Wednesday, May 26, 2010

First Seeds of Hope: A testimonial from the Waras family

*Mary Grace Waras is the mother of Joshua Dave Waras, recipient of the 2010 Principal's Award of Excellence, granted to the Mano Amiga student who showed hard work and dedication to learning by demonstrating excellence in Academics and all other aspects of Integral Formation.

Not being able to finish college is one of Mary Grace Waras' biggest frustrations in life, When I was in college I was a scholar. I failed in one major subject during the first semester of my 2nd year. I just needed one point. My teacher told me that it can still be fixed, but I chose to run away because of shame and because I knew it would cost me my scholarship. Instead of staying in school, I used the final payment of my miscellaneous fees to buy a ticket and I ran away.”

It was during this time she met and soon after, married Alberto Waras. As a construction worker, Alberto earns P7000 a month. Without a College degree however, Mary Grace found it difficult to find a good paying job with a salary that would enable her to afford someone who could look after the children while they are both at work. She has not given up though. “I plan to work when my children are a bit older so I can save up for their college education. It is only through good education that they could have a better life. ”

Joshua first entered Mano Amiga Academy last year as part of the Kindergarten class.“I tried enrolling my son in a different school but they did not accept him because they were worried I would be like my sister who couldn’t pay the tuition fees there regularly. We found out that Mano Amiga was looking for enrollees so I inquired here, and I immediately saw how this was a much better school.”

Mary Grace now believes that Joshua will go far because of the exceptional formation his son is receiving. “Mano Amiga is really a blessing to our family. The school is advanced and the teachers are very committed. Joshua is only 5 years old but he already knows a lot of things that I don’t even know! Mano Amiga also places a lot of emphasis on values formation. This is very important for me because the kids in our area are already cursing at such a young age and I don’t want my children to be like that.”

Mary Grace hopes that Joshua will continue to be a scholar in Mano Amiga Academy until he reaches 12th grade. “He really likes it here which shows in the enthusiastic way he does his homework. He doesn’t like being absent, unlike in other schools where the students have to be dragged to come to school.

“Everything your child will ever need to ensure a good future for him can be found here- morally, academically, spiritually. That’s why I’m hoping that my other child will also be enrolled here. So just like Joshua, she will learn too and have a good future,” Mary Grace adds with a hopeful smile. #

It takes P25,000 to send one child to Mano Amiga Academy for one year. We are currently looking for partners who would like to help with a full or partial scholarship. For more inquiries on how you can change the life of a child with the gift of education, you may contact Lynn Pinugu at or at 09063361663.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

PHINMA fun run for Mano Amiga!

June 5, 2010
The Grove, Ortigas
Registration: P350
For more info: please contact Hernan at 8700581

Thursday, May 20, 2010

MA Milestone: First batch of Prep graduates!

In 2008, Mano Amiga Academy opened its doors to deserving children from low-income families living in Taguig.

On May 18, 2010, two years after the school opened, Mano Amiga Academy celebrated the graduation of its pioneer batch of Prep graduates. The ceremony was made even more special by the stage that the parents volunteered to construct and design. Several Mano Amiga partners graced the event to partake in the celebration and witness their scholars finish preschool.

After the opening prayer and introductions, the 26 graduates sang You Raise Me Up, an inspirational song they dedicated to God and their parents.

The children beamed proudly as Mano Amiga Academy inc. President Amb. Jose Macario Laurel IV and School Principal Ramon Austria presented them with their diplomas. A number of students also received medals for academic achievement and special awards.

Students in Mano Amiga are provided with 14 years of education (preschool until high school). We look forward to the next 12 years when our Prep graduates finally finish high school, excited and well-prepared to pursue higher opportunities because of the quality formation they received.
Congratulations to Mano Amiga Academy's first preschool graduates!

Batch 2010 Awardees:
Leadership award: Zycareine Mae Benigay
Apostolic Service award : John Mark Ebero
Effort Award: Jhonny Canares and Jika Villaflor
Subject Awardees:
Math: John Mark Ebero
Science: Joshua Dave Waras
English: Zycareine Benigay
Catholic Formation: Joshua Dave Waras
Art: Mary Grace Aquiler
Academic excellence:
First Honor: Joshua Dave Waras
Second Honor: Zycareine Benigay
Third Honor: Lovely Villar

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Small actions, Big change

Angeline Nadera and her classmates squealed excitedly as they searched the classroom for hidden seashell cut-outs. Volunteers tried to keep up while the students crawled into every nook and cranny to gather as many paper shells they could and win the Underwater-themed Scavenger Hunt.
The exercise was a part of a Saturday activity in which volunteers of all ages spent the whole afternoon teaching the students the beauty of Marine life and the importance of Ocean conservation. The activity featured songs, stories, games, and arts and crafts to teach the students about the small things they can do that actually have a big impact in protecting marine life.
"It takes so little to make a difference. Efforts like this open the children's imagination and instill values that last for a lifetime," Mano Amiga volunteer Jamie Silva said.

For more information on Mano Amiga Academy and its activities, you may contact Lynn Pinugu at 09063361663 or send an email to