The Badge

Another SICO volunteer and also a good friend, Ana K, extended her all out support to the project by blogging about its importance and by making a badge for the program you can freely embed in your site. Here's the code:

pens of hope
<a href=""><img src="" alt="pens of hope"></a>

Grab the badge and help innocent children!

The Logo

When my friend Kikit asked me to take a photo for the project's badge, I hurriedly took my camera and with only one click the Pens of Hope in Davao's badge was born. I was happy with what came out, I think God was also lending His hand.

I dedicate this photo to the people behind Pens of Hope in Davao.


black and white

I decided to shoot this in black and white because it symbolizes the reality of life, either you are rich or you are poor nothing intermediate. There are only two sides of the coin, either you're good or bad.

rays of the sun

The sun rays represent hope. A light amidst the darkness. It is a comforting feeling that even in the absence of light, there are these noble people that extend a hand and lead us through our way.

the pencils

A simple reminder that not all of us can afford to buy a pen. A wake up call to those people who use their pen for their selfish intentions. A humble request to you to help us give hope and together we will build a brighter future for our little brothers and sisters.

This is our chance to make a difference, our chance to be involved.

Our pen, their future...

The Concept

(Written by Ana K and Kikit)

Learning without a pen is like cooking without salt

Imagine going to school without a pen or pencil at hand. Will you be able to remember everything that your teacher has said? Of course not! Writing has been an integral part of education. It records the lessons and the insights that we gained and allows us to practice what we have learned. When we were younger, we can never answer a simple arithmetic problem without writing it down. And we will never know the correct spelling of a word without writing it down. It is so basic indeed that sometimes, we take it and the tools for writing for granted.

But do you ever realize that for every expensive pen we buy, many little children use pens that are almost running out of ink? That for every pencil we carelessly lost, many students are using pencils too short it makes writing very difficult?


The "Pens of Hope in Davao" is an outreach program initiated to help address the scarcity of writing materials in developing countries like the Philippines. Recognizing the importance of pens and pencils in facilitating learning, the Batch 29 and other alumni volunteers of Social Involvement Coordinating Office (SICO), the soci
al arm of Ateneo de Davao University, committed to adopt the said program originally formulated by Nortehanon, a blogger from Northern Samar.

"Pens of Hope" First Distribution in Northern Samar
Photographed by Nortehanon.

As a start, this program aims to gather and distribute at least 1,000 unused or slightly used pens and pencils. The beneficiaries are yet to be identified by SICO in June but most probably, the beneficiaries are the less-privileged students in a needy community or school of Davao City, the largest city in Mindanao widely known for exported Cavendish bananas, durian, the king of fruits and Philippine eagle, one of the largest eagles in the world.


The committed volunteers behind the project are currently residing in different parts of the Philippines or pursuing their careers outside their home country. With our distance and disperse locations, collection centers are informally established for donors to be able to send their donations to the nearest collection center from their place. The assigned volunteers are responsible for sending the writing materials to the main collection center in Davao before the distribution day.

See list of collection centers at the last part of this entry.


Volunteers will accept writing materials for the first distribution in Davao until
  • June 30, 2009 (at collection centers outside the Philippines)
  • July 31, 2009 (at collection centers in the Philippines)
First distribution in Davao is scheduled in August 2009. Subsequent schedule of distribution will be hopefully determined after the program evaluation.


1. Share your blessings.

Help the volunteers help the needy children of Davao City learn better. Send your unused or slightly used pencils and pens and make a difference. It may be a small gesture but for the beneficiaries, it is already something big.

2. Blog this program.

If you're a blogger, you could hardly survive a day without a pen and paper before you got your computer and Internet connection. Sure enough, the writer in you would want to have a medium to express, an instrument that would let you pour out things that occupy your mind.

Blog this. Use your own unique way with words and give your active readers and even lurkers a chance to reach out and be involved. Besides, you never know how many students will become inspiring writers or bloggers in the future.

3. Spread the word.

At the end of this entry, you will see a white envelope button. Just click it to forward this post to your friends. If you want the usual way, you can simply copy and paste this blog and email it to your contacts. Don't forget to give a link to this site in case they want to be updated.

Even if you don't have a computer, you can still invite others to join the cause by word of mouth. Why don't you talk about something worthwhile while taking a lunch break with your office mates, while chitchatting with you friends or going home with your family?

Pens of Hope in Davao poster is coming soon.
Photographed by Daryl.

Horace said that the pen is the tongue of the mind. Without our tongues, our lives will suffer from deafening silence. Without pens, our lives will also suffer from unexpressed knowledge and emotions.

Join us and prove to the world that hope begins with a simple act of giving. Remember that great things start from small beginnings. Your pens or pencils will really make a big difference!


(For questions, comments and suggestions, email Kikit at or visit her at


A. Main Collection Center

Social Involvement Coordinating Office
Ateneo de Davao University

Jacinto St., Davao City

Phone Number: (6382) 221-2411 local 8329 or 8353
Fax Number: (6382) 221-2411 local 8308

B. Other Collection Centers in the Philippines

Mailah Dosol
Ateneo de Davao High School Unit - Matina Campus
McArthur Hi-way, Matina
Davao City, Philippines

Mabelle Mendoza
BPI Express Banking Center
c/o NCCC Mall of Davao
McArthur Highway cor Maa Road
Davao City, Philippines

John Paul Pinili
8th floor, Pryce Tower
Pryce Business Park
JP Laurel Avenue
Davao City, Philippines

Alice Inovejas-Klarsfeld
Xavier University High School-Ateneo de Cagayan
Pueblo de Oro, Upper Balulang
Cagayand de Oro City, Philippines

Jennylyn Aguinaldo
1859-D Asuncion Street
Santiago Village, Reposo
Makati, Philippines

Sherlo Reyes
Unit 2B, FC Building
290 Tomas Morato
Sacred Heart, Diliman
Quezon City, Philippines

Sherame Ancajas
Bolivar Apartments, Abcede St.
Queborac Drive, Bagumbayan Sur
Naga City, Philippines

C. Collection Centers outside the Philippines

Claire Apigo
Yuu House 203
Hozumi 1522, Mizuho-shi, Gifu-ken

Jennifer Seballos-O'Brien
1579 Yorkshire Lane
Shakopee MN 55379

Maximilian Larena
326 Graduate House Garran Road
Australian National University, Acton
Canberra, ACT, 2601

Alfie Pata
Level 32 Emirates Towers
Sheikh Zayed Road
PO Box 3800, Dubai
United Arab Emirates

Ana Karenina Pera
Sontheimer Strasse 12
70437 Stuttgart

The volunteers also encourage you to support Nortehanon. If you want to donate your pens to the students of Northern Samar, please send them to

Pens of Hope
P.O. Box 16
Post Office, Bgy. Dalakit
Catarman, Northern Samar, Philippines

The Beginning

Photographed by Dey

When taking down notes, a typical Japanese junior high school student changes the color of his/her pen every time the teacher changes the color of the chalk.

That ALWAYS amazes me.

Although I went to private Catholic schools, my pencil case wasn't as big and bulky as my students'. Theirs are stuffed with pencils, colorful pens, a stick of glue, a pair of scissors, an eraser, correction tape, ruler, etc. Nothing's really amazing with those stuffs, they're all basic school supplies that facilitate learning. But when I first noticed it, I realized that students who grow up in developing countries, especially those categorized below the poverty line, are deprived with enough writing materials. Miserable reality. Disappointing situation.

But NOT a hopeless case.

One night, another advantage of blogging addiction occurred to me when I stumbled upon Nortehanon, a fellow Filipino blogger in Northern Samar who also gracefully hides herself behind the identity of Miss N. Growing up in straitened circumstances, she initiated Pens of Hope when she saw pupils using pencils so short they wrote with difficulty. Realizing their need and right to have better writing materials, she collected pens through her blog site. She found an online community that helped her advertise the program and donated pencils for her beneficiaries. The fulfilling success of the first distribution in December 2008 encouraged her to hopefully conduct the program twice a year. The second distribution is scheduled in June 2009. Click here or on the badge on the right side of my page to know more about how it started.

It came to me as a TAP.

Empathizing the kind of fulfillment Miss N felt, the snoring patriotism in me abruptly and surprisingly showed signs of life and eagerly took the driver's seat faster than I expected. With the permission of the original program formulator, I ended up communicating with my fellow volunteers at Social Involvement Coordinating Office (SICO), the social arm of Ateneo de Davao University (details about them in my subsequent posts). I supposed that if more people are involved, the better it will be implemented. Without exerting much convincing effort, all of them committed to adopt and support this simple, attainable and useful Pens of Hope outreach program in our own hometown, Davao City, Philippines, within a week despite our distant current locations.

It's great to be INVOLVED again.

Find out how we are going to do it and how you can contribute in my next post.