Thursday, October 11, 2012

Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation

My Dad comes from a family of doctors. His Mom and Dad (a Dentist and Physician respectively) chose to practice in a small town in Agusan del Norte instead of raking in big bucks in the big city. Sure, the pay was low but the experiences were rich.

I spent most of my childhood in Agusan, swimming in native beaches, going to the market with my cousins, playing with the locals, biking around town and being Dad's "assistant". A visit to our province always taught me humility and compassion. My problems here in Manila (extreme consumerism, so many things to do with so little time, and taking forever to decide where to eat for lunch), are minuscule compared to what people face in our province. Our province is poor and was only recently declared a city. Visiting every year makes me realize how lucky I am to have such a comfortable life, and such a loving family.

So where am I getting at? A lot of people have misconceptions about Mindanao -- that it is a war-stricken place and it's so unsafe. But Mindanao (Agusan in particular) is so close to my heart (and is very safe, mind you) because I have first-hand experience of how people make do with what they have, no matter how little that may be. My cousins are extraordinary teachers and they only receive minimum wage; whatever they have left they use to buy food for their kids, and even use money out of their own pockets to decorate their schools due to lack of government support. Times are hard, and it's even harder there.

One of my favorite nephews, Amiel. His Mom (my cousin) is a public school teacher
So how do we help? My Dad regularly goes to medical missions and sometimes does not even ask for payment from his patients. He also supports some of my relatives who live with him and can't afford a house of their own. He does all this out of the goodness of his own heart, I am so proud of my Dad. He was able to give us a good life here in Manila and send us to good schools so we can have a bright future, whilst scrimping on himself to help out other people who need it the most. I don't think I can be as selfless as my Dad.

So how can you help? My good friend, Sharlene, sent me this email and asked me to share this to my readers:

The Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation, Inc. started in October 2010 when we found out about the story of children having to swim or wade through the mangrove waters off the coast of Zamboanga City in the Sitio called Layag-Layag in Barangay Talon-Talon. They are children of Muslim families who were displaced over the years from the fighting in Jolo, Sulu and have since settled on floating houses off the shores of Zamboanga City. Upon the discovery of this community and the plight of the children, we immediately raised funds to build them yellow (school) boats. 
Over the last 12 months, we have built over 150 yellow boats in 4 communities in the country and have even built a makeshift school in our Yellow Boat Community in Masbate province. To further benefit our needy school children, we are going to build our first Yellow classroom of Hope in Sta. Isabel, Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte. Our mission is to pull resources from all over the world to help kids in the Philippines. If you wish to take part in this noble mission, your contribution will really be a great help.

It's very easy, really. Our simple contribution through bank deposit will help numerous children in Zamboanga City safely go to school. Of course, volunteers are also welcome.

Remember, every donation counts. A small portion of our salary will go to these kids who will help shape Mindanao for many years to come. We need good leaders there and education is the first step.

For more information on how to contribute, visit or All your donations will 100% go to the Yellow Boat programs. 


  1. What a nice post Ms. Kira. You are a blogger with heart. Keep inspiring us with your stories. :)


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