For the Mangyan Communities of Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro

Last Sunday, I left my mom cave for the first time in years without Mr. D, to attend my bestfriend's dream Jollibee birthday party. Don't worry, I had one of my closest cousins to accompany me so I wouldn't get lost and we ate a meal before going to the party venue and even had tall cups of Jamba Juice smoothies each in hand when we got there. My bestfriend knows and respects that, so all is good as long as I was there. I didn't come there to eat but to simply be with the celebrant. We all know about my aversion to fast food, being a serious health advocate but this write-up isn't about that, but something else altogether.

That's me, wearing a birthday hat over my F21 fedora hat haha. In the middle is the birthday girl together with another close highschool friend and her baby.

Yes, it was indeed a celebration of her 30th-something birthday, a day to spend with close family and friends that usually involved food, photo ops, games and a whole lot of fun. What sets this event apart from the rest, other than being a Jollibee kiddie one that isn't commonly associated with adults is that it was a means to raise awareness and reach out for a very noble cause. A day dedicated for the purpose of helping other people. Instead of gifts for herself, my bestfriend opted for donations in the form of notebooks, pencils, pad papers, crayons, bath soaps, set of toothbrush and toothpaste, a bottle of alcohol, rolls of bandage and cotton to be handed out to some Mangyan kids in Occidental Mindoro through Project Laging Na-Reian.

Project Laging Na-Reian is a non-government, non-profit group founded by group of friends from Sablayan. They aim to help those people in needs particularly the indigenous groups. For now, the group is focusing on the minorities and their children. By God's grace, in the future, if allowed by all circumstances, the group also aims to help people who lost their hopes.

The video above is the compilation of Isang Hakbang Para sa mga Mangyan (from the very first outreach that started last December 2012 to the fifth outreach that took place July last year.

Their Mission:
Empowering the children in Mangyan communities of Sablayan Occ. Mindoro by primarily promoting literacy. The organization provides educational aids; school supplies, books, hold story-telling activities and attend/sponsor recognition ceremonies in these communities, upholding the organization's main advocacy.

Project Laging Na-Reian was established as a memorial to their dear friend, Reian who lost his battle with brain tumor. Their group thought of a good cause they can support that would somewhat immortalize Reian's legacy hence the founding of the project in 2012. As a group they agreed on supporting the cause of promoting education and literacy, and seeing as they hail from Sablayan Occ. Mindoro, they wanted to focus on helping out communities nearest and dearest to heart, the children of our Mangyan communities.

*Their generous friends and sponsors, volunteers and partners include Diksyonaryo Atbp., PUP Sablayan, Black Pencil Project, Juan Portrait, and RockEd Phils...

Here are Nathan and John Paul of Project Laging Na-Reian during the event, expressing their heartfelt appreciation in behalf of their group to, of course the celebrant and all the guests who gave donations for their generous cause.

I was really floored at how unselfish and noble my bestfriend turned out and we can't say that goes for everyone. She was supposed to take center stage in her dream shindig but chose to share the spotlight with an honorable group that focuses on a truly worthy cause. Now, I understand that she didn't only have her life long dream of having a Jollibee kiddie party for herself in mind, but that it was also to celebrate the children of Occidental Mindoro as well.

If like my bestfriend and you have a strong desire to help these kids, you can contact their group  through these:

Globe - 0917.524.3733 (MJ)
Smart - 0998.280.4983 (JP)


And don't forget to spread the word about this honorable cause!

By the way, today is actually my bestfriend's birth date which goes to say that this article is wholly dedicated to her! Happy Birthday Rish! I love you! God bless your generous heart!

Article published on September 28, 2015