Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Yongbei's Dairy: The arrive days from 2015/5/25 to 2015/5/27

I left United Kingdom for Cebu, Philippines last 24th of May 2015. The reason why I chose to volunteer in the Philippines is I can work with a local charity and learn about the Filipino culture. The city where I live is Cebu and it is the main center of commerce, education and trade. The city of Cebu is known as the Queen City of the South. At the meantime, it is the oldest city in the Philippines that consist of the main island itself and more than 160 surrounding islands. When the plane was about to land in the airport, I was seating right beside the window seat and I was looking down below, the city was amazing and my first impression of Cebu was and island with a typical blue sky with many palm trees planted along the road.

When I get to the airport, I was fetched with the two friendly Filipino girls named Cathy and Mariflor. They told me that I will be living together with the other volunteers in a host family whose name is Queenie. When I get to the We Spark Action office, I met two staff named Marco and Lea. Marco had me oriented about the organization and told me about what I should do in the office like updating the blog.

The transporation in the city is you need to ride through a Jeepney. Jeepney was known for crowded seats and kitsch decorations, most people think that Jeepneys passes the cultural and arts of the Philippines. Usually, I need to pay 7 Pesos for taking a Jeepney with code 07B (Jeepneys here in Cebu follows specific routes and are coded) from the house where I was living to the We Spark Action Office. Jeepeneys here in Cebu is the cheapest public transportation and is very convenient for passengers like me but sometimes it can lead to traffic jams and air pollution.
The most interesting part of my journey is when I went to the house where I was staying, I saw a big and rich house right next to my host family’s house Jen (a girl who is also living in my host family) told me that the price of the house costs 1 Million Pesos. The owner of the house rent rooms to people  at a very reasonable price so that these people can get a place to live. At the end of my first night in Cebu, I met other volunteers and I was worried about how to get along with other people due to language barrier.

At the second day of my stay here in Cebu, I got the chance to taste a traditional breakfast in the Philippines named “Lugaw” that looks like a Chinese food “Rice Porridge” but the difference with the Rice Porridge in Chinese is that Filipinos usually add some sugar and sauce to the porridge. Lea went with me to ANCE (my host project) and I met Mr. Fernan, and I was told that I am going to teach Mandarin and Math to the street kids from Thursdays to Saturdays. After the meeting, Mr. Fernan, Lea and I went to the place where I will be teaching and when we got there I saw many people without their clothes on and just standing on the streets like they have nothing to do with their lives. The children who live in the place where I will be teaching were very friendly; in fact one five year old girl took my hand to touch her forehead. Lea told me that this kind of etiquette means that the girl blesses me and likes me.

In the evening, I got the chance to speak with the other volunteers named Noe (a Belgian) and Salome (a Swiss), both of them were very friendly and I asked them many questions about their work and how to treat the street kids and how to maintain an attitude in the place, they patiently answered all my questions.

The third day is my City tour. I went out together with Mariflor and Cathy and they brought me to many interesting places in Cebu City. There is one place I can’t forget, the Basilica Minore del Sto Nino, it is the oldest church in the Philippines founded last 1565. Most of the people here are Roman Catholic so many people went to the church to pray. Ancient documents were recorded the statue of the Holy Child (another name Santo Nino) was given to the wife of the Rajah of Cebu City by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. However, Cebu is the capital of the catholic faith that is deeply influenced by Christianity.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

La Consolacion College of Bais City (A School of Excellence and Augustinian Spirituality)

La Consolacion College-Bais, a three level Catholic Educational Institution, Envision an integrally developed community of friends who are compassionate, Christ-centered and service oriented. La Consolacion College of Bais City or LCC-Bais officially opened on 13th of June 2007. As a catholic school, LCC-Bais gives primary importance to the spiritual life of its students, faculty and personnel. It is a Catholic learning institution with students from Preparatory, Elementary, High School and College.  

La Consolacion College-Bais, a three level Catholic Educational Institution, Envision an integrally developed community of friends who are compassionate, Christ-centered and service oriented.

Moved by the spirit of our Lady of Consolation, inspired by the life, teachings of St. Augustine and virtues of Mo. Rita and Mo. Consuelo, we commit ourselves to the following mission elements:
  • ·        A humble caring, compassionate educative community
  • ·        A responsible nationalist Filipino
  • ·        A style that is sensitive to the individuality of a person
  • ·        A pedagogical approach that is innovative
  • ·        and transformative
  • ·        A passionate service especially to the poor that is empowering and liberating
  • ·        Stewards of God’s creation
  • ·        Communion of minds and heart on the way to God

La Consolacion College has a partner farm school that supports students from area that are far away from the city who can't afford to travel to the school everyday. The Bais Family Farm School located in Sitio Cantugot, Brgy. Sab-ahan Bais City in Negros Oriental have a unique approach to education where students spend one week living at the school, then spend the next two weeks studying at home and applying what they learned at school in their own farms. This alternating cycle allows students to continue their education while still being able to contribute to their family’s livelihood. 

Our ongoing volunteers in LCC Bais and Bais Family Farm School

LCC - Bais has been one of our project partners for a longer period of time.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Hilutungan Island (The Island of Hope and Promise)

Gilutungan Island is one of the islands in the Olango Reef and is a part of the Municipality of Cordova, Cebu, Philippines. This beautiful island is 20 to 30 minutes away from Mactan Island. The island is perfect for dive sites, snorkeling and the like.

With its very beautiful shoreline and marine life, it can't be denied that the people living in this island is in need of assistance.

With 390 families in 309 houses, this community lives through fishing, island hopping boat drivers and seaweed planting. And so, poverty still continues to plague the people of Hilutungan Island. With much greater demands of the basic needs today, fishing and the frequent influx of the tourists still can't suffice the needs of the people.

 An educational facility is present in the are but until Grade 7 only. Potable water is scarce and the people would have to travel to the neighboring mainland (Cordova) to get water supply. A rain catchment is present but still couldn't suffice the thirst of the 390 families in the island most especially during the summer where the sun is scorching hot. Electrical supply is also an issue in the island. A public electric generator is present but can only supply electricity to the whole island for as far as 5 hours in the night. A single solar panel is present in the school area but still couldn't suffice the need of electricity for school for a whole day.

With this predicament, let us help lift the lives of the people of Hilutungan. Together, hand in hand, we can make a difference.

Don't just feel it but make a change.

Reach us and together we'll make difference.

Monday, June 30, 2014


Last year, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake jolted Bohol and almost hundreds of lives were taken. Many families were left homeless and most of the churches were destroyed. Even the famous Chocolate Hills were severed from the strong quake. The government has taken its necessary action to cover up the losses that was brought about by the quake but it wasn't enough to suffice the needs of the victims. Water, food and of course new and stronger homes were the most important things that the victims needed.

Below are some of the pictures taken after the earthquake.


Just as after the earthquake, a super-typhoon struck the islands of Visayas. It was named as Typhoon Haiyan (Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines), dubbed as the world's strongest typhoon that ever struck the world. The typhoon brought strong winds and heavy rains that tore down homes, buildings and as well as the hearts and hopes of the Filipinos and millions of Filipinos died. Many foreign countries came and helped but until these days, there were still families living in temporary tents for shelter.

Below are some of the photos taken after the super-typhoon shook the islands in Visayas.


Seeing the aftermath of the Bohol quake and super typhoon Haiyan touched us all deeply. It is in this very reason why We Spark Action Inc. have created the REBUILD PHILIPPINES PROJECT. The project promotes the renovation and recovery efforts to specific local communities affected by the disasters. It also provides long-term support for livelihood skills training activities and facilitates sustainable programs on disaster preparedness and overall education of local communities.

With your help we can rebuild the Philippines and make the victims happy. Let us spark the spirit if  volunteerism.

Come and join us and we will let you see the beauty of giving!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Understanding Volunteerism ...


Volunteering means to carry out a duty or a job without expecting repayment or remuneration. It is an action worth to be lived by. Though time writers associate volunteerism with charity, both may have  an intense meaning when deeply fathomed. CHARITY is a value while VOLUNTEERISM is an action.

In every way in our lives, through people from different walks of life, it is always a norm when someone is in need and when someone needs help. That will then be the time where the act of volunteerism gets in. Being kind and generous to others and putting it into actions is a virtue.


Volunteerism can come in many faces. It could be you helping the community through building something important that would be beneficial to the society, it could be seeing yourself teaching other people, it could be you feeding the hungry or it could be you giving your time and skills to others. 


Furthermore, volunteerism is a two way street.  It could be beneficial to both parties involved. When someone donates a handful of time, the difference made is tremendous and it shapes a community for the better while the experience improves the person who donated the time. The volunteer then can strengthen his/her present skills such as communication skills, ability to work with other people, dedication, testing one's patience and time management.


Volunteering is what makes a community because it brings people together to work on a goal. 


With We Spark Action Inc., you will be on the right track. We will help you turn your thoughts into passion. There is nothing more to life when you see yourself helping others. With the aid of our partner organizations, we assure you that you could be a potential volunteer who can help our community reach into its greater heights. 


Come to think of it. As what H. Jackson Brown Jr. says, remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.


Join us and let us all make a difference!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

What is it to know about We Spark Action?

                            WE SPARK ACTION (Spark) is a non-government and non-profit organization in the Philippines that aims to empower the youth through international voluntary service (IVS) exchanges and activities. It primarily focuses its concerns on social issues like education, health, environment, cultural engagements and community development.  

                SPARK is a duly registered organization with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with Registration Number: CN 201127751 in Cebu City since May 2011.

SPARK was established through a partnership with development workers and supporters as well as local community leaders.  It is the result of almost a decade of experience in the field of voluntary service through bilateral volunteer exchanges. The founders of SPARK pool an extensive experience in children and youth work, training, research and community development.  

SPARK envisions being a leader in social services, a catalyst for youth empowerment and intercultural exchange and a mentor of voluntary work for youth development.

·        To promote international voluntary service exchanges
·        To nurture community development efforts and volunteerism
·        To provide globally competitive training programs on youth service and leadership
·        To promote learner-centered training programs
·        To establish a network of volunteers and experts in social development


The objectives of SPARK work through six banner programs called I-SERVE:
· International Exchange Programs and Activities will allow young people to gain a global outlook on cultural diversity, appreciate other cultures and learn to interact with all kinds of people from different parts of the world.
· Service Training and Capability Building will organize training on youth service and youth development programs to be conducted by development experts.
·  Establishment of a database of experts and youth volunteers will build a strong network of social development workers and advocates who are diverse and well-informed.
·   Research on youth issues and concerns will develop different youth-related studies to provide updated information and enhance youth development.
· Volunteer Activities will promote activities that foster community development through friendship, teamwork and service.
· Experiential Activities will ensure active youth participation in community development through committed service in their chosen communities.


·    Long Term Volunteer: Work as a volunteer in a project for 6 to 12 months
·   Short Term Volunteer: Work as a volunteer in a project 2 to 16 weeks
·  International Work camp: Volunteers from different countries will work for a project for 2 weeks
·  Bilateral work camp program: Volunteers from  one c country will work together with local Filipino volunteers for a 2 week project
· Filipino- international exchange program- immersion/ exposure of young Filipino to international countries.
·    Capacity Building Program: Training programs offered or provided to young Filipino
·   Local volunteer program: Exposure / immersion of young Filipinos to local communities in the Philippines to advocate issues on community, environment, health, urban/ rural situation. 

·         To promote peace and unity through intercultural exchange and activities.
·         To encourage and invite social development experts to participate and be involved in youth development.
·         To inspire youth to do volunteer work.
·         To establish reliable data and situation on youth development.

SPARK is an official international partner of the Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service (CCIVS), the ALLIANCE of European Voluntary Service Organizations (ALLIANCE), the International Cultural Youth Exchange Federation (ICYE), the Network for Voluntary Development in Asia and the Pacific (NVDA). It is also a duly registered Youth Serving Organization of the National Youth Commission, a National Government  Agency under the Office of the President of the Philippines.
SPARK currently works with several National and Local Non-Government Organizations and Local Government Units in the Philippines like Gualandi Volunteer Service Program Inc. (GVSP), Action for Nurturing Children and Environment Inc. (ANCE), Balay Samaritano sa Sugbo, Albert Schweitzer Familienwerk Foundation Philippines, Inc. (ASFFPI),La Consolacion College of Bais City, Betty Bantug Benitez Foundation, Edukasyon Para sa Kinabukasan Inc. (Eduk Inc.), Abcede Memorial Library Center, Provincial Government of Negros Oriental, Lapu-lapu City Government and other local public institutions in Cebu Province.

                SPARK will do its best to support its volunteers and to facilitate constructive and educational experiences. However, our projects are organized according to the Filipino standards of living and culture. Volunteers will need to adapt to simple living conditions and local food.

                The philosophy of volunteerism is the work base of SPARK and potential volunteers are expected to understand this philosophy; and to share and participate actively in its practice. Sending organizations are expected to provide volunteers with the SPARK documentation (work camp program, info sheet and info pack), and inform them of the do’s and don’ts of Filipino culture. Holding of pre-departure trainings that include introduction to International Voluntary Service fundamental principles; introduction to the basis of intercultural learning and cultural diversity; non-violent communication; problem solving; conflict management; and active participation in voluntary service projects are highly recommended.

                All SPARK projects are open to volunteers who are 18 years old when the program starts. There is no maximum age limit and the participation of “grown up” volunteers is encouraged to increase the intergenerational dimension of SPARK projects and exchanges.

                For the entire duration of the project, all volunteers are required to individually subscribe to a private insurance covering third party liability, health care and repatriation. Proof of payment and description of subscribed services must be presented to the SPARK camp leader at the beginning of the camp. No exception will be allowed as participants without proper insurance cannot be accepted for legal reasons. 

For Inquiries, you may contact:                                 
Ms. May Antoniette Sun
National Coordinator
Door 4, 2/F Causing- Feria Bldg., Osmeña Boulevard Cebu City
Telephone Number +63 32 4123102
Mobile Number  +63 922 8603831