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Going the extra mile: Part 2


Pasyal Team

Posted on October 09, 2020

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Ayala Malls honors 39 changemakers during the pandemic.

We continue to honor our Extra Mile Changemakers. See part 1 here.

Evelyn Nacario-Castro: Caring for farmer communities and frontliners

Evelyn Nacario-Castro spearheaded the “Usa Ka Gasa para sa Duha ka Pamilya” (1Gift for 2 Families) campaign to support upland farmer and urban poor/small island families through the purchase of vegetables from farmers in the mountain barangays and provision of Family Support Packs for free.

With the help of 13 sponsors and two main partners, they distributed over 9,489 Family Veggies packs to barangays across cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu, Talisay City, and Cordova. Additional food relief packs were distributed to PWDs, street dwellers, fisherfolk families, indigent residents, LSIs (construction workers), etc.

Through another project called SAKSI (Saktonga Aksyun, Saktonga Inpormasyun), she was involved with the development and design of basic information material in Cebuano on Covid19 in partnership with healthcare professionals and working with LGUs in reproduction and distribution of these materials to different Bisaya-speaking communities.

Evelyn was also active in a project that targeted retrofitting and refurbishing of quarantine facilities for healthcare workers of VSMMC - particularly for the Department of Internal Medicine and other healthcare workers assigned to the COVID/SARI/EREID wards, with the aim of making the place "livable" and conducive for rest and recharge even securing donations for TV, paintings, kitchen appliances, and plants to aid in stress management.

She also got involved in sourcing and donating sheeting material and basic medical equipment such as stethoscopes and pulse oximeters for the Covid-19 wards of VSMMC, noting the ideal of having a set for each patient to minimize, if not prevent, cross contamination.

Another project for the frontliners was the distribution of masks, respirators, gloves, shields, hazmat suits, sanitation tent, aerosol box, and food donations for the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, other public and private hospitals, and service groups.

Jumax Morgia : Helping through Manufacturing and Distribution

What started out as a small project to create Covid-related infographics to help more people understand the current situation led to bigger projects for Arch. Jumax Morgia.  The architect and her team soon ended up being involved over and beyond including manufacturing of over10,000 face shields, hundreds of hazmats, and more than 50 infirmaries called Sunnytation Tents that she and other local architects designed, manufactured, and distributed to hospitals in Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu, and Talisay.

She has also helped in providing food packs, hygiene kits for over 100 families, and drinking water in a barangay in Cebu. She also spearheaded food relief operations to far-flung towns disproportionately affected by the pandemic like the communities in Gilutungan Island and Moalboal. She also recently helped to set up a blood or plasma donation drive with the military and built medical quarters with them together with the Philippine Army 53rd Engineer Brigade.

Karl Arriola: Aiding Small Businesses in Cebu

Through their Cebu-based new-generation law firm KaLe Solutions, Atty. Karl Arriola and his girlfriend Atty. Leny Ignalaga made it their mission to equip Cebu’s small businesses with the tools not only to survive the economic challenges of the pandemic, but also to help them move forward towards the ‘new normal’. They not only provided legal services to help the startups and existing businesses adapt, they also promoted their products on their platform. It is Karl’s belief that helping the small businesses thrive will make a difference in the community and have a big impact on the economy.

They have also extended help to those in need with cash and goods donated by their thankful clients.  Among the donations they were able to collect for frontliners and other recipients were 100 pieces of facemasks, 300 pieces of clothing, food packs, 2 laptops, a cell phone and cash worth P50,000.

Michael Arcilla: Empathizing with those Affected by the ECQ

Even before the ECQ, Michael Arcilla is already active in doing charity works. Michael is known in his barangay as someone who is very generous. So when the country was hit by the pandemic and NCR was in lockdown, without second thought, he knew he needed to do something to help his neighbors.

He started with P8,000 of his own salary as an in-house Security Officer of Metro Retail Stores Group, Inc. (Metro Department Store and Metro Supermarket) in Market! Market! With it, he purchased 1 sack of rice, bread and other grocery items. Realizing that he needed to add healthy items to his food packs, his next donations included vegetables and eggs. From 30 recipients on his 1st batch, he was then able to reach more than 300 families in a span of three months mostly from his personal savings. Friends who already knew of his charitable works even pre-Covid gladly assisted Michael from planning to packing and distribution.

To raise funds for protective wear of the tricycle drivers in his community, he and his wife sold Ginataang Santol. They were able to raise enough money to buy more than 100 face masks and eye glass protectors for the tricycle drivers.Michael was tapped by his friends abroad to give two mountain bikes to residents of Brgy. Pembo, Makati for them to be able to bike to work.

He firmly believes that extending a helping hand is not only a social responsibility but an act of humanity. His main goal for starting his initiatives is to help without expecting anything in return.

Gian Dela Rama: Enabling Vital Communication

With his Knowledge Inspires Responsible Action (KIRA) platform, Gian Dela Rama connected the Department of Health with many online users via its official Kontracovid-19 chatbot. Within a few weeks of going live, hundreds of thousands of Filipinos were using it to get reliable information about the pandemic, its prevention and causes – and more importantly, to connect to official  healthcare representatives. KIRA was turned over to the DOH for free, as Gian’s true act of community service.

As someone who is always on the lookout for more ways to help others through his tech, he soon set up another platform, this time with the mission of helping small enterprises survive the economic downturn caused by the pandemic. Aiah Commerce, which was offered for free on its first 90 days, is a way to help businesses sell their offerings on Facebook Messenger with just a few clicks. With ready-made templates users can upload product/service information and easily integrate with payment and logistics channels. This helped SMEs which were previously offline connect to their customers. With both platforms built from scratch in only 4 weeks’ time, Facebook Global recognized Aiah as the fastest developer to launch a solution to help during this crisis.

On an offline note, for their company’s 7th anniversary last July, Gian led a program for Aiah to donate funds to a group of unemployed jeepney drivers. Instead of having a virtual celebration or lavish giveaways, he decided once again, to help those in need.

Theriza Lanche: Saving Her Funds to Protect Others    

With two nurses as sisters, Theriza Lanche knew all too well the risks connected with their work. One of her sisters, who was a suspect Covid case spoke of using a raincoat in triage, because there were not enough Personal Protection Equipment in their hospital. This gave her the idea to do even her small part in providing them with protection.

Theriza used her funds to buy safety equipment for frontliners and some of their meals. By August, she  and three of her friends have already provided 40 PPEs and 82 hot meals for the staff who take care of kids with critical illnesses at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center and has three more hospitals lined up for her donation efforts. Her motivation for helping the frontliners is the realization that they are the ones who take care of our healthcare needs and are crucial in helping us win against the virus.

Marlon Pia: Championing the Marginalized Indigenous Communities

The non-profit organization Project Liwanag which was founded by Marlon Pia has already been partnering with the mountain Aetas of Capas, Tarlac for almost six years. Their aim is to marginalized indigenous communities through sustainable projects and transformational grassroots partnership. During the height of the ECQ, the Aeta leaders called Marlon and updated him on the situation of their partner communities in the mountains. The dry season made it difficult for them to harvest vegetables. Before the implementation of ECQ, the Aetas would go down the mountains to buy their food and other basic needs in the lowland. They would also exchange or sell their crops. But these activities were halted in compliance with the ECQ.

He then decided to launch Ayuda para sa Aeta, an on-line fundraiser to gather funds to purchase relief food packs for 2,000 mountain Aetas good for two weeks. Marlon invited his former students from the Ateneo de Manila high school to join Project Liwanag in this noble effort.  Ateneo de Manila High School class of N2014, G2014, F2017 and Ateneo Gabay, along with the ITCSI Foundation responded to the invitation to serve the indigenous Aetas.

Through their collective efforts, there were 2,000 Aeta families from 3 barangays situated in 20 mountain communities who benefited from the project.

For him, the Ayuda para sa Aeta project had a double impact. First, it showed the utmost concern of our fellow Filipino particularly those who shared their treasures and talents for the welfare of the Aetas.  Second, somehow the collective effort has given them an assurance that they are not alone in these trying times.

Manoling Francisco, SJ: Aiding Communities through the Tanging Yaman Foundation

Fr. Manoling founded the Tanging Yaman Foundation in 1992, a non-profit Philippine organization that produces the annual liturgical concert featuring the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) and various OPM performers. It then became a conduit foundation, bridging the generosity of countless Filipinos here and abroad to the vital needs of their fellow men and women in the Philippines. Apart from celebrating Filipino music and Filipino faith, their aim is to raise funds for institutions that build and nurture local communities, educate the youth, and safeguard the environment.

With the recent Covid 19 pandemic that has affected our farmers greatly, Fr. Manoling has initiated the bulk buying (tons/trucks) of fresh produce from our local farmers and the foundation looked for donors that sponsored buying the produce to be distributed to those in need.

Through the help of Tanging Yaman Foundation, he was able to provide 125,075 food packs for 252 communities , PPEs for 208 hospitals and health clinics, 56,940 hot meals for frontliners in 7 Hospitals within the ECQ period. He was also able to support farmers; micro, small, and medium enterprises; and communities during the GCQ period.

Mary Lorraine Pingol: Helping a Homeless Woman Deliver a Baby

Despite running late for work, nurse Mary Lorraine Pingol stopped to help a homeless woman deliver her baby on a sidewalk in Makati City. The barangay’s rescue team received a call last Aug. 18 concerning a woman about to give birth near General Estrella Street and Osmeña Highway. Unfortunately, all of their nurses and midwives had not yet reported for duty, and their barangay staff was only trained for first-aid treatment, not emergency delivery.

A barangay official called Mary as she was passing by the station and she immediately helped to deliver the baby. It took less than four minutes for Pingol, “all calm and collected,” to safely deliver the baby girl, and cut and clamp her umbilical cord. When she was sure that the mother was already in good condition, she bid her goodbye, saying she was already late for work.

The Bangkal Fire Emergency Rescue Disaster Support posted the photos and videos of the nurse delivering the baby on its Facebook page as a “salute and respect” to Pingol and all medical front-liners.

She believes that as long as she’s capable of helping someone who is in need, she will help.

Mariko David, Marie Sol Bartolome, and Shiela Marie Borongan: The Wagi Project

With the desire to help students in need to have laptops they can use for distant learning, Mariko, Marie Sol and Sheila created The Wagi Project or TWP, an avenue where they connect possible donors to potential beneficiaries with accountability. As graduates from state universities, they know first-hand the importance of education for underprivileged students and how it will affect their lives in the future. At first, their aim is to give one laptop per month until December by bidding their pre-loved items and using all proceeds to purchase a laptop but because of the support from partnerships, they were able to increase it to 25 beneficiaries for their first batch.

Aside from selling their pre-loved items to fund this project, they have decided to jumpstart by donating 2 company laptops from their travel agency, Midorii Travel & Tours. They also created a Facebook Page where they put their personal or donated things for bidding to raise funds. All proceeds from the bid/sale automatically went to the laptop/gadget fund.

Since the start of the project, they were able to help 8 beneficiaries from NCR, Cavite, Laguna, Zambales & Sarangani. (P113,629.88). This amount came from the proceeds of bidding, cash and kind donations.

Stanley Seludo: Helping Musicians and Businesses

Losing his main source of livelihood when the pandemic started, Stanley looked for ways to have a sustainable source of income and help displaced fellow musicians and roadies.

He initiated a logistics business by building a database of musicians with motorcycles and partnering with 20 merchants. They started with around 10 riders and now, they have almost 60 on their list. They have also used their musical talents to make people happy with the “Give Back” project where they serenaded the medical frontliners in the Lung Center of the Philippines last August 31 (National Heroes Day) as  tribute to our modern day heroes.

Christine Remo: Provisions for Frontliners

Being in the business of preparing food for BPO workers, Christine had also made the effort to cook and serve the non-doctor front liners who really needed the support the most.

With some financial support from her good friends who live abroad, she was able to prepare packed home-cooked meals for at least 3,000 front liners which included hospital staff, security guards, maintenance, and even elevator operators. On some days when she can’t cook, she had PPEs delivered too.

Svethllana Patricia De Guzman: Aiding Drivers

She and her friends saw jeepney drivers with huge signages begging for money, food, or whatever help they could get from passersby along Tandang Sora Avenue. From that moment, she knew that she had to do something. She started by posting a video on Instagram asking her friends for donations. Initially, the only objective was to raise enough funds to buy 10 sacks of rice. But in only one day, she was able to raise P13K which pushed her to come up with more funds.

In total, they were able to give 206 relief packs to Tandang Sora Terminal and raise a total of P45,635 in one week. The excess goods were given to some street dwellers around QC.

She posted this on Facebook after the distribution for transparency purposes which resulted in inspiring people to give more. The next batch of donations was given to Bayanihan sa Montalban led by Joel Dela Paz (one of her teammates in this project) as he was inspired to help jeepney drivers in their area furthermore.

She hopes these kinds of initiatives will encourage and inspire more people to extend whatever help they can. It might seem like a small thing for us but for them, it's more than a blessing.

Joel dela Paz: #BayanihanSaMontalban to support Jeepney Drivers

During the first week of implementation of the ECQ last March, many Montalbeños needed help because they lost their jobs and Montalban’s local government hadn’t distributed relief goods at the time. Majority of these people came from the marginalized and the most vulnerable sectors in the community.

#BayanihanSaMontalban started last March 20. It began with distributing relief goods to less fortunate families. The relief goods included formula milk, medicines, and financial assistance to PWDS, cancer patients, senior citizens, and people with serious illness.Food for frontliners and financially challenged families were also distributed. Later on, in June, Joel extended his help to drivers from different Jeepney Operators and Drivers Associations (JODAs) in Montalban and San Mateo, Rizal. These drives had been begging for alms along the road for approximately 4 months due to the suspension of public transportation. Joel also supported Benguet local farmers by buying their vegetables and distributing it to the jeepney drivers as relief packs.

In executing #BayanihanSaMontalban, Joel partnered with his colleagues in UP Diliman as well as with other private organizations. From March 20 to June 21, the initiative has given grocery packs, formula milk, medicines, and financial assistance to 1,594 beneficiaries composed of less fortunate families, babies, persons with disability and illness, and frontliners. Relief packs to 11 JODAs with 1,968 jeepney drivers, conductors, and operators were also given relief packs from June 21 to present.From March 20 to September 15, monetary donations amounted to a total of P328,052.59 and in-kind donations summed to approximately P330,000.00 worth of value.

Dale James Ferrer: Donations for Musicians

Dale has been a musician for 16 years so he knew the difficulties that the pandemic brought to him and his colleagues. Musicians usually sustain themselves and their families through regular gigs and events but the pandemic put an indefinite halt to these livelihood means. He decided to start LingapMusiko to gather donations that would provide for musicians in need.

Dale received contributions from family, friends, and even strangers from the drive. All in all, he was able to raise P50,000. He gave each musician P1,000 thru GCASH so that they can buy groceries, medicines, and milk for their babies. He also provided plus 5 kilos of rice per family. All in all, 50 musicians and their respective families benefited from LingapMusiko

Micaela Gavino: Aiding Students with WiFi

The education sector is one of the many sectors that has been, and still continues to be aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Online learning has been staunchly proposed to replace face-to-face classes, in the hopes of avoiding the spread of the disease within schools. However, it is not assured that every student is equipped with the necessary resources, nor their household qualified as conducive to undergo this type of learning; essentially, the plight of Filipino students has worsened.As students with the capacity and drive to help address the needs of a small percentage of students-in-need, Micaela Gavino and her friends decided to take matters into their own hands. Thus, Salindiwa: Donation Drive was born.

Salindiwa: Donation Drive, launched July 5, 2020 on Facebook and Instagram, aimed to benefit at least 100 students from Kapitan Moy Elementary School (KMES) in Marikina City. As of September 1, 2020, Salindiwa was able to raise a total of P103,629.93 and received 4 pocket wifi unit donations from the city government. P77,910 was used to purchase 98 pocket wifi units for the students, paving the way for Salindiwa to reach its goal of providing internet connection to at least 100 students. Last September 4, the units were successfully turned over to the parents of the selected 102 students of KMES, with the help of the teachers themselves and principal of KMES. The beneficiary of the units was spread across students-in-need from Grades 4 to 6.

The remaining funds will be used to sustain the online learning of the beneficiaries by loading each student’s pocket wifi unit with P400 pesos every month until the last month of the upcoming school year. This amount will be enough for 6GB of data for online learning.The donation drive will be active until June 2021, the last academic month of SY 2020-2021. The remaining amount needed by Salindiwa is P351,579.07 to help support the internet connection of 102 students from KMES for a whole academic year.

Help Salindiwa: Donation Drive in ensuring that no student gets left behind by donating any amount through any of our donation channels. This will greatly help the 102 students of KMES continue their education amidst these trying times.

Renz Allan Lacorte: Providing Educational Materials at Davao del Norte

As a member of a university that is thriving from a difficult situation of adapting to online education, Renz realized how difficult it is for public schools to prepare for a new mode of learning, which is distant modular learning. He and his schoolmates decided to help young children enrolled in public schools to adapt smoothly to the new system. Through Tulong Skwela PH, he sought to raise donations for connectivity devices such as Home Prepaid WiFiand educational materials like coloring books and textbooks—all of these were to be donated to select public schools in the rural barangays of Davao del Norte.

Renz and his friends encouraged those who did not need Wi-Fi devices to give it up for donation at Tulong Skwela PH. They also made sure to get support from internal organizations and offices in Ateneo to ultimately take part in spreading the cause. One of their efforts was the Spark Up Activities where they were able to accumulate Php 16,363.83 worth of contributions. On September 16, Jose N. Cabunilas Elementary School, IGACOS, Davao del Norte, which currently has a student population of 450 Grade School Students, became the first recipient of the drive.

In the coming weeks, Tulong Skwela PH will be sending more donations to three more schools, with a collective student population of approximately 600 students. Overall, Renz and his friends are expecting more than 1000 students to benefit from the initiative. As of the moment, Php 66,380.02 was collected from TulongSkwela PH’s generous donors, partners and sponsors. As for the in-kind donations, the group was able to garner more than 250 textbooks, at least 30 notebooks, more or less 20 Reams of A4 paper, gallons of Ethyl Alcohol and boxes of school supplies, school materials, and face masks.

Sharra Crizel Elep: Distance Learning for Students

As communicators, The Rhetoricians are proud to continue empowering those in the vulnerable sector by helping them find and have their own voice among the crowd. With The organization's current platform and its dedication to serve people,The Rhetoricians stepped out of its usual community in UP Los Banos and responded to the relief efforts towards those affected by the online learning mandate promoted by the administration. ThusReconnect PHwas board with the goal of raising at least 63,750 PHP through online fundraising to provide distance learning kits to ten or more enrolled students of JHS, SHS, or college. The distance learning kits would come in two types: DLK A (tablet, LTE sim card, mobile data) and DLK B - LTE (pocket wifi, mobile data).

Reconnect PH tried to find different streams of support to reach their goal such as selling T-shirts, accessories, and plant kits on Shopee. They also partnered with youth organizations and local businesses, as well as independent artists who were willing to share part of their art commissions. Reconnect PH eventually received two brand new tablets for in-kind donations and a total of P89,621 monetary contributions.Additionally they received P54,410 from donations, P34,239 from business partners, and P35,847 from FRA and Art Commission. All in all, Reconnect PH currently has 13 beneficiaries.

The most important contribution of this project is the certainty that someone will accompany the beneficiaries throughout the school year because the mobile data allowance they will receive is from September 2020 to May 2021 (this is a huge development compared to the initial target of providing allowances from September 2020 to December 2020 only). Furthermore, the members of Reconnect PH also try to greet the beneficiaries via group chat and encourage them to talk about their school activities.

Dionicio Castro Jr.: Food Packs for Barangay

Jun Castro became an embodiment of the spirit of bayanihan to his family, his whole barangay as Kagawad,and to the staff of Ospital ng Sampaloc, Dapitan Quarantine Facility, Perpetual Succor Hospital and Red Cross QC Chapter.

Since the pandemic started, Jun was already finding ways to help the community. He eventually received P30,000 monetary funds for donation towards his barangay. With that money on hand, he bought 5 sacks of rice, 20 trays of eggs, and 150 packs of hotdogs for distribution to the residents. A second wave of donations arrived, in which he used to purchase and distribute skinless longganisa and vitamins to the residents.

To retrieve donations, Jun reached out to his family, friends, and to various companies, organizations, and foundations. Eventually, with more donations being sent to support his cause, he extended help to frontliners in quarantine facilities and hospitals. He donated vitamins, food supplements, disinfectants, masks and face shields to name a few. He also solicited food packs for 500 beneficiaries including families, senior citizens, and drivers. These food packs included milk, diapers, and vitamins for babies and kids.

Ayala Malls honors these Extra Mile Changemakers, as individuals from different walks of life who have exhibited the Filipino trait of Malasakit or caring for the welfare of others. It is uplifting stories such as these, done in the spirit of Bayanihan that may inspire more Changemakers in their communities and #KeepAmazingGoing.

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