a non-profit organization called REPUBLIKHA, and we are PASSIONATE about empowering the next generation through music. Or to break it down further, we work with artists, musicians, educators, parenting advocates, and people from the academe and the music industry to create high-quality educational children’s music that we can distribute for FREE (together with Parent and Teachers’ Manuals too!) to public schools and community day care centers...

FISH & KIDS!

Last December, a couple of my friends and I wanted to throw a Christmas party for the kids and teens of the Jesus Loves the Little Children Foundation. But our schedules weren’t working out so we moved it to 2010 with a different plan: a field trip to Manila Ocean Park. Meanwhile, a friend of ours from church, Harvard Uy de Baron, also had a desire for the foundation he leads (U! Happy Events Foundation) to have an Ocean Park...

Fish & Kids on February 6

Come one, come all! If you’re free on February 6 (this Saturday) from 10 am to 2 pm, come and be an ate or kuya for a day! For more details (fees, directions, etc.), click here or on the photo below. I hope you can join us! (And if you’re coming, wear blue — the brighter, the better!)...

Superhero series: KYTHE

Today I want to talk about an organization called KYTHE. I’ve been hearing about Kythe since my college days, but I never got around to joining. I’m thankful that I finally had a chance to be a Kythe volunteer last weekend when my family decided to spend a morning at the National Children’s Hospital cancer ward as volunteer play buddies. Kythe is an organization that aims to help alleviate the anxiety of pediatric patients and their families by uplifting their...

How to Love Your Life: Listen to some good music AND support a good cause while you're at it!

I know I said I’d blog about the recent RepubLIKHA Children’s Music Fest, but I’m excitied about this event that we have coming up, so this couldn’t wait. I’d like to invite you (yes, YOU!) to come to a fundraising event for our non-profit org, REPUBLIKHA, which is being produced by the awesome people from Light It Up Productions. Not only will you get to enjoy a one-of-a-kind gig (you’ll get to watch some of the country’s coolest artists playing...

Superhero series: JOREL CORPUS

I miss one of my best buddies, Jorel (also known as the guitarist of the local rock band, Kjwan), who’s over at Boston, living it up at his dream school: Berklee College of Music. He recently put together a benefit concert for the Typhoon Ondoy victims. Check it out here: We were already proud of Jorel way before this, but seeing this video reminds me of how much we miss him and how talented, passionate, and selfless this guy really...

Latest update on the Philippines

Day 4! The number of people rescued has increased, but so has the number of fatalities. In case you missed it, the Philippines has been in a state of calamity this past week due to Tropical Storm Ketsana (Philippine name: ‘Ondoy’). I blogged about it here. Photos from TIME Magazine: http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1926456,00.html Photos from LIFE: http://www.life.com/image/91234037/in-gallery/34262/a-killer-flood-hits-the-philippines According to the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC), these are the latest statistics (taken from this article): Reported dead: 240 Missing: 37 Affected Filipinos: 319,881...

Philippines in a STATE OF CALAMITY.

There are so many people that need help in our country right now, I don’t know where to start. I’ve been gathering clothes to donate, then stopping to post updates. If it’s possible and safe, I wish I could leave the house and physically do something to help, but before I do that, I just want to get the word out there. In case you haven’t heard of what is happening in the Philippines, do check these out: News, photos,...

Treats!

See the treats that the students from Young Focus made at yesterday’s baking class conducted by my friend, Camille Ocampo: Everything they made turned out to be delicious! The treats were gone in 60 seconds! Here we are with the class and Grace (one of the social workers) of Young Focus: Before the class started, Camille spoke about how one of the goals of the baking class was simply to let the students discover for themselves that they could do...

So you want to be a volunteer! (Part 2)

As I promised in yesterday’s post, I’d get into more tips on volunteering! :) 1) Do some research. One good place to start would be Hands On Manila (http://www.handsonmanila.org.ph), a non-profit organization “dedicated to providing members with diverse, flexible volunteer opportunities that address the needs of the community.” This is one of the first sites I visited, and I learned about a lot of worthy and wonderful causes here. Pay attention to the articles you see in the newspapers or...

So you want to be a volunteer! (Part 1)

Early this year, I had this thought: “I want to be of more service.” I was doing the occasional outreach, but I felt I needed to be more consistent. I wanted to be face to face with the people I wanted to serve, not just reading about them or blogging about them–I wanted to interact with them! But who were these mystery people that I wanted to serve, and what could I do for them? I didn’t have the answers...

Would you like to help us by making a donation? Big or small…we'll welcome all!

Hi everyone! On July 31 (that’s this Friday!), Republikha (our NGO–find out more about us @ http://www.republikha.org) will making another visit to our first beneficiary at GK-Poveda (their community is in Taguig City). In the morning we will be teaching the kids (preschoolers!) about music. After that we will be sitting down with some of the parents and guardians of GK-Poveda so that we can get to know them better. We also want to find out what their challenges are...