The Spirit of Christmas Giving
On December 31, 2020, midnight, Filipinos celebrated a new year and left behind one that many have described as the “year that made the world wonder.” 2020 was a year that continuously tested the faith and resilience of the Filipino people. Natural disasters such as typhoons and the Taal volcano eruption, and a global virus did not only make the Filipinos wonder “Why are these happening?” but also, “What can we do to help each other get through these difficult times?”
Although physical distance hinders us from going about our daily lives under normal circumstances, it did not keep Titans from doing their part to reach out to those in need and igniting the hope that the community needed. The Titans, together with others in the Filipino community, quickly responded to these challenges by initiating relief operations such as food drives and fund-raising projects.
The Covid-19 Food Drive PH
While battling a global pandemic, former Enderun students and faculty came together to help those greatly affected. Enderun alumni, namely Colene Tan, Patricia Bautista, Cirene Chua and Ralph Porio, together with Enderun’s Associate Dean, Ms. Bel S. Castro, comprise the core team of the Covid-19 Food Drive PH—a food drive that aims to help alleviate the hunger of marginalized communities during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) that was imposed in Metro Manila last March 15, 2020.
The Covid-19 Food Drive PH, formerly known as the Enderun Community Drive, was founded in 2009 in response to Typhoon Ondoy victims. Since then, they have initiated and participated in disaster response operations for Typhoon Yolanda (2013), Muntinlupa Fire (2016), Taal Eruption (2020) and many more.
Their campaign is the “Adopt-A-Barangay” to solicit donations to raise funds. A cash donation worth ₱500 and food donations are enough to feed and support food service workers’ families for a day. They purchase meals at a regulated price of ₱50/per meal or ₱500/meal pack for ten persons from commissaries and small to medium-sized restaurant owners who are willing to cook and prepare meals for the chosen barangays. The relief goods then get distributed to the people by army reservists.
Together with the help of the Commanding officer of the Medical company 1303 CDC NCRRCDG ARESCOM, Captain Sharon Reyes, in coordination with ARESCOM (The Army Reserve Command), the team prioritises choosing the most vulnerable communities and barangays.
Since their reactivation in March 2020, the Covid-19 Food Drive PH has raised more than 1.8 million pesos in cash. They fed 91,275 people in over 23 adopted barangays all over the NCR, with the help of 18 trusted restaurants. The team was able to exceed more than what they intended to do. Not only were they able to provide food for their target population, but they were able to help food service workers, small business owners, and supply chains to sustain their businesses. While their last food drive ended on April 19, when the typhoons hit the Philippines in November, the team quickly resumed operations, and distributed relief supplies and various donations to the victims.
Those who wish to contribute to this initiative may visit their Facebook page for further instructions.
The Titans Unite
Titans Unite is another project instigated by the alumni of Enderun. It is a fundraiser targeting to aid the Ates and Kuyas of the school by alleviating the pandemic’s financial burden. Three alumni, namely, Katrina Ong, Hannah Pira, and Amber Masorong not only wanted to raise funds, but they also wanted to convey their utmost appreciation and support to those special people who made Enderun feel like home. Titans Unite raised funds through donations, lottery events, and had over 30 alumni-owned businesses pledge a portion of their September sales. This project managed to raise over ₱255,304.28, which was distributed to 24 beneficiaries from the Culinary Arts, Banquets, and Restaurant 101 departments. While Titans Unite was a one-time event that took place during the whole month of September, we hope that by sharing stories of generosity such as these, they influence the rest of the community to help others in any way they can.
Without a doubt, the value of charity is evident amongst the alumni and their efforts have truly proved that nothing can quash the resolve of Titans. Graduating from Enderun did not sway the values they garnered over the years on campus. Instead, they have proven that the spirit of giving continues to burn bright in these times of turmoil.
The Delta Initiative
Aside from our esteemed alumni’s collective efforts, students and organizations within the school have also been addressing these issues and offering their services to the community. The Titans that arose to the challenge are Ashley Nicole Perez, who started an individual monetary drive for the typhoon victims; and Martin Eusebio, head of Enderun’s charity organization, Step Up. Some of the active charity drives include The Delta Initiative, a fundraiser run by Senior High School student, Reinielle Labay and her cousins.
The Delta Initiative is a project that began as a family tradition before manifesting into a desire to do something bigger. Through their monetary donations, they have managed to raise ₱26,000 and will be using these funds to contribute non-perishable goods, face masks, and rice to 50 families in Buenavista, Marinduque. Once they have purchased these materials, they will send them to the Marinduque mayor on January 18, 2021. They are also hosting a raffle to express their gratitude for those who participated in the project. The family said that they wish “to extend a helping hand to the community to the best of their abilities and encourage others to do the same, much like everyone else.” For more information, you may visit their official Facebook page The Delta Initiative PH.
Enderun Leadership Program’s Projects
Moved by the beauty and spirit of Christmas, The Enderun Leadership Program (LP) pioneered Project Pasko, which aimed to feed displaced families residing in Barangay Ecoville, Lumbia, and Cagayan de Oro. Enderun’s Leadership Program is composed of students who utilize their leadership skills for the benefit of others. Headed by Carmina Victoria with the help of the community’s support, and the project’s major sponsor, Udenna Corporation, they raised a total of ₱99,112.00. Thanks to their efforts, 230 families received love and joy during the holiday season through the Noche Buena packages they donated.
Another project that was instigated by LP is Project Paglaum, an online donation campaign initiative that extends help to various fundraising initiatives and organizations that support families, workers and front liners that are greatly affected by the Covid-19 lockdown. With their help, they were able to send money donations to remote barangays, where residents were displaced from work. Project Paglaum received ₱54,873 which was equally divided among their eight chosen beneficiaries. Their monetary donations went beyond their initial expectations, and this allowed them to help more vulnerable citizens.
Project Pangkabuhayan, another LP initiative, was led by Sophia Aquino and her members within the organization. Unlike the other projects they have hosted, Project Pangkabuhayan took a different route and offered their services in a different manner. For four weeks, they held training sessions on how to jump start and sustain businesses to their beneficiaries, Ms. Mary Avena and Mr. Danilo Bautista. By the 29th of November, their target donation of Php 15,000.00 was achieved and both beneficiaries were taught by Enderun Professors and LP members soon after. By the end of their sessions, they were given the materials needed to start their own sari-sari store.
All these varied efforts of the Enderun community encapsulate the true meaning of the season of giving. By shedding light on their generous trailblazing spirits, we hope Titans to continue rising above the challenges and spark a positive influence on the rest of the community.