PART 3: ACTS29 Scholars’ Day Out 2016 (Philippines)

Been pouring for two straight days but the rains stopped for our UP campus tour – ambait ni God!


The rains just went away!


The Academic Oval, the main and the largest road in UP Diliman, surrounding by major college buildings of the university



The UP Carillion.  When this tower starts to play those 46 bells, the sound can be heard from all four corners of the campus!


Two of our scholars with KAPITAS volunteers by the steps of Palma Hall, commonly known as AS building as this used to be the Arts and Sciences building


The UP Diliman Administration Building , doing the Oblation’s open arms


The Oblation.  This concrete sculpture is a depiction of a man facing the sky with arms wide open, signifying selfless offering of oneself to his country


The UP Lagoon, the only body of water (not captured in this photo, though) inside the UP Diliman campus


Lovely trees line up by the walking paths next to the UP Lagoon!


With the last group of our scholars in our campus tour at the UP Lagoon

It must take an enormous amount of efforts for a child to keep his eyes and mind glued to his studies if he comes from such an environment as the Payatas dumpsite; we can only imagine.  From what we gather, most of the kids there just go with their parents to collect from the garbage instead of attending school.  Sadly, Payatas dumpsite and Erap City resettlement site are two places in the Philippines where having the opportunity to attend school is more of the exception than the rule.

We Googled and the map says Payatas dumpsite is just 22 minutes away from UP Diliman!

Payatas to UP Diliman Map

My parents were just regular salaried employees back then but they were able to send me to this university.  It is state-owned and managed so the tuition costs cannot be as expensive as those of the major universities in Manila.

While the tour of the UP Diliman campus may be a small gesture for our 50 scholars, it’s our sincere hope that it was able to open their eyes that one need not come from a rich family to be able to attend this university and earn a college degree, land a stable job, and give their families a better life – and eventually leave the Payatas dumpsite.  Nobody deserves to be trapped in there making a living out of picking from a landfill, risking their lives scavenging the dump in order to put food on the table to survive.


Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” ― Nelson Mandela

PART 2: ACTS29 Scholars’ Day Out 2016 (Philippines)

Volunteers showed up early despite the rains!  We started at 8 in the morning and our scholars arrived just in time!  Our KAPITAS volunteers came well prepared!


Thank you, UP KAPITAS for preparing this map for our campus tour!

KAPITAS volunteers gathered their respective teams of scholars to brief them on the campus tour.  Here are photos of our scholars getting ready for our tour of UP Diliman campus!  Thank you, KAPITAS for sharing these photos!

IMG_9983 (1)IMG_9984 (1)IMG_9985 (1)IMG_9986IMG_9987 (1)IMG_9988 (1)IMG_9989 (1)IMG_9990 (1)IMG_9991 (1)IMG_9992 (1)IMG_9993 (1)IMG_9995

Smile at each other. Smile at your wife, smile at your husband, smile at your children, smile at each other- it doesn’t matter who it is- and that will help to grow up in greater love for each other.” ― Mother Teresa


PART 1: ACTS29 Scholars’ Day Out 2016 (Philippines)

With huge help from UP KAPITAS (UP Kabataang Pilosopo Tasyo – this is my student organisation in my university days) and support from wonderful friends from Manila and Singapore, we took our 50 scholars to UP Diliman (the University of the Philippines Diliman) for a tour of the campus and a Tamil film viewing.  Thanks everyone for your help and support!

IMG_0050 (1)

At everyone’s favourite spot – the Oblation, the iconic symbol of UP Diliman

The kids were picked up from their homes in Payatas dumpsite and Erap City resettlement area by these UP IKOT jeepneys.  To my knowledge, UP Diliman is the only campus in Manila that has a mode of transportation it can call its very own: the iconic UP IKOT.  Jeepneys with the yellow roof are part of the UP culture; they’ve been around since UP Diliman’s early years up until today!



With our UP IKOT jeepney drivers Kuya Willy and Kuya Herman


Thank you, Ate Lulu for your help in arranging for our scholars’ transport!

The day before our charity event was our only chance to get done with the prep works!  We arranged for transport of the kids (Thanks, Ate Lulu!), checked the audio-visual room (Thanks, Alex and Tristan!), picked up the tarp banners (Thanks, Nico!), sourced for school supplies (Thanks, Mina, Mark, Sharon, Jay-ar, Kathy, Mark, Tara, Ella, Jinky, and Charm), and packed the school kits for our 50 scholars.

Carlo and Pochie were the earliest birds!  Thank you very very much for the support; mapakalaking tulong nyo sa amin ni Pres dito sa charity event natin na ito!  We are greatly touched at mapakalayo pa nang pinanggalingan nyo tapos buhos pa ang ulan; maraming maraming salamat!


Alex and Tristan, you both make me proud to be a UP KAPITAS!  Walang tigil ang ulan and classes were suspended pero sinamahan nyo pa din ako sa PH400!  Super thank you!  Maraming maraming salamat for your help and sa mga kwento, especially about Tristan’s love life hahaha!  Mabuhay kayo!

IMG_0025 (1)

This one fine lady deserves a million thanks if not more for all her efforts and patience in making this charity event possible, from inviting volunteers down to the tiniest details of our charity event!  Very blessed to have met you, Therese!  Malayo ang mararating mo, mas malayo pa sa Poland – trust me!


Wherever we travel to, the wonderful people we meet become our family.” ― Lailah Gifty Akita