Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Blessings

This Christmas season, we at Tapulanga Foundation are especially thankful to all those who have supported us and continue to make our work possible. The students at St. Francis of Assisi School have been busy the last 2 months making Christmas cards that some of you may have received in the mail. This was part of their art project and every single card was unique and made from the heart. And thank you to those who purchased our Filipino Artwork Christmas Card and helped us spread the Filipino Christmas spirit to those who received these cards this Christmas.

Our wish to you this Christmas season and the coming New Year is a renewed sense of God's love that brings peace, hope and joy. Enjoy the rest of the season!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

eBay's MicroPlace for MicroFinance

eBay just launched MicroPlace, a website that allows people from all over the world to invest with small business owners. What a novel idea. An earlier site called Kiva started something similar but what makes MicroPlace different is investors can earn interest back on their money. MicroPlace is a for-profit entity while Kiva is a non-profit. And MicroPlace channels the money to MicroFinance institutions who use the money in their lending programs. Investors can lend as little as $50 to small business owners around the globe.

MicroPlace's maxim is "Invest Wisely.End Poverty".

Another great example of technology helping to make the world better everyday, and harnessing the internet to allow people from every corner of the globe to help each other out.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

California and Maryland Fundraisers a Success

The California and Maryland Fundraisers were a big success.

Thanks to the Babes of Bacolod for putting together their 4th and most successful fundraiser to date in Brentwood, California. More than $11,000 was raised to benefit St. Francis of Assisi School and the C.L. Montelibano Provincial Hospital.

And thank you to all those who helped make the Maryland fundraiser a success. More than $4,000 was raised to benefit the educational, healthcare and micro-credit programs of Tapulanga Foundation.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Maryland fundraiser on Saturday, Sept. 22

The Maryland fundraiser will be on Saturday, Sept. 22 at the Columbia Art Center. Festivities and the silent auction start at 5 pm and the dinner and presentation will start around 6 pm. The silent auction will end at 8 pm.

Tickets are still available ($15/person, kids 12 and under are free). If you're in the Metro Washington and Baltimore area and would like to join the festivities please email us at or call 410-461-3228.

Silent auction will feature unique items from the Philippines, PlayWiseKids, Anderson Vaughn Interiors, Fruition Gifts, Patrick’s Hair Design, Nuss Fine Arts, Computer Shop, Percworks, Columbia Art Center, JFK Landscaping and more!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Thursday, August 30, 2007

California fundraiser on Sept. 8

The California fundraiser will be next Saturday (Sept. 8). If you're in the LA area, please come to the festivities (email us at for more details). The Babes of Bacolod have been busy preparing for the event and Janice Ragona will be giving a brief presentation about Tapulanga Foundation and St. Francis of Assisi School.

A silent auction will be held featuring designer bags, handmade jewelry, toys, clothing and many more.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Thank you to our OFWs

I just read about the Malu Fernandez debacle on inquirer and although the end result was good for the OFW community, I'm sure many of them may still feel the hurt from her words.

In the 15 years that I've lived overseas as a college student, professional and now a parent, I've become more aware of the great divide between the rich and the poor not only in the Philippines but in the world. I only fully understood in the past few years that this great divide is mostly a result of circumstances that people are born into.

When I meet an OFW and I learn about how they were able to overcome poverty in the Philippines and became successful in their jobs in America or elsewhere, I admire them because they didn't rely on their heritage to succeed in life. I also admire them for their genuine character. They are often the kindest individuals you'll ever meet and they have a genuine love for the Philippines and their fellow Filipino.

I am proud to be a Filipino when I think of the OFWs who sacrifice their lives for their spouse, children and extended family back home. In the 6 years since we started Tapulanga Foundation, the most surprising acts of kindness and generosity we have encountered were from OFWs, some of whom we have never even met. They share our hope and dream for the children of farm workers to have a better life. They are are an inspiration to us and we thank them from the bottom of our hearts.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Words of Encouragement from a Negrense in Saudi Arabia

Hi! I'm come from Bago City from a poor family also. But now an OFW working as a Sr. Electrical Technician in one of the petrochemical plant in Saudi Arabia. I'm just surfing only in the net when i see your website. And I do really appreciate what you did is great in our kababayan's. Keep up the good work and deeds you've done to our fellow region and encourage the children especially those who are willing to go to school with there dreams. I hope and pray your plans will be more successful. God bless....

Monday, August 20, 2007

Another blessing

Another blessing came to us! Check this out:
A Filipino in New York Supports our Cause

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Technology to reduce inequity

Below is the full-text of Bill Gates' speech at Harvard's commencement last June. In many ways we at Tapulanga have been greatly helped by technology in our mission in a small community in the Philippines. I help run Tapulanga from the US with my sister Mic who lives halfway around the world. Our board members are spread out as well with 1 in Bacolod, 1 in Manila, 1 in LA and 2 in Maryland. We communicate via email and even with the time difference we've been able to discuss and decide on issues effectively. We receive donations online and our website has allowed us to share our mission with people around the world. Our work would not be possible without their support for our mission to share hope and reduce inequity through education, healthcare and micro-credit loans.

Remarks of Bill Gates
Harvard Commencement
June 2007

President Bok, former President Rudenstine, incoming President Faust, members of the Harvard Corporation and the Board of Overseers, members of the faculty, parents, and especially, the graduates:

I’ve been waiting more than 30 years to say this: “Dad, I always told you I’d come back and get my degree.”

I want to thank Harvard for this timely honor. I’ll be changing my job next year … and it will be nice to finally have a college degree on my resume.

I applaud the graduates today for taking a much more direct route to your degrees. For my part, I’m just happy that the Crimson has called me “Harvard’s most successful dropout.” I guess that makes me valedictorian of my own special class … I did the best of everyone who failed.

But I also want to be recognized as the guy who got Steve Ballmer to drop out of business school. I’m a bad influence. That’s why I was invited to speak at your graduation. If I had spoken at your orientation, fewer of you might be here today.

Harvard was just a phenomenal experience for me. Academic life was fascinating. I used to sit in on lots of classes I hadn’t even signed up for. And dorm life was terrific. I lived up at Radcliffe, in Currier House. There were always lots of people in my dorm room late at night discussing things, because everyone knew I didn’t worry about getting up in the morning. That’s how I came to be the leader of the anti-social group. We clung to each other as a way of validating our rejection of all those social people.

Radcliffe was a great place to live. There were more women up there, and most of the guys were science-math types. That combination offered me the best odds, if you know what I mean. This is where I learned the sad lesson that improving your odds doesn’t guarantee success.

One of my biggest memories of Harvard came in January 1975, when I made a call from Currier House to a company in Albuquerque that had begun making the world’s first personal computers. I offered to sell them software.

I worried that they would realize I was just a student in a dorm and hang up on me. Instead they said: “We’re not quite ready, come see us in a month,” which was a good thing, because we hadn’t written the software yet. From that moment, I worked day and night on this little extra credit project that marked the end of my college education and the beginning of a remarkable journey with Microsoft.

What I remember above all about Harvard was being in the midst of so much energy and intelligence. It could be exhilarating, intimidating, sometimes even discouraging, but always challenging. It was an amazing privilege – and though I left early, I was transformed by my years at Harvard, the friendships I made, and the ideas I worked on.

But taking a serious look back … I do have one big regret.

I left Harvard with no real awareness of the awful inequities in the world – the appalling disparities of health, and wealth, and opportunity that condemn millions of people to lives of despair.

I learned a lot here at Harvard about new ideas in economics and politics. I got great exposure to the advances being made in the sciences.

But humanity’s greatest advances are not in its discoveries – but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity. Whether through democracy, strong public education, quality health care, or broad economic opportunity – reducing inequity is the highest human achievement.

I left campus knowing little about the millions of young people cheated out of educational opportunities here in this country. And I knew nothing about the millions of people living in unspeakable poverty and disease in developing countries.

It took me decades to find out.

You graduates came to Harvard at a different time. You know more about the world’s inequities than the classes that came before. In your years here, I hope you’ve had a chance to think about how – in this age of accelerating technology – we can finally take on these inequities, and we can solve them.

Imagine, just for the sake of discussion, that you had a few hours a week and a few dollars a month to donate to a cause – and you wanted to spend that time and money where it would have the greatest impact in saving and improving lives. Where would you spend it?

For Melinda and for me, the challenge is the same: how can we do the most good for the greatest number with the resources we have.

During our discussions on this question, Melinda and I read an article about the millions of children who were dying every year in poor countries from diseases that we had long ago made harmless in this country. Measles, malaria, pneumonia, hepatitis B, yellow fever. One disease I had never even heard of, rotavirus, was killing half a million kids each year – none of them in the United States.

We were shocked. We had just assumed that if millions of children were dying and they could be saved, the world would make it a priority to discover and deliver the medicines to save them. But it did not. For under a dollar, there were interventions that could save lives that just weren’t being delivered.

If you believe that every life has equal value, it’s revolting to learn that some lives are seen as worth saving and others are not. We said to ourselves: “This can’t be true. But if it is true, it deserves to be the priority of our giving.”

So we began our work in the same way anyone here would begin it. We asked: “How could the world let these children die?”

The answer is simple, and harsh. The market did not reward saving the lives of these children, and governments did not subsidize it. So the children died because their mothers and their fathers had no power in the market and no voice in the system.

But you and I have both.

We can make market forces work better for the poor if we can develop a more creative capitalism – if we can stretch the reach of market forces so that more people can make a profit, or at least make a living, serving people who are suffering from the worst inequities. We also can press governments around the world to spend taxpayer money in ways that better reflect the values of the people who pay the taxes.

If we can find approaches that meet the needs of the poor in ways that generate profits for business and votes for politicians, we will have found a sustainable way to reduce inequity in the world. This task is open-ended. It can never be finished. But a conscious effort to answer this challenge will change the world.

I am optimistic that we can do this, but I talk to skeptics who claim there is no hope. They say: “Inequity has been with us since the beginning, and will be with us till the end – because people just … don’t … care.” I completely disagree.

I believe we have more caring than we know what to do with.

All of us here in this Yard, at one time or another, have seen human tragedies that broke our hearts, and yet we did nothing – not because we didn’t care, but because we didn’t know what to do. If we had known how to help, we would have acted.

The barrier to change is not too little caring; it is too much complexity.

To turn caring into action, we need to see a problem, see a solution, and see the impact. But complexity blocks all three steps.

Even with the advent of the Internet and 24-hour news, it is still a complex enterprise to get people to truly see the problems. When an airplane crashes, officials immediately call a press conference. They promise to investigate, determine the cause, and prevent similar crashes in the future.

But if the officials were brutally honest, they would say: “Of all the people in the world who died today from preventable causes, one half of one percent of them were on this plane. We’re determined to do everything possible to solve the problem that took the lives of the one half of one percent.”

The bigger problem is not the plane crash, but the millions of preventable deaths.

We don’t read much about these deaths. The media covers what’s new – and millions of people dying is nothing new. So it stays in the background, where it’s easier to ignore. But even when we do see it or read about it, it’s difficult to keep our eyes on the problem. It’s hard to look at suffering if the situation is so complex that we don’t know how to help. And so we look away.

If we can really see a problem, which is the first step, we come to the second step: cutting through the complexity to find a solution.

Finding solutions is essential if we want to make the most of our caring. If we have clear and proven answers anytime an organization or individual asks “How can I help?,” then we can get action – and we can make sure that none of the caring in the world is wasted. But complexity makes it hard to mark a path of action for everyone who cares — and that makes it hard for their caring to matter.

Cutting through complexity to find a solution runs through four predictable stages: determine a goal, find the highest-leverage approach, discover the ideal technology for that approach, and in the meantime, make the smartest application of the technology that you already have — whether it’s something sophisticated, like a drug, or something simpler, like a bednet.

The AIDS epidemic offers an example. The broad goal, of course, is to end the disease. The highest-leverage approach is prevention. The ideal technology would be a vaccine that gives lifetime immunity with a single dose. So governments, drug companies, and foundations fund vaccine research. But their work is likely to take more than a decade, so in the meantime, we have to work with what we have in hand – and the best prevention approach we have now is getting people to avoid risky behavior.

Pursuing that goal starts the four-step cycle again. This is the pattern. The crucial thing is to never stop thinking and working – and never do what we did with malaria and tuberculosis in the 20th century – which is to surrender to complexity and quit.

The final step – after seeing the problem and finding an approach – is to measure the impact of your work and share your successes and failures so that others learn from your efforts.

You have to have the statistics, of course. You have to be able to show that a program is vaccinating millions more children. You have to be able to show a decline in the number of children dying from these diseases. This is essential not just to improve the program, but also to help draw more investment from business and government.

But if you want to inspire people to participate, you have to show more than numbers; you have to convey the human impact of the work – so people can feel what saving a life means to the families affected.

I remember going to Davos some years back and sitting on a global health panel that was discussing ways to save millions of lives. Millions! Think of the thrill of saving just one person’s life – then multiply that by millions. … Yet this was the most boring panel I’ve ever been on – ever. So boring even I couldn’t bear it.

What made that experience especially striking was that I had just come from an event where we were introducing version 13 of some piece of software, and we had people jumping and shouting with excitement. I love getting people excited about software – but why can’t we generate even more excitement for saving lives?

You can’t get people excited unless you can help them see and feel the impact. And how you do that – is a complex question.

Still, I’m optimistic. Yes, inequity has been with us forever, but the new tools we have to cut through complexity have not been with us forever. They are new – they can help us make the most of our caring – and that’s why the future can be different from the past.

The defining and ongoing innovations of this age – biotechnology, the computer, the Internet – give us a chance we’ve never had before to end extreme poverty and end death from preventable disease.

Sixty years ago, George Marshall came to this commencement and announced a plan to assist the nations of post-war Europe. He said: “I think one difficulty is that the problem is one of such enormous complexity that the very mass of facts presented to the public by press and radio make it exceedingly difficult for the man in the street to reach a clear appraisement of the situation. It is virtually impossible at this distance to grasp at all the real significance of the situation.”

Thirty years after Marshall made his address, as my class graduated without me, technology was emerging that would make the world smaller, more open, more visible, less distant.

The emergence of low-cost personal computers gave rise to a powerful network that has transformed opportunities for learning and communicating.

The magical thing about this network is not just that it collapses distance and makes everyone your neighbor. It also dramatically increases the number of brilliant minds we can have working together on the same problem – and that scales up the rate of innovation to a staggering degree.

At the same time, for every person in the world who has access to this technology, five people don’t. That means many creative minds are left out of this discussion -- smart people with practical intelligence and relevant experience who don’t have the technology to hone their talents or contribute their ideas to the world.

We need as many people as possible to have access to this technology, because these advances are triggering a revolution in what human beings can do for one another. They are making it possible not just for national governments, but for universities, corporations, smaller organizations, and even individuals to see problems, see approaches, and measure the impact of their efforts to address the hunger, poverty, and desperation George Marshall spoke of 60 years ago.

Members of the Harvard Family: Here in the Yard is one of the great collections of intellectual talent in the world.

What for?

There is no question that the faculty, the alumni, the students, and the benefactors of Harvard have used their power to improve the lives of people here and around the world. But can we do more? Can Harvard dedicate its intellect to improving the lives of people who will never even hear its name?

Let me make a request of the deans and the professors – the intellectual leaders here at Harvard: As you hire new faculty, award tenure, review curriculum, and determine degree requirements, please ask yourselves:

Should our best minds be dedicated to solving our biggest problems?

Should Harvard encourage its faculty to take on the world’s worst inequities? Should Harvard students learn about the depth of global poverty … the prevalence of world hunger … the scarcity of clean water …the girls kept out of school … the children who die from diseases we can cure?

Should the world’s most privileged people learn about the lives of the world’s least privileged?

These are not rhetorical questions – you will answer with your policies.

My mother, who was filled with pride the day I was admitted here – never stopped pressing me to do more for others. A few days before my wedding, she hosted a bridal event, at which she read aloud a letter about marriage that she had written to Melinda. My mother was very ill with cancer at the time, but she saw one more opportunity to deliver her message, and at the close of the letter she said: “From those to whom much is given, much is expected.”

When you consider what those of us here in this Yard have been given – in talent, privilege, and opportunity – there is almost no limit to what the world has a right to expect from us.

In line with the promise of this age, I want to exhort each of the graduates here to take on an issue – a complex problem, a deep inequity, and become a specialist on it. If you make it the focus of your career, that would be phenomenal. But you don’t have to do that to make an impact. For a few hours every week, you can use the growing power of the Internet to get informed, find others with the same interests, see the barriers, and find ways to cut through them.

Don’t let complexity stop you. Be activists. Take on the big inequities. It will be one of the great experiences of your lives.

You graduates are coming of age in an amazing time. As you leave Harvard, you have technology that members of my class never had. You have awareness of global inequity, which we did not have. And with that awareness, you likely also have an informed conscience that will torment you if you abandon these people whose lives you could change with very little effort. You have more than we had; you must start sooner, and carry on longer.

Knowing what you know, how could you not?

And I hope you will come back here to Harvard 30 years from now and reflect on what you have done with your talent and your energy. I hope you will judge yourselves not on your professional accomplishments alone, but also on how well you have addressed the world’s deepest inequities … on how well you treated people a world away who have nothing in common with you but their humanity.

Good luck.

I dream of becoming an Accountant someday!

A pleasant day to you! I am Julie Ann L. Estardo. My friends call me Jul. I am now a Grade 9 student at St. Francis of Assisi School of Silay City. I was born on August 7, 1992. I am now 14 years old.

My father is Danilo J. Estardo and my mother is Luzviminda L. Estardo. I have 1 brother and 3 sisters. They are Jerome, Jessica, Joice Ann, and Jelaine. I am the second among my siblings.

During my free time, I like to go along with my friends. My favorite subject in school is Mathematics because I can do well in this subject and I learn faster.

I dream of becoming an accountant because as what I have mentioned I'm good in numbers and besides, this course is what I really want to study when I will be in college.

Thank you for your time in reading this. I hope you were able to know me a little better through it. Thank you also for sending me to school. Because of you, I am now closer to my dream of becoming an accountant someday. God bless you.


Julie Ann L. Estardo

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A successful sow project under the micro-credit program!

Seven baby pigs were born last August 9, 2007. Two died and five survived! It was reported to me that the partners are expected to earn a net of Php5,000 when all 5 piglets are sold after a month.

New members for the micro-credit program

Five new partnerships and 3 renewals will be awarded tomorrow in the micro-credit program of the foundation. Projects approved are for sari-sari stores and piggery. Of the 8, one group is composed of 3 persons while the other two groups are composed of 4 persons. The rest are by partners.

Hoping for success in all the groups!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Short Film about the Children in our Midst

A friend sent me this link to a short film on YouTube.

"I see them everyday, but I failed to notice them because they have become so ordinary in my sight.

I also thought it's nothing for them to be poor because they have been used to it already. No, not really. It is I who am used to their poverty."

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Our World Champions Paglaum Girls

An Inspiring Story from Paglaum girls of Bacolod
Written by: Rina Jimenez David (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

NOW for a bit of good, positive news for a change. Paying a courtesy call Thursday on President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at Malacanang were the members of the victorious Bacolod team that emerged as champions in the recent World Series Junior Girls Softball championship in Kirkland, Washington, United States. After the girls showed her their victory banner and presented her with an honorary team jacket, the President handed the girls from Paglaum (a village on the outskirts of Bacolod) a check for one million pesos, an incentive for their winning performance.

A newspaper report says the team's 2-0 victory over Puerto Rico in the title match "gave the Philippines its first World Series crown since 1992 when a team from Zamboanga was stripped of the crown it won in Pennsylvania" on allegations of fielding over-aged and unqualified players. The girls' victory, then, was not just a great honor for the country, but also a vindication of Filipino honor and pride. Beyond that, though, the team's victory is a real "Cinderella" story, a fascinating tale of how girls from a small town overcame the odds and showed the world what they're made of.

THE GIRLS, from 12 to 14 years of age, come from Paglaum, a small village on the outskirts of Bacolod, and belong to farming families, their parents working in the sugar cane fields or else engaged in fishing and rice and coconut farming. Rufino Ignacio, one of the Filipino-Americans in Washington who played host to the team, says the girls brought pictures of their nipa huts and the dilapidated premises of the Paglaum Village National High School.

As Ignacio tells it, the team almost didn't make the trip for lack of money for their plane fare. Funds raised by their sponsors, including Little League Philippines and politicians and business people in Negros, were not enough for their needs. So as a last ditch effort, the team's coach and the school principal took out a loan for 100,000 pesos, though perhaps the President's check should now ease their anxieties somewhat.

Upon arrival in the US, the girls and their coach stayed with a host family, the Shannons, all of them crowded into the Shannons' modest home, although once the tournament began, the USA Little League housed them in a hotel. But they faced more than logistical challenges. Ignacio describes the Paglaum girls as the "smallest" among all the players in the tournament, who were "heftier and taller and from their looks, stronger." Despite their physical disadvantages, however, the young Pinays became the "darling of the crowd," racking up a "very impressive record" and winning everyone's admiration for their "discipline and decorum." THE STORY of the Paglaum girls, though, is also the story of how the entire Filipino-American community in the area came together to lend their moral, physical and financial support for the plucky team. Fil-Ams from as far as Oregon and British Columbia came in droves to cheer on the Paglaum girls.

The Ilonggos Northwest Association, the Filipino Community of Seattle, and a regional Fil-Am association, the FACSPS, combined resources to make the girls feel welcome. The FACSPS, headed by Ignacio, gathered used clothing, shoes, toiletries, canned goods and other items and packed them in balikbayan boxes for the girls to take home to their families. "As the team is not used to eating bread in the hotel, the Ilonggos and FACSPS prepared food for them, potluck style, and the team heartily ate with other Filipinos after each game," recounts Ignacio. "The girls said they had the best meals in their young lives during the tournament."

Ignacio notes that the Paglaum girls left the Philippines with "no money, hardly noticed, and thinking perhaps they had no chance of winning." But now, they have returned as heroes, or rather, as young heroines. Everyone loves an underdog, but victorious underdogs are loved even more. This is one "Cinderella story" that deserves to be told and retold. Its only when you share your life to
others that life begins to have a meaning and purpose ... the time you touch the life of others is the time you really live.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Local movie filmed in Negros

Ligaw Liham, a finalist at the upcoming Cinemalaya film festival was shot in Negros and some of the footage was at the St. Francis of Assisi school campus in Silay City.

My brother Jay Abello is the co-director and producer of the film and his team are generously promoting Tapulanga Foundation in their posters and on their website.

If you have a chance to watch the film, they'll be showing it in various locations in and around Metro Manila and hopefully bring it abroad later this year.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Words of encouragement from San Francisco

Someone sent in this email from San Francisco:

I had primary education in West Negros College, attended Silliman Univ, worked as a banker in Manila, and is now raising a family here in San Francisco, Calif. All the time I'd been trying to figure out the nature and magnitude of poverty I witnessed in Negros as I was growing up, and later how I could make a difference. I think I found part of the answer when I read about you in the Inquirer. Mic, keep up the good work ...

Blessings from the Middle East

We recently got this wonderful surprise email from someone in the Sultanate of Oman.

Dear Mrs Golez,
I am your fellow negrense who wants to share god's blessings specifically to the children of sugarcane workers and I truly admire what you have started.
I am working at present in the sultanate of oman here in the middle east but my residence is in valladolid.
I am willing to donate $100 per month for your school and pls do inform me on how I can send the money.

My sister was in tears when she read this email. She has been offering scholarships to high school students this year even without enough pledges to cover the costs of their schooling. She told God that He does the financing and she finds the kids. And she gets an email like this out of the blue. What amazing grace. Our work would truly not be possible without the generosity of others.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Pictures from the social for the Micro-credit program held at the Hda. Tinihaban chapel. The SFAS chorale performed a few songs for us that evening. Most of our 52 partners were able to join us and two of our partners shared their success stories.











Monday, May 21, 2007

Pictures from the Medical Mission Clinic

Thanks for my brother Jay for capturing these moments from the Medical Mission Clinic.


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Context for the conduct of free and fair elections

"It is very clear that extreme conditions of poverty, wide disparity in wealth and income, large-scale unemployment, the existence of powerful land owning groups, provide a very disturbing context for the conduct of free and fair elections".

These words are from an article in the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Foreign observers note fraud, violence in Negros Occidental).

We just came back from a 3 week vacation in the Philippines. We were not there during the elections but we saw a lot of the election propaganda during our stay there. It is very disturbing to read these reports.

When the 2006 Nobel Prize for Peace was awarded to Muhammad Yumus (the founder of the Grameen Bank), the citation expressed that "lasting peace can not be achieved unless large population groups find ways in which to break out of poverty. Micro-credit is one such means. Development from below also serves to advance democracy and human rights".

If landlords genuinely want peace in the province, they should help in their capacity to alleviate the poverty among their workers. Helping to provide access to micro-credit loans, access to education and training can be means to achieving a better life for all. Less for self, more for others, enough for all.

Welcome to our blog

Welcome to the Tapulanga Foundation blog.