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13 January 2014

If There is One Thing You Can Give to the Philippines, What is That Gift? (GLOBE Project Wonderful 2014 Blogger Contest)

UPDATE: Unfortunately, we did not win the contest
but congratulations to the winners. 

Our wish is a cliché but like some clichés, this one is true. We would like to be part of educating the youth. Yes, indeed! You have heard countless beauty queens utter similar phrases, second only to “I want world peace.” Just recently, the Philippines’ representative to the 2013 Miss Universe pageant voiced the same sentiments, which sadly only took her as far as third runner-up. Education is the key to prosperity but unfortunately, to most students studying in public schools in provinces all over the country, “education is the key” is just a slogan, a convenient statement shooting from the rosy lips of beautiful women in glamorous gowns and from the crocodile-like orifices of avaricious politicians wanting to be elected.

Once the statement is spoken and the events that warranted its utterance is over, Filipino students in public schools are left to fend for themselves.  They return to public schools that have libraries that resemble vacant stockrooms than rooms meant to serve as repository of knowledge. 

We often wonder why the economic elites and the political oligarchs continue to rule this country, dictating prices of basic commodities and the like. The answer is simple. They have the monopoly of knowledge. Rich kids go to the best schools because their rich parents can afford the high tuition fees. Consequently, rich kids who graduate from prestigious universities get hired in top companies, and so the wheels of social injustice continue to turn.  Certainly, public school students also learn, and if they are lucky, they get to complete their education. However, the issue is not “education,” but "miseducation.”

Our youth of today are learning information that will just turn them into highly skilled slaves. They are not being educated to be creative, independent, innovative and inquisitive. They learn about foreign concepts from foreign books. You look at the libraries of public schools and you see old books and hand-me-downs from generations past. Some students only get to read old books that do not often address the present problems in our society or books that only discuss a revised biased history.  Definitely, the libraries of Ivy League private schools have tons of books, but can a child of a farmer hope for a library akin to the libraries of Ateneo, De La Salle and even U.P.?

As a young student who studied in a public elementary school, and later in a public university, the bulk of my learning happened in a public library and not from teachers. Certainly, my teachers guided me but it is my own thirst for knowledge and understanding that kept me in the library.  Luckily, the U.P. library was filled with so many books.  It was heaven. All that information waiting for me; all that I needed to do is to make the time and choose a book. Some books I quickly dismissed but others opened my eyes.  Regardless, the abundance of books broaden my perspective. Who needs drugs when this room full of knowledge from wise men and women is enough to intoxicate me?

Now imagine my horror when I see a public school library with just a handful of books. I wonder about the students hungry for knowledge only to be frustrated by a virtually empty room.

Early in 2013, Brun Philippines launched a book drive project. In addition to asking friends and readers to donate books for public school libraries in provinces, we also decided to donate all our earnings to purchase new books.  Unfortunately, after almost a year, we have only earned less than 300 pesos from our advertisers. We did our best to write interesting posts about various topics to attract readers, and we have not given up despite low readership, and competing against other popular blogs.  We are not rich and our insights and opinions are our only currency and we relentlessly try to turn these insights into cash for charity’s sake.

More readers mean possible higher earnings from advertisers, and more earnings mean more books for public school libraries.  Simply put, if there is one thing we can give to the Philippines, that would be a big box full of books. This is our wish this 2014. With the help of #GLOBEProjectWonderful2014, our wish may soon become a reality.  

Nothing frees a shackled mind than opening a book.

Image taken from
We encourage our readers to answer the same question:

“If there is one thing you can give to the Philippines, what is that gift?”

If my article is chosen, Nuffnang/Globe will also choose a winning wish from among our readers’ comments to this post. The chosen reader will get an iPad Mini 2.

The contest officially opened on January 9, 2014 and will end on January 29, 2014.

Comment and you may win!



  1. My heart is to those children orphaned during the typhoon Yolanda and the family who took care of them. It would be wonderful if these children are found by their families. Most of them were separated and strangers took pity of them and took them to take care of them.

    Would it be great if a website on Globe's Project Wonderful have a sub-section of these orphaned children and have stories about them? Perhaps, a day of fun and adventure to find these kids in Tacloban or nearby provinces then the orphans are listed and located. Following with a blessing of those who fostered them. A big plus would be to provide the orphans scholarship grants and the foster family during the Typhoon would be recognized and rewarded as well for their generosity to share their life to a child.

    A website to know the whereabouts of the kid, their story and how people can also help online through donation to support the foster family and the cause itself. :)

    1. Thanks MamaMia for commenting. I agree with you.

  2. I couldn't agree more. This is my second option.

  3. One thing that I wish I can give to the Philippines is a free medium of communication for every Juan. Every Juan wants to be connected in anyway to another Juan. That's why we have at least one reunion, gathering, occasions, etc every year. Since we also have a trait that we are hardworking, some of us needs to work abroad or out of town, but Juan's are known for their Close Family Ties, we can never celebrate holidays, birthdays without any transactions to our closest relatives and friends.

    Text messages, video calls, telephone calls, etc. We have to admit that we are worried about our friends and families everytime there a new typhoon that's coming. Juans are always here to lend a hand to their relatives - even strangers whenever it is needed. Juans are really creative, during the times we don't have any options, we always find that ingenious ways of solving our problems. It would be really helpful if someone would help me grant my advocacy for every Juan.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. I agree with you. Books play a big role in shaping the minds of people. As a kid, I loved reading books and from experience, I can say that it has made all the difference.

    I’ve been a Globe user for 14 years and through this #GLOBEProjectWonderful2014
    contest, I am glad to be given the chance to possibly contribute something to my country in collaboration with a brand and company I trust and believe in.

    If I were given the chance to give a tangible gift to the Philippines in partnership with GLOBE TELECOM, I would like to create a mobile app dedicated to encouraging and acknowledging acts of kindness. The mobile app will be called Good Vibes, or simply GV.

    Good Vibes is about doing, noticing and cultivating simple acts of generosity that ultimately, make an impact and create a difference in other people’s lives.

    A simple call, text or email are just some of the ways we can extend our friendship and show concern to others. Just like Globe, the Good Vibes app is ultimately about relationships- treating people with compassion and kindness and enriching each other’s lives. It is a testament to how little things can make great things possible, how selflessly reaching out to others brings people together and therefore, makes the world smaller.

  6. If there’s one thing that I can give my dear country that would be …. The gift of Health.

    I want to do a medical mission with the help of Nuffnang Philippines and Globe thru #GLOBEProjectWonderful2014

    Health is wealth. No amount of money, time and effort can ever, ever, bring the best of your health back, once it’s gone.

    In my 6 years of practice as a nurse, I have seen how our healthcare system struggles to provide quality care for our countrymen, may it be in manpower, medicines, or equipments both in the community and hospital.

    I’ve seen people deteriorating day by day because they can’t afford to go to a doctor. I’ve seen patients die because their families didn’t have enough money to buy basic medicines.

    I am believing that we can do something about this. One of those needy, ailing, indigent patients could be your mom, dad, granparent, relative, dear friend, loved one…

    In short, we are all CONNECTED, one way or another. So it is not just a matter of “about them” and “about us” because it is ABOUT US — ALL OF US.

  7. Kung may isang bagay akong ireregalo sa Pilipinas, ito ay pagmamahal at pagpapahalaga ng mga Pilipino sa ating bayan. Kung makikita lamang nating lahat ang ganda at ituturing na espesyal sa atin ang bansang ito, iingatan at pangangalagaan natin ang Pilipinas.

    Sa aking palagay dito mag-uugat ang kaunlaran ng ating bayan. Kung nakikita lamang ng mga Pilipino na mahalaga para sa kanila ang Pilipinas, pipiliin nilang dito magtrabaho. Kung sino pa ang magagaling ay sila pa ang nagtatrabaho sa ibang bansa. Ngunit hindi tayo ang umuunlad kundi ang mga bansang pinagtatrabahuhan nila. Kapag nangyari na ito, ang Pilipinas lamang ang kanilang pipiliin. Tulong-tulong na pauunlarin ang bayang ito.

    Kung may pagpapahalaga ang mga Pilipino sa Pilipinas, wala sana tayong polusyon ngayon. Katulad ng isang bahay, hindi mo hahayaang madumi ito at hindi mo din ito dudumihan. Hindi ka magtatapon ng kalat sa kung saan. Ituturing mo ang bansang ito bilang iyong tahanan na hindi mo kailanman pababayaan na masira.

    Sa tulong ng Globe, maaari nating bigyan ang bawat tao sa isang komunidad na gumawa ng isang resolusyon (kagaya nang hinding hindi nako kailanman magtatapon ng basura sa maling lugar) para sa bansang ito na personal at espesyal sa kanila. Isang bagay na sa tingin nila, na kahit maliit, ay makatutulong sa ating bayan. Maaaring bawat taon, kapag natupad ito ng mga mamamayan, bigyan sila ng Globe ng gantimpala. Ngunit kung iisipin, hindi ang gantimpala ang mahalaga kundi ang mga maliliit na resolusyon na natupad sa loob ng isang taon.

    Sabi nga ng aking propesor, pahahalagahan mo lang ang isang bagay kapag nakita mo na ang tunay na ganda at espesyal na parte nito sa iyong buhay.

    Maaaring mapangarap ang regalong aking napili pero hindi ito imposible. Magsisimula ito sa ating mga sarili. At sana sa pagdating ng panahon na lahat tayo ay natutunan na ang tunay na halaga ng Pilipinas, hindi pa huli ang lahat.

    -Bernadine B. Bautista

  8. If there is one thing i would like to give to the Philippines, it is the gift of time.

    i have always believed that time is the essence of everything. it spells success or failure of not just a few, but of everyone. there is always that something missing or we miss doing in our lives because of, as we all would say, "walang oras". the lack of it or none at all. yet, most of the times, we only realize the importance of which when something bad already happens.

    so if i have the power to give each and everyone a gift, i will wield my magic wand and instill in everyone's mind the great importance of the word TIME and make sure that they will all use it in spreading love, peace and harmony most especially within the family. because that's where all goodness and greatness in the society start.

  9. My gift to the Philippines is saving our environment! by I will Plant more trees., Walk more, drive less.,Maitain my vehicle, I will Save water, Use CFC-free products, Save energy, I will Recycle and reuse, I will Recycle and reuse, I will Use renewable sources of energy, Save animals., I will Go green when gardening or farming,and Create Awareness! #GLOBEProjectWonderful2014.
    Steve del Castillo

  10. My gift to the Philippines will be the gift of opportunity.
    Opportunity for job, for education, for food, for shelter, for health services and all the other basic necessities each and every one of us will need. If there are enough opportunities for all us then equality can never be far enough to achieve. If those things will be provided crime rate, poverty, homeless, illiterate, and hunger could be all lessen. Peace in every people can be possible and we can all work hand in hand in making this country more efficient and successful.

  11. Philippines has a lot of beautiful places for different adventures. Extreme activities requires the right facilities in order not to risk the life of both the tourists and the guides. Having the proper tools, Real's rafting adventure will now be put in everyone's to-do list. Rafting in Real is not yet so popular, it still needs a lot of promotions as well as improvements. First thing I noticed, the rafts are improvised, they are not the real one used for whitewater rafting. They use big black "salbabida" (life buoy), combine around 3 to 4 pieces to form a raft that can load 3 passengers plus the 2 guides. They also tie pieces of wood to serve as the seats. The ride along the river is so risky especially when the water pushes so fast where you can slip from your seat and fall out of the raft. Second, there are no paddles. The guides use their hands and feet to control the direction of the raft. One guide sits in front, he kicks on rocks to turn the raft left or right. If the force of the water is too strong, he might loose control and break his leg. The other guide stays at the back, he pushes the raft to help it move with the water. So if I have a chance to wish one thing for the Philippines, I want to give a complete rafting equipment to Real. Let us do our part to make our place a wonderful Philippines.

  12. my gift to the Philippines would be the GIFT OF READING, and i do this by supporting this NGO i'm currently volunteering in, The Storytelling Project, in realizing its vision of providing story books, building libraries and teaching children storytelling and reading. :) if Globe can help, i'm sure abot namin ang mundo! hehe

  13. This is such a beautiful idea! Books are just not given much importance anymore so this is an awesome gift. I would also want to give as a gift to the Philippines is the gift of light through solar powered led lights. There are still some places on the Philippines that do not have electricity and make it difficult for students to read. The gift of light in that manner will help a lot of children.

  14. If I can give something to the Philippines that is immaterial, that would be Discipline. If one person wakes up one morning and decided that "starting today, I will follow rules and the law, I will be a disciplined citizen." And religiously and conscientiously does this everyday for the rest of his life, and other people will see this change and because of this example others will follow suit. If this will be our mentality, don't you think our country would be a better place to live in? Where: - people don't throw their trash just anywhere, drivers follow their lanes, public utility vehicles stops at points only where it is allowed to drop or pick up passengers, people cross where it s only allowed to cross the street, motorists follow the speed limit and are diligent, people know how to fall in line and don't cut in a line, we arrive in meetings or gatherings on time, we don't vandalize and other thousand more things that we can do to show discipline.

    The tangible thing that I want to give to the Philippines is the gift of Education. I still strongly believe that education is the key for success; yes, there are those who make their lives and the lives of their loved ones easier and comfortable by making a living and succeeding in their fields even though they have not finished school. But that's one in a million. Having proper education will still give someone an edge to survive in this world. One can get a better paying job, thus, one will have greater chances of helping his/her family for a better life.

    With that being said, to answer the question: "If there is one thing you can give to the Philippines, what is that gift?”, I would like #GLOBEProjectWonderful2014 help me by Adopting a Scholar or Donating to REAL LIFE FOUNDATION.

    Real LIFE Foundation is a christian non-profit, NGO that was incorporated in 2007 with the vision of seeing thousands of marginalized Filipino youth educated, gainfully employed and uplifting their communities. The goal of Real LIFE Foundation is to transform lives, families & communities through hope and education. Real LIFE Foundation is one of the organizations that is in line with what I believe in. Like them, I strongly regard that education is the key to a better life.

    The foundation does not only help its recipients by paying for their tuition, but they also help equip them in most, if not all, that they will need to finish college and what they'll be needing when they start looking for a job. They hold personality development coaching for the scholars and even tackles on how to dress and present their selves properly during job interviews and when they're already employed. Also, the students’ other miscellaneous expenses will be covered, like books, uniforms, OJT expenses and a daily meal & transportation allowance. Because of that the scholars don’t have to worry if they will be able to eat or get to school.

    As I've said awhile back, Real LIFE Foundation does not only focuses on the financial side of putting a student in school but also comprehensively addresses the needs of their scholars that will help them thrive after finishing school. This is done through their LIFE Coaching, which is the character development program of the Real LIFE Foundation and which provides mentoring for their scholars in Leadership, Integrity, Faith, and Excellence.

  15. Oh, Im so inlove this this post. Hoping you win. Very kind of you. Hope you win!

    My wish to gift for my beloved country is a gift of Livelihood to those people affected of tyhooon yolanda. Before anything else we can easily recover from that incident if we have something where we can generate money. Money today is the most needed resources, you cannot buy food without it. So instead of giving a certain amount of money to each everyone, why not give each family (if possible) the gift of livelihood,like Giving them seeds for planting fruits, vegetables, for poultry raising, and even materials for fishing. They don’t need “short-term-help” they need lifetime solution for them to be able to survive everyday. They need something useful that would benefit not just a single person but for the whole family, and perhaps for the whole community. This wish of mine is quite impossible but with careful research and planning, and monitoring who could benefit this project would be a BIG success. In the long run if all people are productive your advocacy of helping would never be forgotten. Many lives would thank you for this.

    For as long as there are people/organization would willingly make this project happen, nothing is impossible. If everyone of us wholeheartedly extend our help to the needy we can surpass every trials that comes along. #ProudPinay

  16. This is a great idea! My gift to the Philippines though is a little different.

    One thing I noticed is that whenever someone posts a picture showing the beauty of our country, Pinoys are quick to say, "Wow ang ganda! Parang wala ka sa Pinas!"

    Why is that?

    Our country is beautiful. I'm not only talking about white sand beaches or amazing waterfalls all over our tourism posters; I'm talking about beauty in the unexpected - a cozy little cafe in an eskinita in Quezon City, or an ukay haven hidden away in Paranaque. Our country is bursting with culture and stories to tell, but when Filipinos look around, they focus on the negative.

    People don't see the food trip opportunities around Katipunan, or the art and culture of The Collective, or the musical playground of Cubao X. How can we expect foreigners to appreciate our country when we can't even do that ourselves? How can we expect to grow as a nation when we lack a very important aspect: love of country?

    With this in mind, the idea I came up with is a website or app that shows the unexpected beauty of our country.

    The purpose of the website/app is simple: Become a tourist in your own city, and fall in love with it. Just like how Parisians love Paris, or New Yorkers love the Big Apple, it's possible for the people of Manila to fall in love with Manila - dirt, pollution, culture and all.

    "MNL 143 - Love This City" - The site or app will thrive on submissions or posts by regular people. Users take photos of both popular and popular places they think people should see and experience. They can post great food finds, events, and other happenings that people rarely see or visit. They can also include a guide to the place! (ex. Newbie's Guide to Divisoria) This gives people a chance to experience the city in a way they've never experienced before. I bet people who've lived in Manila their whole lives have yet to experience the city beyond the typical malls and will appreciate hole-in-the-wall boutiques and surprises. This project will allow Filipinos to appreciate our own, instead of always longing for the beauty of other countries.

    Over time, the website/app can expand by including other cities like Cebu, Davao, etc. This project will do so much more than just supply Filipinos with information that will change the way they look at the country / the city. Instead of seeing Manila as overpopulated and dirty, maybe we can all start appreciating the culture and all the things Manila has to offer.

    When you love someone, you are willing to do anything and make sacrifices to make that person happy. In the same manner, when you love your country, you become more cooperative if it means you'll be contributing to its growth and development. Improving our country can't come from political reforms or mass-feeding projects if we can't even cover the basics. First, we must love our country, and the rest will follow.

  17. I agree with you. Books, indeed, help in broadening our perspectives, and make us realize what is important, true, and useful. In addition, books take us to various worlds very different from ours and push our imaginations to take flight.

    Thank you for this post. I am one with you in wishing that there would be lots and lots of books for all those students in rural areas. I also wish that every barangay will have a mini library so that out-of-school youths can have the chance to read good books and thus help in enhancing their knowledge.

    My wish for my country is also related to education.

    If I were given the chance to give a gift to the Philippines, it would be the gift of computer literacy to the out-of-school youth. This seems to be a tall order, but I believe that it can be done. How? One way is through volunteering. Computer schools can ask their students to teach these out-of-school youths the basics in Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and other graphic design programs such as Photoshop, or Pagemaker.Then they can take apprenticeship training in some publishing houses. A partnership program with other institutions or organizations would also help in getting this project off the ground.

    We are now in a digital age and these youths would be left behind if we do not do something to help them. Providing them with skills, specifically IT skills (graphic design, etc), would give them an edge in the very competitive job market. I want to see them become more productive and aspire for a better life for themselves and for their family.

    I know that there are a lot of people who need help (the urban poor, the Yolanda victims, the physically-challenged, the indigenous people, etc.) but I hope that the plight of the out-of-school-youths would be addressed and given priority by civil society, organizations and big corporation that want to help out.

  18. I want to give the gift of light to the Philippines. More specifically the gift of SOLAR POWER. As a victim of the super typhoon Yolanda, wherein we totally had no communication due to power outage for a while and even until now electricity has not been fully restored in many places that were in Yolanda’s path, having backup power coming from SOLAR Energy is truly indispensable. Too much chaos occurs in the dark at night when a lot of people cannot rest easy for fear of thieves and looters. Having light (literally!) in these dark and trying times is what we truly need. But I do also wish for every Filipino household, Yolanda victim or not, to have 100% sustainable hybrid homes and eco-friendly houses that combine rainwater harvesting and clean energy generation (THINK: UNLIMITED WATER SUPPLY & SOLAR POWERED HOUSES!). This way our electric bills and carbon footprints will be largely diminished as well as we can show our love for Mother Earth.

    - Maria Velasquez-Franco of for #GLOBEProjectWonderful2014

  19. Though I have an extensive explanation of my gift on my own post for #GLOBEProjectWonderful2014, here's another gift I would give to my countrymen if can:

    Helping hands. A million helping hands.

    After Yolanda, I realized that a LOT of people are willing to help. It was my first time to volunteer and repack donations and it was amazingly heartwarming to see strangers talking to each other, hand in hand and helping each other with only one goal for the day. And I want that again, not only during calamities but every single day.
    There are still people out there who needs help, RIGHT NOW. Just look at the street children and displaced people everyday.

    Here's the plan inside my head: An organization where people of ALL ages -- from grandparents to high schoolers, can join and browse for "projects" online, much like browsing for available jobs, where they can volunteer/donate. This organization can build a lot of projects for different kind of things!

    San Andres Area: Soup Kitchen -- 2/3/14 @ 7pm.
    Needed: 5 volunteers to cook, 5 volunteers to distribute, 10 Males for crowd control.
    Materials: 4 tables, Bring your own cooking utensils and casserole.

    Poblacion area: Basket Ball Court Rebuilding -- 3/15/14 @ 3pm.
    Needed: 10 Males for rebuilding bleachers, 10 volunteers to repaint
    Materials: 3 Red paints, Nails, Bring your own hammers

    Boni area: Basic Tutoring Class -- 4/20/14 @ 8am - 6pm
    Needed: 20 volunteers to teach, 10 volunteers to make food.
    Materials. Teachers must bring 5 recycled papers and pencils each. Food makers must bring 10 eggs and bread.

    NOW, let me ask you, if this website were real. Wouldn't you click that JOIN button?

    A million helping hands. Think about it. :)

    Here's my own idea for #GLOBEProjectWonderful2014 :


    --Cherry Franco


The other contributing writers and members of this publication and our advertisers do not necessarily share the opinions of the writer of the article above. (Hindi nangangahulugan na sang-ayon ang mga ibang manunulat, miyembro ng babasahing ito at aming advertisers sa mga opiniyon ng may akda ng sanaysay na nakasulat sa itaas)

Brun Philippines encourages readers to focus solely on the issues when commenting or criticizing. We do not allow foul language and personal attacks on any individuals. You may only comment on a public person’s beliefs and actions. We strictly screen people who will leave comments, and only comments from readers with full names will be posted. Freedom of speech also includes responsibility. We want to weed out the buffoons from the critical and freethinkers. Thanks so much.

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