Saturday, April 28, 2012

Bright Lights: Emphasizing Hope

     When darkness seizes the day, fear arises. It was during this moment when we feel that our fear has finally won the fight. We find ourselves feeling the pain, the struggle, the defeat, and failure. It is like there’s no way out! Darkness is engulfing us to the extent that we will never face a bright future ahead of us.

     When light emerges, hope comes in. A single light that appears in the midst of overwhelming darkness gives us the feeling that hope is still there. We need not give up because the fight isn’t over yet. We still have a good future waiting to be unveiled. It’s not yet time to give up. No, we should never give up!

     A single light makes a big difference. A light can signify hope and potential upbringing for humanity. This is what we should always think of every time darkness arises. We may always face darkness during our way home, but we will definitely find a single light that will shed our way when everything seems to be vague.
     It was last April 14 and 15, 2012 when U! HappyEvents’ “Bright Lights” took place. The event was made as a product of a partnership between U! Happy Events and Liter of Light, which is a project of My Shelter Foundation. Bright Lights is the first ever sunset to night event of U! Happy Events and the concept of this event is to provide light to 100 kids of Brgy. Batis, San Juan City, Philippines.

     Day 1 was the main event of Bright Lights. It was solely dedicated to 100 kids of Brgy. Batis. The whole event was focused more on the interaction between volunteers and kids. The program includes fun and games, magic shows, intermission number, and the presentation of lights. Games were supervised by U! Happy Events Core Team; dance number performed by kids of Brgy. Batis; magic show made by "Salamangkero" Ron Mariano; Poi workshop and LED Poi exhibition courtesy of Planet Zips Poi Philippines; Laser magic by JB Dela Cruz; and the main event, the flying of Chinese lanterns with notes  of prayer and hope (made by volunteers and kids) attached to it. Day 1 showed the significance of how lights can bring magic, inspiration, and hope to each one of us every time darkness comes in.

     Day 2 was all about witnessing how the solar bottle bulb, which we sponsored as a result of the funds we got from Day 1, can make a difference in a beneficiary's home. The project showed us how remarkable an idea is after a junk has been upcycled. Upcycle is the term they prefer to use rather than the word “recycle” because according to them, they are transforming an item into something more useful by providing it with a totally different use. The project did bring light to houses and it will definitely lower their monthly electric consumption. And because of this, the beneficiary's money spent for excessive electric consumption will be used for other monthly priorities like education and food.
     The entire two-day event was delivered successfully and it gave us (core team, volunteers, and beneficiaries) another set of realizations. Day 1 gave us the realization of producing and providing hope to everyone. Hope starts with a single person having the desire to light a candle; sharing it to the other person in need; raising it up and letting it soar high up to the sky so that everyone may see its brilliance. When hope/light shines through, everyone will be mesmerized and be inspired. Day 2 gave us the realization that our mind can think in a whole new level if we really wanted to make use of it as a tool in solving social issues even with such limited resources. We always have the power to produce greatness and we have the capability of making other people feel great by simply extending our hearts to them. 
     We can make a difference to everyone starting from producing hope down to extending help in order to produce the change that we really want to experience. After all, change can only happen if we start believing and start acting on it. No need to be scared now. Hope is just around the corner no matter how dark the world may be. Hope lives in you... in me... and in each one of us! 

Photos courtesy of Emjay Mirasol Photography and Ate Malou Gailan
Also present during the event was our partner, Funlipix

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Jacinto & Lirio: Becoming Part of Change

     Jacinto & Lirio is now scaling up and they need your help! Yes, you read it right! Jacinto and Lirio, the brand that transforms water hyacinth into world-class fashionable bags and accessories, is now asking for everyone's help in order for them to create further change in everyone's lives.

The Product
     Before I get into details on how you can help, let me first introduce Jacinto & Lirio in a much deeper perspective. The brand "Jacinto & Lirio", which means Hyacinth and Lily, was created by EcoIngenuity Inc. This brand showcases the Filipino pride and innovative mind by transforming water hyacinths into fashionable and functional statement bags and accessories. This product is all about raising the competitiveness of indigenous materials and the communities that produce them using global design brands. 

     Now this is truly amazing! From a pest (water hyacinth) that causes numerous problems such as flooding, water damage, and fish kills was turned into items that are fashionable, functional and world-class! It not only help the community by lessening the damage caused by this pest, but also help out people by providing decent jobs that they can truly be proud of.

The Plan
     Creators of Jacinto & Lirio have decided to expand the production capacity of their partner communities in order for them to widen their capability to reach out and change lives of our fellowmen. With this, they have started the campaign #liveastoryworthtelling, which aims to raise $8,000 by May 9, 2012. Money raised by this campaign goes out to their plan of expansion. 

The Chance
     Witnessing change is amazing, but being part of change is more amazing and life-changing. 

     Throughout the years, the team of Jacinto & Lirio have devoted all efforts in raising the dignity of everyone by means of introducing a solution to the present social problem. They have proven that they can initiate change through great efforts and have discovered the incredible feeling when helping out and being part of change (I know what it feels like after being able to change other people's lives).  Now that they are expanding for a greater cause, they are asking you to be part of change too! It is now your time to embrace the spirit of change and become its next agent! So far, this is the perfect opportunity for you to help other people. Your contribution will really make a lot of difference!

The Perks
     Whatever contribution you make means something. By simply contributing/donating, you get a chance of having their  statement plant leather journals and perhaps a one-of-a-kind Jacinto&Lirio bag when donating more than $200! Aside from the product perk, 10% of your contribution will go directly to the community production development of the Fernandina Water Hyacinth Group. 

     Now that's a WIN-WIN. Not only you feel the comfort of helping out, you also get a product that is unique, stylish, empowering, and world-class items.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Poet's End

Blank pages of nothingness,
I got to find my own happiness.
Here I am searching on every bit of pages,
But all I’ve seen were silent spaces.

What’s wrong with my words now?
There’s nothing more to be found.
It feels like I’m lost in my own niche.
Silent tears flowing like cliché.

Hurting… I found myself crying,
Remembering how far I’ve been flying.
How can I live a life of fulfillment
When words won’t even give its complement?

Now that my rhymes don’t harmonize
And my words won’t even compromise,
All I see is a blank future
With a life that is so unsure.

How come I’ve reached this stage?
It feels like I’m trapped in a cage
Where sorrow is the only emotion
And poetry is just part of illusion.

Looks like this is where my journey ends.
So long poetry, my long-time friend!
If only this poet hasn’t lost his talent,
Then there’s no reason for him to lament.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Marketplace for a Cause: Helping Helpers of Change

     By the moment I came to know the concept of Social Enterprise (SE), I became amazed by its structure and its ability to create change and to cure different social problems present in this country. It came into my point that I (as an aspiring change-maker) should also emerge as social entrepreneur in order for me to expand my helping capability through the use of whatever resources I have.

     And yes, I have my own SE and [still] planning to launch another one. Being part of SE is great and it fulfils my purpose as a catalyst of change. I get to produce items that wear my own designs; let vendors sell it; have profit out of those items; and help an institution. I’m quite fulfilled as a person. But being a blogger and a proud owner of this year-long blog, I felt compelled to do more for SE. I started asking myself “What other things can I do to help the growing community of SE?” And from thereon, I started developing a page in this blog that would become the center for different Social Enterprises available in the market. This page is now known as “Marketplace for a Cause”.

     “Marketplace for a Cause” is [so far] the latest page I’ve launched here in this blog and it is all about promoting businesses and freelancers, who decided to share their hard-earned profit to communities, institutions, and foundations. This marketplace serves as a venue for Social Enterprises and businesses alike to be promoted in such a way that people may know that apart from purchasing a product, their money also goes to various foundations supported by these featured partners. In this way, they’ll realize that they’ve started contributing change through the simplest things they’ve done - purchasing a product. And to sum it all up, “Marketplace for a Cause” is a venue for business transactions that undergoes a cycle of providing basic services down to delivering help to various causes.

     Have you decided what to purchase lately? Try this blog’s marketplace and experience the feeling of contentment. Go on! Let your money go beyond its worth as “Marketplace for a Cause” converts cash to cause. 

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