Thanks to the support of donors, Bigay Puso has continued to grow over the past decade. The last few years have seen the expansion of our Bigay Puso sa Pasko program to new locations and the addition of new programs in response to the needs of the community.
Bigay Puso sa Pasko
Bigay Puso sa Pasko (Give Your Heart on Christmas) is an annual Christmas outreach program for children in underserved communities in the Philippines. The project was founded by teacher Shirley E. Alambra in 2011 at Lupang Pangako Elementary School in Payatas after she saw that her students had no gifts or food at their previous Christmas parties, some eating sardines as their only holiday meal. Built on a former landfill, Payatas is a predominantly urban poor barangay in the northeastern district of Quezon City and remains one of the most impoverished areas in Metro Manila. With the help of sponsors, Shirley provided 100 students with Jollibee meals, groceries, and toys at the first Bigay Puso sa Pasko event, complete with a special appearance from Jollibee. The event became an annual tradition in Payatas, and has expanded to additional locations during the last few years. Bigay Puso sa Pasko now takes place in various communities across the Philippines every Christmas, including:
Payatas, Quezon City (Lupang Pangako Elementary School)
West Fairview, Quezon City (West Fairview Elementary School)
Sitio Culasisi mountain community, Antipolo, Rizal (Mountain View Free Learning Center)
Poblacion, Makati City (Annex House)
Sitio Kibulacan Indigenous Peoples community, Malita, Davao Occidental (Pedro Geverola Lucero Elementary School - Culaman Extension)
Barangay Digkilaan, Iligan City (Our Lady of Fatima Parish Community Center)
Over 3,500 kids have participated in the program since 2011.
Literacy & Numeracy
Our Literacy & Numeracy program teaches basic reading, writing, and math skills to kids in the remote mountain community of Sitio Culasisi in Antipolo, Rizal. Although the Sitio Culasisi area is located just outside Metro Manila, most members of the community have never left the area due to its isolation and the high cost of transportation. As a result, many of the kids are unable to attend school and lack access to formal education. The program is led by Bigay Puso founder Shirley E. Alambra, a dedicated educator with over 20 years of teaching experience under the Department of Education (DepEd) Philippines, along with a team of experienced teachers from West Fairview Elementary School and Lupang Pangako Elementary School. Literacy & Numeracy includes a feeding program for the kids and is held monthly at our new Mountain View Free Learning Center. The teachers have also assisted many of the parents in the community in completing the Alternative Learning System, a parallel learning system under DepEd Philippines that provides opportunities for out-of-school youth and adult learners to develop basic and functional literacy skills, and to access equivalent pathways to complete basic education.
Bayanihan Relief Drives
Located along the typhoon belt in the Pacific Ocean, the Philippines is the most exposed country in the world to tropical storms and visited by an average of 20 typhoons every year. Its geographical location and physical environment (the country consists of more than 7,000 islands) also make it highly prone to other natural disasters, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, storm surges, landslides, and flooding, leaving many communities vulnerable to these risks. With the support of donors and our network of volunteers and teachers within the Department of Education Philippines, Bigay Puso is able to quickly respond to natural disasters and mobilize relief efforts during times of need. In response to recent events in 2020, Bigay Puso conducted relief drives to support 100 families in the Payatas community affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as 500 families in Kasiglahan Village in Rodriguez, Rizal affected by Typhoon Ulysses.