Category Archives: Hands On Manila

Lessons I Learned from the “Kindness Revolution” (A Celebration of Volunteerism)

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Last saturday, I attended Hands On Manila’s Kindness Revolution where VOLUNTEERISM was celebrated. Several volunteer organizations and charity groups were present in the event but more importantly 5 zealous change makers delivered impassioned talks that really moved the crowd. From their speeches, I was able to take away several quotes, lessons, insights and realizations that I would like to convey with the rest of the world through this concise but meaningful blog post.

943042_10151485783559482_1751295322_nFrom the first speaker, Shaina Tantuico, the co-founder and executive director of JeepNeed:

1. Reflection makes a difference. It’s during reflection that you learn the most!

2. You learn more about yourself when serving others!

3. Embrace your fears ; being comfortable is no longer safe!

970959_10151485784994482_1789024731_nFrom the second speaker, Ana Kristina Arce, a deaf advocate who stands for the cause of believing in the ability of a person, instead of focusing on the person’s disability:

1. Appreciate who you are!

2. Always find ways to communicate.

3. Think outside the box!

4. Don’t just volunteer, volunteer with HEART! ❤

248196_10151485789269482_119676394_nFrom the third speaker, Rendy Eligio who is currently heading the community pillar of ADP Philippines’ CSR initiative called “CIRCLES”:

1. You can’t blame others for saying NO.

2. You will face challenges and people will give excuses but don’t give up!

3. Lead by EXAMPLE!

4. Do what you think is right, somebody else might just be waiting for you to do it before they do.

5. It has to start SOMEWHERE by SOMEONE.

972337_10151485791074482_496955118_nFrom the fourth speaker, Ica Fernandez who currently works for the Office of the President and is part of PAGASA (Peoples Assembly for Genuine Alternatives to Social Apathy):

1. Relationships are both means and ends of transformation.

2. I am because WE are.

3. EVERYONE matters!

4. Find a way to CONTRIBUTE!

432036_10151485786524482_584154722_nFrom the final speaker, Jose “Quest” Villanueva III, a Filipino singer and songwriter, known for his song “Sige Lang” in 2012. Quest is a hip-hop and R&B singer wherein he won ‘Best Urban Music Video for 2010’ at the MYX Awards Philippines

1. Wherever you go, wherever you are, there’s a need, there’s a problem.

2. VISION: Have a vision in your life; Begin with an end in your mind.

3. PASSION: Do what you LOVE, LOVE what you do.

4. FAITH: It takes faith to embody your VISION and fuel your PASSION!

It truly was a lesson filled and inspirational event. I truly hope that everyone is able to embody and apply these lessons and values that these Change Makers highlighted in their talks. What matters  most is that you don’t only take these lessons to heart, but that you also take ACTION! Like Rendy said, “It has to start SOMEWHERE by SOMEONE,” and why can’t that someone be YOU?




Blessings in Disguise – When One Door Closes, Another Opens!

“How did you find out about this?”

That was question that I was asked yesterday during the Hands On Manila Volunteer Orientation that I attended. I didn’t want to explain the whole story so I simply said that I googled it out of curiosity during my free time. To be honest, this answer was very vague and superficial, and does not fully explain how I really ended up finding out about Hands On Manila and the orientation.

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That lackluster answer is actually half true and half false. There are times where the vapid answer is the safer answer especially when you just met the person who’s asking you the question but her follow up question really struck me, “Why did you search for something like Hands On Manila?”

9780874478525_p0_v2_s260x420Obviously, my friend and I were the only high school students there so they must have been really shocked and at the same time intrigued as to why we were there. The first answer that popped out of my mouth was because I had some free time that I didn’t know how to kill but the truth is, I’m actually really busy right now reviewing for SAT, answering practice tests, writing blog posts, planning projects for my committees and clubs and other things, but I nonetheless decided to go.

comfort-zone To be honest, I wasn’t really planning to attend because of all the aforementioned things I have on my plate and to add to that, I’m still recuperating from the knee injury I suffered and I can’t really walk properly yet but there was just this little voice inside me saying why not, it might be an opportunity of a lifetime. Aside from that, I recently wrote a blogpost about “stepping out your comfort zone, taking the initiative, being the change and volunteering” and I wanted to walk the talk especially since I wrote that blog post in support for the organization that was hosting the orientation.

Looking at it from a different perspective, if I had not tore my ACL, I probably would have been coming home from practice at the time of the orientation and I probably wouldn’t have gone to the orientation. Actually, I probably wouldn’t have even searched for volunteer organizations, let alone find Hands On Manila. But because I did tear my ACL, I realized how unpredictable life is and how anything can happen in an instant.

tumblr_lbf0c1DYVk1qahvtyo1_5001At the same time, I learned how to accept my situation, appreciate what I have and count my blessings. It occurred to me that there are a lot more people out there in a worse situation. Because of these realizations, I wanted to make the most out of my injury, find a way to make a difference in the society and share my blessings.

Because of a bit more free time I have for I can’t go to practice, I ended up finding the Facebook page of Hands On Manila, participating in the Bloggers for Social Change Project and going to the Volunteer orientation.

The orientation really opened my eyes and introduced me to the different philanthropic organizations out there. I also got to meet several convivial and amiable people who were very easy to approach and talk to. I really learned so much last night and I’m really happy that I decided to join the orientation.


So far, the fulfillment and genuine happiness I’ve gained from doing the aforementioned has really been priceless. However, for now, I’ll have to focus first on reviewing for the SAT since I have two weeks left before one of the biggest tests in my life! Nevertheless, I’m really pumped up to share my blessings and talents and I really can’t wait to start volunteering in the different projects!

Attending the orientation is definitely a step forward to my goal of making the most out of this year by losing myself in the service of others and really making a difference in the lives of the less fortunate! 🙂



Step Out of your Comfort Zone, Take the Initiative, Be the Change and Volunteer TODAY!


The harsh reality is that it’s human nature for us to choose the easier and more comfortable path. At the same time, it is also human nature for us to do things that bring us happiness but the things we do and spend our time on, more often than not, rewards us only with partial and transient happiness. How then does one attain genuine fulfillment and happiness? Well, the formula for authentic happiness isn’t that perplexing, it’s quite simple actually.

what-everyone-wants-from-life-is-continuous-and-genuine-happiness-sayings-quotesIt all starts with a simple ideal called “Volunteerism.” One doesn’t need to be exuding with altruism or benevolence to volunteer, all it takes is one simple step and the rest will fall into place. This crucial and vital stride is more commonly known as, “Stepping out of your comfort zone.” 

comfort-zoneTo a lot of us, stepping out of our comfort zone is not the simplest or most facile of tasks. It takes a lot of willpower, potency, self-esteem but most importantly, a lot of heart. Volunteering entails that you leave all your superciliousness and ego outside as you enter a whole new environment.

8It’s about putting everything aside, becoming more aware of your surroundings and simply caring more. Once you are able to do the aforementioned, you are well on your way to attaining that unparalleled genuine happiness that everyone desires. 

Today, we need more people who are willing to step out of their comfort zone and make a difference in the world. It’s not just about personal fulfillment anymore, it’s about being humane, and simply caring more about life and our society.

Be-The-Change-2 A lot of people complain about how imperfect and flawed our society is but they don’t even ponder upon the possibility that their complacency may be the root cause for the flawed society they live in. The key to solving this is to have the INITIATIVE. The initiative to be the CHANGE you want to see.

So what are you waiting for? Volunteer TODAY! It doesn’t have to be so grand or colossal, even simple acts like volunteering to cook for your family, participating in your local charity program, starting a Green initiative or just the simple act of volunteering to teach your siblings or classmates who are having a hard time can make a big difference.

Volunteerism Rome wasn’t built in one day. These simple acts you voluntarily do will build up and a ripple effect will start, and before you know it, what didn’t seem like anything then was the start of something new. Aside from that, volunteering is about building the habit. The habit of caring more about the “You/Them” and less about the “Me.”

484543_4074475639492_1032367188_nAside from the surreal feeling one gets after volunteering for a just cause, volunteering goes a long way. For instance, when you volunteer in a Youth Organization, a Christmas Charity Program, a Peer Counselors Club or maybe even a Teach to Read program, you get to meet new people, broaden your horizons, experience new things, all while making a difference in the lives of others.

We won’t live forever but volunteering and taking the initiative to make something happen can change the lives of many. Isn’t this what life is about? Life is about finding that purpose that will bring you fulfillment and enable you to sincerely say that you made the most out of your life. What better way to leave a legacy then by VOLUNTEERING!

The-best-way-to-find-yourself-is-to-lose-yourself-in-the-service-of-others.-Gandhi-quoteYou’ll be amazed how much YOU can make a difference as long as you have the will to. There are so many outlets out there for you to and find your niche and share your talent and passion to others. You have no excuses for information is so easily accessible now a days, from announcements in Social Media sites to just simply going to Google and searching for local organizations.

Think about the smiles, joys and happiness that you won’t only attain but you’ll also be able to bring to others as well; that alone is reason enough to start volunteering. Don’t wait until it is too late, make a difference TODAY!



PS. For local Filipinos out there who are interested in volunteering and making a difference, I’ve done the research for you and I’ve found a list of volunteer orgs you can join:

Just in time for the season, one of the organizations that will be having a back to school project is Hands On Manila. Please do check out their Facebook page for details on how you can make a difference TODAY: