6 May - Miclat Family Do Iron Man Triathlon
To celebrate Richard's recent 50th birthday (or as he preferred to put it the birth of his next half century) the whole Miclat family descended on Eastwoods for an Iron Man triathlon. This all day endurance event kicked off with a marathon of robotic action and bad guys getting it where it hurts, followed by a gruelling session of beer relay, and reached a finish over the collossal obstacles of TGI. Sufficiently cheered up by the athletic prowess of a bionic 48 year old Robert Downey Jr, Richard is also at pains to point out he was born in the same year as Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp and Jet Li - quite amazing what those Hollywood make-up departments can do eh?
Paulino Gets a School Place
Many thanks to much persistence from Carol and the invaluable sponsorship of Arjen and Martjee, we've at last been able to find a school place for 12 year old Paulino Aldana. Paulino has special learning needs and an interrupted school history but will hopefully soon be racing ahead again as he resumes his educational career at Bagong Silang Elementary School - SPED. Paulino is now also fully kitted out for his new school life having joined us on the 18 May shopping excursion at Fairview followed by lively refreshment at Gerry's Grill.
Links to Manila Shanty Life
Self Help in Caloocan City
The Miclats Go Shopping
Well done to Carol, Maria and Grace in leading two recent shopping expeditions to get our 15 sponsored kids fully kitted out with uniforms, bags and stationery for the new school and college years beginning in a few weeks' time. "Total chaos but great fun" was the family's verdict on the two days whilst "never again" was the lament heard from several Fairview vendors battered into submission by the indomitable Miclat haggling. A great day too for all the kids, many of whom had never experienced shopping for new clothes and shoes before and all of whom thoroughly enjoyed the family's hospitality afterwards.
Rest in Peace Patricio A. Ramos
A very haunting video doing the social media rounds over the past week or so has been that of Patricio A. Ramos, a 73 year old stroke victim being eaten away by septicemia but with no money for medicine or medical care. A resident of Heritage Homes Phase 1, Marilao Bulacan, and therefore a close neighbour of Grace, we were about to deliver a package of medicine and clothes for Patricio on Friday (3 May) only to learn he had sadly passed away just a few hours earlier. Rest in peace Patricio, your suffering is over.
Many heartfelt thanks to two members of Helen's diet club who after three years' pursuit of a pointless size zero have now decided to settle for the wonderful way nature intended them and instead donate their bond money (a total of €220) to our project as part of Helen's personal sponsorship of three individual scholars. Unfortunately at the time of writing both fun loving girls are insisting on anonymity so we don't have any 'before the diet club' pictures, just an 'after' but a pint of Guinness for each of you ladies who ever you are!
Joshua's Operation a Success; Richard Appointed the Godfather
Joshua is the wonderful baby living with his family under a Bagong Silang bridge whom we first came across during our Christmas gift giveaway in Caloocan City. At the time he was awaiting a hospital operation to repair a cleft lip and palate and, we are delighted to report, this procedure was recently and successfully completed with assistance from the project team in relation to medicine and transport costs. We do understand however that Joshua is likely to require another follow-up operation in around a year's time and we will of course be monitoring his progress. In the meantime Richard was honoured by a request to be Joshua's godfather whilst his sister Jeyceca and brother Dhexter have each got rucksacks full of stationery to help them with their imminent return to school!
Philippine Coast Guard Association Ceremony
Congratulations to our many friends from the Caloocan riders association, 25 of whom were sworn in as full volunteer members of the Philippine Coast Guard Association (PCGA) during a solemn ceremony at the Manila Yacht Club on 27 April. One of the many laudable objectives of the PCGA is that of youth development in the wider community and we look forward to working closely with these guys on future initiatives to help kids from Bagong Silang and other impoverished districts around Caloocan City.
Carol Throws a Party
To celebrate both this year's Philippines Independence Day and the start of the new academic year for all our sponsored scholars,
Carol Miclat was recently the kind host to a magnificent street party on Saturday 16 June. With over 100 guests in attendance, games for the kids, prizes for all our scholars, Skype link-ups to individual sponsors, the food bountiful, the drink flowing and the Karaoke booming, well what a night. Thanks Carol and we can't wait for the next one!
14 July - Joshua's Birthday and Baptism
Congratulations to Joshua, our beautiful baby under the bridge, who recently enjoyed the joint celebration of being baptised on his first birthday. Following an elegant service at Our Lourdes Parish Church in Camarin Caloocan City, Joshua, along with fellow hungry birthday baby Abegail Miclat, were later joined by numerous friends and family for an afternoon of food, drinks and cakes at Gerry's Grill.
Angelo and Family
It has been our pleasure in recent weeks to get better acquainted with six year old Angelo Laterina and his family. Having been made homeless following the tragic death of his father nine months ago Angelo, along his mother, brother and sister, currently finds shelter in a Marilao Bulacan farm outbuilding. However, thanks to the generous sponsorship of Eoin Reilly, Angelo has now been able to join his brother Louie in school at Heritage Elementary School and, from what we've seen and heard, is already making great progress. The MLCP Team has also been able to provide other small assistances over the past few weeks and will continue to look out for the family until its fortunes turn.
News from Eefke
Eefke Meijer has provided us with a wonderful write-up and lots of beautiful photos from her recent three week trip to the Philippines, all of which can be accessed from the links below. We wish you all the best in completion of your masters degree Eefke and please keep writing those articles about the challenges of life in our country and the inspirational resilience of the people who face them.
Cooling the Congress Kindergarten
Following an earlier commitment to the Principal Dr. Ma. Magdalena L Reyes, the MLCP team recently delivered a number of electric fans to Congress Elementary School in Caloocan City. Specially intended for installation in the school's kindergarten classrooms, we hope this equipment will help keep the infants alert as they learn and play and the teachers cool in their early development work on UOCC's intake for 2025.
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Newclay Products - Close Shave on a Jeepney
Many thanks to Paul and Valerie Dearing for their recent very generous donation to MLCP of several hundred packs of Newclay Products modelling clay. Now in the swift and efficient hands of LBC Express this material will hopefully be with us soon whereupon we will be working with local schools to promote a Wallace and Gromit inspired modelling project.
Watch this space for further details and please open the link below for more details about Newclay Products' leading range of educational and artistic modelling materials including, literally, the stuff that Wallace and Gromit are made of.
2 November - College Students' Party and Thank You Messages
With gratitude to host Carol Miclat, the MLCP founders held a recent get-together for all the sponsored college students, including (thanks to the support of Neil Byrne) new 'recruit' Reynante Nisperos who we now welcome to the fold and wish well in his accountancy studies at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. Complete with first semester report cards and full of enthusiasm for the new term ahead, the students also took the opportunity to send individual messages to their respective sponsors, the video of which can be seen via the link below.
Particular thanks to Justice for her Hollywood direction of the filming, Grace for her editing room patience (despite the usual producer pressure) and a nomination too for Jommel in letting us know how his gift vouchers were spent!
November 2013 - Kids' Ice Cream Party
Hosted by Carol and with Maria looking particularly stressed, here's some photos from the 15 November party for our sponsored school kids with food and ice cream provided to additional guests from the local neighbourhood.
Congratulations to Eefke Meijer on the recent publication of two Dutch magazine pieces chronicling her research on life in the Philippines (please see links below).
Christmas Parties - December 2013
With many thanks to kind invitation from the Guardian Reformist Group International the MLCP team was honoured to attend two recent kids' street parties in the Taytay Rizal and Katuparan Street Quezon City districts of Manila. 100 party bags were funded by generous contributions from Richard's colleagues in EY Ireland, gifts were donated by Maria plus Newclay Products, the preparation for and participation in both events was great fun and, as always, a multitude of smiles was our priceless reward.
More pictures to follow....
Shopping Expeditions for the 2014-2015 Academic Year
Class of 2014-2015
Last July 2, 2014 we conducted a feeding program at Phase 4 package 4 in Bagong Silang Caloocan City. The team Manila Life Chances (MLC) organized the program in partnership with the Coast Guard Phil. Team, with special participation of our guess from Holland Heinz Meijer and also the people who made the program possible. We just started the program at around 2:00 pm and all the children were gathered at the venue. We prepared 3 games before the feeding get started. The children were so excited about the games, we had hep hep hooray, stop dance and the boat is sinking. All of them are happy and participated the games very well.
We prepared some food and drinks for them, they also received gifts from MLC. The teams MLC were very much overwhelmed about the result of the program. A child is always been a child, happiness is best pictured at their smile. It’s a little thing we made for them but the laughter of the children on that program repays all our effort on that day. Team MLC believed that “Every child is a gift” to give and extend our care to every little child is our mission. It’s good to see those little teeth smiling towards our team after the program.
New Student Committee
Many thanks to Justice Fernandez (PRO & Treasurer), Salvacion Millama (President), Dayanara Tapang
(Vice President), Joey Gaton (Secretary,) our new MLCP Student Committee who will be providing much needed support to the founders in adminstering the sponsorship programme, mentor support to all our scholars, and managing various activities and events.
First off the guys have already produced a 'Manila Life Chances Agreement' setting out our reasonable expectations from each pupil and student participating in the programme. Of particular interest is the "no tatoos" rule, which has already got Maam Maria looking up laser removal clinics.
Latest Update 26 June 2015
To our SPONSORS:
Thank you sir and mam for your continous support to MLCP beneficiaries and scholars.We had just received our new pair of school shoes and rubber shoes.Its a nice gift to us and a good thing to continue and strive more.
From: MLCP BENEFICIARIES and SCHOLARS
The season kicked off with a visit to kids from the Special Educational Needs Center of Bagong Silang Elementary School. The MLCP team was treated to an amazing song and dance show, after which the kids tucked into a lunch of spaghetti from Jollibee followed by their Toy Drop gifts.