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Plant Seeds, Grow Livelihood

Mondelez Philippines and the Urban Vegetable Garden Movement

Mother Judith Estrada from Pateros has always liked planting gardens. Resourceful and diligent, she likes seeing things grow. Last year, she got the push she needed to grow her garden. Now she’s harvesting tomatoes, chilies, okra and eggplants from her backyard. She’s able to feed her family fresh vegetables, at virtually no cost. This is urban gardening, the movement that’s empowering families to grow fresh food and be one step closer to good nutrition.

Judith even won Mondelez Philippines’ urban vegetable gardening contest held in 2014. She was awarded for having the most abundant garden among the parents of her child’s school P. Manalo Elementary. Through Mondelez Philippines’ flagship Joy Schools program, teachers and parents of beneficiary schools like Judith were invited to learn from an urban gardening seminar. As the name suggests, parents were taught how to make use of discarded bottles, sacks and containers – which would otherwise be trash, to use as pots for planted vegetables.

Urban gardens and other initiatives that seek to build better futures are the focus of Mondelez Philippines’ Joy Schools program. Through this, six public elementary schools nationwide have been adopted by the Company and its employees under a 3-year period to help transform the schools into joyful centers of learning. The program aims to achieve this through interventions for nutrition, teacher training and facilities improvement. Urban gardening is one of the initiatives for promoting good nutrition.

The gift that keeps on giving. Urban gardening or often called community gardening is an empowering movement that’s gaining ground not only in the Philippines but in other Cities around the world, even the USA. In Detroit, Michigan for example urban gardening has been one of the ways to uplift the City embattled by recession during the past decade. The movement has been providing not only food but job opportunities to its residents. This is something that can very well be adapted here in the Philippines.

Working together. That’s the theme of the Urban Gardening seminar provided to parents of Mondelez Philippines’ adopted Joy Schools. The seminar helped empower parents and schools to grow their own food and provide nutrition to their children.

“We believe in the potential of families and of urban gardening,” explains Maria Cindy C. Lim, Head of Corporate and Government Affairs of Mondelez Philippines, the company formerly named Kraft Foods. “There are a lot of initiatives out there to help families alleviate malnutrition. One thing we’d like to help build as well is for the capacity of families to help themselves. Not just to share food, but to share knowledge that would help them grow their own food, independent of any help. That’s the vision of our support and how we aim to create joy for them.”

As a food manufacturing company, Mondelez Philippines sought partnership with East West Seed Foundation for their expertise in urban gardening technologies. The latter aims to play the role of Filipino farmers’ champion. It has been empowering farmers by providing the right tools: good seeds and greater knowledge. They also provide comprehensive and practical training for teachers and students to learn about urban vegetable farming.

The urban garden at P. Manalo Elementary School in Pateros. Urban vegetable gardens not only help beautify concrete areas. They can also be a source of free food for schools and livelihood for parents.


Gardens of life. “What we teach parents and teachers are practical and life-long lessons that they can use in-school and at home, wherever they live,” relates Mary Joyce Gaviola, Program Officer for East West Seed Foundation (EWSF) and the main lecturer during the seminars for Mondelez Philippines’ Joy Schools.

She adds, “We promote the benefits of eating vegetables, because sometimes there are still parents who don’t eat them, much less their children. Then we teach them how to decide where to put their gardens - even with limited space, what kinds of vegetables grow with limited sun, how much soil to use, and the like. After this we take them through hands-on exercise to give them the feel of planting on their own.”

Held in partnership with the East West Seed Foundation, the urban gardening seminars gave parents hands-on experience in planting vegetables. Shown in this picture are parents transplanting seedlings into sacks to help them grow.

“We’re thankful for the partnership with EWSF,” adds Lim. “They’ve given our adopted parents and teachers better understanding of how to provide for their own families. We’ll be working closely with them in the future to monitor the gardens that are being grown. Our great hope is that more parents take this up, and maybe even make this a source of livelihood.”

Julie Damian, a parent from Bayanan Main Elementary School in Muntinlupa says she’s learned a lot from the seminar. “Masaya, marami akong natutunan. Lalo na kung saan dapat tinatanim ang maliliit at malalaking buto.  Alam ko na kung paano magtatanim ng gulay sa bahay kahit wala akong espasyo.  Nasagot ang mga tanong ko tungkol sa pagtatanim sa mga bote, paso, gulong; iyong mga pwedeng ilagay sa gilid ng pader.”

All the participants during the training were provided with starter kits of seeds, sacks and soil. Julie adds that these will help her family a great deal, “Makakatipid ako ng malaki.  Kapag kailangan ko ng gulay, magpipitas na lang ako, may ulam na kami.”

Growing Communities. Julie also shared that she plans to keep some of her plants inside her children’s school, something that its Principal Antonio Gagala encourages. After all, parents and teachers work hand in hand in improving the nutrition of children. Jonald Trinidad, the Urban Gardening Coordinator of Bayanan Main Elementary is one of those who works closely with the parents of his school.

He explains, “Ang pinaka-nagustuhan ko ay iyong hands-on planting activity.  Pati na ang mga magulang dahil nagtatanong din sila sa akin tungkol sa urban gardening. Kaya gustong-gusto nila iyong hands-on.  Pati iyong mga co-teachers ko nagustuhan iyon.  Maganda kasing nakikita kasabay noon, ginagawa namin ng magkakasama.”

Learning through practice, together. Like any movement, urban gardening will grow roots only through the collaboration of a community. Through the shared interest of parents, the collaboration of the school, and the support from partners like Mondelez Philippines.

For more information on how Mondelez Philippines creates delicious moments of joy, visit

Philippine Navy Recognizes Aboitiz Foundation as Partner for Civic Action

Aboitiz Foundation received a recognition from the Philippine Navy for being a remarkable partner for civic action activities during the 4th Year Anniversary of the Philippine Navy’s Civil Military Operations Group (CMOG-PN) held last March 16 at CPO Club House, Naval Station Jose Francisco, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

The plaque of recognition was awarded to Aboitiz Foundation EVP and COO Augusto Carpio III by the Flag Officer-in-Command of Philippine Navy Vice Admiral Jesus Millan, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff for Civil Military Operations Captain Reginald Rapanan, and Commander of Civil Military Operations Group Colonel Edgard Arevalo.

The CMOG-PN has been a partner of the Foundation in providing immediate relief assistance to disaster affected communities. They provided manpower and logistical support during the relief operations conducted on the aftermath of Bohol earthquake and Super Typhoon Yolanda last 2013 and Typhoon Ruby last 2014. They also supported the Foundation’s Brigada Eskwela activity last year.

Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. is the corporate foundation of the Aboitiz Group. Established in 1988, it addresses the social and economic development needs of marginalized members of society. It constantly delivers value to its stakeholders including the communities where it has presence. The foundation focuses its corporate social responsibility efforts on education, enterprise development, and environment.

Cement company fetes winners of first students’ arts festival

A photo showing coins put together to form an image of national hero Jose Rizal bested other entries recently in one of the categories of the 1st IMPACT (IMages of Progress in ACTion) Students’ Festival, a competition organized by CEMEX Philippines which aims to engage the youth in nation-building and provide them more avenues for self-expression.

Named first prize winner in the photography category was Gian Paolo Garrido, a second year college student from Mapua Institute of Technology whose entry entitled “Value” won the nod of the judges for demonstrating outstanding artistry in illustrating the idea of seeing “Rizal through the Lens,” the theme for this year’s photography competition. This theme is also in line with CEMEX’s celebration of the 100th year of its Rizal Cement brand.

Angie Cariaso (“One Peso: Value vs. Worth”) of the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA-Molino was named second prize winner while Marco Mata (“Working Class Hero”) of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila won third place.

Gian Paolo Garrido (right) with one of the photography competition judges Ash Evasco (left) pose in front of Garrido’s winning entry titled “Value”

Garrido, who had won an award in a nationwide photography competition right on his very first try, explained that the inspiration behind his entry were the young people in his place. “Sa lugar namin maraming kabataan ang hindi marunong magpahalaga sa pera. Sabi nga ni Rizal, ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan. Kung pera pa lang hindi na sila marunong magpahalaga, paaano pa nila pahahalagahan ang ating bayan? [In our place, a lot of young people do not know how to value money. Rizal says the youth is the hope of our nation but if they do not know how to value money, how else can we expect them to be able to serve our country in the future]?” he asked.

“Our Next Great Foundations” by Mark Anthony Laza

In the IMPACT painting category, Mark Anthony Laza, a 2nd year Fine Arts Student of the Eulogio "Amang" Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology (EARIST) won first place for his entry entitled “Our Next Great Foundations.” The title is in reference to the youth whom he believes are the nation’s hope for a better society in the future.

To depict the painting contest’s theme, “Cementing Growth in the Philippines,” Laza has come up with a texturized image of a mason’s face then overlaid it with smiling faces of young people with their hands joined together. “Naniniwala ako na ang mga kabataan ngayon ang susunod na magiging pundasyon ng ating society. Kapag hinubog natin sila sa tuwid na landas, sila ang susunod na magiging leaders ng iba pang mga kabataan. [I believe that our next great foundation is the youth. If we train them towards the right path, they can be great leaders who can, in turn, train the other youths],” he said.

Laza (center) holds his plaque as his winning entry is flashed at the back

Laza's entry earned for him the recognition as champion. Christian Cedrick Dela Paz ("Concrete Foundation Constructed by Humanity's Equality"), of EARIST copped second place while yet another student from EARIST, Jhon Michael Macariola ("Kabataan: Pundasyon ng Bayan, Alay sa Tagumpay ng Kinabukasan")

“It is a pleasure to see amazing works of budding artists who are very unique in expressing their ideas through their brushes and cameras. Art is where skills and story are bound into one beautifully crafted masterpiece. Art opens the avenue of imaginative interpretations— bringing in meaningful creative contexts. Indeed, art is an essential element in our everyday lives. Rest assured that CEMEX Philippines is here to help cultivate and support the Filipino art community,” said CEMEX Philippines Country President Pedro Palomino.


Building arts and culture with IMPACT

The first year of CEMEX’s IMPACT Students’ Festival showcased the best works of college students in the metro, particularly those taking up arts and communication. This initiative is also part of CEMEX Philippines Foundation’s thrust to build arts and culture in the country under its corporate social responsibility program dubbed Build the Nation Together.

“Our goal for this students’ festival is to encourage the youth to take on the challenge of  contributing the best that they have in helping the nation move forward,” explained Chito Maniago, director for corporate communications and public affairs of CEMEX Philippines.

“We are happy with all the entries we have received right on the very first year of this competition and we look forward to reaching more schools and communities in the next leg of IMPACT,” he added.

“I’m so happy!” beamed Mark, who wanted to be a filmmaker someday. “This is a great way for me to start the new year. My winnings here can help me a great deal in my studies. I’ll also invest in new tools which I can use for my painting class. I’d like to thank our professors at EARIST who have encouraged us to join this contest.”

Some of the schools and colleges that participated in the students’ festival (art categories) include Far Eastern University, University of Santo Tomas, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Eulogio "Amang" Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology, Philippine Normal University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, University of Perpetual Help DALTA, Mapua Institute of Technology, and Technological University of the Philippines, just to name a few.

The judges for the painting competition were multi-awarded artists Ivan Roxas, Guerrero Habulan, Norman Dreo, and Jasper De Leon. Meanwhile, the judges for the photography competition were professional photographers Ernie Sarmiento, Ash Evasco, and Fritz Tentativa.

All the winning entries as well as the works of the other finalists have been put up in an exhibit at the ground floor of Glorietta 3 in February, coinciding the national arts month, while the formal awarding ceremony was held at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) Conference Center. To view the winning entries and all pictures taken during the awarding ceremony, check out the Facebook page of CEMEX Philippines.

CEMEX Philippines is the manufacturer of the only eco-labeled cement brands in the country including Island Portland Cement, Palitada King, Rizal Portland Super, Rizal Masonry Cement, APO Portland Premium, APO Portland Cement, APO Masonry Cement, and APO Pozzolan. For more information, please log on to or for partnerships, please contact the Public Affairs Unit and email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


CEMEX IMPACT Painting Competition winners and finalists

CEMEX IMPACT Photography Competition winners and finalists

CLFI conducts Basketball Clinic to ALS Learners

Cebuana Lhuillier Foundation, Inc. (CLFI) extended the company value of teamwork to their beneficiaries by holding a basketball clinic to 20 Alternative Learning System (ALS) learners of San Manuel High School in Tarlac City, March 13.

Assistant Coach Marvin Carreon, with players RL Cartel, Jonathan Banal and Roberto Hainga of Cebuana Gems, the basketball team of Cebuana Lhuillier, officiated the clinic aiming to boost the learners’ skills, teamwork and camaraderie.

“Teamwork is work performed by a team toward a common goal and it is important in basketball because it helps move the ball around and effectively score points,” said Coach Marvin.

Gems reminded the learners to always practice the value of sportsmanship, respect, attitude and teamwork.

The learners, in return, replied positively to their mentors’ challenge. They felt fortunate to be visited by the Gems and as an appreciation, they promised that they will keep in minds and hearts the values that were taught to them.

“I felt happy and inspired because that was the first basketball clinic I had. I’ll definitely treasure all the lessons they instructed us. I am very lucky to be mentored by them even if I’m not in the formal school,” shares Rodel Lacsa, learner.

Sports development is one of the innovations of the established DepEd – Cebuana Lhuillier ALS Community Learning Centers (CLCs) nationwide, one being in San Manuel, Tarlac. CLFI spearheaded the program in partnership with the Department of Education.

"Through the Sports Development Program, Cebuana Lhuillier hopes to make the 64 CLCs it is establishing with DepEd in all the 17 Regions of the Philippines as farms where we can identify and develop materials for Sports Champions since Sports is very close to the heart of our President and CEo, Dr. Jean Henri Lhuillier, who himself excels in practically all kinds of sports, and his spice, Bea Lucero Lhuillier, our Olympic bronze medalist in Taekwondo," said its Executive Director, Atty. Cesar Vidal.

Silya Mula sa Basura

IGFI Converts Scrap Pallets into Daycare Chairs!

Time and again, we are confronted with issues and concerns on education. For the past two to three decades, the education sector has been beleaguered with the same problems. Despite of the annual increase in the education budget it is crucial to note that the increase remains grossly insufficient in addressing the needs of basic education. This lack of budget, regrettably, imperils a smooth school opening as shortages in textbooks, chairs, classrooms and teachers continue to plague basic education.

Community daycare centers, considered as the foundation of children’s education, are not spared from experiencing such issues and concerns affecting students’ learning process. Lack of educational materials, equipment and needed furniture like chairs impede the efficient and effective implementation of daycare program.

It is in this context that the ICCP Group Foundation, Inc. (IGFI) initiated a pioneering move to convert scrap pallets into daycare center chairs in partnership with the Procter & Gamble (P&G). From P&G’s donated pallets, IGFI produces daycare chairs and distribute them to its host barangays. 650 daycare chairs out of pallets have thus far produced, and donated to IGFI’s communities in Cabuyao and Calamba, Laguna.

As a counterpart, daycare teachers are mobilized in painting the chairs prior to distribution to their respective daycare centers. At least fifty (50) chairs per center have been provided with pallet chairs.

Among other education projects, IGFI is indeed committed to continue such initiative in partnership with P&G to at best contribute in the increase of participation and completion rate of daycare kids.

About ICCP Group Foundation, Inc. (IGFI)

The ICCP Group Foundation, Inc. (IGFI) is a non-stock, non-profit corporate foundation duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 8, 1997 by a group of incorporators from the Investment & Capital Corporation of the Philippines (ICCP) and eighteen (18) other corporations. Its main office is located at 17th Floor Robinsons Summit Center, 6783 Ayala Avenue, 1226 Makati City.

IGFI’s vision is to have empowered partner-communities with sustainable social and economic resources through building self-reliant and self-sufficient partners. IGFI believes that this shall be achieved through the implementation of sustainable, relevant and integrated community development programs in close partnership with and among stakeholders.

Indeed, IGFI pursues sustainable integrated programing.


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