Small things can make a big difference

“Together is better”

The gentle wind awaken us, it was Saturday morning on the 26th of august at exactly 5:00 AM. Lying longer on the bed wasn’t our priority as we should be prep up for the long day ahead. The rain was pouring heavily but that didn’t bother us; our mind was focused on the mission to accomplish.

Today is the day of our visit to Payatas in coordination with Peacemaker Children of Hope Foundation Inc. It’s one big opportunity for all of us to share and be a blessing to others.

Life of a volunteer

The meet up was at Diliman Learning Center. Since it was Saturday, I decided to bring my sister along with me in agreement that she’ll participate. I thought it’ll be good for her to participate in this kind of event as early as now for her to value what she have and learn more about life. A little longer after we arrived, the other members came in, carrying their gifts for the kids. The volunteers was composed of Carlos Nolido, Nas Bermudez, MC Gorpido, Lin Co –Gutierrez, Ayish Abargos, Jose Enrico Bolivar, Karen Manalo, and Marc Jermaine. We departed at LC Diliman around 9:00 AM heading to Payatas, Quezon City.

The Venue

Payatas is a barangay located in the 2nd district of Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines. It is known as Payatas Dumpsite – the largest open dumpsite in the Philippines. There are several foundations that operate in this small community to provide opportunities especially for the youth. Ms. MC is one of the coordinator of Peacemaker Children of Hope Foundation Inc, her compassion to the kids is commendable. She welcomed us upon arrival and briefed us about the program. After which, we went down to the church to meet the kids.

Payatas Volunteer

I’ve seen the mountain dump in the news but looking at in person gave me a chill. While the other side of the country is enjoying fresh air and amazing mountain formations. The kids here have their own mountain – the only difference is that it doesn’t breathe fresh air.  Judging from the outside, I was surprised to see clean and animated kids inside the church. They patiently waited for our arrival and welcomed us genuinely. I see faces of our future generation and I see hope in them. Despite of their circumstances, these kids are hopeful and eager to learn.

Payatas, volunteer
Opening prayer

Carlos discussed the  7 habits of highly effective teens.



  1. Be proactiveYou’re in charge of yourself.
  2. Begin with the end in mindSet a smart goal.
  3. Put things firstknow your priorities
  4. Think Win-WinShare your success and help others to be successful too!
  5. Seek first to understand, then to be understoodlisten actively to others.
  6. Synergizetogether is better.
  7. Sharpen the sawalways strive to become a better version of yourself

Everyone shared their best practices. The message we all want to come across to those kids is to study hard, build good habits, dream big and value their families.


I said, Make the most of your time. As a kid, you have all the time in the world but if you want to be successful, make use of that time to learn everything you need as early as now. Study hard, and spend more time with your family“.

Moreover, having fun is also part of being youth and living so knowing their priorities is crucial to be successful and in achieving their dreams. The kids listened attentively…“Kids, don’t be afraid to dream BIG. However, it demands responsibility -you have to work for it”.

The second Activity was sharing.  The objectives of the sharing is to:

  1. help students have good decision making.
  2. advise the youth wit effective learning ways.
  3. enhance family values.
  4. improve self-esteem.
  5. practice good habits in lifestyle.

There are seven situation that the facilitator would read and then explain, then ask the kids about their opinion or feeling about it.

Example Scenarios:

  1. Everyone mocks you that you are ugly and they always avoid you, but you know to yourself that you are very talented and smart. How will you be confident? What are the ways to stand out?
  2. One of your friends is smoking and using drugs at a very young age. How will you help him?

These kids at an early age, knows what to do in these kind of situation. I was supposed to give advice to them but I ended up listening and acknowledging their responses. It is so motivating to see that the kids are really eager to learn, they listened attentively, and participated. Their faces were full of enthusiasm and craving to learn. Some kids even jotted down notes and it’s one good practice.


Kids playing “Pak Ganern” game.


Kids getting their prices.


Final activity- group picture!


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