Sunday, May 31, 2009

Midtown Cebu Photo Ops

I went around Midtown Cebu, and took some quick pictures of people that I think need some assistance with food and nutrition. I'm not a very good photographer so please pardon me if the shots are not of superior quality. The point is to show that there are people out there - actually they live amongst us and we encounter them often - that are in need of help.

An old woman outside Mango Square mall...

A scavenger along Osmena Avenue...

Another scavenger along Osmena Avenue...

A teenager beside Julie's Bakeshop Fuente Osmena...

Another teenager outside Coco Mall...

These people most likely suffer hunger significantly more oftem than most people. They need the assistance of others in providing for their food and nutrition needs. Most of us are capable of helping, especially if you are reading this through your own computer. Most of us would wonder, "How can I help?", "I want to help, but I don't know how." Not only should we be willing to help, but we should know how to help. However, being willing to help is the first step. As it has been said, "If there's a will, there's a way." So the question is for you...

"Are you willing to help?"

Monday, May 18, 2009

Photo Ops! - A call to all!!!

This challenge is open to all! Especially to the people who love taking pictures. In order for us to properly address the hunger problem in the Philippines, we first need to know who these people are and their stories.

So this is how it will go.

1. Grab your camera (or bring a friend who owns one), and look around you. Find anyone whom you think is suffering from hunger or malnutrition, then go ahead and take a good clear photo of them. You can also make it look dramatic and all. It's up to you! :D

2. But don't just stop there. Everyone has their own unique story. So go ahead and ask them. Know their story. Ask "When", "Where", "Why", "Who", "How" questions. You never know, you might be inspired or touched.

3. Then email your photos and stories to I will post them on the blog for everyone to see. By doing this, we can learn more about the people we are trying to help. The more submissions, the more information we can gather. And the more information we have in our hands, the more effective we can become. Go! Go! Go!

P.S. I wanted the submission process to be easier and direct, but, unfortunately, I just realized that blogger doesn't support attaching of pictures in comments, so we can't to do that. So just email them for now. I might be able to figure out an easier alternative. Or perhaps if you know of an easier way, then you can just email me at Thank you!

Please also share this with your friends. You can express your support by "Following" this blog by clicking on the "Follow" button found at the top of the right sidebar, or by sharing this blog with your friends. Let's help stop Filipinos from dying of hunger.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Food Network - 1st Project

Hello everyone!

Most Filipinos experience hunger sometimes. Some Filipinos experience hunger most of the time. Other Filipinos die because of hunger.

Unlike other countries that have a problem with food supplies, the Philippines doesn't have a shortage of food, but rather the lack of access to it. Here in the Philippines, people can starve and even die a few meters away from a room filled with so much food.

My first project is what I would like to call the Food Network. The aim of this project is to provide food for the hungry Filipinos.

First, in order to give us some background. Let me take you to the common practices of most restaurants. Most restaurants, especially fastfood chains, hotels, and bakeries, have a lot of food left unsold by the end of the day. However, in order not to endanger the product quality image of their products, the unsold products are neither given to employees or to other people. But rather, are disposed for trash. Personally, as a person exposed to common business models, I understand the reasoning behind this standard operating procedure (SOP). However, I can also this as an unexploited opportunity to help the hungry.

Alright, enough with the background. Let's go straight to what this project involves.

To put it in the most simple way, the Food Network Project is a system that will take the unsold food of every restaurant and give it to the hungry poor in the community.

It may sound simple, but the Food Network Project System has to be designed in such a way that would make everybody win. It's easy to see that the hungry will win in this project, because they are the most obvious beneficiaries. However, the restaurants also have to "win" from their giving. They have to be able to see something in it that's for them. And finally, the community as a whole should also "win". The people have to be able to see what the project can do for them. If everybody wins, then everybody wins! Making everybody win is easy to say, but difficult to do. That's where we get the saying, "You just can't please everyone." But we don't have to please everyone, we just have to please as most as we can.

This is how the system will work.

First, we will have to establish the label of the "Food Network Project". It would have to work like a brand that people can easily tell the purpose behind it the moment they see the label. For example, the "Earth Hour" movement. "Earth Hour" is not a business or a brand name, but everyone knows what it means, and what it stands for. The "Food Network Project" can be similar to that. As "Earth Hour" is for the planet, "The Food Network Project" is for the hungry.

Second, restaurants, hotels, bakeries, or basically any food business, can get involved by giving their unsold products by the end of the day to the "Food Network", which will in turn distribute it to the hungry. What's in it for the food establishments? Let me tell you what it can be for the food establishments. It can be a form of marketing. Instead of lowering their product quality image, it's possible that it can even increase it. By participating in the Food Network, the food establishments can be guaranteed to serve only freshly prepared food products, since the people will know that all the old stocks are disposed by being given to the Food Network. The food establishments can use this as a marketing campaign, by claiming to be part of the Food Network. The community will also be encouraged to patronize such establishments because of their involvement in helping with the problems of the community (e.g. hunger).

Third and last, volunteers (it can be you. Why not?) from the community will prepare the collected food and distribute it to the poor and hungry. The poor and hungry beneficiaries, because they have been fed, will now have enough energy to be able to contribute to the community. They can even be asked to volunteer for the Food Network. If they are still lacking in education, then they can focus their efforts in studies, which of course will then turn out for the betterment of the community, once they graduate.

In conclusion I'd like to let us realize that with this system...

1. The food establishments have an opportunity for a marketing campaign and an avenue for their corporate social responsibility efforts, thus they win!

2. The hungry poor get to eat, preserve their health, and keep them alive, thus they win too!

3. And because more people are kept alive, there is a huge human resource base that can contribute to the community, thus the community wins!

And since the community wins, everybody wins!!!

Alright, that's it. I'm done. I know that I haven't got this all figured out, and I'm sure I might be missing something. I would love your input. I would appreciate your comments, suggestions, questions, or basically any form of feedback from you.

Actually, let's have it this way.

If you know someone who suffers from hunger often, then perhaps you can comment their approval, disapproval, or comments for them.

Or if you know someone who operates a food establishment (restaurant, fastfood, hotel, resort, coffee shop, bakery, etc.), perhaps you can forward a link to this blog to them, so we can know what they think of the Project.

Or maybe you own a food establishment, then please feedback/comment on what you think about the project. There might be something you might want to recommend, suggest, or maybe ask a question, anything! Just comment please... :D

If you are none of the above, then you are still part of the community. Please comment or feedback on what you think of the Food Network Project. Thank you!

I know that there are still a lot of things that I need to learn, so all your comments are highly appreciated. Thank you!

You can stop reading up to this point, but if you have some reservations about this project, then perhaps you can read on...

There may be several arguments against this project, and I would like to attempt to answer some of the ones that I can foresee, in order to save time.

Argument 1: Am I not promoting mendicancy?

Well, I personally believe that the Food Network will not promote mendicancy, but rather will aid people from the effects of mendicancy upon them. In order for me to clearly explain this, first, I'd like to ask us to take a little step back in order for us to see what really promotes mendicancy here in the Philippines. First of all, I don't believe that beggars beg because they don't like to work. Begging is a lot of work. It is tiring and even degrading. The reason why beggars beg is because they have no more choice. There are no decent job options. The reason behind mendicancy is the lack of employment opportunities (which is another issue that I seek to tackle in a separate project) and not giving to beggars. Giving to beggars actually help them stay alive while they are in the state of mendicancy because of the lack of other job opportunities. To answer the question, no, The Food Network Project does not promote mendicancy. The Food Network Project is aimed to keep hungry people alive until the job opportunities arrive.

Other Arguments to follow... :D

Thank you and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What in the world is this?!

I just finished watching a video by Seth Godin in Ted Talks. In the end of the video, he challenged the audience to create a movement within 24 hours. So here I am, responding to that challenge.

This is it:

Enough of this! I am tired of seeing again and again the extreme poverty that affects a lot of Filipinos. I am not nationalistic. I have no feelings for the Philippines. I am doing this for the Filipinos. For my brothers and sisters on the streets who have no homes. Who have no food. Who have no clothes to wear. Who shiver in the cold whenever it rains. Who resort to sniffing solvents (rugby) to ease the hunger pains that they feel deep within. It's enough!

I will do something.

The basic needs of a human being (according to Maslow) are Shelter, Food, Water, Air, and Clothing.

I will use my heart, money, and brain to facilitate for the Filipinos to have access to those basic needs.

I have to admit. Although I can make a difference, that difference will be insignificant if it's only me. If others also do the same, the difference made will significantly increase. We need each other. If you feel the same way, or you have something to share, please share it. You can post a comment here.

Project Bayanihan. Let's help each other!