Member News
The ArtBGC Mural Festival Returns to BGC

Splashes of color are ready to fill the walls of Bonifacio Global City (BGC) as Bonifacio Art Foundation, Inc. (BAFI) celebrates ArtBGC Mural Festival 2016. Now on its sophomore run, ArtBGC promises vibrant new murals and programs to make art and culture more accessible to BGCitizens.

The festival is done in collaboration with L.A.-based art consultancy, LeBasse Projects, and Honeycomb Communities. Multi-disciplinary artists such as: PastelFD, Andrew Schoultz, HOTxTEA, Bunnie Reiss, Aleks Kocev and Blaine Suque are bringing in their unique brand of creativity, hoping to build on the iconic atmosphere of BGC. Representing the Philippines in this festival are Kris Abrigo, Trip63 and ArtBGC Open Call winner, KFK. All artists, international delegates and select guests of BAFI will be treated to a welcome dinner hosted by the local government unit of Taguig. Keep an eye out for these talented individuals this May 12 to 21 as they make their mark on W 5th, NET One, Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Stopover and BGC Corporate Center.

While the painting is ongoing, BAFI has created a variety of programs to bring art closer to the community. The Alveo Art Tours are designed to walk you through the different mural sites – old and new.  These daily tours start at the Alveo showroom along 28th Street. The Mind Museum will host Cafe Scientifique – a world-wide movement to bring science closer to the public through conversation. Public art will be discussed and dissected on May 14. Both events are free and open to the public.

Community takes on a bigger role this year. Coming from last year’s hype, BAFI was able to develop a small army of volunteers that will either be apprenticing under the muralists or running around BGC as part of the Street Team. Volunteers will be rehydrating and recharging at Burgos Eats thanks to Max’s Group. BAFI is also partnering with Fort Bonifacio Development Foundation, Inc. (FBDFI) to bring art to BGC’s neighboring communities. The artists will be painting with the children of Taguig on the afternoon of May 16, leaving behind unforgettable memories and a colorful mural.

For more details and updates, visit or follow BGC on Facebook (, Twitter (@ExploreBGC), and the official event Instagram account (@artbgc).

For more information, please contact Mikey de Quiros of Full Circle Comms, Inc. at 09178141929 or 6371116/1118.

Worldbex Back to Back Generosity

Worldbex Held Its Back to Back Events for the Benefit of ALKFI

Worldbex recently held a back-to-back setof events for the benefit of the ABS-CB Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation – the 21st annual Philippine Building and Construction Exposition and the 12th Manila International Auto Show. Both of the events were held at the World Trade Convention Center in Pasay City.

The 21st Philippine Building and Construction Expo showcased different works of architecture, design and landscaping from close to 500 booths. On the other hand, the 12th Manila International Auto Show took pride with the cutting-edge technologies of the new automobiles in the market. Vintage, restored, and customized cars also fancied the eyes of the guests.

With partners like Worldbex, ALKFI continues to assist Filipino families and children through its different programs.

Read More of ALFKI News

Amcham Scholarun 2016: Netsuite Employees Run For A Cause – The Second Time Around

NetSuite has always been ahead in ensuring that its employees are enjoying a balance of work and leisure. Through various company-sponsored activities, such as charity races, NetSuite employees are able to enjoy a refreshing break from their hectic schedules while still maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle.

This past February, NetSuite employees in the Philippines had the opportunity to join, for the second year in a row, the 5th American Chamber Foundation ScholaRun at the Bonifacio Global City. A total of 200 NetSuite employees ran for the benefit of the AmCham Foundation Scholarship Program, joining over 2,000 runners from different sectors and companies also supporting the cause., the corporate citizenship arm of NetSuite, partnered with software donation grantee American Chamber Foundation Philippines, Inc. to help raise enough funds to send 100 scholars in the Philippines to a university.

Before the race started, NetSuite employee volunteers led the warm-up exercises to prepare the NetSuite participants. Volunteer photographers were also present to capture the employees’ winning moments during the run. Food was also distributed before and after the race to ensure that the NetSuite runners are well-nourished throughout the run. There were also games, raffles, as well as an awards ceremony for participants.

Joining the AmCham ScholaRun 2016 was indeed a perfect start to a great year ahead. It was not only a corporate-sponsored activity, but also an effective way to promote a healthy lifestyle and camaraderie among NetSuite employees. Most of all, it paved way for an opportunity to serve the underprivileged and further manifested NetSuite’s commitment to helping nonprofit organizations.

Villar SIPAG Celebrates Women’s Month With Trainings For Women

To celebrate Women's Month, Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance) conducted three livelihood trainings for women at the Villar SIPAG Farm House at Barangay San Nicolas 1, Bacoor, Cavite.

“It has always been our advocacy to empower women and enable them to play a key role not only in caring for their families but also in the larger goal of nation-building,” Sen. Cynthia Villar, Villar SIPAG director, said.


One of the trainings held was on charcoal making last March 31. The participants were taught by experts from the University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB)- Department of Natural Resources and Forestry how to make charcoal briquette from waste  materials like twigs, leaves and paper under the 'Green' technology program.

The participants were from the Women’s League of Sta. Maria, Laguna; Samahan ng Magpaparol ng Las Piñas; Young Women’s Christian Association – Manila; Women’s Group of Parañaque; City Division Schools - Las Piñas; National Council of Women of the Philippines; Women in Agriculture of Bacoor; Mga Kababaihan ng Cavite; 3000 Club of the Philippines; Brgy. 195, Pasay City Women’s Group and Women’s Group from Pasig.

Two other trainings-- bamboo propagation, nursery and care and orchids cultivation and cut flower production-- were earlier conducted in the said farm school.


The bamboo training held on March 18, was facilitated by UPLB Department of Natural Resources and Forestry headed by Gregorio Santos and his team.

Among the topics discussed in the bamboo seminar evaluation were the kinds and uses of bamboo, its propagation, nursery and care, plantation establishment and harvesting and planting.

About 80 women participated in this training mainly from organizations such as Women Involved in Nation Building, Young Women’s Christian Association of the Philippines and 3000 Club of the Philippines, Kababaihan ng Sta. Maria, Division of City Schools- Teachers DepEd, Catholic Women’s League (Manila), Kababaihang Lingkod-Bayan ng Laguna, Bukas Palad Foundation, Kababaihang Magpaparol ng Las Pinas and Zonta.

The Philippine Horticultural Society led by Fernando Aurigue, Senior Science Research Specialist, facilitated the training on orchids cultivation last March 19.

About 70 women from organizations namely, Kalipunan ng Liping Pilipina, Tanay ladies and National Federation of Women’s Club, Soroptimist and Las Pinas Garden Club participated in this training.


The three trainings were given for free to women and women’s groups and organizations in consonance with the celebration of the month of March as Women’s Month by virtue of Presidential Proclamation Nos.224 and 227 and Republic Act 6949.

All the trainings, which were also inclusive of free food and materials for the workshop, were held from 8 am until 5 pm. The Villar SIPAG had established the farm school as part of its advocacy to alleviate the country's poverty situation.


The farm school serves as a learning hub for capacity building of communities to survive, adapt and thrive in the demands of agriculture. Since its establishment last year, it has already catered to more than 800 persons who got free agricultural training for their personal growth and technical know-how.

Villar said the Villar SIPAG Farm School was built with the vision of providing continuous training and education to farmers and fisherfolks and their families as well as residents of agricultural communities in Metro Manila and nearby cities and provinces.

When it opened in September, the farm school partnered with SM Foundation Inc. and Harbest Agribusiness Corporation in providing a 12-week training program to about 200 farming beneficiaries from Las Pinas, Bacoor and Imus.

Since then, it has also established partnerships with Allied Botanical Seeds , Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) for other trainings.

“One of the primary reasons why we built this farm school is to be able to bridge the gap that would enable Filipino farmers and agri-related industry players to be more competitive and successful,” Villar also said.

Weaving Dreams In Sibaltan

(Ayala Foundation helps a community embrace change)

Sibaltan used to be a sleepy village by the sea in the eastern part of El Nido, Palawan. But now, it is waking up to increased economic activity. Among those contributing to the growth is a bold band of women weavers who have not only scaled up their craft but also their dreams.

When the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued the Sibaltan Women Weavers Association Inc. (SWWAI) their certificate of incorporation in November last year, no one could be happier than Melodiya “Diay” Bantog, a 37-year-old Palaweña who is the group’s president since 2013.

Diay and her team had been struggling to complete documentation requirements so they could operate commercially and scale up a livelihood enterprise on which they pinned most of their hopes. The hurdle especially for small groups filing for registration at the SEC has been higher following the Napoles controversy, which affected the governance outlook of nongovernmental organizations in the country.

In March this year, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) finally issued SWWAI their certificate of registration so they can operate as an independent business entity. Now that SWWAI is allowed to do business, while issuing their very own official receipt, Diay and her team feel they had won half the battle.

Now more confident with training and marketing exposure, the Sibaltan women are more excited to make future plans and thankful that all throughout their rather difficult journey, Ayala Foundation held their hands.

Weaving as part of Sibaltan cultural heritage

In this idyllic farming and fishing community, weaving is a skill that is passed on from generation to generation. People take pride in the fact that their roofs and walls are the work of their hands. They weave almost everything. Thus, in a typical household, it is not unusual to see menfolk, farmers and fishermen in particular, doing their share of weaving when they come home from the sea or farm.

The Sibaltan women weavers started as a small group in 2000. Through the Department of Social Welfare and Development, they underwent training to supply a single buri bag design for giveaways in El Nido’s resorts.

In 2008, Macrina “Nay Macring” Gacasa became president and by that time, the group already had 57 members, and had since woven buri-pandan bags, wallets, baskets or bayongs, slippers, and mats for the local market.

But still, it was difficult for them to make both ends meet as their market was limited to Palawan. While their artisanship is evident in the work that they do, they lacked the vision to drive the business further.

In April 2013, Ayala Foundation started working with SWWAI and was instrumental in the group’s collective decision to move forward with another able leader. While Nay Macring was still acknowledged as the best weaving teacher in the group, she selflessly ceded leadership to Diay Bantog. The foundation considered this move as proof that the group was ripe for more focused intervention and ready for bigger opportunities.

Building confidence and skills with Ayala Foundation

Ayala Foundation Program Manager Chiara Cruza observed how the hard-working Palaweñas sun-dried leaves from buri and pandan for two days before they made simple but durable products out of them. The women did this only as a part-time undertaking to help augment their respective family’s income.

Chiara Cruza (center), Ayala Foundation program manager, with members of the Sibaltan Women Weavers Association while they were undergoing training with The Leather Collection

Sadly, Chiara also realized that whatever the women earned out of weaving will never be enough to feed their families nor send their children to school, that is, if they continued to do things in the old, familiar way.

Under a new leader and now committed to change, Chiara introduced SWWAI to Rag to Riches (R2R), a fashion and design house which seeks to empower community artisans.

Aside from seeing the R2R brand as aspirational, the Sibaltan women weavers were inspired by how women from the Payatas dumpsite grew themselves into a formidable enterprise. R2R’s humble beginnings resonated with them as a powerful message that if the Payatas women could do it, so could they.

R2R then provided SWWAI with an overview on production, marketing and sales plus designs. After a week-long training during mid-2014, sixty design prospects were added to their list.

Following through the weavers’ new found confidence, Ayala Foundation invited The Leather Collection (TLC), a company specializing in corporate gift items using high-quality leather, to take a look at SWWAI.

TLC thought highly of the Sibaltan women’s craftsmanship, realizing that they were capable of weaving fine leather strips into panel materials that they needed for their luxury products, namely wallets, folios, key fobs, among others.

Shortly after the visit, five women weavers from Sibaltan and Villapaz towns were flown to Manila for skills development with TLC. Later on, their output formed a unique, limited edition collection of luxury bags and gift items.

“We learned about quality in our training with The Leather Collection. We realized that we should not just weave in a rush. We have to make sure that our products are of the highest quality. We know that Leather Collection sells them at a really high price so they have to be the best,” Diay Bantog says.

The foundation believes that by upping the skills of the women weavers, developing new products with greater appeal and function, and facilitating access to the market, a far greater value—both on a personal scale and product-wise—will be created.

Aside from now being used in Ayala Land’s El Nido resorts, the bayongs and other buri products have been used as conference bags by Manila-based national and international organizations. Seeing the versatility of the woven buri-pandan products, they were made into notebooks, tea boxes, notepad boxes, and others. These gift items were developed in partnership with Custom Made Crafts.

Bigger dreams

Nowadays, children in Sibaltan, El Nido, Palawan still fly kites and play along the shores like before, but their mothers, grandmothers and sisters who compose the Sibaltan Women Weavers Association, Inc. are now seeing far beyond the resort town’s horizon. And others are taking notice.

During El Nido’s 100th founding anniversary last March 12, the people of El Nido, Palawan recognized Ayala Foundation Program Manager Chiara Cruza’s strong leadership and unwavering support to their community programs, foremost among which is SWWAI’s transformation.

“We are happy where we are now and thank Chiara being good to us and helping us all the way. Totoong-totoo sya. (She is so true.) She gives us advise even on our little problems,” Diay says, adding that now that they have come this far, they will appreciate a special training in financial management, budgeting and record keeping.

The Sibaltan women weavers are now taking the future into their own hands. Now working full-time at SWWAI, they proudly share their plans for the future.

“My daughter, who is 15, is a special child. I want to send my 10-year-old son to college. I can say this because I now earn more than my husband who works as highway laborer. On the whole, I am able to provide for my family in a much better way,” SWWAI president Diay Bantog declares.

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