Tuesday, October 29, 2013



The Damascus Foundation is situated in the Damascus Compound, Doña Remedios Trinidad in Bulacan – a couple of hours North of Manila. The complex has a church, dormitories, staff accommodation, a water treatment plant, meeting rooms, dining rooms and a feeding and learning centre, set in a quiet and attractive rural setting.

The Foundation celebrates its 17th birthday on January 25, 2014. Outreach focuses on delivering drug rehabilitation and reformation programmes for groups of boarders. Six years ago, the Foundation decided to play a bigger role in the community, by helping improve the lives of the underprivileged children in the area. It now provides child-feeding programmes, education initiatives for children and the provision of parental support via education and livelihood programmes. 

New livelihood projects include a sewing room which provides employment and training, manufacturing showerproof shopping bags and other items and offering customized embroidery. There is also a high-tech water treatment plant which produces high-quality bottled water. Recent developments include the establishment of a bakery and a mushroom farm. The aim is to provide training, employment and development of products to sell, so that the Foundation remains self-sustainable. Damascus Foundation relies on volunteers and donors to support its work. Pusong Pinoy has supported the Foundation in numerous ways, over the past few years, through food drives and the donation of clothes, slippers, books, and school supplies. In 2013, Pusong Pinoy sponsored 15 Damascus elementary school students. 

I met Robert Tiangco at the Pusong Pinoy Heroes Summit in Manila in July 2012. He spoke so enthusiastically about his work that I was determined to visit the Foundation to learn more. After some coordination, we agreed that I would visit and that Pusong Pinoy would provide a range of items for its 14 male boarders. I also offered to organize a “PhotoWalk” for the boys.

The day finally arrived on October 29, 2013. It was going to be a full Filipino day! After breakfast at the hotel, we wound our way through the traffic log-jam. The first stop was the supermarket to initially purchase a range of toiletries for the Damascus boarders. Fortunately, the budget stretched to some food items, snacks and treats. The items donated are found below:

40 pcs Plus tetra juice 
4 pax Mucho chocolate bars 10s 
4 pax Cuppkeyk Combo Topps 10s 
10 pax Quaker Quick-cooking Oats 800 gms 
14 bars Tide laundry detergent 
14 bottles Clear Sport shampoo 200 ml 
14 tubes Master Hair Wax 
14 bottles Rexona Ice deodorant 25 ml 
15 bars Safequard Guava bath soap 90 gms 
14 tubes Close-up Green toothpaste 
3 pax Bear Brand powdered milk 800 gms 
3 pax Equal white sugar 2.5kgs

Then, it was off on the road to Damascus- the North Luzon Expressway. Motorways aren’t too exciting, but soon we were off into the countryside, zooming past rice fields, palms and villages – everything a sea of vibrant green and blue skies. It was a glorious day. Rice left to dry on the road was a constant hazard! Robert is great company, so the miles zoomed past. We reached the Foundation mid-morning. Robert agreed to show me around. First stop was to give some treats to the young children being fed, while their parents enjoyed a talk in the church. Then, it was off to see the new Livelihood Projects. We visited the sewing room, where new products were being made. The showerproof shopping bags, in attractive colours, are nicely-packaged – an ideal gift. I had a couple of souvenir facecloths embroidered on the new sewing machine– a really skilled job. I was the first customer!

Next stop was the cutting-edge water treatment plant which produces clean, pure water. After a tour round other parts of the complex, we had a really nice lunch. I love Filipino food! After that, the toiletries were “turned-over”, then packed to provide a “goody bag” for each recipient after the PhotoWalk. The Foundation also received a Fuji digital camera from Pusong Pinoy. It was a fortuitous gift, as the old one had recently broken! The afternoon was devoted to a PhotoWalk around the complex.

After a brief orientation, students worked in small teams, using compact cameras, to take a series of photographs outlined on the “task sheet”. We had fun! After the Photowalk, we enjoyed juice, snacks and the toiletries were distributed. Then, it was back to Manila! After a brief detour to visit the local library and hand over some birthday presents, we went to “Mesa”, in Manila- a restaurant serving tasty traditional Filipino food. Yummy! It was also a great opportunity to chat to fellow Pusong Pinoy friends- CTL Susan, TL Jocel, and TL Claudette. This was a wonderful way to end a fascinating day. Thank you to Robert and all the people who worked hard to make this such a successful day.

Sunday, October 27, 2013


Little Lights Ministry is one of the organizations supported by Pusong Pinoy. Pastor Joseph Casaje and his wife, Jeannette, along with volunteers, have tirelessly supported communities in the Pasig area, by providing meals and basic education for underprivileged children.
Pusong Pinoy Team Leader DOUGLAS INNESS flew in from Scotland to participate in the event. After a long flight, three alarm clocks guaranteed he was ready for the Fair! His first day in Manila began with a tour around the Little Lights communities of Santos Compound and the three communities of Barangay Sta. Lucia, Pasig City which are: Tawi, Tramo and Hugo Compound.
During the tour through the densely-populated communities, and winding narrow streets, TL Douglas saw first-hand the struggles that families have to face on a daily basis as they feed and care for their children. He even helped cooked the pansit (Filipino noodles) for the event! It was wonderful to see the children full of happy anticipation for the afternoon fair. Clean white t-shirts, smiling faces and new hair braids.

The highlight of the day was the “birthday blow-out” to celebrate TL Douglas’ birthday.  About 100 children and 50 volunteers from various Little Lights communities converged at the Ynares Court, Village East Executive Homes in Cainta, Rizal.
PP Team leaders LHAI SIMON, FLORENCE O. TEMPORAL and MARTY GOITIA joined in the fun and games. It was a great Pusong Pinoy and Little Lights team effort.  It was a day the little lights and big lights will always remember!
If you would like to celebrate your birthday the Pusong Pinoy way, please email us at pusongpinoyorg@gmail.com.
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Little Lights Ministry planted its humble beginnings in February 2010, at Sitio Tawi-Tawi along the riverbanks of the Pasig-Cainta boundary where drug dealing, drinking sprees, gambling, and street brawls are a way of life. Out of this concern, Little Lights was born. As the ministry continued its mission, they came across out-of-school and never-schooled children, which led them to start "Learning Lessons," a progressive Montessori-type learning system for ages 2 to 15 years.
Little Lights currently serves more than 1,000 underprivileged Filipino children and their love ones to have a better way of life.  Deeply inspired and motivated by the works of Little Lights Ministry, Pusong Pinoy has been sponsoring their feeding and learning program since 2010.

Friday, October 25, 2013


Ayr Rotary Club invited Pusong Pinoy to give a presentation at the Savoy Park hotel in Ayr on the 15th October.  Representing Pusong Pinoy, Team Leader DOUGLAS INNESS was introduced by Rotary Club President KEVIN BELL.   TL Douglas did a presentation outlining Pusong Pinoy's work in promoting literacy in the Philippines. 

The Rotary Club sponsors “survival” boxes which are sent to areas hit by natural disasters. Hopefully, we will forge stronger links in future. As a bonus, Rotary member Alan Meikle donated 70 gently-used children’s books. They were donated by his daughters, Eleana and Joanna. Thank you, Heroes!