14th Big Day: Art Workshop in Lumad School, Paquibato

Pens of Hope in Davao conducted an art workshop on December 7, 2013 at Assumption College of Davao Grade School Extension for Lumad Children or popularly known in Brgy. Panalum, Paquibato District, Davao City as “Lumad School.” There was a change in the venue and participants because the activity was in conflict with the Pasko Pista, a Christmas event initiated by the city government in the area.

Seven volunteers took the pick-up from Davao to Panabo City, where they were met by a guide from the community. From Panabo City, they drove along the undulating and rough road to reach the drop-off point for the 30-minute muddy, cliff-side trek to the school. It was unexpectedly a long and exhausting trip, but all the effort for the preparation paid off as the workshops started and resulted to different forms of self-expression.

As planned, the students were divided into three groups for the following sessions:

Finger-Painting Activity

The kindergarten, grades 1 and 2 students had some icebreakers and energizers to set the participants’ mood for the activity. Then the facilitators demonstrated how to create a tree with the use of one’s fingers, cartolina and poster color. In the first phase, the kids were teamed up by 3’s in painting any trees, but in the second phase, the kids made a Christmas tree individually. The activity resulted to oddly-shaped but beautiful trees, original artworks that can beat any abstract painting.

Christmas Tree Drawing Activity

The goal of the activity is for Grades 3 and 4 students to cut and color a Christmas tree and its ornaments using scissors, cartolina, crayons and bond paper. They were taught techniques on how to cut huge Christmas trees, stars of different shapes, angels (boy and girl variations) and Christmas balls. The kids also learned how to draw an angel’s face, clothes, shape and color of the hair, and wings. After making various ornaments, they glued them into the tree.

Accessory-Making Activity

The assignment for the grades 5 and 6 students was to make a curtain made of recycled paper beads. That was the original plan until challenged on time allowed for some creativity and resourcefulness. They failed finishing the curtain but came up with something else more exciting and with variety: necklace, bracelets, key chains, bag identifier, etc. Other recyclable materials such as tetra packs and straw were also used. While the students were taught how to create patterns, roll the paper beads and paint them for color and protection, lessons on recycling and its importance on environment protection were emphasized.

After all the sessions, everyone gathered in a classroom for the snacks and gift-giving activities. The first and second groups received a face towel and plastic glass, while the third group received a face towel and pens. Everyone was appreciated for their participation and effort in the activity.


We would like to thank the following people for their contribution to the activity:

  • The volunteers: Anj, Jen, Dan, Kara, Kit, Marco and Durz.
  • The teachers of the Lumad School: Ed Kristine Clordearta, Jocyl Calimot, Sosimo Tugaon and Rowena Anib
  • Our contact in the community: Kagawad Nestor Labrador
  • Sarah Elizar for helping us gather art materials
  • Miss KNT for sharing her home for packing
  • Perry Liquigan for the white cartolina, rulers and pencils
  • Marivic Alvarez for the green cartolina
  • Bert S for the crayons and gifts
  • Rocilee and Peach Renner for the glue
  • Bryan Hao for the scissors
  • Jayvie Piamonte, Ms KNT, Miss Joan, Mary Ann Salazar Maye Banga, Jenny Plaza, Kier Ashely Lim, Maan Eslawan, Angie Ampong, Connie Hiso and Gee Jose for the poster color.
  • Azenith Yamazaki and family, and Nicole Elizar for the snacks
  • Anj Nacorda for the blowing bubbles
  • Mr M for the transportation
  • Planeshop Airline Ticketing for the lunch

More pictures here.


Buy a Smartphone Case and Help Typhoon Haiyan Victims

When Typhoon Yolanda brought destruction to hundreds of communities in central Philippines, we were at a loss for words. The havoc was (still is) just so heartbreaking it made us ponder, "In what way can we help the victims?"

Not long after videos and media reports were published, help came pouring in in different forms not only from Filipinos but also from other parts of the world. Private organizations and government agencies have been conducting relief operations and medical missions to affected areas. Small groups have also organized various fund raising campaigns as their way of pitching in to the cause.

One of the creative ways I have encountered is the crowdfunding solution conceptualized by EZENCIEL. If they reach their goals, they will manufacture the Special Edition Philippines Smartphone Case for iPhone 5/5S and Samsung Galaxy S4. It has a simple but neat design and its high quality materials are designed to protect your phone from scratches. The cases will come in three different colors: red, yellow and blue.

You can support the project by donating $20 to $1,000 USD depending on your choice of perks. All proceeds will be donated through Asia America's Initiatives.

For more information about this project, kindly visit this link.

What's up for the 14th Big Day?

Pens of Hope in Davao will go back to Brgy. Panalum, Paquibato District on December 7, 2013 for an arts and crafts workshop with the indigenous kids in the community. For our 5th visit, the volunteers will conduct the following:

Workshop 1

  • Activity: Handpainting activity 
  • Facilitator: Anj Nacorda
  • Participants: Daycare to Grade 1 pupils

Workshop 2

  • Activity: Christmas decor cutting and drawing activity
  • Facilitator: Danilo-Ramon Guillano
  • Participants: Grades 2 to 3 students

Workshop 3

  • Activity: Accessory making activity
  • Facilitator: Jen Aguinaldo
  • Participants: Grades 4 to 6 students

Workshop details are currently being finalized by facilitators. Details to be provided later.

How to Help

There are three ways to contribute for this activity:

1. Be a volunteer. If you want to be with the team, please send an email to pensofhopeindavao@gmail.com. For itinerary details, please see schedule below.

2. Donate any of the following:
  • White cartolina = 38 pieces (To be donated by Perry Liquigan)
  • Green cartolina = 68 pieces (To be donated by Marivic Alvarez)
  • Crayons (24 pieces, Crayola) = 34 boxes (To be donated by Bert S.)
  • Glue (Elmer's) = 46 pieces (To be donated by Rocilee and Peach Renner)
  • Ruler = 15 pieces (To be donated by Perry Liquigan)
  • Pencil = 15 pieces (To be donated by Perry Liquigan)
  • Scissors = 46 pairs (To be donated by Bryan Hao)
  • Snacks for 100 people (To be donated by Azenith Yamazaki and family, and Nicole Elizar)
  • Poster color (green) = 38 pieces (To be donated by Jayvie, Ms KNT)
  • Poster color (yellow) = 28 pieces (To be donated by Ate Joan, Ms KNT, Mary Anne Salarza, Maye Banga, Jenny Plaza, Kier Ashely Lim, Maan Eslawan and Angie Ampong)
  • Transportation = Pledged by Mr M.
  • Poster color (brown) = 38 pieces (To be donated by Gee Jose)

  • As of November 9, 2013, we have already received pledges for all the materials needed for the workshop. Thank you so much to our sponsors and volunteers.
  • Check this document on how the materials above will be distributed. 
  • You may send your donations to Lala's BBQ, Corner Porras and Loyola Streets, Obrero, Davao City.

3. Support us by tweeting, blogging or sharing this activity.


  • 6:00 - 6:30 AM - Assembly time 
  • 6:30 - 9:00 AM - Departure to Paquibato District (Breakfast along the way) 
  • 9:00 - 9:30 AM - Courtesy Call / Workshop Prep 
  • 9:30 - 11:30 AM - Workshop / Snacks
  • 11:30 - 12:00 AM - Giving of awards
  • 12:00 - 2:30 PM - Departure to Davao City (Lunch along the way) 

  • Assembly place to be announced later.
  • Transportation will be provided by POHD.
  • Lunch and other expenses to be paid by vols.

Art Therapy Workshop for the Kids of Cateel

Jayvie, the official photographer of the Art Therapy Workshop wrote this post about the activity. This was originally published on his blog, Tibing Lakawero


The wrath of typhoon BOPHA (Pablo) who hit the Philippines last December 04, 2012, leaves nothing but wrecked homes, bald forests, hundreds of fatalities, thousands of families homeless and a heartbreaking picture of a muddled town mercilessly ravaged by the most notorious typhoon of 2012.

Six months after the devastating event, Pens of hope in Davao and Help Cateel Movementwith the Davao Bloggers Society conducted an Art Therapy Worskhop that would help the kids of Cateel express their stress and confusion through illustrations, colors and performance art and, open a new doorway to unarticulated feelings, and shed light on the past.

Last June 8 and 9, 2013 we went to Cateel to give healing and stress debriefing to kids 11 to 12 years old. We left Davao City at around 12:30am. I was left awake till dawn from the bumpy ride. It gives me the idea of how vast the area Pablo damaged that I can’t merely describe the scene I’m seeing while we’re on our way to Cateel. It was still dawn when we reached Bagangga (one of the town that was not spared by the typhoon), Bagangga welcomed us with the horrifying view of reality. It was a total devastation. It was the exact scene I refused to believe 6 months ago. It is an image of grief, suffering, pain and sorrow. It’s still fresh from my memory the silhouette of the uprooted trees on the vast field creating flashes of the heart breaking event that killed at least thousands of people. It broke my heart in silence.

It is despairing to say that the traumatic experiences that came across their lives has already been engraved into their deepest hearts; but that never hinders our fervent hope on helping them recover from such tragedy. With the help of many kindhearted souls who donated art materials such as crayons, pencils, eraser, oil pastels, oslo papers, drawing books, envelopes, cash in kinds for funds and the prayers of our fellow Filipinos; Pens of hope in Davao, Help Cateel movement and Davao Bloggers Society was able to conduct a workshop that would help heal the wounds of the kids of Cateel. Our two-day workshop opens a window of hope for these innocent children of God.

On our first day, kuya Dan and kuya Perry taught them the basics of Art. Art is an effective outlet to bring back normalcy to the lives of these young kids. It is important that they undergo the process of stress debriefing for them to begin to accept what had happened and start rebuilding their lives.

On the afternoon, kuya Perry taught them the basics of Theatre Art. They learned the fundamentals of performing arts. These two artistic outlets can help these kids to develop and manage their behaviors, reduce stress, improve awareness and most importantly, heal themselves.

Day two was a continuation of the theatre arts workshop. It is when the kids was tasked to re-enact the heartbreaking event. This time, they seem serious and participating. Some cried while others groan. A clear sign of trauma from a frightful experience. Again it broke my heart seeing them suffer. I was left helpless, all I could do was to thank God for sparing the lives of these kids from the havoc of the deadliest typhoon Pablo.


 Our project: Art Therapy Workshop for the Kids of Cateel was able to distribute at least 70+ art materials. The two-day workshop turned out a huge success. Thanks to the parents and teachers who supported and took part in the process. But, this is just a start. Pens of hope in Davao and Help Cateel movement and Davao Bloggers Society are initially planning another workshop for the Cateelenos.

The Amihan Bayanihan Spirit

By Jen Aguinaldo

Bayanihan. It’s that nice breeze that regularly sweeps the Amihan sa Dahican community. That air they breathe every day- Infectious. Contagious. Inspiring.

Kuya Jun and kids picking up trash

The skim-skate-surf group, Amihan sa Dahican Team, is gaining attention not only because of their excellent “board and balance” skills but also because of the inspiring “bayanihan” and other positive values such as creativity, resourcefulness, hardwork, and integrity that the group exemplify. Despite coming from economically challenged families of fishermen, the kids are full of positive vibes and are hopeful that one day, the practical training and values they learn from the group will help them achieve all their dreams in life.

Amihan kids with a their bags of school supplies

With support from the Pens of Hope in Davao, Cromwell Bacareza, Exal Industries, Diksyonaryo Atbp., and other donors, The Amihan sa Dahican Team organized a ceremonial distribution of school supplies and hygiene kits to the Amihan kids and some of their siblings on May 18, 2012 at the Amihan sa Dahican Beach in Mati, Davao Oriental. Support from locals such as Vincent Paul Loguinsa, a surfer who teaches the kids English (and other subjects) every weekend, and Freddy Allan Uy, who promotes the team through his captures, also contributed to the success of the event making it a great showcase of the bayanihan spirit.

Amihan kids dancing Gentleman during the program
With guidance from the Amihan founder, George Plaza (also known as Kuya Jun) and their Amihan “kuyas”, the Amihan kids led the simple program that was enjoyed by around 50 children and some parents. The program opened with a lecture by Amihan kid, Peter, on the marine creatures such as dugong (sea cow), whalesharks (butanding), and turtles (pawikan) found in the pristine waters of Dahican. The Amihan girls led the story telling and some Amihan boys recited the poem “All things Bright and Beautiful” while their special guests, the select Dahican community kids, enjoyed the presentations. A clean up drive to teach the children how to clean and take care of their environment was also conducted and was immediately followed by a releasing of the baby green hawksbill sea turtles to the ocean!

The innovative wash facility

Prior to the event, a simple wash facility, a blackboard, and a makeshift mini “library” were constructed by the Amihan Team. These facilities were made to provide a supportive environment so that the kids will be more comfortable every time they attend Kuya Vincent’s weekend classes and /or when they practice daily hygiene activities of toothbrushing and handwashing.

While the positive spirit in the team is highly commendable, it is sad to say that some of the kids (and their kuyas) are behind their schooling because of a list of reasons such as economic.

Grateful and happy Amihan community after the program

Going to school definitely requires more than provision of school supplies but the Amihan kids are very grateful of the little blessings they received from the donors. They also promised to do good in school and make good use of the supplies given to them.

Sure, there are a lot more to do in the community but it’s the little steps and contributions from everyone to make things happen that matter.

First photo grabbed from Kuya Jun's Facebook account. 

The 13th Big Day

Pens of Hope in Davao went back to Paquibato community on May 29, 2013 to deliver 94 lootbags to the children. Here are some of the photos that were taken: 

These are the 94 lootbags prepared the night before the distribution. 

Preschoolers received coloring books, pencils, eraser, glue, sharpeners and crayons. 

Elementary students received five notebooks, pencils, glue, crayons, eraser, ruler, scissors and pens. 

The kids were happy to see the vols visit their community again. 

And to receive school supplies to for their studies. 

More pictures here.

We would like to thank our blessing-sharers, especially Myra, Cecille and Karen for making these kids smile. Two thumbs up for Angie for buying the school supplies and Grace for packing the bags with Ms KNT. To Dan, Kyuki and Miss KNT, thanks for the time.

Catalyst Launched for Social Change

Be the start. Lead the change.

This is what Cat@lyst, a Tattoo-branded corporate social responsibility initiative in partnership with the Global Shapers Manila Hub, envisions today’s youth to do – cause a chain reaction of positive action to make a difference in society using modern technology.

Tattoo, the most reliable mobile broadband powered by Globe, takes the advocacy of Global Shapers to bring the Cat@lyst vision to life. The Global Shapers Manila Hub is composed of young extraordinary individuals with great potential for future leadership roles in society. It is part of the Global Shapers community, a global program of the World Economic Forum.

For its first project, Cat@lyst seeks to harness creativity, energy and social media through a youth challenge with the Global Shapers acting as mentors. Some of the Global Shapers are Tattoo ambassador Bianca Gonzalez; Save Philippine Seas co-founder Anna Oposa; San Vicente, Palawan Mayor Pie Alvarez; doctor and researcher on neglected tropical diseases, Harvy Liwanag; and Mano Amiga Academy co-founder Lynn Pinugu.

Both Tattoo and the Global Shapers are working hand-in-hand to encourage the youth to make concrete and feasible solutions to the problems of their communities such as air pollution, traffic enforcement, crime prevention, among others.

“We are looking for a realistic solution that has an ICT component and has the potential to be replicated in other communities. We need young people who have a genuine desire to help,” said Dong Ronquillo, Head of Tattoo Nomadic Broadband Business.

Bianca Gonzalez, one of the most active members of Global Shapers Manila Hub and a Tattoo ambassador, said: “We have a lot of exceptional young people who can act as a catalyst toward social and economic change. So together with Globe, we want to harness their capabilities with the help of ICT and social media to come up with realistic solutions to real community problems.”

Filipino citizens, aged 18-30, can submit a proposal via a one-minute video entry from May 2 to 31 which meets the following criteria:

1. Innovation – demonstrates creativity and originality
2. Implementation Feasibility – proposal should be executable in the given timeline and proponents should demonstrate capability to mobilize stakeholders involved
3. Impact – provides a long-lasting solution to an existing social problem

Application forms may be downloaded from the Globe Cat@lyst website www.catalyst.com.ph and from the entries, 15 will be shortlisted. Five winners will then be chosen in June and will be awarded a P200,000 cash grant for program development, mentorship, and ICT support.

Believe in change. Fuel your Innovation. Join the Cat@lyst Revolution.


For more information, pls. contact:
Ms. Yoly C. Crisanto
Head, Corporate Communications
Tel. No. 7302627
Fax No. 7393075
Email Address: globe.corpcomm@gmail.com

Art Therapy Workshop for Cateel Typhoon Victims

Pens of Hope in Davao partners with Help Cateel Movement and Davao Bloggers Society to organize an art therapy workshop for 50 eleven-year-old children on June 8 and 9, 2013 in Cateel Central Elementary School, Cateel, Davao Oriental. When Typhoon Pablo hit Mindanao in December 2012, these kids suffered not only from financial loss and physical pain but emotional turmoil as well. 

Olan (Help Cateel Movement president) with Cateel kids

The Concept

Using art as a medium for expression and reducing anxiety, we conceptualized this activity based on the previous art workshops conducted by Cebu's Beyond Arts Sake, Tsinelas and Bacolod's BINHI Creatives Arts and Crafts Workshop Inc.

In order to relate the participants' experience and current situation, the workshop will focus on their  understanding and connection to the environment. At the end of the activity, the kids are specifically expected to:

  • Express their stress and confusion through illustrations, colors and performance art
  • Identify doable and proactive ways on how to protect the environment

The volunteer facilitators will conduct the following workshops:

Expected Output
Basic Drawing and ColorsDan Guillano
Anj Nacorda
Pencil, oil pastelColored illustration of a favorite place in Cateel
Performance ArtPerry Lequigan-Group presentations on how to protect the environment


June 8 (Day 1)

8:00 to 8:30 amOrientation about the workshop
Getting to know activities
8:30 to 12:00 noonBasic Drawing and Colors
12:00 to 1:00 pmLunch 
1:00 to 5:00 pmPerformance Art (Part 1)

June 9 (Day 2)

8:00 to 8:30 amRecap; icebreaker
8:30 to 11:00 amPerformance Art (Part 2)
11:00 to 12:00 noonCulmination
12:00 to 1:00 pmLunch

Willing to Help?

There are three ways to help us make this activity happen. First, you may donate any of the following:
  • Oslo paper (Received a pledge from Sycil)
  • Oil pastel (As of May 7, 2013, we already have enough donors for oil pastel. Awesome!)
  • Sharpeners
  • Erasers
  • Snacks (Cardava bananas and sweet potatoes are encouraged)
  • Transportation for the volunteers 

Second, you can assist the facilitators during the workshop. The volunteers will follow the itinerary below: 

June 8 (Day 1)

12:00 midnight to 6:00 amTravel to Cateel
6:00 to 8:00 amBreakfast; workshop preparation
8:00 to 5:00 pmWorkshop (Day 1)
5:00 onwardsDinner; workshop preparation

June 9 (Day 2)

8:00 to 1:00 pmWorkshop (Day 2)
1:00 to 4:00 pmVoluntourism Activity
4:00 to 10:00 pmTravel to Davao City

Transportation to and accommodation in Cateel for volunteers will be provided; however, volunteers have to pay for their own meals for two days. 

Third, share this post to your friends and family who might be interested in helping us.

Contact Information 

If you want to donate or have any comments, suggestions and questions about the activity, please send a message to pensofhopeindavao@gmail.com or kikitavenue@gmail.com.

Community Visit in Amihan, Mati, Davao Oriental

Who would have thought that the best skimmers and surfers in the Philippines, if not the world, need some educational assistance? 

Dahican beach

The Community Partner

Travelers and water sports enthusiasts love the way Amihan Skim and Surf Team members gracefully dance with the big waves of Mati, Davao Oriental. As the fruit of their rigid training, interest in sports, teamwork, self-discipline and strict no-smoking-no-alcohol policy, they have grabbed some of the awards in local and international skimming and surfing competitions. 

Amihan Team's headquarter

When they are not on their board shorts,  however, they are just ordinary kids from big fisher folk families who earn about Php 150.00 per day for the family. This straitened circumstance has resulted to more complicated problems, two of which are lack of food supply for the entire family and the parent's incapability to send their children to school. 

Where they sleep

This situation is the reason why some of the Amihan kids have decided to stay in the team's thatched headquarter along the beach. By providing surfing or skimming lessons to guests, taking care of turtles and cleaning the beach, they receive free food (from the group's income) and shelter (in their "kubo" or hammock in between posts or trees) as well as training from Kuya Jun Plaza, the founder and leader of the group. 

Pens of Hope's Plan

Although the team's positive diversion is admirable, it is sad to say that some of these kids have stopped attending formal classes. Kuya Jun doesn't favor of this as he understands the true value of education in a person's life. He wants them to finish their studies, learn how to interact with guests and be the best that they can be. 

The team's bath and comfort room

In response to this need, we (Pens of Hope in Davao) have decided to make the community our partner from this year. This May 18, we will be going back to the area for a gift giving activity with 19 Amihan students. Many of them are teenagers who have difficulty in reading, writing and speaking simple English. Most of them are teenagers who haven't finished their elementary education yet. 

Join Us!

Interested in joining this activity? Here's our itinerary: 

3:00 am - Assembly time in Victoria Plaza van terminal
3:00 - 7:00 am - Travel to Mati
7:00 - 8:30 am - Breakfast and preparation for the program
8:30 - 10:30 am - Program proper
10:30 - 2:00 noon - Beach activities; lunch
2:00 - 6:00 - Travel to Davao

Program proper will include storytelling, hygiene orientation and school supplies distribution. The storytelling activity will be facilitated by a local volunteer.

The hygiene orientation includes a short session and demonstration on how to wash hands and toothbrush properly. The hygiene kits to be used during the activity will be provided by Bobby Dela Victoria of Exal Industries Corporation and Cromwell Bacareza. We also donated some of the wash facility materials that the community will build before our 13th Big Day. 

Dahican team with POHD vols

Volunteers need to pay for their own travel (P220 one way) and meal expenses. You can also stay in Mati overnight if you want to; just let us know. 

How to Help

You can help this activity by:
  1. Donating school supplies
  2. Joining us during the distribution
  3. Sharing this blog post to your family and friends

Contact Information

If you want to donate or have any comments, suggestions and questions about the activity, please send a message to pensofhopeindavao@gmail.com or kikitavenue@gmail.com. 

Donations for Pablo Victims

POHD supports groups who organize relief operations for Pablo typhoon victims. Here are some of the blessings we've gathered.

Medicines from Jan and Anony
Writing materials from Angie and DK

Notebooks, paper, pencils and other school supplies from Che and Nono
Matches and candles from Teresa and Sammy
Old clothes from Nookie, Kate, Jade, April and Kaye in Dubai
If you wish to reach out through our organization, please feel free to message us. Here are some areas where we can be of help:

  • Food relief (rice, canned goods, water, vegetables, etc.)
  • Sustainable source of living (seedlings, seeds, crops, fertilizers, etc.)
  • Fishing materials (fishnets, boats, and other farming and fishing tools)
  • Shelter (tarps, nails and other tools for building houses)
  • Medicines and insect repellents
  • School supplies (notebooks, paper, pencils, rulers, blackboard for the teachers, etc.)
We are thinking of organizing an art workshop for the kids in April or May as a form of creative counseling. We don't have the details yet but if you're interested in joining us, kindly get in touch with us through pensofhopeindavao@gmail.com.