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Manila Water Foundation Brings Importance of Earth Day to Kids


Manila Water Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of the Manila Water group for areas within Metro Manila and beyond, engaged youngsters in a day full of exciting activities that expressed the value of taking care of Mother Earth.

“The Foundation’s Earth Day celebration reflects how we would like to implant the importance of being mindful of the environment’s condition and the efforts needed to be taken to improve it at grassroots level,” said Carla Beriña-Kim, Executive Director of Manila Water Foundation. “Educating the youth during their developmental years would promote the formation of consciousness and habits that will shape an active public geared at forging a sustainable future,” she adds.

Almost a hundred children aged six and above participated in a story telling teaching the role of water cycle in the environment and in the Amazing Kiddie Race which included stations that stressed the importance of using water wisely such as the Water Relay Station.

Christine Casabar, parent of one of the participants shares the Foundation’s vision of inculcating the value of protecting the environment in an early age. “This stage is very crucial because it is the time that the learnings are readily accepted and embraced,” said Casabar.

According to Roy Gonzaga, parent of one of the participants, his daughter Rayne shared how she gained environmental awareness and enjoyed her first step to taking care of Mother Earth through the seedling planting activity. “As parents, we play a critical role of developing the awareness and responsibility of the future generation towards the environment,” said Gonzaga. “After all, they will be the ones who will inherit our planet and reap or sow depending on our present actions”.

The full day event ended with splashes and laughter as kids jumped and swam in the pool the rest of the afternoon.


This Earth Day celebration was done in cooperation with Manila Water Company, Museo Pambata, Philippine Book Fairs and Education Inc., and Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System.

Tulong Aral ng Petron: 6,000 Graduates and Counting!

NEW MILESTONES. Petron executives (center, seated) share the triumph of nearly 800 Tulong Aral scholars.


Standing on stage, 16-year old Adrian Nabus stood in front of nearly 1,000 people assembled at the San Miguel Head Office recently. As the valedictorian of Tangos High School in Navotas, Nabus was chosen to address his fellow Tulong Aral ng Petron scholars who were celebrating their graduation from different schools.

Since 2002, the program has sent over 8,500 children in Metro Manila and Mindanao to school and helped more than 5,000 children finish elementary and high school. For school year 20013-2014, Tulong Aral produced a total of 793 graduates: 704 graduates from elementary, 87 from high school and 2 from college.

For children like Nabus, who came from a poor family in Navotas, hope came from Petron’s send-a-child to school program. A Tulong Aral scholar since Grade 1, Nabus was determined to make this gift of education a vehicle to better their lives. He spent a portion of his speech thanking his parents and the difficulties they surmounted to send him to school. His father is the lone breadwinner, driving a pedicab everyday to sustain five children. “Kahit ‘di ninyo sabihin sa akin na wala tayong pera, alam ko po iyon. Pero kinabukasan bago po ako pumasok, mayroon po kayong inaabot sa aking baon. Kahit po may sakit kayo, pumapasok kayo para matugunan ang pangangalian ko at ng pamilya natin (Even if you don’t tell me that we don’t have money, I know. But before I go to school the following day, you manage to give me money for school. Even when you’re sick, you go to work to support me and our family.)”

For Tulong Aral graduates, the gift of education provided has given them a fighting chance once they move on to higher education. But for Nabus and the other scholars who have excelled in their studies, there is an added reward: scholarships for Tulong Aral’s top 100 elementary and top 20 high school graduates, respectively. This brings to 42 the number of young men and women that Petron is now supporting thru college; the first batch of Tulong Aral College Scholars is now on its third year of Engineering and other business-related courses. Equally significant, the program has already produced its first graduates.

Kristine Mary Asunio and May Ann Pamatian were among the first batch of Tulong Aral scholars. In March 2014, they completed their Technical-Vocational courses with Associate in Business Office and Information System and Computer Programming degrees, respectively, from AMA Computer Learning Center College.

“The graduation of our Tulong Aral scholars reaffirms our commitment to nation-building by ensuring that thousands of Filipino children from marginalized families receive basic education and secure a better future,” said Petron Chairman and CEO Ramon S. Ang. “We look forward when we welcome them back not as our scholars but as colleagues in the Petron organization.

And the Tulong Aral scholars are responding to Petron’s message of hope with gratitude and commitment. “I’m very thankful that I have been one of the Tulong Aral ng Petron scholars,” affirmed Nabus. “Because you believed in me and my future, because of you, I am here… Pinapangako ko na gagawin ko ang lahat para masuklian ang lahat ng bagay na ginawa ninyo para sa akin. (I promise to do everything to repay everything that you have done for me.) The future is in our hands. And together, we will seize the day and create a new Philippines.”

Mark Joel dela Cruz, who is among the pioneering batch of Tulong Aral College Scholars, is likewise rising to the challenge. According to the 3rd year B.S. Civil Engineering student from Mapua Institute of Technology: “Gusto ko patunayan sa Petron na hindi sila nagkamali sa akin, kung may kulang ako gusto ko dagdagan pa ito. Pinaka-goal ko ngayon is to graduate on time. (I want to be able to prove to Petron that they did not make a mistake in choosing me. If I have fallen short in complying with the provisions, I would like to be able to make up for it and be able to give back. My main goal now is to graduate on time.)”

Petron’s anchor program on education is in partnership with the Department of Education, Department of Social Welfare and Development, the different local government units, World Vision, and Philippine Business for Social Progress

Among the company’s other major initiatives on education are the Petron Schools. Since 2002, Petron has built and repaired over 1,600 classrooms. It is also building 39 pre-school classrooms in support of AGAPP (Aklat, Gabay, Aruga Tungo sa Pag-angat at Pag-asa) program. Together with DepEd and USAID, Petron is helping implement BASA PILIPINAS, which aims to improve reading proficiency skills of 1 million early grades students in the Ilocos Region and in Central Visayas.

Honor student Allysa Yape receives her medal and certificate of recognition along with her fellow Tulong Aral ng Petron academic achievers from executives of Petron, Department of Education, and World Vision.

Honor student Allysa Yape receives her medal and certificate of recognition along with her fellow Tulong Aral ng Petron academic achievers from executives of Petron, Department of Education, and World Vision.

CLFI awards medals to top students during the LCC Commencement Exercises

At the Commencement ceremony of the 63rd Basic Education Department and 6th College Department of the La Consolacion College- Bais City on March 22, 2014, Cebuana Lhuillier Foundation headed by General Manager Atty Cesar Vidal awarded medals to total of 16 graduating students with honors and special awards.

Among the graduates for School Year 2013-14 were the three graduating scholars of the CL Foundation namely, Irene Abuyador in the college department and Rhofa Mae Asentista and Mel Joshua Japin who received special academic award and service award, respectively in the high school department.

Commencement speaker Superior General Sr Niceta Vargas, OSA gave an inspirational address before the graduates in line with the theme "Celebrating the Bountiful Blessings from God Almighty Father".

Together with the Cebuana Lhuillier Foundation, the City of Bais Mayor, Honorable Mercy Goñi was also present to witness the ceremony.

The Foundation promoting education as its major thrust has been providing scholarship grants to deserving students of La Consolacion College in Bais City since 2001 and has produced over 40 successful graduates.

PAL takes lead in disaster relief

Before he concluded his year-end prayer service at the Vatican, Pope Francis had one question for the faithful who had gathered: “Did you help anyone in 2013?”

If the massive global effort to provide aid to victims of super typhoon “Haiyan”(Yolanda in the Philippines) in the Visayas and Southern Luzon regions is any indication, then many people all over the world can answer in the affirmative in the meaningful way.

After all, the destruction caused by the strongest typhoon in the world to ever make landfall was simply unimaginable: more than 6,000 dead and about 30,000 injured in the coastal areas of Leyte, Samar, Aklan, Capiz, Cebu, Iloilo, Palawan and neighboring provinces; more than four million individuals displaced and countless children suddenly orphaned.

As images of the aftermath of the catastrophe made their way to local and foreign media, the global response was overwhelming: Donations of food, medicines, and other critical relief supplies and aid poured in, and droves of medical and rescue workers and volunteers came, all resulting to a concerted relief effort that is unparalleled in recent history.

Philippine Airlines, the country's national flag carrier, was at the forefront of these relief efforts. Being the very first airline to fly to Tacloban soon after Yolanda struck, PAL soon took a lead role in flying in aid to affected areas, assisting government agencies and non-government organizations in the airlift of volunteers and relief.

The PAL Foundation, the carrier's corporate social responsibility arm, immediately activated its humanitarian program, which allowed for the free airlifting of relief, provisions, equipment, and medical, rescue, and security teams to Tacloban and other affected areas.  It likewise coordinated the airlifting of volunteer and goods from other donor countries.

To date, the PAL Foundation has facilitated the airlift of about 300 tons of supplies and 2,000 medical personnel and rescue and relief volunteers to affected areas.

Last December, the PAL Foundation also hosted a Christmas program for family-evacuees from the Visayas who took shelter at the improvised Tent City inside Villamor Air Base in Pasay City.

The evacuees were entertained by PAL pilots and flight attendant and star basketball players of the Bgy. Ginebra Gin Kings. The program included a puppet show, parlor games and a gift-giving activity for children and their parents.

PAL also gave assistance to employees who were affected by the typhoon and the recent earthquake in Bohol. Financial aid and donations in kind helped them and their families rebuild their lives.

More than seven decades since it first took flight, PAL continues to stay true to its commitment of being a partner in nation-building, through meaningful social development programs.

For inquiries on how to send help, contact the PAL Foundation by sending an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

(Reprinted from Mabuhay magazine, March 2014 issue)

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