Mga Batang Bayani

YOLANDA – Everyone was surprised at the devastation wrought by this typhoon when it hit the Philippines late 2013. From Manila, I felt helpless when I saw how Yolanda swept through the Visayan region and its dreadful aftermath. We were very much aware of the immediate help that came from all over the country and the world to relief the victims with short-term support. As the media exposure subsided, I cannot help but wonder if a sustainable rebuilding plan has been put in place to give those impacted with a fresh new start.

Right before the summer of 2014, I was excited when an opportunity came up for iVolunteer to help Gawad Kalinga recruit volunteers for the Bayani Challenge 2014: Walang Iwanan. It’s the seventh year of the program and focused on helping the Yolanda victims rebuild their homes across 12 provinces, with the help of one million volunteers.

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Makinabang Tayo

I liked today’s meetup. It felt like I had a bucket and was just catching all the information raining down from heaven. You see folks, I am studying disasters myself and would not pass up on the opportunity to hear from a person with first hand experience. JB, the iVolunteer Director even teased, ‘Nakinabang ka nanaman’ and he was right — I did gain something again. But really, the bigger picture is this — volunteering creates for me the world with the healthiest give and take system I can ever imagine. Wouldn’t anyone want to live in that?

Recently, I discovered that I am not who I am when I cannot give. Continue reading “Makinabang Tayo”

International Coastal Cleanup – How you can help make a difference!

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Last September 27, 2014, we arrived at around 6:30am to get a head start on the activities. Various corporations, NGOs and volunteer groups were present at different points along the Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA) for the International Coastal Cleanup.

The volunteers from ivolunteer and Haribon were split into groups of four to five people. A data recorder was also assigned per group to record information on a standardized “Ocean Trash Data Form” for every trash collected. The event was well-organized and volunteers from different age groups and walks of life dotted the Manila Bay coastal area.

Under the heat of the sun and equipped with gloves, pickers and sacks, volunteers enthusiastically picked up everything and anything that should not be on the beach – including extraordinary trash such as crib and appliances. As expected, the trash washed up on the shore were mostly plastic – food wrappers, sachets, plastic bags, plastic cups, cup holders and the like. These shoreline litter are both an eyesore and a threat to wildlife. Aside from habitat destruction, marine animals such as whales, dolphins, turtles…and even sea birds get entangled in them and often mistake these litter as food.

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Of rain boots and rainbows

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I am always an understanding daughter to my parents and diligent student in school. I know I have not been a headache to my folks especially when it comes to materials things. At age 14, of course I also want to have the latest fashion trends or have the best device there is to feel kind of “cool” to everybody. But don’t get me wrong, that is only a wish since my family can’t really afford buying such expensive stuff for me. Yet, there are times that I can’t help but envy other rich kids, thinking why I had not been them and why I only get to enjoy simple things in life.

Last July 26, 2014, was a day I will never forget; the day that changed my views of desiring material things. This was when I first volunteered for Project Pearls’ event in “Helping Land” in Tondo, Manila. First time volunteers in that place were greeted with a path of thick mud all the way through the venue. It was not the exact sight I thought it would be. It was worst! I was shocked to see how bad it was in that place, yet as determined as I was in helping, I knew I could do it!

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Be the Miracle!

It started with a click on the keyboard. Minutes later, a text confirmed the venue and gave detailed directions. I did not have a hard time finding the place. As I turned left to Mines St., Quezon City, I saw a humble structure where people, mostly children and the youth, were alternately entering or exiting … Continue reading Be the Miracle!

iVolunteer Stories: Giving One’s Spirit through Volunteerism

But the truth is, need knows no season. Helping does not just start and end in one day. Volunteering means supporting others not only because it’s Christmas, it’s your birthday, it’s the height of a tragedy, or it’s Thanksgiving. For me, this is a commitment—a chance to inspire souls, and a lifetime opportunity of giving … Continue reading iVolunteer Stories: Giving One’s Spirit through Volunteerism

Hear From Your Everyday Heroes: The Bermudez Family’s Tree Planting Weekend

At 5 in the morning last November 10, the enthusiastic Bermudez Family marched to the 7-11 near the headquarters of MMDA along EDSA. Excited for the tree planting activity that Sunday, Tita Susan, John and Suzi geared up to spend their free time contributing to the vision of MMDA to plant 10,000 trees at their … Continue reading Hear From Your Everyday Heroes: The Bermudez Family’s Tree Planting Weekend

Hear From Your Everyday Heroes: A Tree Planter Shares Her Thoughts

This section features heartwarming stories from our volunteers. In this post, iVolunteer Kathy Britania shares to us her thoughts on volunteering for the Project EDSA peace mural painting in Camp Aguinaldo last June, and the MMDA Tree Planting activity in San Mateo, Rizal. The tree planting series runs on selected Sundays through December, and you … Continue reading Hear From Your Everyday Heroes: A Tree Planter Shares Her Thoughts