Education Leads to Good Jobs

EducationJobsA television commercial promoting the merits of finishing high school ran for many years, if I remember correctly. Most famous of all in the series showed a young man shopping for a wallet. He comes to a store supposedly owned and run by a Chinese gentleman and a Chinese woman. The customer asks, “Do you carry wallets?”

The man and the woman make eye contact. Their facial expressions both register a palpable sense of skepticism about the customer, as if to say, “Will he be able to pay for it?” They speak in Chinese; no subtitles. The man goes to the back of the store to retrieve a wallet.

Returning to the waiting customer he hands it over to him. It’s a narrow, teeny-weenie wallet. The Chinese man and woman were both holding back bursts of laughter and guffaws. The customer’s facial expression turns from being nice and polite to incredulity. Checking the wallet the young man says, “Why, this is too small,” squinting his eyes directed at the man.

The film narrator takes over the scene at this point and delivers the punch line even as the Chinese proprietors laugh hilariously. “High school graduates make 22% more in wages than their school dropout counterparts. Get smart. Finish your high school GED today.”

Very powerful commercial promoting high school education. For a great majority of Filipinos today, this ad is not necessary to convince them a good high school education is important. Parents want their children to finish not only high school but college, pawning everything they own to finance their children’s education. Filipino parents know that with education come good jobs.

We feel the same way as parents do about education. We believe that bright young minds ought not go to waste just because their families are too poor to send them to school. This is our mission:  to help these bright kids finish high school with financial aid. Won’t you join us by donating to the high school fund? Thank you.


You Can’t Take It With You

Cash Stash Under Mattress

Cash Stashed Under Mattress

Each and every night, after counting her money, she went into dreamless sleep, her ears insulated from the sounds of the world. She had no worries, no fears; just sheer joy in knowing that she had a pile of money at her disposal.

No situation fazed her. She luxuriated on an aire-ride bed taking delight in the fine layers of Turkish quality linen. The rustle of brocade covers combined with the lightness of the goose down stuffed pillows titillated her imagination. The silk sheets provided her with maximum opulence.

As was her nocturnal habit, she counted her cash in the dim candlelight. No bright lights for this lady. That would compromise her privacy. She confidently stashed her cash underneath her mattress. No bank ever won her trust. She contentedly went to sleep each night – the captain of her own destiny.

Out in public, when asked for a small donation for a charitable cause, she would quickly break into a satisfied grin and haughtily declare, “Well, I’d love to help but the money is at home. Really. I don’t carry cash. Maybe some other time.” And off she would go on her merry way.

Her obituary suddenly and unexpectedly showed up in the Church weekly bulletin. Our secretly wealthy lady passed away in her sleep. The emergency responders came to gather her remains. On their way out one of the technicians noticed a dollar bill on the floor but kept on walking.

The next day, the cleaning lady came to clean the apartment as scheduled. She saw Ben Franklin’s image on a hundred-dollar bill lying on the floor by the bed. She remembered the deceased woman very well. There was a time, when she started working there, that she begged the rich woman for a small loan so she could buy some groceries for her family. Of course her plea went unanswered. It was as if the deceased woman was deaf… or feigned deafness.

The cleaning lady went about doing her cleaning routine. Lifting the mattress to tuck in the new sheets, she discovered the deceased woman’s wealth and riches. Money… dollar bills stacked up four deep. The money … inanimate paper… lifeless green bills… just lying there. What good are they to the dearly departed woman now?

Trust in the Lord

Divine Mercy Sunday

Divine Mercy Sunday

The Book of Proverbs presents many wonderful sayings collected over the years and sung through the ages. Many such sayings have become household mantras and personal guideposts. One such saying comes from the Book of Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the LORD with all your heart, on your own intelligence do not rely; In all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths.”

Expressed in many ways, these same two verses appear in many prayer books, hymnals and religious literature. This version touches me:  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path.”

I conclude with, “The Lord is kind and merciful. Slow to anger and overflowing in kindness.” This is Divine Mercy Sunday. Let us say, “Jesus we trust in you.”

We Thank Our Donors

Cely Bilaoen Bautista SAS Class 1958

Cely Bilaoen Bautista SAS Class 1958

Mrs Celestina Bilaoen Bautista (left) – we call her “Cely” – supports our mission to help bright kids from poor families finish high school with financial aid. She staunchly believes that education is freedom.

She’s a retired registered nurse (RN), having worked in the Bronx hospitals of New York city for many years. Earlier in her life before finishing college and earning her Nursing degree, she attended and graduated from St Augustine School in Tagudin, province of Ilocos Sur, Philippines. Cely is a member of the famous SAS Class of 1958.

Never one to forget her humble beginnings, Cely is no stranger to hard work and self-reliance. She remembers the goodwill of others bestowed upon her specially when she was first starting her Nursing career. Her success story is our success story. She loves these disadvantaged kids. She backs her hope for their success with her continued support and donations to the high school fund.

Thank you Cely and may God bless you always.

First Thoughts

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

I awoke to a rooster crowing from a distance. “Funny,” I thought. “I never paid much attention to the Miller’s rooster before.”

But today was different. I felt like I was back home in the old country.

Sitting up on one side of the bed, my wonderful mind conjured up images of rice fields, nipa huts and cardboard shanties complete with the national beast of burden – the water buffalo – standing patiently by an old tamarind tree.

I could smell the fresh scent of rice stalks heavily laden with grain – ripe for harvest. My nostrils could detect the unmistakable scent of white smoke from burning straw billowing underneath the vine trellis, suffocating and driving the ladybugs and pests away while saving the long green gourds to mature unblemished. The clear mountain spring waters running down the irrigation ditch, effortlessly flowing past arrays of lotus leaves, flowers, clumps of floating water hyacinths and the exposed tangled roots of bamboo… how heavenly peaceful the sound.

Darkness diffused by early morning light signaled the beginning of a new day. My first thoughts were of home, my old village by the sea where I grew up… how precious the time I spent with my family. I thank God for granting me glimpses of these thoughts now – remembrances and snapshots of cherished time to revisit, all enshrined in the scrapbook of my soul.

When Parents Get Involved


Juzel Ann Macanas poses with her mother onstage after she received her award certificate

Young people want many things. Sometimes all at once. Young people long for adult supervision; they don’t ask for it outright but by their actions they want and need it. Supervision adds to their feeling of security – that they are acting within the bounds of good and acceptable behavior.

Often, parents reluctantly supervise their school aged children. Why? Because they don’t want to get into heated, volatile and explosive encounters. Part of the growing process sees the dependent child daily expending much effort and energy establishing an identity. The child pushes the envelope in a helter-skelter way, groping, jabbing and kicking at anything and everything.

Mr and Mrs Macanas fully involve themselves with their daughter Juzel Ann’s education. The fruit of that involvement is self-evident. Juzel made it to the honor roll again this year.

Your $10 dollar donation – what it does

Scholars working

They finally get to use a laptop computer

Your $10 dollar monthly allotment pays for the total cost of 1.5 days of school for one student that covers the following:

  • Tuition fee
  • Books and publications
  • School uniforms
  • School supplies
  • Computer lab fee
  • Cost of a USB storage stick
  • Supervised outside classroom activities

The kids finally get to use a computer. With your generous donations we purchased a refurbished laptop and received a donated desktop unit.

Our program includes mentoring and a virtual classroom. Our students do supervised Internet research work. Please continue to support our mission to help these bright kids who come from poor families finish high school via financial aid. Go to our secure portal DONATE NOW and open your $10 dollar monthly allotment.