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.

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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.

We Beg You


We are on our knees

We are on our knees

“If you want something bad enough, you can endure rejection; begging is not demeaning.” We are begging for help. For the sake of our kids’ schooling we are down on our knees.

Registration day 2014 is upon us. The registrar tersely reminds us we can’t enroll our kids without the tuition paid up front. We want nothing more than to enroll our kids for school year 2014.

Please help us with the tuition. You can open a $10 dollar monthly allotment – a sum that won’t break the bank. Go to our DONATE NOW page and transact your $10 dollar monthly allotment.

We are at the 11th hour of our fund-raising drive. Please be generous.

Preparing the Soil for Planting


How straight are your furrows?

How straight are your furrows?

My father, who loved to work the land growing cash crops, used to say, “When you plow the field, never look back to keep your furrows straight.” Over time I have reflected on his words and I’ve come up with my interpretation using it as a metaphor.

Progress connotes looking ahead in a forward direction being aware of the side views. Those who keep looking back – either because of nostalgia, or misplaced sentimentality, or wishing things could be as they used to be – seem to stagnate and languish. In the Army when the drill instructor barks, “Mark Time,” the men march in place, never making forward progress. Looking back is like marking time. It’s the hamster on a treadmill routine. Also, those who move forward while looking back usually end up in the ditch or in a collision.

Preparing the field for planting is what we do when we help these bright kids who come from poor families get a high school education thru financial help. We inculcate in them education as an important change agent or as a way to achieve freedom. Their young, receptive, and eager-to-learn minds, are like the fertile fields. We plow the furrows straight, not crooked – readying them for planting the seeds of knowledge and wisdom. We keep our gaze set to the future, looking ahead and forward, exemplifying how important is self-discipline and avoiding distraction.

Our bright kids need financial help badly to finish high school. Won’t you please help by DONATING to the scholarship fund? Thank you.

A Living Legacy


St Augustine School Girls Department Circa 1958

St Augustine School Girls Department Circa 1958

Founded in 1910, St Augustine School (SAS) started out as a mission school erected and run by the Belgian nuns and priests (CICM) who came to Tagudin, Ilocos Sur, Philippines to help spread the Good News. A short history of the school may be found at the SAS Ai WIKI. The last 103 years has seen the steady ascent of SAS as the premier private school of Ilocos Sur province. SAS Alumni work, live, set up private practice as doctors, engineers, certified public accountants, registered nurses, and do entrepreneurial commerce internationally.

Today’s global economy makes the job market keen and competitive. We have bright, promising and highly motivated kids in the community who come from very disadvantaged families and thus are financially unable to attend SAS high school.

It is so that these kids may get an opportunity to finish high school at SAS that our non-profit organization SAS Ai dedicates and commits its efforts. We solely rely on public financial support. To this end we humbly ask you to please generously donate to the scholarship fund. This is the only way we can fund these kids’ high school education.

We believe Education is Freedom. These children have known nothing but poverty, hunger, and even hopelessness throughout their lives. But they are the future. Investing in their high school education makes possible the ushering in of a living legacy – the next generation of teachers, scientists, doctors, engineers, civic leaders, clerics, fathers and mothers raising healthy families, and highly competitive overseas workers.

This holiday season, we ask you to please consider making your charitable contribution count. Invest in these kids. Help make their dreams come true. Give them an opportunity to finish high school. A $50 dollar tax deductible donation can help send a student for one month of schooling with the funding spread to cover tuition, books, school supplies, and school uniforms. You can even open a monthly allotment using your VISA, MASTER CARD, or DISCOVER card. Any amount you want to donate is truly appreciated and will help tremendously.

We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Arthien Lovell Pelingen, Sophomore, University of the Philippines


Arthien Lovell Pelingen, SAS Ai Scholar, Graduated Class Salutatorian 2011-12

Arthien Lovell Pelingen, SAS Ai Scholar, Graduated Class Salutatorian 2011-12

One of our most successful SAS Ai scholars, Arthien Lovell Pelingen (photo at left courtesy of UP Galleria Studios) who graduated Class Salutatorian, SAS Ai 2011-12, sent us this letter, sharing with us how he is doing at the University of the Philippines where he is a Sophomore Biology student::

Dear SAS Ai,
Greetings!
This is Arthien Lovell Pelingen, a graduate of Saint Augustine’s School in 2012 and have experienced a 1 year-scholarship under your organization. It’s been more than a year since I haven’t updated you all about my present whereabouts. I’m sorry about that.
I am currently enrolled in the University of the Philippines as a Sophomore Biology Student. Second semester just started a week ago. There are only few works to do right now so I thought of sending a message to you.
College life is really different to that of high school one. Every second within the classroom really counts. If in high school, i can get a high grade without reviewing, in college, sleepless nights are not enough to get a passing grade. However, with the grace of God, I’m able to get good grades.
To finance my studies, I grabbed the opportunity of being a Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) Scholar since I passed their exam. This agency subsidizes all the fees I need to pay in the university. Also, they supply monthly allowances for my accommodation here in the city.
Now, I think it’s time to end my letter. I’ll find time again to send another message one of these days. – /Signed Arthien Lovell Pelingen.
SAS Ai takes great pride of our scholars and their achievements. SAS Ai is a non-profit organization recognized by the IRS as a public charity under the 501(c)(3) tax code. Our mission is to help bright, highly motivated students who come from disadvantaged families get a good high school education at SAS via financial aid. Join us in our mission. DONATE NOW to the scholarship fund.

Our Kids Remain Hopeful


Outside classroom activity for our scholars is sponsored by two visiting members of the board

A little lunch of noodles and rice after a scheduled meeting comes under outside-classroom-activities for our scholars. Two visiting members of the board (who wish to remain anonymous) sponsored this luncheon meeting.

School registration is a couple of weeks away. Our Field Team goes through its busiest time throughout the school year. They gather the kids, take them to the local school uniform shop to be measured for their uniforms – skirts and blouses for the young ladies and pants and t-shirts for the young men. The kids are also measured for their pair of shoes – a pair of rubber shoes for the young men and a pair of patent leather flats for the young ladies. Then we have the athletic wear.

Later in the week, Field Team Director, Mr Albert D Bunoan gathers them for a luncheon meeting to discuss new policies from the scholarship committee that may affect their school practices. They go through introductions and an overall “kick off” for the school year. The lunch is simple enough: noodles and rice, rice crackers and sodas. This year two vacationing members of the board sponsored and donated funds for the luncheon meeting.

Here at corporate our Treasurer, Estrellita G Purugganan busies herself assembling the funding package. She remains hopeful we will be able to sponsor at the very least two, new scholars this year in addition to the current 20 whom we are sponsoring through several grades of high school. Director Albert Bunoan assures us his Field Team has already processed applications submitted by solid candidates for financial aid this year.

Our main concern remains the same. Will we have enough funds to launch school year 2013? The reason our small non-profit group raises funds all year round in a never-ending cycle of asking, requesting, and pleading for help from generous folks like you. We are asking you to donate to the scholarship fund via our secure online acceptance portal. We accept credit cards (VISA, MASTERCARD, and DISCOVER). Any amount you wish to donate helps a child attend high school.

It is never too early or too late to donate. We use the scholarship funds all year round to support the schooling of our scholars, pay for tuition, books, school uniforms, school supplies, athletic wear, lab fees, computer use fees, USB storage device for computer work, and school projects. Help us by donating to the scholarship fund today.