Thursday, December 3, 2009

Rafe Sale A Success!

We had another successful fundraiser in Manila last November 14, 2009. The one-day Rafe sale earned Php294,000 in bag and shoe sales! My gosh, I have never seen so many women go "crazy" over Rafe bags and shoes!

We are so blessed that Rafe has helped our foundation so much from his t-shirt design to his bags/shoes.
A great blessing as well are my 2 high school classmates/friends, Joy Magalona-Barreiro and Anne Ordonez-del Rosario, who organized this entire event. Joy and Jeff Barreiro as well had a "perfect" office as venue for the sale. Their staff of five gave their whole Saturday to help in the sale! Leny Ojano-Yusay also volunteered her day to help in the sale! Thanks to Jackie Millonado as well for being our "official" photographer! And of course, THANKS YOU TO ALL who came to the sale -- you were responsible for a successful fundraiser!

All the proceeds of the sale will be go to Typhoon Ondoy victims and a second Rafe Totengco College Scholarship Grant to be awarded to an SFAS graduate in March 2010. - written by Micmic Golez, Executive Director of Tapulanga Foundation, Inc.

** To view photos of the sale, please click this link: rafe sale for tapulanga foundation and ondoy victims.

Tapulanga for Ondoy, a Photo Exhibit

Please join us for a Photo Exhibit to benefit Typhoon Ondoy Victims.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Time: 6:00pm - 11:00pm
Location: KGB Bar
Street: #14 23rd & Lacson Streets
City/Town: Bacolod City, Philippines

A photo exhibit by professional photographers and hobbyists, from Bacolod, Manila, and abroad.

Featured contributors will be Anne Acaso, Dino Cajilli, Ricky Villabona, Timothy Valderrama, Rommel Sancho, Imelda Tinsay, Jomie Garucho, Paolo Lindaya, Lee Meily, Paolo Braza, Val Ramos, Johanna Campos, Jay Abello and many more.

The photographs will be available for sale. Proceeds will benefit the victims of Typhoon Ondoy as they continue to rebuild their lives from this tragedy. Exhibit will run for 2 weeks at KGB!

Entrance Fee: P100 (includes cocktail food, drinks and a raffle)
Major Sponsors: AHSSI, Lopue's East Centre, Datalink Technologies and SWIP Travel
Minor Sponsors: Magallanes Shell Station, Cafe 1925, SVG Schuurmans & van Ginneken Philippines, Inc., Marline Commodities Inc., Misyel's Catering, Jes Photoworks Stills and Motions

For further info or to RSVP, please call 920-9514232 or 917-3065577.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hero of the year! RP Pushcart Educator

We salute Efren Peñaflorida for winning CNN's Hero of the Year award for starting a “pushcart classroom” in the Philippines to bring education to poor children as an alternative to gang membership. As a child, Peñaflorida picked school over gang life in Cavite City and vowed to create a way for other children to make the same choice. He created a program that brings books to children in slums and on the streets, and the 10,000 members of his Dynamic Teen Co. have brought reading, writing and hygiene to 1,500 youngsters.

“Our planet is filled with heroes, young and old, rich and poor, man, woman of different colors, shapes and sizes. We are one great tapestry,” Peñaflorida, now a 28-year-old college graduate, said upon accepting the honor.

“Each person has a hidden hero within, you just have to look inside you and search it in your heart, and be the hero to the next one in need,” he said.

“So to each and every person inside in this theater and for those who are watching at home, the hero in you is waiting to be unleashed. Serve, serve well, serve others above yourself and be happy to serve. As I always tell my co-volunteers … you are the change that you dream as I am the change that I dream and collectively we are the change that this world needs to be.”

Friday, November 6, 2009

This Is It!

Last November 3, 2009, selected student-scholars with a few teachers watched Michael Jackson's "This Is It" movie at Robinson's Movieworld, Bacolod City. Thanks to the Tapulanga Foundation for this opportunity!

Spectacular! by Micho Santillan, 4th year

It was unbelievably artistic! by Stephanie Diaz, 2nd year

It was very amazing and I liked the songs and dances. His movie is unforgettable and very inspiring. by Lovelyn Villanueva, 4th year

It was a FANTASTIC performance ... seeing my idol perform again! Go MJ! TRULY you are a legend in the music industry! by Sir Ariel Gabino, teacher

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

TF Helps Five Families Start From Nothing

Tapulanga Foundation funds for typhoon Ondoy went to the relatives of Sandra Garay, our office assistant at Bonfire Production. They were a total of five families.

It’s been almost a month since the typhoon. They’re rebuilding their houses. But basically still had nothing. Amon was the representative who went with us when we bought their basic needs. Since he is a carpenter, he chose his tools, e.g. saws, a metric tape, hammers and other carpentry tools that he’ll share with his brother who’s also a carpenter. He looked pretty happy that he can do his job again using his own tools.

I saw Amon holding a list as well so I asked if I could see it. Using a piece of torn paper and pencil he wrote: kawali, gas stove, plato, baso-tasa, kutsara, kaldero, sandok, dura box, tuwalya, damit, kumot, termos, kutson, kasirola, mangkok (bowl). Then he asked if they can have electric fans for the children. Plenty of mosquitoes there, he said. Even if they don’t have electricity yet, he’s hoping that it’ll get fixed soon. He chose plastic plates, cups and bowls.

Aside from his list, we added rice and toiletries.
Instead of buying mattresses which were expensive, Sandra suggested that they buy foam from a factory and make their own mattresses. They can sew the cover themselves. Instead of a plastic cabinet (dura box, according to his list), Tara suggested that they buy plywood and make their own cabinets. After all, he has tools now! He smiled when we said that.

When we got to Provident Village, people were still cleaning and washing not only their homes but also the streets. There was still mud everywhere. There were MMDA bulldozers and pink-clad MMDA guys. The mud covered entire houses. And there was a dog on top of a roof, probably still traumatized. When we got off the van, we noticed a stench, a weird smell that’s like a mixture of dirty water and trash. It’s been almost a month but the smell is still there. Sandra showed us where she used to live. In the middle stood a little wooden house that Amon has been building since he and his family came back. It’s made of various types of wood and other stuff he could find. Inside the room is a wooden plank that serves as his family’s bed. On top of it was a mineral water container. That was it. It was bare.

On the day typhoon Ondoy hit Metro Manila, these families thought it was just the usual flood. They’re used to knee- or waist-level flood that subsides after a couple of hours. But this time, it’s different. In a matter of hours, the water rose much higher than ever before. They didn’t want to leave their homes. But it became clear to them that they had no choice. Only the men know how to swim. But on that day, you had no choice but to sink or swim—literally. They couldn’t remember how they were able to go up the roof. But living in single-level, small, wooden houses, their roofs were too low for the flood. In panic, they held on to ropes and used styrofoam to stay afloat. Slowly—although they couldn’t remember how they did it—they reached the roof of their rich neighbor. There were about fifty of them on that roof. Just a few meters behind them was the dike and in the middle of the night, they heard a loud rumbling. The dike couldn’t hold the water. The water overflowed and destroyed the dike. They heard people calling for help. It was dark. They were wet and hungry. They didn’t know what would happen to them. That was their situation for two days. They took anything edible from what floated on the water. They even got some chocolates which they said must have come from their rich neighbors. They saw everything float--furniture, appliances and cars. And they saw floating bodies. They stayed on that roof till the flood was low enough. Old women and men were saved by a chopper while the rest of them walked. There was no transportation. There were trash and debris all over. Sandra’s relatives walked from Marikina to Project 4. Eleven of them stayed at Sandra’s house for two weeks. When they came back to their houses, these were empty except for mud. Sandra’s old house, however, was no longer there. It got completely destroyed by the flood. No wall, no gate, nothing. What was left was one toilet bowl and some of their plants. Amon found his bike and small refrigerator among the debris. None of his or his family’s other belongings was found.

They’re all very grateful to Tapulanga Foundation for the big help. They’re starting their lives from nothing and it makes a difference to feel that there are people who reach out to them. - by Fiona Borres - Partner, Bonfire Productions, Inc.

One day only - Rafe for a Cause to benefit Typhoon ONDOY Victims and Tapulanga Foundation scholars

Date: Saturday, November 14, 2009
Time: 9:30am - 4:30pm
Location: Promocentral Inc., 3/F Promenade Building
Street: 198 Wilson corner P. Guevarra, San Juan, Metro Manila
Phone: 0918.9197590
Email: (Joy Barreiro)

This is it! 100% of the proceeds to benefit the Typhoon Ondoy victims and the Tapulanga Foundation scholars. That means every peso made will be donated. It's definitely shopping for a cause.

Thanks to Joy Barreiro and Anne del Rosario for organizing this!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Negrense Pride: "Yanggaw"

Yanggaw, an independent film of Cinema One, was watched by the fourth year class last October 21, 2009 with their adviser Mrs. Lina Gabino at Robinson, Bacolod City. Thanks to the Tapulanga Foundation who sponsored this activity.

Yanggaw (an Ilonggo word which means "infected") is a drama-mystery movie directed and wriiten by an Illonggo, Richard Somes. It is a story of an "ordinary family that has to deal with their extraordinarily dark secrets that will change their lives forever."

Yanggaw won the most number of awards in the 4th Annual Cinema One Originals Digital Film Festival 2008 (Best Actor and Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Actress, Best Sound, Best Editing, and the Audience Award for Best Digital Movie).

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

No More Empty Stomachs!

to all the generous donors
who supported the
Lunch Meal Program
of the Tapulanga Foundation!

We reached our goal:
150 students/scholars and 14 teachers
of St. Francis of Assisi School of Silay City
for SY 2009 - 2010!

No more empty stomachs!

Connecting Across The Miles

Syvil Ortega, a third year high school scholar, is one lucky girl. Her sponsor, Avis Frazier-Thomas of Los Angeles, California, always manages to remember her not only during the start of the school year but at various times as well. Syvil was so happy to get a pair of sneakers, sandals and a t-shirt from Ms. Avis recently. At the same time, Ms. Avis is amazed at how a small amount can go a long way in the Philippines. Ms. Avis has been supporting Syvil for several years. It is a relationship that goes beyond borders and they hope to meet each other someday.

(Christmas is around the corner. You too can send a special gift for your scholar. Contact us and we can give it to them directly or we can purchase the items for you.)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Reaching Out to Typhoon Ondoy Victims

When Typhoon Ondoy hit the Philippines, we at the Tapulanga Foundation immediately tried to figure out how we could best help our brothers and sisters in Manila. There were so many people affected from the calamity and we could not ignore their cry for help. While various government and corporate relief agencies were available to assist the victims, we felt the best way to help out was to work with a smaller group - no red tape, no politicking, with people we can actually trust and who can get the help to them fast.

With the power of social networking sites such as facebook, we found the right person who could do the job. Leny Ojano-Yusay lives very close to the flooded areas and started her mission by helping out small groups. Eventually they were able to assist bigger communities as more people were needing help and more people were sending donations in cash and in kind.

With the success of their recent fundraisers in California and Maryland, the Tapulanga Foundation was able to come up with $3300. In addition, we got additional donations from individuals such as Wally Booth, Alan Montelibano and an anonymous donor. We plan to continue helping out the victims by sharing our proceeds from a Rafe New York sale on November 14 in Manila and a Photo exhibit on December 8 in Bacolod (stay tuned for more info on both events).

Here are some photos and a report from Leny Ojano Yusay:

We went to 4 evacuation centers last Sunday Oct 25, 2009 in Brgy Tunasan, Muntinlupa. The evacuation centers were shelters to the residents of the nearby areas near Laguna Lake. As shown in the photos, even some areas of Tunasan are still submerged with floodwater.

We have 7 tanods, 10 barangay health workers and 2 DSWD workers helping us there with their head barangay health center coordinator, Francis Tagle. Gerard (my husband), my son, Miguel and I went there with our drivers and truckers.

We have served a total of 380 families for a family of 5pax good for 2-3 days worth of goods. This can at least help sustain them as they don't have livelihood since some of them are farmers or fishermen (their fingerlings have been washed away by the flood).

I am so thankful for the Tapulanga Foundation for your big hearts to actively help our brothers and sisters. There are still some money left, and together with our own money, we hope to donate school materials and bags for the kids for their school, as well as for classroom materials like blackboards. All their materials are of no use now... It's time to help rebuild their young lives... This might be more consistent and in tune with your vision mission...

Please thank Janice and the rest of your group for this generous act of kindness...
by Leny Ojano-Yusay

Thank You Babes of Bacolod!

Janice Ragona, one of the Babes of Bacolod, visited St. Francis of Assisi School last October 15, 2009. She met with all 78 scholars of whom the Babes of Bacolod is supporting this school year.

I was completely overwhelmed when I visited SFAS. You can tell that the kids were thankful and happy to be there. The school was very impressive - it was bigger than I expected, clean and organized. They also have different programs going on at the same time and made sure that all resources were put into good use. It gives me great joy knowing that these students have a better chance in life because of SFAS. - by Janice Ragona

Hospital in Need of Medicines and Supplies

Last October 14, 2009, Janice Ragona of the Babes of Bacolod, together with her husband, Steve, and Tapulanga Foundation's Executive Director, Micmic Golez, donated medicines and supplies worth $4,000 to the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Regional Hospital. This is the 3rd year the Babes of Bacolod, with the help of the Tapulanga Foundation, has helped the hospital. The medical supplies were accepted by Dr. Adonis Guancia, MD (Department of Internal Medicine chairman).

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Learning To Write

One of the teachers of SFAS, Mrs. Josie C. Bactong, attended a workshop on Advance Campus Journalism for High School and Elementary Paper Editors last September 26-27, 2009 in Queen of Peace, Bacolod City. The Tapulanga Foundation sponsored Mrs. Bactong's fees and transportation expenses.

The workshop was designed to equip participants with updated knowledge and skills needed in the preparation of school publications. Lecturers were Allen V. Del Carmen, M.S. in Journalism, Journalism Professor and USLS MassComm; Nannette Guadalquiver, M.A. in Journalism, Ateneo de Manila University Correspondent, Business World; Faculty, USLS MassComm and Nida Buenafe Sports Editor, DAILY STAR.

"I learned many things in attending this training such as photojournalism, editorial cartooning, sports writing and feature writing". - Mrs. Josie C. Bactong

* Mrs. Bactong is currently one of the writers of the school and foundation blog.

Enkwentro - A Theater Play

Thru the Tapulanga Foundation, selected students of SFAS watched a theater play entitled ENKWENTRO last September 26, 2009 at the Gallaga Theater, University of St. La Salle, Bacolod City.

Two one-act plays were presented: “Emo Trip” and “Pobreng Alindanaw,” characters and storylines portraying the most difficult journey to launch - the journey towards oneself.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sharing Hope 2009 pictures and videos

Sharing Hope 2009 - Maryland Fundraiser

The guest speakers for the evening were Lia Ridout and her kids Gianna and Gabriel who recently visited St. Francis of Assisi School.  They shared stories of their visit meeting students, teachers and families from the St. Francis community.

Micmic Golez (Executive Director of Tapulanga Foundation and Administrator of St. Francis of Assisi School) also shared a video message.


We also showed a video presentation at the event.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Hope amidst the tragedy

This week of tragedy from typhoon Ondoy has brought out hope as we saw people all over the Philippines and abroad joining together to help the victims. As early as last Saturday when the rest of the world didn't know about the flooding yet messages on Facebook were already being exchanged to mobilize help for the flood victims. Our former schools (La Salle, Ateneo, UP, etc.) and highschool groups (SearchIn) were sending out messages to staff, alumni and students to join and help in the efforts to bring food, water, clothing and medicines to the victims.

Friends, cousins, workmates, nieces/nephews, former classmates, people halfway around the world are contributing what they can to help the victims through their churches, donating to the Philippine Red Cross/NGOs, sending money directly to their friends and family in the Philippines and organizing relief efforts on their own from cooking and delivering warm meals to donating their stock of bottled water.

This tragedy has brought out the best examples of compassion we've seen in a long time, the human spirit of sincerely caring for our less fortunate brothers and sisters. Our work is not yet done as the recovery of lives will take some time, so please continue praying for the victims and their families and helping in whatever way you can.

Philippine National Red Cross
PDI Relief Drive
Give2Asia Typhoon Relief Fund

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Rafe for a Cause cancelled

Due to the recent disaster that has struck Manila and surrounding areas, please note that the Rafe for a Cause sale has been canceled. We are planning to reschedule the sale for a future date.

We urge everyone to continue praying for the flood victims and help if you can --- Philippine National Red Cross

Thursday, September 24, 2009

One day only - Rafe for a Cause to benefit Tapulanga Foundation

Date: Saturday, October 3, 2009
Time: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Location: Promocentral Inc., 3/F Promenade Building
Street: 198 Wilson corner P. Guevarra, San Juan, Metro Manila
Phone: 09189197590
Email: (Joy Barreiro)

New York-based accessories designer and Bacolod-bred Rafe Totengco has been a long-time supporter of the Tapulanga Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides educational, healthcare and microcredit assistance to needy families in Negros. His recent t-shirt collaboration with Team Manila has allowed a deserving student to go to college for free. And now, for a limited time, he is donating Rafe New York shoes (and a few bags) to be sold at deeply discounted prices. This is a rare opportunity that is not to be missed! Cash sales only!

Thanks to Joy Barreiro and Anne del Rosario for organizing this!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

MacBook Pro Raffle winner - Neal Jarvis

Congratulations to Neal Jarvis for winning the MacBook Pro at last night's Sharing Hope 2009 event!

We had a wonderful time. Pictures and some videos to follow.

Thank you so much to all those who came and to all the donors (many of which were not able to join us last night but sent in their donations), sponsors and volunteers. We couldn't have done this without you. God bless you!

Friday, September 18, 2009

2 days to go till Sharing Hope 2009

Sharing Hope 2009 is only 2 days away (Sunday, Sept. 20 at Kahler Hall in Columbia, MD).

Raffle tickets for the Apple 13-inch MacBook Pro are still available! Raffle tickets are only $25 and we will only sell 100 tickets. You can purchase raffle tickets online at

We will have a wonderful Filipino cuisine buffet dinner and a silent auction with items from Fruition Gifts, Baltimore Symphony, Club Pooche, Clyde's Restaurant, Toby's Dinner Theater, El Azteca Restaurant, Just 4 U Gift Baskets & Gifts, KidzArt, various gift cards, Filipiniana items, Longaberger products and more!

Special thanks to our sponsors who are helping us make this event possible ---- Law office of Katherine Taylor, Law office of Ria Rochvarg, Jamie Coyle AllState Insurance, Laura McCarthy (LB Hand Therapy), Hoffman&Associates, and GBL Sales.

Looking forward to seeing you!

Robin and Kate

Monday, September 14, 2009

TF Joins the Negros Trade Fair!

The Tapulanga Foundation joined the 24th Negros Trade Fair Exhibition of the Association of Negros Producers (ANP) last September 11 - 16, 2009 at the Rockwell Tent, Makati City.

Monday, August 17, 2009

You Can Make A Difference for Only Php10 or $0.22 a day!

What is Php10 a day? Or Php50 a week?
ONE Jollibee or McDonald's value meal is one WEEK'S lunch of a student.

What is $0.22 a day? $3.75 a month?
ONE Starbucks coffee is one MONTH'S lunch meal of a student.

These children need your help! Tapulanga Foundation's Lunch Meal Program provides free lunch meals (rice and viand) every school day for a whole year to the students. For only Php2,000 or $45, you can already sponsor a student's lunch meal for an entire school year.

We have at least 100 kids whom we'd like to provide free lunch in school.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Save the Date! Sunday, Sept. 20

Please join us in the 3rd Annual Sharing Hope benefit for the educational, healthcare and micro-credit programs of Tapulanga Foundation in the Philippines.

Sunday, Sept 20, 2009 at 5 pm
Location: Kahler Hall, 5440 Old Tucker Row, Columbia MD 21044
Tickets: $20/person, kids 10 and under are free (we will have a supervised kids room)

We will have a Filipino cuisine buffet dinner, Silent Auction, Raffle, Door Prizes and more! Mic Golez who runs the Foundation in the Philippines will be at our event to share about the Foundation's activities in the past year and hopefully have a chance to meet some of you that evening.

We are offering Table Sponsorships (for 10 people) at $350 and $500 (includes a 1 year scholarship in your name) per table. Please let us know if you would like to sponsor a table for your family and/or your business.

We are also having a silent auction and if you donate an auction item you get 2 tickets to our event.

Please contact Robin ( or Kate ( if you are interested in sponsoring a table and/or donating a silent auction item.

For more information about Tapulanga Foundation, visit

Watch for invitation with RSVP information in the mail.

We hope that in these times of economic uncertainty you can join us in helping to give these kids a chance for a better life.

Thank you!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

An Unexpected Gift for 25 Students!

The Tapulanga Foundation recently received a generous donation of $1000 from an anonymous donor. Their contribution will be used to provide 25 students with lunch for the entire school year. These kids can now concentrate in the classrooms without having to feel the pangs of hunger.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Blood Typing Program

Through the joint efforts of the Tapulanga Foundation, Inc. and the Med Tech Department of Riverside College, another blood typing event was organized last July 1, 2009 at St. Francis of Assisi School of Silay City. Seventy-six new students and 3 teachers were administered. This has been a yearly project of the Foundation as part of its health care program to benefit the school. (To view more photos, click this link:

Saturday, May 2, 2009

For Only Php450 or $10 a month, You Can Make Our Dreams Come True

We are Ashly and Arvy Santillan. We were born in August 17, 2004 so we are now 4 years and 8 months old. Our parents names are Charlito and May. Our father works as a security guard while our mother is a teacher (both earning more or less a net income of Php5,000 or $110 a month each). We are five children: the eldest is Micho and he will be a 4th year student this coming June; Reven will be in 2nd grade; and Kyrell will be in Prep. All of them study in St. Francis of Assisi School and are scholars of the Tapulanga Foundation. We would like to go to school in St. Francis of Assisi School like our brothers. Our parents cannot afford to send us there. Please help us!

The Santillan twins are applying for Kindergarten in June of this year in St. Francis of Assisi School. It will ONLY cost Php5,500.00 or $125.00 each for the twin's schooling for a year!

Ashly's dream is to become an accountant. Arvy's dream is to become a dancer and singer. Be an instrument in making the dreams of these girls a reality!

If you are interested to sponsor these kids, please email us at Thank you very much and God bless you!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Help Comes All the Way from Spain!

I'm so happy I was able to gather money for the Tapulanga Foundation ...YES ... 350 EUR !!!
Let me tell you the story... since it is Christmas, I was thinking of asking donations from my office mates to send to Tapulanga but Santi gave me the idea of selling some goodies instead and have the proceeds from the sale go entirely to Tapulanga. His mom Raquel makes really good chocolate truffles so she started making like 250+pieces and my mom packed them in small bags with ribbons and all that ... really cute! On the first day, everything was sold out! We had to make some more and they were sold out again the next day! Of course, everyone bought because it was for a really good cause! - from Karmele Sagastasoloa (a schoolmate of mine who went back to her birth country, Spain, after college)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

As we look back on 2008, we saw a year full of promise and change, yet the year ended with a sour note as the world crumbled in the financial mess we sowed. We look at 2009 with renewed hope that our world will weather this storm and the promise of hope and change will overcome the challenges we have ahead of us.

At Tapulanga we're constantly reminded of the world of "haves" and "have nots" because we work in this gap everyday of the year. We are witnesses to the power of innovation and technology as it helps us spread our message and grow our mission. Yet for all the innovation and creativity of technology it has not succeeded in securing the essentials of life for all human beings. Thus our mission continues as we watch, hear and read every day about the breathtaking manifestations of affluence alongside poverty, malnutrition and deaths from preventable or curable diseases. Shouldn't we ask ourselves whether something is wrong with our choice of goals or our motivation, or both? We hope our message inspires compassion to be our ultimate goal and motivation for all of our economic activity. Compassion to not only focus on our own wants and needs but to be inspired to do our share of helping to give those who are born with less a chance for a better life.

May peace and the blessings of hope be with you in 2009.