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The Journey of a Shoebox Filled with Dreams

This is a story about shoeboxes and the Mangyans, an indigenous community from Mindoro whose rich and storied culture is weaved into the Philippines’ history. The Mangyans make a living by cultivating land and making handicrafts. At present, they live in a complex reality, somewhere in between preserving tradition and adapting to the needs of the modern world. They who first walked the islands of Mindoro are now marginalized, having to make hard choices to feed, clothe, and shelter their people. Education takes a backseat when the choice is between eating today instead of buying school supplies for tomorrow.

A shoebox, on the other hand, begins its journey in a store, cradling a pair of shoes. The average middle class Filipino buys about four pairs of shoes a year. After those shoes are purchased, what happens to the shoeboxes? No one throws these boxes because they know it can be useful for something, but for what –many people don’t ever figure it out. It‘s used to store various odds and ends, maybe it gets cut up and is used for an art school project, but for the most part, it’s just gathering dust in a storage room, never to be seen again until the next pair of boxes are piled on top of it. There are those who know exactly what to do with it, and know what potential it holds to be part of a story, to make dreams come true.

For seven years, My Dream in a Shoebox, a gift giving campaign jointly spearheaded by integratedmarketing communications firm TeamAsia and IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), have reached thousands of children in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao to spread messages of hope by giving out shoeboxes filled with school supplies.

Krista Ann Taclan, a social worker and consultant for the A Teacher partylist, was present for the gift giving activity for 497 Mangyan kids from Karyandangan and Barayaw Minority Schools. She was so moved by the simple gesture of kindness that she wrote a letter addressed to people who have donated to the program, saying:

“We may not know what you have given up to come up with those shoebox full of supplies, and you may not personally meet the children to whom your shoeboxes were given to, but this I know, and because I have seen it: those weren’t just shoeboxes full of supplies for the kids, those are boxes full of dreams waiting to be unwrapped and opened by our young dreamers who found a shoebox full of hope, a shoebox full of happiness, and a shoebox full of reminders --that they too are remembered, included, and loved. For most of them, it was their first time to receive a gift, and if I could only wrap their smiles back to you, I would. Thank you, for taking part in this cause, and know that with this, you are teaching our Mangyan brethren not just how to survive, but also teaching them how to live. “

The campaign also has other beneficiaries including the S.O.S. Children's Village, Ascension of Our Lord Parish, San Pedro Calungsod Parish and Payatas Orione Foundation Inc (PAOFI). Through a small fundraising activity last year, My Dream in a Shoebox was able to help PAOFI in filling a classroom in their newly-built facility with furniture and equipment. “We are very thankful for programs like My Dream in a Shoebox which has been an invaluable partner in our goal to help more Filipino children. Through the help of our beneficiaries, we were able to provide our children with desktop computers, chairs and tables needed for their convenient learning experience,” Father Martin, PAOFI executive director, said.

Help us make #BiggerDreams come true. Connect with TeamAsia by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or call Clarisse Salindato at 0917-5079379. For cash donations, contact Abby Madarang of IBPAP through This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 0917-8695941. For more information, visit website


Launching of 1st Villar SIPAG Youth Poverty Reduction Challenge

For the past years, Villar SIPAG continues to find means in alleviating poverty in our country. We have launched different programs to help our poor countrymen break free from the clutches of poverty through the following advocacies that we uphold: livelihood and agriculture, environmental protection and OFW assistance.

On September 29, 2016, we have launched the 1st Villar SIPAG Youth Poverty Reduction Challenge at Villar SIPAG Center, C5 Extension Road, Pulanglupa Uno, Las Piñas City. This is a friendly competition among the Filipino Youth whose social enterprises can contribute in alleviating the poverty situation in their respective communities.

The participating groups who submit/nominate the most thought-provoking and well-reasoned social enterprise will take the cash prize. Ten (10) Most Outstanding Social Enterprises shall be selected as winners. Each entry shall go through thorough evaluation, comprehensive screenings and rational project defense. Entries will be judged and selected by a panel of social entrepreneurs and socio-civic specialists.

Aboitiz Group donates 14,000 ‘Care Packages’ to typhoon-stricken Batanes

A total of 14,000 Ivatans are expected to benefit from adequate nutrition and a sustainable food supply following Typhoon Ferdie, thanks to the 14,000 nutritious “Care Packages” recently donated by the Aboitiz Group.


The Aboitiz Foundation, the corporate foundation of the Aboitiz Group, turned over to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) 200 boxes containing 14,000 Care Packages for immediate distribution in Batanes. NDRRMC Executive Director, Undersecretary Ricardo B. Jalad, was present at the NDRRMC Office in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City to receive the donations.


The Care Package, developed by Aboitiz food business unit Pilmico Foods Corporation, contains packs of 100-gram high-energy biscuits loaded with 450 kilocalories (equivalent to one full meal) each, designed as an efficient disaster relief solution that not only addresses hunger but provides adequate nutrition via a sustainable food supply.


During disasters when viable food sources are scarce and time is of the essence, The Care Package serves as an effective emergency provision, with each 100-gram pack containing essential proteins, vitamins B1 to B12, carbohydrates, added sugar, fat, vitamins A, C, D3, and E, iodine, iron, magnesium, and calcium necessary for one person’s nourishment and energy needs without sacrificing taste.


“The lack of proper nourishment is a serious problem following any disaster, and can hamper meaningful recovery efforts. We hope that our Care Packages would be able to nurture our affected Ivatan brothers and sisters, and also feed them with the strength to rebuild and get back on their feet,” Sonny Carpio, Aboitiz Foundation Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.


Sabin M. Aboitiz, Pilmico President and Chief Executive Officer, for his part, said, “We believe in making a real change in the journey of recovery and aid for Filipinos. Today, we are giving you an answer to hunger, malnutrition and hopelessness in one package. The Care Package is in your hands.”


ABOITIZ CARE PACKAGES FOR BATANES. (From left) Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Deputy for Administration Atty. Kristoffer James E. Purisima, OCD Deputy for Operations Rodolfo Demosthenes Santillan, Aboitiz Foundation EVP & COO Sonny Carpio, Department of National Defense Usec. Ricardo B. Jalad, DSWD Director Felino Castro, and Aboitiz Equity Ventures VP-Government Relations DJ Sta. Ana at a ceremony turning over 14,000 Care Packages to the NDRRMC for donation to typhoon-stricken Batanes. The Care Package, developed by Pilmico Foods Corporation, contains high-energy biscuits loaded with 450 kcal designed as an efficient disaster relief solution that addresses hunger and provides adequate nutrition.

CLFI Launches 32nd ALS Center in Quezon City

Diliman, Quezon City- Cebuana Lhuillier Foundation Inc. (CLFI) again makes history as it launched  the 32nd Cebuana Lhuillier Alternative Learning System – Community Learning Center in Krus na Ligas Elementary School, Diliman, Quezon City last August 10. CLFI Executive Trustee Atty. Cesar Vidal and Program Department Manager Kristina Muñiz spearheaded the activity together with Region 1 Manager Felix Contapay, Area 102 Manager Efren Maranan, and officials from the Department of Education.

School Principal Rosario Sicam and Quezon City Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Quezada expressed their gratitude for all the help Cebuana Lhuillier has extended to the program and challenged the ALS learners to take advantage of this opportunity to study. In his remarks, Atty. Vidal discussed the company’s education advocacy. “You are the focus of this program, so always do your best and we will always be more than willing to extend a helping hand,” he said. Christian, an ALS learner, promised to study harder and give his best in behalf of his peers.

CLFI together with the Department of Education will launch more ALS Centers within the year.

CLFI Strengthens Connection in Cavite

Dasmariñas, Cavite – Cebuana Lhuillier Foundation, Inc. (CLFI) marked another milestone as it launched its 35th Alternative Learning System – Cebuana Lhuillier Community Learning Center (ALS-CLC) in Dasmariñas National High School last August 19.

Dasmariñas City Vice Mayor Rex Mangubat welcomed Cebuana Lhuillier to the event. “We will always be grateful for all the help Cebuana Lhuillier have extended to us and we will always be here to support you,” he said.

Meanwhile, CLFI Executive Trustee Atty. Cesar Vidal reminded the learners to always remember the ALS in them -- A-mbisyon, L-akas ng Loob at S-ipag -- and treasure it to become successful. Program Department Manager Kristina Muñiz also facilitated the turnover of IT equipment while Area 304 staff performed a dance number for the learners.

Prior to the launching of the CLC, Area 304 headed by Area Manager Simeona Punzalan conducted a Financial Literacy session with the ALS learners in the same school last May 20.

BPI Marks 165th Anniversary with Strengthened Support for National Development through BPI Foundation

Guest of honor VP Robredo highlights private sector support for inclusive growth agenda

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - To celebrate its 165th year, the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) is strengthening its commitment to the national development agenda by aligning the programs of its social development arm, the BPI Foundation, to better assist government initiatives for promoting inclusive growth, especially among the marginalized sectors of society.

This announcement was made at BPI Foundation’s #PartnerForProgress event last August 25, 2016, attended by the Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines, Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo. Also present were BPI’s top executives, including Jaime Augusto Zobel De Ayala, BPI Chairman, Fernando Zobel De Ayala, BPI Vice Chairman and BPI Foundation Chairman, Cezar P. Consing, BPI President and BPI Foundation President, as well as other key officials and employees of the bank.

The private sector’s role in supporting national development efforts

As the event’s guest of honor, Vice President Robredo discussed the national development agenda for poverty eradication and shared her five main advocacies of focus, including rural development, education, health, food security and women empowerment. She also highlighted the key role of the private sector, including both companies and ordinary citizens, in the achievement of inclusive growth targets.

“Citizen engagement is actually one of the advocacies that Jesse and I shared as we carried out our work. It is a cause I have long championed and continue to champion, even with Jesse’s passing,” said Vice President Robredo. “Now, as Vice President, I intend to bring further depth and substance to that campaign for citizen-centric governance, where you, our people, become the very engine of our country’s transformation.”

As a committed corporate citizen, BPI supports the national government in its targets and explores ways to make the best happen for more Filipinos in need. The Bank’s financial inclusion strategy provides for a greater focus in the Self-Employed Micro Enterprise segment, through BanKO, its microfinance vehicle, and in the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) segment through BPI Ka-Negosyo/SME Segment.

“At the Ayala Group, we continue to look for opportunities to broaden access to our products and services with a view towards meeting the basic needs of a larger sector of the population. We believe we can play an important role through our business particularly in socialized housing, banking, telecommunications, water and more recently, education and healthcare,” said BPI Foundation Chairman Fernando Zobel de Ayala.

Tightly aligned to the Bank’s financial inclusion efforts, BPI Foundation deepens its impact which focus on education, entrepreneurship, and environmental sustainability, with the government’s national development priorities, by leveraging public and private partnerships in creating effective and measurable change. This is demonstrated by the Foundation’s various programs.

To equip Filipinos with the tools to achieve financial wellness, its education programs commence at the development stage with Manny and Me (for elementary students) and reinforced with BPI SHAPE (for senior high school students). These programs on financial education are integrated into the K-12 curriculum, in support of the Enhanced Basic Education Act (R.A. 10533). Meanwhile, itsFREE FinEd-in-a-Box, a series of modular learning materials on the fundamentals of financial education, is available for targeted sectors, including OFs, Farmers, MS Enterprises, etc, in support of the National Strategy for Financial Inclusion.

99% of registered businesses in the Philippines are MSME, and employ over 60% of the country’s workforce, making this an important sector for economic growth. The Foundation advocates and supports the identification and capacity development of social enterprises through its BPI Sinag Program. BPI Sinag U which promotes social entrepreneurship among university students, in support of the Youth Entrepreneurship Act (R.A. 10679) and BPI Sinag Accelerate which scales-up social enterprises, including those working for agricultural, IP, and Muslim communities, in support of the Go Negosyo Act or R.A. 19644.

Sustainable countryside development cannot prosper without environmentally responsible agriculture. The BPI Sustainable Agriculture Program aims to address financing barriers among farming communities byestablishing strategic partnerships and risk mitigants across value chain partners,government agencies and civic society to support the Agricultural Value Chain Financing Framework (BSPCircular No. 908, Series of 2016). In the pipeline are other relevant programs that include the introduction of financial literacy, agripreneurship, and climate-smart practicesto support the Rural Farm Schools Act or R.A.10618.

Promoting employee volunteerism with BPI BAYAN

Aside from celebrating BPI’s 165th anniversary, the event also celebrated the 5th anniversary of BPI Bayanihan para saInang Bayan, also known as BPI BAYAN, an employee-volunteer program that mobilizes its 15,000-strong workforce as partners in national development.

“Today, we renew our commitment for BPI BAYAN, now on its bigger and bolder iteration as BPI Bayan 2.0. We are now more relevant, and better equipped to meet national development goals as we seize the power of mobilizing our most valuable resource – our employees – to rise up to the challenge through the bayanihan spirit as partners for progress,” said Faye Corcuera, BPI Foundation Executive Director. “Our mission in BPI and in the BPI Foundation is to enable progress,” she concluded.

BPI Bayan 2.0 espouses choice and flexibility, giving four modalities that cater to differing volunteer motivations of our employees, from hands-on volunteering, volunteering for Foundation programs, employee group-driven volunteering, to social innovation through community immersion, where BPI employees can now contribute more directly to the wellbeing of their communities.

Corcuera summarized the role of the Foundation on how it has “shifted for more relevance, from a role marked largely by philanthropy and capital allocation, to working with the business for shared value, and alignment to national development.

She said, “BPI Foundation offers itself as a social innovation platform to address relevant societal challenges that enables the business to test strategies and business models that contribute to inclusive growth and long-term competitiveness to build resiliency and benefit society.”


“At the Ayala Group, we continue to look for opportunities to broaden access to our products and services with a view towards meeting the basic needs of a larger sector of the population,” said BPI Foundation Chairman Fernando Zobel de Ayala.

“BPI Foundation offers itself as a social innovation platform that enables the business to test strategies and business models that contribute to inclusive growth and long-term competitiveness to build resiliency and benefit society,” said Faye Corcuera, BPI Foundation Executive Director

Vice President Leni Robredo to BPI Bayan Volunteers: “As persistent as our country’s ills are, history has proven that nothing is more indomitable than the Filipino spirit. Each of you here stands as proof of hope, because volunteers like you are the backbone of positive change in this world.”

(from left) BPI Foundation Executive Director Faye Corcuera, BPI Foundation Chairman Fernando Zobel De Ayala, Vice President of the Philippines Leni Robredo, BPI Chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel De Ayala, BPI Foundation President and BPI President and CEO Cezar Consing.

BPI Board of Directors and Executive Vice-presidents join Vice President of the Philippines Leni Robredo in a group photo.

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