31 December 2013

HIP Christmas 2013

We are happy to announce the successful completion of the first phase of HIP on Silagon Islet!!

Before I give a short update on our activities over Christmas, we will take this opportunity to thank the donors, t-shirt buyers and volunteers for your support. You made this project possible! Your help was especially appreciated by the community on Silagon, who showed us their gratefulness in many different ways. A detailed report with more footage will follow soon. 

We distributed family packs including food and basic household supplies and provided the community with tools needed for the rebuilding of their houses. We also conducted a census of each household which comprises household members and their sizes in clothes and shoes.

A focused group discussion with 4 groups were conducted, in order to assess the special needs of the communities women, men, girls and boys. Individual interviews were held with some of the community members.

The second phase, which puts a focus on rebuilding, has just started after the Christmas activities. The Day Care Center and the Community Hall are almost finished. The officials of the Barrangay will visit Silagon on the first of January for the opening of the Day Care Center and the Community Hall.
Day Care Center before Rebuilding

Day Care Center under Construction
We bought school supplies for more than 100 children and engaged them in a number of activities like guitar lessons from Paul.

Furthermore, we have sent some sick children to a doctor on the main island for check ups.

Detailed information is coming soon. Also in behalf of Kakay, I would like to give my special thanks to the volunteers participating on the activities on Silagon:

Volunteers  of HIP Christmas 2013
Bellie, Edmundo & Joy Divinagracias, Rike Riesmeier, Fabian Erwig, Ralph Navos, Laura Strott, Dominik Hammann, Yuji Enriquez, Sam Altobar, Paul, Marcel, Kevin Truong, Dan, Fe Tumbaley, Erik Tuchfeld, Mark Go, the Barths - Bennet, Alec, Maik - and Cyd Catan

Maraming Salamat – Thank you and Happy New Year!!

22 December 2013

Project Budget Update

With around 140,000.00Php, we have covered the following as part of the first phase:

We will have the full financial report on Phase 1 ready as soon as we are back from the islet.  And these reports can also be requested from us for your reference.

Please also check PHASES OF HIP.

21 December 2013

The Day Before

... the first batch heads to the island.

I've arrived Bacolod this morning from an excruciatingly long journey just to get to Negros.  However, as soon as I've step foot on Negros, I felt much better.

Joy was up so early and planning for his procurement for the day.  We got just few stuff left to buy and so we divided the remaining things on the list.   I went for the arts and crafts and he went to complete the family pack.

It was great news knowing that the market is back in Bantayan town which means we can buy the rest of the goods there and be true to our promise that we support the local economy.  I have ordered eggs (as Bantayan is the egg basket) from the local producer as well as the rest of the ingredients for our Christmas feast and for the volunteers food.

We have now almost 20 volunteers.  Half will head to the islet tomorrow via Sagay.  The next group headed by Shane will arrive on 23rd December via Cebu.  The last group before Christmas will arrive on the 24th bringing the rest of the goods from Bacolod.

So in 5 minutes, it will be 22nd December already... and I need to get up at 5am to prepare the transport to the islet.

We will keep you up to date as often as possible.

Procurement Team: the Divinagracias

Mats, blankets, mosquito nets are just some of what is included in the family packs that we are to distribute in the islet of Silagon.  The Divinagracias house is almost filled with all the goods that we are bringing.

I am physically not in Bacolod to handle the whole preparation personally but everything went smoothly with the help of our volunteers.

Meet the Divinagracias:

·        Bellie is a grade school teacher in a public school in Bacolod.  She is one of the first volunteers of the project.  She heads the procurement of the stuff.

·       Edmundo is a tailor, carpenter, tricycle service for Bellie, electrician and many other things.  He has been servicing the procurement of the goods for HIP in between his many jobs.

·        Joy is a fresh graduate from the University of St. La Salle.  He is our delivery and procurement “joy”.

To our donors, madamo gid nga salamat!  I cannot thank you enough!  The simple Christmas Feast has turned into much more.

To the volunteers for the first phase, I am excited to meet you all in the islet!

And to the community, I can’t wait to finally be there.

17 December 2013

First Delivery

We have sent yesterday the first goods that will be distributed next week.

It was tricky at first on how to bring all of the stuff to the islet without having to spend so much on transportation... and luckily we were informed of the eggs delivery truck that go to Bacolod City twice a week.

The truck comes from Bantayan to deliver eggs in Negros and ends in Bacolod.  On its way back to Bantayan, it is basically empty... and an OPPORTUNITY!!!

For the 12 sacks of rice and 2 sacks of sugar, we have only paid 630.00Php for the transport direct to Bantayan Town.

Joy, Yuri and Edmundo Divinagracia have also printed the bags for the relief with the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle).  These bags were bought for only 50.00Php each from a surplus store.  The original print was of the seat cover that was the original content of the bags.  These bags can be used by the people as travel bags as the same time.

We would like to thank the Divinagracias for their big help in our project!!!

11 December 2013

Phases of HIP

We would like to present you the "Phases of HIP".  We have decided to have a longer term project in the islets and look into the possibility of covering the other 3 islets of Barangay Sulangan.

Phase 1: Uplift the Community: Christmas Fiesta
Silagon Islet, Municipality of Bantayan, Cebu Province
22-27 December 2013
Estimated Budget
  •       Christmas Fiesta in Silagon
  •       Family Portrait taking
  •       Arts and Crafts for Kids and Teens
  •       Assist in the ongoing repairs/rebuilding of houses 
  •      Giving of family packs
  •      Focus Group Discussion with community representatives (target output: further support needed by the community)
  •       Construction of Community Center (depending on the outcome of the discussions with the community and the government; can be done in the Phase 2)

Phase 2: Assist in the repairs and rebuilding
Silagon and Moamboc Islets, Municipality of Bantayan, Cebu Province
January to April 2014
Estimated Budget
150,000 to 200,000Php
  •        Feeding for school kids in Moamboc Islet (every Monday from January to the closing of the school year)
  •        Building of the community center in Silagon
  •        Repairs/rebuilding of school rooms in Moamboc

Phase 3: Information Campaign
Silagon, Moamboc, Panitugan, Biagayag Islets, Municipality of Bantayan, Cebu Province
January to May 2014
Estimated Budget
  •       Documentation/reporting of the situation in the islets (photo, reports and articles).

Donations and volunteers are still very much welcome!  If you have queries, please don't hesitate to contact us.

05 December 2013

Less than 3 weeks to go

In less than 3 weeks, we will be on the islets.  We are now trying to prepare everything for the activity.  Thanks to the volunteers in Negros for helping out doing the runs!

We would like to thank everyone who have contributed - those who donated cash, those who bought T-Shirts, those who volunteered, those who believed in our little team and project, those who gave us discounts with our purchases, those who campaigned for our project, those who are following our progress... and those whom I might have not mentioned but are still to be thanked for - MADAMO GID NGA SALAMAT!

Personally, I am really excited for Christmas this year!  It's going to be a big fiesta, islet-style!!!  So, if you have no place for Christmas yet, why not join us?!

04 December 2013


Thank you very much for your support and the trust you are giving us to make this little project a reality!!!  

We have now reached more than 150,000.00Php and it can now cover the first packages for Silagon Islet!

Donations are still very much welcome!

03 December 2013

Malteser's Reply

I wrote Malteser International on the 27th of November and informed them about the situation on the islets. They told me yesterday, that my information has been forwarded to the team in the field. They are going to be in Bantayan in the second week of December. If they will be able to give any emergency assistance to the islets, they'll let us know. So let's keep our fingers crossed!

Project Budget

Open Type




With the donations to-date and the pledges and the t-shirt earnings we have received, we can for sure deliver the above packages to Silagon Islet.  

Here are some of the details:
(1) We have invited the whole community of around 300-500 persons for the Christmas Feast.

(2) Family Packs for 89 households will include food, hygiene products, mats, blankets, mosquito nets, etcetera.

(3) Repair Tools will include hammers, hand saw, nails, measuring tape, etcetera.

(4) School Supplies will include notebooks, pens and pencils, etcetera.

(5) The Open Type Hall depends on the request of the community. We are still following up on the agreements with the location and the approval of the municipal and barangay government.  If we can get additional donations, we will be able to make a bigger one. As per consultation with our volunteer architect, the bigger hall would cost around 50,000Php.  We are just waiting for the designs so that we can post them in the site.

Additional donations can cover some more packages for the residents of Silagon Islet. 

02 December 2013

Update for Volunteers

We will have at least three (3) groups arriving at different dates and taking different routes.  Please coordinate with Shane and Kakay depending on when and where you are taking off.  For volunteers coming from Manila , please coordinate with Marky.

22. Dec/ Advance party: Kakay

23.Dec/ Second Group/Cebu route: Shane

24.Dec/ Third Group/Bacolod route: Kakay (Divinagracias)

Please check the new schedule below:
-          Preparation for the activity in Bacolod
-          Review of the plan/schedule
Coordinate with Kakay
-          Advance Party goes to Bantayan Island Group;
-          Meet with the Municipal and Barangay Government;
-          Meet with the leaders of Silagon Island;
-          Locate camp site
-          Second group arrives from Cebu;
-          Gather volunteers from the community for the Noche Buena Feast;
-          Set up “activity tent” for the feast;
-          Help with the on-going repairs
Coordinate with Shane
-          Third group arrives with food and food packages
-          Different committees work on assignment: (a) food, (b) art and crafts for kids, (c) repair and rebuilding, (d) Christmas Feast;
-          Family Portrait taking starts
Coordinate with Kakay
-          Some volunteers head home;
-          Focus Group Discussion with community representatives: (a) women, (b) men, (c) children;
-          Family Portrait taking continues

26.Dec - 27.Dec
-          Visit other islets for some assessment/validation

For those arriving later than 24.December, please coordinate with Kakay.  She can give you details on how to get to the island.  Please sign-up to volunteer one week before so that we can include you in the planning.

01 December 2013

Highlight on Bantayan

Click to watch the video.

MAYOR CHRIS ESCARIO: “We really need the help from the outside”.

The Foreign Correspondent have a made a report about Bantayan Island. 

It gives an overview about the situation of the people there now.  It touched the discussion on climate change and highlighted Yeb Sano's call to take drastic actions now to prevent future disasters.

Politics was also emphasized as somehow a factor why help was almost not coming to some of the areas in Bantayan Island Group.

It ends, however, with hope as with what Vince Escario said:

“There is no typhoon strong enough to bring us down and we will rise again. To see what was once a beautiful island suffer such devastation, when there is no hope seemingly coming, but to see your ordinary neighbours, ordinary people with very little in life but so much richness in spirit and in love, what greater power is there than that?”

And with an appeal:
“If we are to look forward to the future, we have to take things into control. We have to control how we live and live more responsibly and be real stewards of this island. That kind of future unfortunately is not in our hands. That kind of future is in the hands of the much bigger, more powerful, more developed nations. We just can’t continue to be irresponsible and suffer this kind of fate that we are suffering today”.