Sunday, September 23, 2012

Inspiring Dreamers through the Years

For over 10 years of granting educational assistance, Tapulanga Foundation has inspired students in gaining quality education, especially in St. Francis of Assisi School of Silay City. Two graduating high school scholars, RJ Navigar and Jean Mate, continue to have a chance at better lives because of Tapulanga Foundation.

Aside from receiving financial benefits for school-related expenses, Tapulanga Foundation scholars have been treated to free summer workshops, medical benefits and enriching field trips.  RJ and Jean have been attending two summers of hip-hop dance workshops and RJ has attended two acting workshops as well.

Both come from financially-challenged family backgrounds. RJ’s mother works for ten years already at SFAS and is presently Preschool In-Charge and assistant to the Vice Principal while his father is a farm worker. His brother (an SFAS alumnus) is now in 2nd year college (with a college scholarship) and his younger sister is currently in Grade 1 (also at SFAS and a Tapulanga Foundation scholar). Jean’s mother is an office clerk while her father works as a sales agent for a telecommunications company.   Her brother (an SFAS alumnus and sports scholar of TF) is in his 2ndyear at LCC-Bacolod. 

How long have you been Tapulanga scholars?
RJ:       It’s been 11 years since I was in Kindergarten.
Jean:  I’ve been a Tapulanga Scholar since 2010, when I was in 2nd year High School.

How is your senior year so far?
RJ:       I’m sad to think about it, but that’s life. We (my batchmates) are enjoying our time together.
Jean:  My Senior year has been so busy so far. But still, I’m enjoying it as it is my last year being a Franciscan.

What are your feelings as this is your last year in SFAS?
RJ:       I’m sad but I am PROUD of my Alma Mater. It has raised me as a good
student, enhancing my skills and developing my individuality.
Jean:  As this is my last year in SFAS, I am cherishing my 2nd home and bonding more with my classmates.

What are your plans/dreams after SFAS?
RJ:       I’m planning to take up Bachelor of Secondary Education, Major in MAPEH (Music, Arts, Physical Education and Health). I want to pursue it at USLS (University of Saint La Salle) or CSA-B (Colegio de San Agustin-Bacolod).
Jean:  After graduating, I plan to take up either Tourism or Mass Communications. I am hoping to enroll in LCC (La Consolacion College) or USLS.

What message can you give to the Tapulanga Foundation?
RJ:       First and foremost, thank you for making me a scholar at SFAS.  It has been my “cocoon” (for 11 years), but time will soon come that I will spread my wings like butterfly, ready to soar high in my life. I will try my best to return and help my fellow Franciscans too.
Jean:  I’m really thankful to Tapulanga Foundation because they shouldered all my school expenses the past three years. It has been a big help for me and my family especially that we lack the finances. I also thank my sponsors because they believed that I can get high grades and I am worthy to become their scholar.

With high hopes, the foundation, as well as the school, sees bright futures for these two scholars.  Hopefully, the two will be granted scholarships when they will enter college, allowing them to continue exploring their infinite possibilities and reaching their dreams.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Carinderia to Canteen: Ruby Barnuevo’s Micro-credit Story

It was only three years ago that Mrs. Ruby Barnuevo was still a struggling food vendor in Hacienda Lugway, Silay City. Although cooking was her passion, she struggled to make ends meet for her family. Today, she owns a stall in the canteen of St. Francis of Assisi School of Silay City (SFAS) with the help of Tapulanga Foundation’s micro-credit program.

“The food business has always appealed to me. With the micro-credit loan of the foundation, I don’t have to worry that much about finding capital for my business.” said Mrs. Barnuevo, 43 years old. She lives in Hacienda Lugway, with her husband, Judy and their five children: 3rd year high school student Kyle Dominic, 4th grader Kara Fraancheska, 2nd grader Kier Vincent, and pre-kinder Jude Bryan – all students of SFAS and scholars of the Tapulanga Foundation.

“I loan 6,000 pesos and pay on a weekly basis for two months. It all works out quite well and I get to have extra money at the end of the day for savings. Sometimes my husband helps me out and so does some my children.”
 The low interest rate of 1 percent a month and after two months she is able to renew her loan again makes her livelihood easier and more stable as she always has ready capital for her business.  She plans on adding a new livelihood project since her current business is going well. “I would like to go back to raising pigs since we already have a pigpen at home.” adds Mrs. Barnuevo.

Like the other beneficiaries, micro-credit allows her to support her family and eventually make a difference in her community.
“It’s really nice to get to do what I love –which is cooking –and make a sustainable living out of it. Micro-credit makes all of this possible. I am really thankful.”