A Letter from a Grateful Scholar

Hello sir! How are you?

Thank you Sir for helping us get a high school education at St Augustine School. Another year just ended. It has been a good year – lots of hard work, hard studying and some challenging projects; it was our junior year of high school. I am feeling rather sad to see the school year come to an end yet very excited and can’t wait for Senior year to begin.

For the past three years SAS Ai has continued to support us. The journey is almost over – just another year and we’ll all be done, graduated; God willing. It’s hard to believe we’ve been going to school for three years. It seems as if just the other day we were applying and competing to be accepted into the program.

The help SAS Ai provides us touches me deeply. I can concentrate on studying because I don’t have to worry if and when my tuition fee has been paid. In my mind and heart I marvel at the kindness and generosity of our donors and sponsors. Without their help and donations to the scholarship fund, we would not be able to attend St Augustine School. I pray that God blesses our generous donors.

I close my short letter with a sincere Thank You Sir for everything. Thank you for encouraging us to love learning. Thank you for inspiring us to apply ourselves in our studies. I feel proud, honored and privileged to be one of SAS Ai’s scholars.


Rose Ann Fajardo


The Price of Compassion

Dining Room

Faceless in a crowd they shine in their own way when it comes to generosity

You listen to the small talk. “Good soup! Wonder what kind of beans they use?”

These folks came to join in the fellowship after the Sunday Mass. Mostly retired, they live on fixed income, volunteering at the church most days of the week. They were teachers, dental assistants, medics, nurses, librarians, cooks, accountants, and factory workers – some in management, some in the field and mostly individual contributors. At one time they excelled in their areas of ability.

Immersed in simpler living, their casual clothes and no-nonsense frugality puts them in a class of their own. Their generosity and compassion shine brighter than the sun. Would you believe these folks enthusiastically give to the SAS Ai scholarship fund to help these bright kids who are financially poor get a good high school education?

They collectively dismiss the myth that generosity resides only in the wealthier section of the community and that charitable works solely belong to the rich. Donors to our cause believe education is freedom. They prove their point by donating out of their need to the scholarship fund.

“The children must take flight. Education propels them to reach greater heights,” said Mary, a retired missionary school teacher and one time principal. How right on target. How important and relevant the sentiments and beliefs of our donors!

And we are eternally grateful. Like our donors – like Mary, we too believe education is freedom!

Angel on SAS Ai’s Shoulder


Zaidee Tumangan is a successful SAS Alumna, businesswoman and entrepreneur. She and her husband founded and currently operate their own Montessori School for Gifted Children in California.

SAS Ai, Inc. Treasurer, Estrellita G Purugganan posted the following comment on the SAS Ai FB page, “…thank you Zaidee…for being so kind…for trusting SAS Ai for your hard earned income…May God bless you more with good health and wisdom…”

Zaidee Tumangan (photo at right) is one of many successful SAS alumni who have founded and run their own businesses all over the world. Zaidee exemplifies the famous “Ilocano Work Ethic,” that speaks of great personal sacrifice, persistence, guts and back-breaking work in pursuit of excellence. She and her husband founded and have successfully operated for the past 18 years their own Montessori School for Gifted Children in California. They are looking to expand their facilities – a true, measurable and concrete manifestation of their success.

SAS Ai, Inc. is blessed to have Zaidee’s financial support, as she and her husband are sponsoring two SAS Ai scholars beginning this school year 2013. This open act of kindness shows a deep regard and understanding of the plight of the poor families in Tagudin and the neighboring towns wherein SAS Ai recruits its applicants for financial assistance. This courageous act of compassion on the part of Zaidee and her husband also shows a transcendent attitude of charitable giving. Zaidee’s kind of altruism is rare indeed.

On behalf of our President and CEO, Atty Romeo J Somera, CPA, all the members of the BOT, and members of the Field Team, may I say thank you to Zaidee and her husband for being the angels – come to the aid of SAS Ai, Inc.

The Definition of Poor


A kitchen in its most basic configuration

Monsoon season just hit. It’s been raining day and night for about three days now. No let up.

The family’s been preparing food in this makeshift kitchen. No sidewalls. Not even a decent roof. The fire in the stove is hard to keep ablaze. It flickers with every gust of rain-soaked wind blowing by. But, this is what this family can afford.

Money is hard to come by. This family’s annual gross income from all sources is less than P50,000 Philippine pesos…. a year’s income. Their main house is a one room enclosure made of hollow blocks with mud floors. They sleep on buri mats woven from dried palm fronds. No running water. No electricity. Just a kerosene lantern.

Both husband and wife farm an acre of land for a rich person who lives in town. The sweet potatoes turned out okay but the corn crop was not very good this year. There wasn’t much to divide between owner and  tenant farmer. This means this family’s going to have to make some adjustments to their meals, say, just eat two meals a day – if that.

The downpour turns the rice fields into ponds. Frogs, catfish, tilapia and mudfish abound and this is good for the family. It adds to the staple. The father is very entrepreneurial. He has to for him and his family to survive. He catches frogs and whatever fish swims into his traps and sells the ones they cannot eat in the public market. Muscular frogs and red-eyed mudfish can fetch a handsome price.

For the husband and wife, it’s once again time to be preparing the rice seedling plots. Life goes on for this family.

They have one child – a daughter who has shown promise in her earlier school work. This young girl shows ambition. A quick learner she maintained good grades in elementary school. She applied for scholarship assistance from SAS Ai, Inc. and was accepted. She is now a junior in high school. Next year, she will graduate from SAS high school. It will be the realization of her dream.

SAS Ai, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) public charity organization with a mission to help bright and promising students who come from poor families get a good high school education through sponsored scholarships. Help us send these underprivileged kids to SAS high school. Donate to the scholarship fund.