About FLAG

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Educate, Enrich and Empower underprivileged girls in the Philippines

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The sun will come out tomorrow..

Finally , we had 2 days of good weather.. therefore I am thankful for ...

7. Sunshine - we had a harsh winter, very rainy April and May ( thank you for watering all my plants ). Let's just take a moment and feel the warmth.

8. Friends - you know who you are.. ( although I am not sure why you are not following my blog !) nonetheless, here's a shout out to you.

9. Another day - where I can look back and reflect , then look forward to what the day will bring me.

Happy Thankful Tuesday !

Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you again,

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sisterhood of the Travelling Pant(ies)

Yep, here we are. Good news, our youngest sister just got engaged ( middle one)
She will be last one to get married ( 2013 is the year). We are so excited for her and yes I am the maid (matron) of honor. I promise there will be crying, yelling, teasing and laughing all the way to the altar.
I can't wait.

Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you again,

Meet Jessel

Jessel and Jon, it was love at first sight.  Jessel was 10 when they met and she smiled at him the whole time. Jon's heart just melted. His heart was cried too when he found out she has never attended any school. She should be in grade 4.
Shout out to avagracescloset.blogspot.com Thank you for the red head band.

After finishing one year at FLAG and helping her prepare for school, Jessel will be attending public school this June 2011 as Grade 1. We believe she will accelerate to the proper grade before the end of the school year. She wants to be a nurse when she grows up. She is the daughter we never had.

Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you again,
The F.L.A.G team

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"Salamat" means Thank You!

I am thankful for...

4. Long weekends - why can't we have long weekends every week? The extra day was extra special. I spent the day with the boys just hanging out.

5. My sisters - to share clothes with, laugh with, gossip with. My youngest sister just announced she is engaged and she wants me to her Maid of honor. I was also the maid of honor to my second sister 7 years ago.  Wow! I am honored. ( Maid of horror LOL!)

6. Patches - our dog, he is 7 years old. He gives us unconditional love everyday.

Happy Thankful Tuesday!!!

P.S " Salamat" is Thank you in our Filipino language :)

Thank you for stopping by and hope to see you soon!
The F.L.A.G team

Monday, May 23, 2011

Getting ready for school!!

I can't believe we survived our first year of F.L.A.G. We thank all our friends, family and even strangers for all their thoughtful comments and encouragement.

June 6 is back to school for our girls in Manila. Let's look back June 2010, when we started.

This is Jessel during her uniform fitting last year with our teacher Ms. Rose
She  was 10 when she came to our school because she has never attended any school since.  After one year with FLAG, she is ready to enter Grade 1 at the regular public school. We will miss her but we will be following her journey everday.
Finishing touches

Our volunteers

The girls excited to come to school so they went just to see how it feels like to sit down in a classroom for the very FIRST TIME!

Thank you for stopping by and hope to see you soon!
The F.L.A.G team
LIKE US at  www.facebook.com/flagphilippines

Friday, May 20, 2011

What are you doing this summer??

Hello followers,

Are you excited about summer? We all are. Time for gardening, flipflops and just sunshine. I'm sure your kids will go to camp, road trips and camping. The list is endless for all things summer. Our kids from FLAG are spending summer in school.  Yes, school! Most girls will be either begging on the streets or simply loitering the dangerous and unforgiving streets of Manila. We know that they are safe and well taken care of.

She loves to read!  They all do!
Study group. love they are all wearing pink :)

For complete view of all our photos and events, you can also like our facebook page www.facebook.com/flagphilippines

Thank you for stopping by  and hope to see you soon!

The F.L.A.G team

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What am I thankful for ..

Happy Tuesday!

 Starting a Gratitude journal ( I had one before, not sure where it is now). We often forget how lucky we are and take time to reflect on all the things that surrounds us. Remember these are "things". In no random order.

1. My parents - thank you for giving me life. Without them I won't be here. My mom who is the pillar of my family, my dad ( rest in peace) who tried his best to support us given the life he lived.

2. Jon - where do I begin?? 20 years of being together, HE GETS ME! period.

3. Patrick and Jordan - they put meaning to my life.. thankful that they are growing up to be such gentlemen. I know there's more work to be done :)

This list will grow as I continue to blog.. Welcome to Thank You Tuesday!

Thank you for stopping by and hope to see you again!

The F.L.A.G team

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Meet Irysh

This is Irysh. She is 5 years old but she looks like she was 2. Jon and I met here last year and there was that sparkle in her eyes but somehow fading. She lives with her cousins in a house with no electricity and running water. She does not like to smile.

Now.. she won't stop smiling and being silly.
During our graduation.. more laughters!!
She will stay one more year with FLAG until she goes to a regular school. She should be in Grade 1 by now but she has never been taught how to read or write. We know she will do it and she has the determination and the sparkle is back.

Thanks for stopping and hope to see you soon!

The F.L.A.G  team

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I dedicate this to all the moms out there!

" see I know this girl, I only radiate like the sun when she rotates around me
so I guess you can call her my - world
i know the circumference of the world is impossible to measure, but if I could just wrap my arms around the earth of her body."
i could tell you the exact -distance."

"And I'm sorry Al Gore but contrary to the popular belief, global warming has nothing to do with carbon emissions.
But I have made it my mission to prove that was once my implicit, is now obvious to show that the hotter the summers are a result of her - Intuition.
Because I swear she's a psychic, see she's saving the world with no need of a sidekick."

"She would fly to the ends of the earth if I was in trouble, at the same time I could be driving by a Timmies 24 blocks away and she'll make me buy her a double double.
And she has no bubble, of personal space cuz everyone is consoled in her gratitude and her grace
Wars would stop, guns would drop and bad guys would drop on one knee in praise
if these stupid governments would just see her face."

"I remember 5 years , yeah way back, when I started to pack..
My word pad and everything that I had, cuz life was bad, wanted to make like my dad
just grab my bags an dip."
But then she screamed my name, told me I was all she had. I have never seen a face in the world so sad
tears drip from her eyes to her cheek and found solitary confinement on her upper lip."

"So I made a promise after I saw the sorrowful state she was in
I would never be the cause of her pain ever again.. and since then
If anyone on this earth ever made her cry, I would cut off their limbs and make them sleep in her flowerbed for the rest of their lives."

" Cuz from my birth till the day I die, she will always be the reason why I'm spittin these lines
She will always be the reason why I'm runnin these rhymes
She will always be the reason why I spend all this time with this pen."
So f$&k the poetic , cuz no poet could spit it more beautiful than the way she had it."
Patrick, I love you, Patrick there is no one on this world that's above you, Patrick I know this world is f$&ked up and deranged but I brought you on this earth, cuz it needed a change."
So make me proud."
So here I go,
Nails clipped, ready to show
deodorant  on, shirt buttoned up, ready to flow
been waiting 18 years to reap what I've sewn
full of love and Filipino food I'm ready to blow so,
With this paper in my left hand, an my brother on my right, I am ready to step on stage and set fire to this mic."
Dad and bro in the front row
They saved you a seat, bare witness as I incinerate the world
with the same fire you sparked in me."

"And I'll always look both ways before I cross the street, I'll keep my head up and never look at my feet
Ladies are always first , always offer to take the check cuz they're all queens like you, so I offer the same respect.
Cuz some call you a princess some call you a queen some call you an angel on earth and heaven
and everything in between."
"Dad calls you babe, my boys call you Mrs.de Belen
as they dip to the kitche, filipino food they'd be smellin.
I will always need you,  like your noodle soup when I'm sick
Years go by, and you'll always look like you're 26
and you're wrong, I should have takem you to the prom
A perfect woman of many names, but I just call her - MOM

Poem by Patrick

Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you again,
The F.L.A.G team

Sunday, May 8, 2011

One mom's gift to another..

Happy Mother's day to all the F.L.A.G moms back home in the Philippines! Perhaps one day you will have the chance to read this. We are so lucky to have met all of you and your daughters. My husband and I will do the best we can to continue the dreams you have for them.  Every mother wants their children to have a better life than their own. With your continuing prayers and support, your daughters will have the chance to be educated and have a better life.  Through education, the cycle of poverty will end and they will be the best they can be. For as long as you have faith and you believe in the cause, F.L.A.G will succeed.

From one mother to another, Happy Mother's day from Monica, Jon, Patrick and Jordan

Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you again,
The F.L.A.G team

Friday, May 6, 2011

Every mom's wish

With my oldest son being 19 years old and on his own, my wish for him is to be the best that he can be.  Make mistakes and learn from them.  For my other son, Jordan follow your dream. I never ask for anything on Mother's day other than cleaning the garden and planting a tree every Mother's day. They are my gifts.

Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you again,
The F.L.A.G team

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

To our friend Claire... Thank you!

I just want to share with all of you a testimonial from one of our good friends.  Her name is Claire.  I was in tears ( tears of joy and heartfelt gratitude) for what she said.  Please read on.

"I met Jon and Monica about 7 – 8 years ago.   I was taking salsa classes and Jon was an instructor.  They were the typical Canadian middle-class couple.  They lived in the suburbs.  Drove nice cars.  They both worked in Fortune 500 companies.  They have two kids – boys – teenagers that is.  Jon and Monica had been saving a school fund for them in hopes that they would go to University.
Then one year, in  2009, Jon and Monica went on vacation to the Philippines.  They had not been back for decades…… and that visit – changed their lives.
I remember having a quick lunch with Jon on a work day to catch up and see how his “vacation” went and I was eating my sushi when he said, “….and Monica and I are cashing in our life savings and convinced the boys (his sons) to donate their school fund to open a girls school in the most desolate and poor neighbourhoods in the Philippines”.  I looked at him and thought he was joking.  Then I thought – nah – he’s just saying that because he was shocked at the poverty and dirt and desperation that you see in some developing countries….he’s not gonna cash out his life savings……….but I was wrong.
When some of us donate time, volunteer, make cash donations to charities in the spirit of giving back, Jon and Monica put their financial futures at stake – and invested in a group of underprivileged girls who never went to school, only had food to eat every two days if they were lucky and some who have lost their moms and dads and wander the streets in dismal surroundings.  Jon and Monica are feeding, educating and giving these girls hope. They are allowing them to dream.  That is why I am one of the many volunteers for FLAG. I believe.
Not all of us are going to be like Jon and Monica; but we can do something too.  Something small: surrender some time to volunteer, make a small donation or perhaps communicate their story to your friends.  Small steps…."

Quote:  A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.- Mohandas Gandhi

Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you again,
The F.L.A.G team

Sunday, May 1, 2011

His birthday wish..

When my husband went to the Philippines in 2009, he was not sure what he was going to expect. For a month he explored the streets of Manila. He got around using a map!! Who does that in Manila? You are a target for muggers and thieves! He was brave. He came back with one mission.. to give back. We are blessed with 2 handsome boys , Patrick and Jordan but still feeling incomplete.  One year later, FLAG has educated 15 girls with 8 going to a regular school in June 2011.

He celebrated a milestone birthday this 2011 and one wish every year until the rest of his life is to continue education underprivileged girls in the Philippines. Happy Birthday and cheers to many more! Love, Monica, Patrick and Jordan.

Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you again,
The F.L.A.G team