This is the third installment in a series of posts during my trip to the Philippines in January 2011.
Myrla Baldonado and I met with two potential projects that the Bayanihan Foundation is considering to do next. I also added my own personal reflection on the value of education as shared by many Filipino diaspora donors.
1) Law book library for Tarlac State University
Diaspora donor, Barbara Alban from Chicago has made some valuable contacts and she is also planning to donate law books, in addition to the books she had collected for the elementary school library in Iligan City.
Myrla Baldonado, Bayanihan Foundation’s Organizing Director, has identified a potential homeland partner, Tarlac State University that could receive the law books and put them to good use right away. The university has recently opened its law school and has expressed their sincere appreciation of the potential donation.
In fact, they already have shelves ready for the law books!
2) Book drive in Benguet
Next, Myrla and I traveled to Benguet State University in La Trinidad city, northern Luzon.
We met with some of the members of the Benguet State University Alumni Association who will be helpful homeland partners as we plan to distribute books for elementary schools in Benguet. Two potential diaspora donors include community members of the Association of Ifugao Migrant Workers of Israel (AIMWI) and the Baguio Ifugao Benguet Bontoc Apayao Kalinga (BIBBAK) of Chicago who have expressed their interest in donating the books for Benguet.
Many Filipino diaspora donors value education as a vital key to improving one’s future. I also saw a lot of universities and colleges as I travel all over the islands.
I agree that education is an important key but it is NOT the only ingredient needed for success. The Philippines has to create jobs at home for these college graduates or else the pressure to migrate and seek employment elsewhere will continue. In the end, the Philippines will just end up being a college factory exporting its educated workforce abroad and continue its dependence on their remittances.