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Pens of Hope Goes to Pambujan with Bayantel’s Help!

It all started with an email I received on July 17 from an employee of Bayantel, a telecommunications company in Manila.

“Dear Miss N,” goes the email, “I am looking for a charity work for my boss’s birthday….May I know how we could help?” It was such a very generous offer, I couldn’t keep my heart from jumping with excitement.

After a few exchanges of emails, everything was settled. Their group would sponsor goodies to be distributed to all school children of a barangay school in the town of Pambujan Northern Samar. They arrived in 8 big boxes. Each box contained eco-bags for each of the children. Each eco-bag contained things like a school bag, a pair of slippers, towels, toothbrush, toothpaste, notebooks, crayons, ball pens, and pencils.

The goodies were loaded unto a truck at the Pambujan town proper. There were 8 boxes and youth volunteers from Kabataan Para sa Kauswagan took charge of loading them. They also took care of all the leg works prior to the distribution (Thank you so much, guys!).

At one point during the trip to Canjumadal, the boxes had to be downloaded from the truck because it couldn’t cross this bridge which seemed to be hanging on to dear life.

From this point, the boxes had to be transported by habal-habals until they reach the recipient school.

Traveling from Pambujan town proper to Barangay Canjumadal isn’t an easy one, especially when it’s rainy season. The road can get too muddy. We went there on a sunny day but the wheels of the habal-habal we were riding on sank in the mud twice so we decided to just walk our way to the school.


This is Canjumadal Elementary School. It has a population of 182, from 1st to 6th grade. It has 4 teachers serving multigrade classes, meaning two grade levels are combined. There are only 4 classrooms serving the entire population of students. The classrooms are all humble ones. While three of the classrooms are made of concrete materials, the fourth one piqued my interest. Take a look at it.

It is actually a room with thatched nipa for its roof and lower part of its walls. The floor isn’t even made of concrete. It’s just hard soil.Except for the wooden grill, the room has no other enclosure. So the children are exposed to either heat or cold.

Going around the school, I have noticed only about 4 or 5 children wearing shoes, the rest were either wearing a pair of slippers or are barefoot. Some of the children have to walk for kilometers from their home to attend classes. The problem is that there are prevalent cases of schistosomiasis or snail fever in the area. Schistosomiasis is a chronic disease that can damage internal organs and affect the growth and cognitive development of affected children who may have acquired it from swimming or playing in infected waters.

Sept. 13, 2013. It was about noontime when we reached the school. We were greeted with eager, curious, young, and innocent faces. We started right away with the distribution.

Preschool and Grade 1 (63 children)

The children were surprised to see that their eco-bag has their name on it! Donors from Bayantel actually took time out to put names on each of the bags. Ain’t it cool to receive a personalized gift? 😉

It was disheartening to see this young boy go to school barefoot. He was very happy to see a pair of slippers inside his eco-bag!

Here are some more happy faces.

Grades 2 and 3 (60 children)

Grade 4 (19 children)

Grades 5 and 6 (41 children)

My heartfelt gratitude goes to the following:

Ms. Julie Epia, whom I have constantly communicated with throughout the preparation process. Thank you for your patience, Ms. Julie.

• the birthday celebrator who spearheaded the collection of the goodies, Ms. Thelma de Leon, Vice President, Customer Care Service, Bayan Telecommunications, Inc. Maraming, maraming, maraming salamat po! Happy birthday, Ma’am! Indeed, there should be no stopping at 50! 😉

• the employees of Bayan Telecommunications, Inc who shared their blessings to the children of Canjumadal. A hundred and eighty two bags of goodies! You, guys, are awesome!

• the members of Kabataan Para sa Kauswagan. Thank you for showing me yet again the energy, enthusiasm, and dynamism of the Nortehanon youth, and the spirit of volunteerism.

Ginoong J. Kulisap, alam mo na po kung bakit 😉 Thank you for believing in the small ripples that Pens of Hope is making.

Each and every distribution Pens of Hope make is a different experience. But they’re all heartwarming and inspiring. It’s a priceless thing to see children happy to receive the things we sometimes take for granted: a pair of slippers, a pencil, a pen, a notebook, a piece of paper, a toothbrush, a towel. They’re worth a treasure to them.

Thank you so very much, everyone! Thank you for trusting Pens of Hope. Thank you for standing up for our children and for showing them that they are not forgotten. Until next distribution 🙂

Posted 4 years ago at 5:50 pm.


40 Replies

  1. Jonathan Sep 24th 2013

    Another heart warming story and another great endeavour! Keep up the good work. Kudos to all those who supported this special event. I salute you!

  2. Thank you so very much, Jonathan!

  3. Maraming salamat Ms. N, alam mo na po kung bakit. 🙂


    Kailan ma’y hindi matitinag ang kagustuhan mong iabot ang iyong kamay sa bawat batang ito na nangangarap din ng pag-unlad. Darating ang panahon, sila naman ang mag-aabot ng sarili nilang kamay. Umiikot ang buhay Ms. N.

    Salamat Ka-Bayan 🙂

  4. Basta, maraming salamat, Ginoo 🙂 Harinawa’y dumating nga ang panahong ang mga batang ito naman ang mag-aabot ng kanilang kamay sa susunod na henerasyon ng mga mag-aaral. Pero mas gugustuhin kong dumating ang panahong hindi na kailangan pang mangailangan ng mga bata ng kamay na mag-aabot sa kanila dahil natutugunan na ng pamahalaan at ng kanilang pamilya ang kanilang mga pangangailangan 😉

    Ay, trulili ka dyan, maraming salamat sa mga Ka-Bayan! 😉

  5. Island Traveler Sep 26th 2013

    Bless your heart and all the generous people who brought back smiles and hope to these little angels. I may have left the Philippines 11 years ago but part of my heart stayed. I worked in a government hospital about 2 years before leaving our homeland. We’re hoping to go back next week. My wife is collecting some school supplies for the kids in one of the towns in Iloilo. One of my my dreams is to go back one day and help the sick. After so many years in the U.S., I realize money does not make one feel fulfilled, but it’s making a difference for others most of society has forgotten. God bless to you, your family, the kind hearted donors and the community you are helping.

  6. Hi IT,
    Thanks! I’m excited about your and your wife’s initiative in Iloilo.

    I agree, money doesn’t really make one fulfilled. Yes, it provides for our needs. But fulfillment won’t really come from it. What’s fulfilling are the simple things we can do for others.

    I hope you can make your dream of helping the sick a reality, soon. Good luck, IT. And God bless, too!

  7. This is commendable, indeed, N! I have been hoping to do this for my Mom’s hometown in Bulan, Sorsogon, but I’m in New York and life here is a little more hectic than back home, but you inspired me!

    Thanks for visiting my space of the web, too… Will be back for more!

    Warm regards from New York — Dinna

  8. Thank you. You can always start something like this. There is a group of people in Sorsogon, in the town of Castila, who are also doing the same thing. Their leader is also a blogger who told me he was inspired by the Pens of Hope initiative. They have already given a lot to the kids in their towns. What’s more touching is that help came pouring in from his fellow Castilanons who now live abroad.

  9. wow! this is such a wonderful initiative and how you keep inspiring me big sis! earlier this year when my friend arrived from the states she asked for a similar distribution and we went out of town… to do the same thing. huwaaa. the personalized thing is a nifty idea. next time!! 🙂

  10. Aha, so you’ve been goind around Davao na rin and making kids smile. Makes me proud of you, my dearest Little Sis.

    You should try the personalized thing next time. Makes the kiddos really smile and surprised 😉

  11. God bless you! This is commendable. I hope I could do something similar in the future

  12. Of course, you can! 😉 If you set your heart on it, you can. Balitaan mo ako when the time comes 😉

  13. maraming maraming maraming salamat for always sharing with us your wonderful experiences… sa sobrang tuwa ko, naluha tuloy ako…

    happy birthday kay Ma’am…

    clap! clap! clap! sa mga employee ng Bayantel…

    sa mga kabataang tumulong, I’m sure matutuwa si Rizal…

  14. Maraming salamat, hab! Yes, tama ka, clap, clap talaga sa lahat ng tumulong. Hindi birong mag-ipon ng 8 big boxes ng goodies.

  15. Something na hindi matutumbasan instead na gamitin ang pera pang kain at pang inum sa barkada sa bday nila , ginamit para sa pagpapakaen sa mga bata 🙂

  16. Tama ka dyan. Mas ginusto nilang mag-share. Kaya sobrang natuwa talaga ako. At sobrang natuwa rin ang mga bata 😉

  17. At sympre para sa gamit nila .. Sama ako sa susunod hihihi

  18. Haha! Sige, kung handa kang sumabak maglakwatsa sa Samar hehe

  19. Very happy for the kids. God bless the birthday celebrant, and her employees who raised funds and put together the bags of goodies. And bless you and the volunteers you worked with to make this happen 🙂

  20. Thanks so much, Vera!

  21. adinparadiseSylvia Sep 28th 2013

    What a great job you are doing for those children. Such happy faces. 🙂

  22. Thanks, Sylvia. But the greater job belongs to those who have shared their blessings 😉

  23. what a wonderful gift to so many children! bless the donors and all involved to bring them things they need!

  24. Wonderful, indeed. I’m truly grateful to all those who gave their resources, heart, and time.

  25. wow. that’s very admirable.

  26. Ah, admirable indeed for those who shared their blessings. Thanks, Lili.

  27. What a wonderful initiative – the kids look so happy with their bags of goodies.

  28. Indeed, they were very happy, Fiona. Sometimes stuff like pencils and notebooks are hard to find for very poor families. They were very grateful.

    Thanks, Fiona.

  29. Keep it up, Miss N. God Bless for all the good deeds. 🙂

  30. Thanks, Sam!

  31. i loved this!!! really! ang sarap talaga ng feeling when you extend your heart to someone you dont’ know, lalo na kapag nakita mo sa kanilang mga mata at ngiti kung gano sila kasaya. cheers to you! i’m so proud of you doing this to these children. God may bless you more sa darating pang plans mo to help other people!

  32. Hi Lala!
    I know na alam mo ang feeling, lalo na’t nasa field ka ng social work. Maraming salamat. Sana nga ay mas marami pang mapangiting bata ang proyektong ito.

    Salamat sa pagbisita.

  33. Ang layo na ng naabot ng pens of hope! Masaya ako sa pagiging tulay mo at sa mga dumadaan sa tulay mo. 🙂

  34. Salamat, Ross. Yes, tulay lang talaga ako. Natutuwa ako at maraming dumadaan sa tulay ko patungo sa mga bata.

  35. Despite the corruption prevalent in the government, I am positive that there are still many whose sincere wish is to help and alleviate the needs of people. This is truly commendable!

  36. Thank you, Farida. I guess we just have to do our own share. Otherwise, patuloy na hindi makararamdam ang mga bata ng concern para sa kanila. But I do hope they’ll be given much more, like yung daan papunta sa school at maayos na structure ng school.

  37. Wala ka talagang kupas miss n. Napakalaki talaga ng respeto ko sa mga tulad mo. Hinding hindi ako magsasawa na isama ka at ang mga projects mo sa prayers ko. God bless you more miss n and your very big and wonderful heart. =))

  38. Haha! Natawa naman ako sa walang kupas, iha. No, hindi ako ang walang kupas, Jaid. Ang walang kupas ang ‘yung mga taong patuloy na nagtitiwala 😉

    Maraming salamat sa prayers, iha. Know that they are very much appreciated.

  39. kapatid, masyado akong natuwa kase biruin mo ngayon truck na ang pinaglalagyan mo ng mga ipapamimigay na item. ibig sabihin, dumadami na talaga ang naaabot ng pens of hope.


  40. So heartwarming to see happy faces. 🙂 Keep up the good work, Miss N.

    I hope they were not affected by the recent typhoon..

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