The First Big Day

After three months of advocating the Pens of Hope in Davao outreach program, we finally had the distribution of writing materials at our community beneficiary in Gaisano Relocation, Matina Pangi, Davao City last August 9, 2009.

The available Batch 29 alumni SICO (Social Involvement Coordinating Office) volunteers and the photographer behind the program logo met earlier to prepare everything for the most-awaited activity. Mailah, Shugar and I recounted the packs of pens and pencils, Jaypee and Rohel arranged the snacks and Daryl took some snaps. At about 1:30 p.m., we assembled at AdDU (Ateneo de Davao University) Roxas gate with 12 of the existing Batch 39 volunteers.

SICO Volunteers: Batches 29 and 39

When everything was in place, we didn't go straight to the community beneficiary. As a courtesy call, we stopped at "Pahiyum Store" where Engr. Noel Justiniani and Kuya Aying, our contact persons at Kabantan-onan Nga Aktibo ug Responsableng Dabawenyo Andam Moalagad sa Syodad (KARDAMS), were waiting for us. As the said NGO has been helping the community for quite some time, they have significantly assisted us in coordinating with the community leaders and in reaching out to the residents.

KARDAMS Staff with Sir Ian and Kikit

When we arrived at the community, Sir Ian Parcon, the SICO Director, and other KARDAMS staff warmly welcomed us. The children also were already prepared, behavedly sitting at the benches provided at the outdoor basketball court, where community activities are usually held. I could sense they were waiting with excitement, wondering what would happen that afternoon.

The beneficiaries at the basketball court

With Mailah and Kuya Aying as the emcees, the short program started with a prayer led by Jaypee. It was then followed by exciting games facilitated by the existing volunteers. When they played "Stop Dance", almost all the children enthusiastically (and seductively!!!) grooved as if they were televised, showcasing their hidden talents. The five best dancers that were chosen had the privilege to join the popular "Hep, Hep, Hooray". Finally, we played "Musical Chairs" and since the volunteers served as posts (in lieu of chairs), the interaction between the volunteers and children made it more memorable.

Batch 39 volunteers playing with the beneficiaries For children to realize that expression is one of the reasons why they should value writing materials, we had a wish list activity. With the guidance of volunteers and some parents, children wrote what their hearts say. Some want only basic things like milk, clothes and toys. Some wrote they'd simply like to eat at McDonalds or Jollibee and go to People's Park. Some are interested to finish their education to be able to help their families. Some shared their dreams and ambitions. (All children's wishes will be summarized in the next entry.)

Later, pens and pencils were distributed and as what Nortehanon experienced, we saw vibrant smiles from kids. They even felt happier when snacks were served. To end the program, we listened to a speech from one of the mothers in the community. Seeing how happy the children were, she was truly grateful for everything we have done for them. Engr. Noel also said that this activity has somehow inspired the beneficiaries to study hard and follow the volunteers.

Happy smiles

While waiting for the van service, I saw a couple of volunteers doing a dance showdown with the kids. Their laughter echoed to my ears with a realization that this program didn't only make many less-fortunate children happy. It also brought a sense of fulfillment to us, that it feels great to share a little of what we have for others to have more. And I hope that nice feeling will continue to motivate us to be aware, to listen and to respond.

Curious glances

I'd like to end this entry with a note of acknowledgement to all those who supported this project. To Batch 29 SICO volunteers (especially to Jenny A, Lorna, Alfie, Mailah, Mabelle, Shugar, Jaypee, Rohel, Sherlo, Max, Liyah) for planning, organizing, advocating, collecting and sending pens and pencils. I remember we once dreamt of establishing a foundation way back in college. Seven years after our graduation, we've finally taken the first step.
  • To Nortehanon for letting us adopt this project. You stirred us to do something for our community.
  • To SICO (Sir Ian, Ate Tess, Ate Bimbay and Ate Beth) for being supportive to this project. You awakened our social consciousness when we were still innocent students and if not because of that, we couldn't have initiated this activity.
  • To KARDAMS for helping us coordinate with the community. You made things a lot easier for us.
  • To other volunteers who contributed in their own ways: Ana K for blogging this project and for making the poster, Daryl for being our official photographer and even driver during the distribution, Becky for helping us pack the writing materials, Sham, Ate Shal and Ate Jiji for volunteering to collect pens and pencils at their own community.
  • To Batch 39 SICO volunteers for also helping us pack the writing materials and for facilitating games during the distribution. Ten years ago, we were in your shoes. Ten years from now, I hope you'll be in ours.
  • To all our donors for being generous enough to donate pens and pencils to our beneficiaries. With your kindness, you made so many children smile and you proved that despite the sad realities of life, no one is so poor that he couldn't give anything.
  • To God for making all these things possible.
It's great to be involved indeed! To view more pictures, click here. Since we had collected about 4,000 pencils, we're going to have another distribution on August 17, 2009, Monday at Langub Elementary School.


  1. Congratulations on a very organized and successful distribution! Looks like it was so much fun! How I wish things have favored me enough to be able to witness everything personally. But the pictures are more than enough. Seeing them, I feel I am the happiest. To be honest, naiiyak ako while reading this post.

    Pens of Hope used to be just an idea. It used to be just a dream. Thank you, guys, for helping me make it a reality. Nortehanon will be forever grateful for everything. You have no idea how much this means to me.

    "...this program didn't only make many less-fortunate children happy. It also brought a sense of fulfillment to us, that it feels great to share a little of what we have for others to have more">>>>It's one of the perks of helping others ;)

    Ang galing naman, you will be doing soon the second batch of distribution. I have been preparing for my next distribution in Northern Samar. Unfortunately, I had to move the date because of unpredictable weather.

    Grab ko ang one or two pics ha? I haven't been online for few days and my blog has been sleeping. I have to blog about this tomorrow :)

    Maraming, maraming salamat uli!

  2. Thank you very much Miss N. Sure, sure, you can grab the pics. Will send you a link so you can view more pics. :)

  3. hi buddy nice cool blog keep up the great work...have a blow...:)

    check mine and ping ur comments..

    Total NonSense

  4. hi kit,

    JP ni. Naa pud koy idea for another distribution. A friend of mine will celebrate her birthday on September 30, 2009 sa Missionaries of Charity. Basi pwede ta makadistribute didto. How may pens are left? Please let me know so that I can make the arrangements.

    Best regards,