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Midterm Elections may not have the drama and narrative like that of a Presidential Election, but it’s nonetheless an important time for Filipinos to make their vote count.  With over 18,000 electoral posts up for grabs, and with national issues such as charter change and national security hanging in the balance, the votes that will be casted on Monday will create a ripple effect that will be felt, almost certainly, beyond the next three years.

Election 2019 by the numbers
  • 12 senators
  • 59 party-list representatives
  • 243 district representatives
  • 81 governors
  • 81 vice governors
  • 780 provincial board members
  • 145 city mayors
  • 145 city vice mayors
  • 1,628 city councilors
  • 1,489 municipal mayors
  • 1,489 municipal vice mayors
  • 11,916 municipal councilors
  • 1 ARMM regional governor
  • 1 ARMM regional vice governor
  • 24 ARMM regional assemblymen

There are 51 male candidates and 11 female candidates vying for a spot at the senate this year, led by seven reelectionists. Overall, a little over 80% of the candidates this year are male, while less than 20% of the aspirants are female.

Reminders on Election Day

The voting precincts will open at 6 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. Before then, it’s important to prepare your list beforehand as it can get hectic on the election day itself.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) may also choose to extend voting hours under certain circumstances, but it’s best not to count on that and try your best to come in early. Remember, though, that while the process is now mostly electronic, there’s no avoiding queues and delays on site. At worst, expect your patience to be tested, but keep an open mind.

Duterte’s federalism on the line as local election campaign starts: analysts | ABS-CBN News https://t.co/nwTY2JbBkN

— Christian Esguerra (@IanEsguerra) March 28, 2019

If you have a disability, you are encouraged to bring a companion and are welcome to ask assistance from the election workers who are on stand by at your polling place.

There’s also a limit on the number of candidates you can vote for each post:

  • Senator – maximum of 12 candidates
  • House of Representatives – maximum of 1 candidate
  • Mayor – maximum of 1 candidate
  • Vice mayor – maximum of 1 candidate
  • Party-list – maximum of 1 group

For other regional positions, it will be indicated on the ballot how many names are allowed to be casted. While going over the limit may render the vote invalid, the voter isn’t required to fill the ballot as suggested.

Check sample ballots here.

The voting procedure

Verification – Upon arrival, you will need to identify yourself. To start, look for your name on the voter’s list at polling precinct. Once you confirm the room that’s been assigned to you by The Comelec. In some areas, the commission will debut its voter registration verification machine (VRVM), which uses a fingerprint scanning technology to verify the identity of the voter.

The MyKodigo app on the Eleksyon 2019 website on GMA News Online allows users to create sample ballots that they can print out and bring to their respective voting precincts on election day, May 13, 2019. #Eleksyon2019 https://t.co/t4JYdQ7LQ1

— GMA News (@gmanews) April 24, 2019

Voting – After this, head on to the designated room and acquire your ballot from the board of elections inspectors (BEI) chairperson. You may be asked to present your voter’s ID this time. Once verified, they will provide the marker and secrecy folder you will use when casting your vote. While, voting, keep in mind that using your phone can be considered as an election offense. If you absolutely need a list, use a piece of paper instead.

When done, it’ll be your responsibility to insert your ballot to the vote-counting machine (VCM). Do not let others insert the ballot on the VCM on your behalf, unless you are physically unable to do so.

Confirmation – Following this, the machine will then process your ballot and will provide a receipt. The poll clerk will then mark your finger with indelible ink and let you review the voting receipt.

This will be your only time to check for inconsistencies, so don’t be afraid to take your time. If the receipt incorrectly reflects your vote, head to BEI to file a complaint. Otherwise, you will need to surrender the receipt to the BEI before exiting the room.

Go out and vote

With the election less than a week away, it’s the perfect time to review the local candidates thoroughly and solidify your list from top to bottom. There may be more than 61 million registered voters this year, but your lone vote can still make a world of difference when it’s all said and done. So, go out and vote!

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The Go Volunteer Expo made a successful return last weekend (April 6 & 7) with a simple, but powerful goal: ‘To help more Filipinos discover themselves through volunteerism.’

There was a time when volunteering wasn’t accessible for all. Even to those who are ready. Which is why ten years ago, Bel Padlan and JB Tan founded iVolunteer Philippines. Since then, the organization has helped thousands of Filipino volunteers form a lasting bond with the communities and NGOs that also support their advocacy.

Guests take their turns on one of the on-site mini-games (Photo by: Mjoy Sabellano).

Entering its 10th year, it’s almost inevitable that iVolunteer would bring back The Go Volunteer Expo. After all, it’s the perfect event for our NGO partners and Filipinos from all walks of life to just meet each other and discover what it is that they have in common.

An opportunity to make a difference

Go Volunteer allowed our fellow Filipinos to see just how diverse the volunteering community is in our country, which is something that really brought joy to the those who came to the event looking to sign up.

One of the Go Volunteer guests takes the first step to his volunteering journey (Photo by: Faye Sadiarin).

A common challenge for those who want to volunteer is finding an organization that reflects their passion or advocacy. The Expo, of course, took that hurdle away as it hosted 25 NGOs that offered a variety of opportunities that guests were able to freely choose from.

There were also events and entertainment booths that welcomed curious mall goers to the neatly setup Glorietta Activity Center. Which, in turn, led them to discover volunteerism in a way that’s very refreshing and interactive. In fact, the two-day event managed to draw hundreds of new volunteer registrations on our website alone.

A day to honor our partners and fellow volunteers Wrapping Go Volunteer with iVolunteer Staff & NGO partners (Photo by: Juan Portrait).

Community partners and NGO representatives also took turns in entertaining and educating the crowd about volunteerism during the event’s main program. Speakers from different organizations shared their heartwarming stories, while others wowed the crowd with their performances across the 2-day event, which inspired many attendees to start their own volunteering journey that day by signing up or learning more about the NGOs they’re interested in.

Along with the staff, iVolunteer also had help from external volunteers and sponsors in making Go Volunteer 2019 a huge success. On the other hand, some of our partners, new and old, were duly recognized on stage and through our Hall of Heroes that stood near the center of the Activity Center for all to see.

A new generation of “Every Day Filipino Heroes” Joyce assists one of the new volunteers (Photo by: Noelle Reyes).

Ultimately, Go Volunteer’s success doesn’t just rest on the number of people who came forward and supported the event. In fact, it’s more about the lasting impact that the volunteering expo is set to have on those who were in attendance. Joyce Armillo, who is one our own, started her volunteering journey three years ago in the inaugural Go Volunteer. She went on to become a key member of our staff and also an avid volunteer to one of our partner organizations. Her story is one the reasons why Go Volunteer is an event that we celebrate and really look forward to. It’s a story that we hope would transcend to those who attended the Go Volunteer 2019.

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One of the things that iVolunteer never takes for granted is the opportunity to meet some of the most hard-working and incredible Non-government Organizations (NGO) and volunteers in the country. We take pride in knowing their stories and with them being an important part of ours. Hence, as we celebrate our 10th year and move onto a new chapter, we’ve decided to go back to showcasing unique and captivating stories from our partners, staff, and volunteers. Stories that we hope would inspire you to be part of the iVolunteer journey today and for years to come.

iVolunteer’s Joyce Armillo

Go Volunteer made a successful return last weekend, an event that’s extremely close to one particular iVolunteer staff. There’s no denying that #GoVol2019 is the biggest event of its kind, but more than that, its initial run three years prior is where Joyce Armillo began her journey as a volunteer.

Glorietta is one the busiest shopping centers in the metro, but every once in a while, it also becomes home to the biggest volunteering fair in the country. In 2016, the first Go Volunteer was held here and hosted nearly 20,000 thousand people from all walks of life. Among them, was Joyce, who decided to drop by at the event out of curiosity.

That fateful encounter eventually led her to Kanlungan sa ERMA Ministry in her first volunteering opportunity. Not long after that, she joined iVolunteer and later on earned herself one of the most important roles in the organization. That may seem like a big transition that happened in one fell swoop, but according to Joyce it wasn’t. In her own pace, she worked on discovering herself and finding her place through volunteering, which also happened to be the theme of this year’s Go Volunteer.

“It didn’t happen in an instance. I just let myself enjoy every volunteer opportunity that I joined. I never closed myself to learning new things and discovering a new culture. Lagi kong sinasabi nahanap ko yung sarili ko, yung passion ko dahil sa pag-vovolunteer. I’m capable of loving and understanding people pala kahit isang beses ko lang sila nakita. Nadiscover ko din na kaya ko palang magperform ng mga sinulat kong tula sa harap nang madaming tao para i-share yung mga hinaing ng mga kapatid nating Aeta.”

Joyce Amrillo

Joyce would go on to find her advocacy in supporting children, owing to her unforgettable experience with Kanlungan sa ERMA Ministry. Though, of course, it didn’t stop from there as she’s now also focused in leading the way in helping others find themselves through volunteerism.

What was it like volunteering for the first time?

“It was an overwhelming experience. I was assigned to a young girl who was abused by her mother. I just listened to her story and what she dreams about,” Joyce opens up. “I’m not sure what I did right that moment, but before I left the training center, she invited me to attend her graduation.”

Joyce recalls how she was moved at that very moment. She didn’t think that her presence alone could mean so much that young girl she was taking care of. It was also then that she realized that helping doesn’t really have to be about giving money or things. That it can also be through small actions like listening to people’s stories and just being there for them as an ate or a friend.

“Every volunteer opportunity is a memorable one. Iba yung feeling at yung experience, pero laging masarap sa puso na makita yung smile ng mga bata at nung kapwa mo volunteer.”

Joyce Armillo

Up to this day, she considers her first volunteering experience as one of the most poignant encounter she’s had in the past three years, “All of my volunteering experience are memorable, but maybe the most heartwarming for me, is when I was invited by the young girl I tutored in Kanlungan sa Erma Ministry to attend her graduation.”

What it’s like volunteering and being with iVolunteer?

“It helped me to be a more responsible and understanding human being. Before, I used to base my decision to “what will happen next if I do this” but now I’m also looking at the longer impact of what I’m doing to other people,” she points out.

Doubling on her new perspective, Joyce shared how she started volunteering for self-fulfillment, before taking on a bigger challenge in “influencing and inspiring other people” to become a catalyst of change in their community and in our country.

Speaking of challenges, she also opened up about time being a bit of a challenge at first in sustaining her volunteer work. She acknowledges that being an iVolunteer staff and a volunteer requires her to allot extra time to accomplish things, attend meetings, and be present at events.

She lamented on how she used to struggle and still, occasionally, in managing her time for her family, friends, and partner. Before adding, “Minsan nakakapagod din kasi may work ka sa office, may kailangan ka ding tapusin sa org.”

She points out, though, that it’s a give and take thing, and that every volunteering opportunity she’s been part of, while different, are always fun and memorable. In addition, Joyce says that volunteering has helped her manage her time more efficiently and become a more patient, understanding, and responsible individual.

What’s your advice to those who want to try volunteering?

“Don’t be afraid to try new things and be open-minded. Being in the volunteering sector is not easy but just know your deepest whys and it will eventually become a part of you.”

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One of the things that iVolunteer never takes for granted is the opportunity to meet some of the most hard-working and incredible Non-government Organizations (NGO) and volunteers in the country. We take pride in knowing their stories and with them being an important part of ours. Hence, as we celebrate our 10th year and move onto a new chapter, we’ve decided to go back to showcasing unique and captivating stories from our partners, staff, and volunteers. Stories that we hope would inspire you to be part of the iVolunteer journey today and for years to come.

iVolunteer’s Jasmine Salem

Jasmine “Jas” Salem is one the faces you’d easily recognize if you’ve been through a couple of our events. Aside from being a senior member of the org, she’s also a great facilitator and a game volunteer in and out of the organization. Seeing how comfortable she is with her role; it’s a bit hard to imagine that she didn’t always have the strength to stand in front of a crowd and speak to them with confidence.

“I’m talking for iVolunteer as if I’m doing this all my life.”

Jasmine Salem

One of the challenges she’s faced growing up was the inability to speak in front of a huge crowd.

With iVolunteer, however, she’s able to find an opportunity to not just overcome that little obstacle, but also learn a few other things that were harder to quantify and describe.

“It helped me broaden my perspective in life. I became more sensitive to others.  I guess overall, it taught me how to ALWAYS choose love… for others, for our country… it made me believe that the love you give will always go back to you in whatever form, no matter what.”

Being introduced to volunteering & iVolunteer

Jasmine’s first volunteer opportunity came at the annual school rehabilitation and clean-up project “Brigada Eskwela.” Since both her parents were educators, she already had this strong attachment to teachers and schools, and was excited to help. From there, she met Bel Padlan (Co-Founder, iVolunteer) who invited her to meet the rest of the iVolunteer team.

“While they were talking about ‘saving our country’ through volunteering, I realized how petty my life was (laughs). It felt like I needed to do something, I was really inspired to volunteer.”

Jasmine Salem

With her mind already set, JB Tan (Co-Founder, iVolunteer) added fuel to the fire by challenging her on the spot. Jasmine recalled how she ran with the opportunity to do something bigger, along with a promise to herself that she will volunteer and not leave the org until she can no longer help in its cause.

Now, aside from being a core member of iVolunteer, Jasmine also occasionally works with our partners through personal volunteer work.

The joy in volunteering and being with iVolunteer

One of the things that Jasmine is also very proud of is having an extended family in iVolunteer. In fact, she seems very relaxed when around the team and in most cases, even among those who’d break the ice during internal meetups and partner orientations.

“My family is in Ilocos and iVolunteer team became my extended family here. They were the ones whom I can run into whenever I have personal problems. I can lean on them whenever I need to. And in a way they can always do the same to me. I really feel at home when I’m with them.”

Like all our staff, Jasmine works as a full-time employee. A state auditor, nonetheless. In her spare time, she tries her best to lend iVolunteer some of her professional skills and her ability to connect with a crowd of strangers. She also helps our partners with administrative tasks that could use her expertise and knowledge with state compliance.

“Start with your why. Why are you volunteering? Find the purpose within and clung to it. Whenever you have doubts, or tired of doing what you do (volunteering and caring for people) always go back to that why… and when you aren’t sure what’s your why? Always choose love. Love for others. Love for country. Love for God. Love for yourself. Because you can never go wrong with love.”

Jasmine Salem

It wasn’t easy, though, since her duties with the government would often ask her to sacrifice most of her time on weekdays. She even admits that there’d been a few times when she had to question why she’s volunteering and why she cared so much. When faced with such doubts, she said volunteers like her need to always go back to their “whys” and cling to it.

What’s next for her and the iVolunteer team?

“For the team, [I hope] we continue to work for that vision of every Filipino volunteering towards a better Philippines. As for me, I am still up for the challenge, and will still be here until I can no longer help in building this dream,” Jasmine says, doubling on her promise when she first joined the team.

As part of iVolunteer’s 10th year celebration, we’re excited to bring back the biggest volunteering fair in the country this April 6 & 7 to be held at the Glorietta Activity Center, Palm Drive. Check out on your favorite social media channels and come celebrate with us and discover yourself through volunteering!

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by Angelo Salandanan

A common idea that many of us used to have was “volunteering is reserved for those who have it easy” — the ones who have fortune to spare. In the last few years, however, more and more people started to realize that there’s more to it than just money and possessions. That at its core, volunteering was really just about having the heart, the will, and the time to make things happen.

One of the things that iVolunteer never takes for granted is the opportunity to meet some of the most hard-working and incredible Non-government Organizations (NGO) and volunteers in the Philippines. We take pride in knowing their stories and with them being an important part of ours. Therefore, as we celebrate our 10th year and move onto a new chapter, we decided to put more effort in showcasing these captivating stories from our partners, staff, and volunteers. Stories that we hope would inspire you to be part of the iVolunteer journey today and the years to come.

Luzviminda & Ritchelle’s Animal Rescue PH

It was at BayaniRun 2018 when the rest of iVolunteer first met Animal Rescue PH. It was also the first time that the pet-loving ‘community’ of two (2) would be part of a major iVolunteer event. But even before then, Luzviminda and Ritchelle have already been helping stray cats and dogs for 22 years, which began in 1997 when Luz, who was then in high school, first rescued a blind cat on her way home.

The power couple behind Animal Rescue PH, Luzviminda Morales & Ritchelle Quito (Photo: Noelle Reyes, iVolunteer).

When I asked what prompted her to do so, she said, “Kung hindi ko siya aampunin, baka kasi masagasaan. Ako na po kasi yung nakakita, hindi naman po tama na magbubulag-bulagan pa ako (If I don’t adopt him, he could get ran over. I was the one who saw him, it didn’t feel right to turn a blind eye).”

What makes Animal Rescue PH different

When we visited Animal Rescue PH in Tondo, we already had an idea on why this NGO is different and why we feel it’s important to also tell their story. Upon mention, you might be inclined to imagine that they are a huge and well-funded org. However, as Luzviminda would passionately describe, they’re far from an ideal NGO that we see on digital media and print.

“Nakikita ko sarili ko sa kanila. Galing sa broken family, syempre alam ko kung gaano kahirap yung walang nag-aalaga.”

Luzviminda Morales

Animal Rescue PH, in essence, is really just Luz and Ritchelle. Instead of an animal shelter, all of their rescued pets reside in their small barung-barong in Tondo. When we arrived, we were greeted by four of their rescued dogs and soon introduced to about 50 cats that the couple picked up from some of the most rugged streets in Metro Manila.

One of the animals that immediately caught our attention was Batic, an ‘askal’ who barely looked like one because of his huge size that’s reminiscent of a pit-bull. Batic weighed a whopping 25 kilos, which made our photographer Noelle think twice about lifting him in her arms. To pet him, however, requires Ritchelle to be around since Batic was still sensitive to people after being abandoned for most of his life. Between the couple, Luz admitted that her husband is like the Cesar Millan of Tondo.

Big “Batic” will celebrate his second birthday with his foster parents this May (Photo: Noelle Reyes, iVolunteer).

Another stray, who even celebrated her 3rd birthday recently, is Marga. When she was found, Marga had a bloated tummy due to organ inflammation and gastric problems. Her heart and kidney were also failing, and was basically 50/50 by the time she was rescued. Miraculously, however, she’s doing so much better now, thanks to Animal Rescue PH and the vets who helped in her operation.

Even though she’ll now need lifetime medication and support due to her ailing kidney, Luzviminda and Ritchelle have strongly expressed their determination to not give up on Marga and the rest of their adopted pets.

What it’s like to have 60 cats at home?

It’s crazy. It can be fun, but even Luzviminda concedes that it’s not the case ‘all the time.’ Sometimes, the Animal Rescue PH matriarch would even ponder about not taking in additional cats. But, alas, the couple would often end up picking up another starving kitten from the street. Them, being at Tondo, makes it all the more difficult. As Ritchelle said, a cat killer is on the loose. If that guy didn’t think twice on slaying a neighbor’s Siamese, then what more if he saw their strays?

One of the 60 cats you can find in Luz & Ritchelle’s home is 12 year old Kiray (Photo: Noelle Reyes, iVolunteer).

With threat looming outside, the couple decided to barricade their home with wooden planks and chicken wires so that their cats, all 60 of them, won’t be able to go out. They keep most of them upstairs nowadays, while a few that are still recovering are caged downstairs. One of them, from Quiapo, had half of his neck skinned and was on the brink of death when the couple came to its rescue. The cat, of course, needed medication, but is now thankfully well on its way to being back to its full health.

Front Row: Mag-asawang sumasagip ng mga aso't pusa, kilalanin - YouTube
In 2017, Luzviminda and Ritchelle were featured in GMA7’s award-winning docu-series: Front Row.

Luz and Ritchelle would often churn out whatever they can to provide for their pets, whom according to them are like their very own children. The couple don’t have any kids of their own, but we could tell how much happy they were with their extended family of cats and dogs.

The rest of Animal Rescue PH’s supplies come from donors and sales from Cats and Dogs Merchandise PH, which is important since Luz, an HRM graduate, is now taking care of their pets full time. A familiar face, in Bubble Gang’s Kim Domingo, also occasionally helps out in endorsing their merchandise and providing support, while donations in kind from volunteers would often round up the food and medicine needed to sustain the life of the strays that the couple are taking care of.

Looking after homeless pet owners

Animal Rescue PH, despite all its challenges, still conducts a monthly feeding program for strays. This, of course, is possible with the help of volunteers who come in monthly to put in the effort and time to make it their mission. With Luzviminda and Ritchelle at the helm, the volunteers visit places like Smokey Mountain to help distressed animals and pet owners.

It’s a little known fact, but one of the things that Animal Rescue PH also admirably does well is provide a bit of support to homeless people and their pets by giving them basic needs like food, water, and rice whenever they can.

Marga’s life-long treatment costs 20k – 50k a month (Photo: Noelle Reyes, iVolunteer).

Luz also happily shared that most of their volunteers do come back because they enjoyed and treasured the experience. There was even a time when someone adopted a stray cat. Though, both Ritchelle and Luz wish that more individuals would also consider adopting the cats they already have. According to them, while stray dogs usually get adopted fairly quickly, the opposite is the case for felines which are now at 60 (down frm 80), and are in desperate need of a new home.

Being an ‘Independent Solo Rescuer’

I remember meeting Luz and Ritchelle for the first time at BayaniRun last December, they looked shy and wasn’t all that sure if they belonged. Even though they absolutely do. Seeing them again in their small home, but with all their adopted pets allowed me to see a more relaxed version of the couple and also understand their incredible story even better.

During our visit, I was also able to ask Luzviminda on what inspired her to help stray animals, particularly cats and dogs. Her response made us realize that this personal project bears more weight for her than people usually think. In our conversation, she honestly shared how being raised in a broken family made her feel for the animals who don’t have anyone to look after them. Seeing herself in them, she began adopting strays and would later on establish Animal Rescue PH with her husband Ritchelle.

“Mahirap lang naman kami. Ito lang yung kaya namin,” Luz said at one point, as if they’re not already doing something that all animal lovers would surely be proud of.

The truths is, despite all the things they lack, Animal Rescue PH have shown more than enough to serve as inspiration to others. In fact, we hope that Luzviminda and Ritchelle’s story would encourage more people to come together and give stray animals a second chance at life and a loving place to call home.

For donations in kind and inquiries you can reach Animal Rescue PH on Facebook or text Luzviminda on this number: 09234256793. You may also purchase their merchandise at Cats and Dogs Merchandise PH to support the food and medication of all the animals under their care.

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Volunteers don’t necessarily have the time, they just have the heart.

But when some of us do manage to find time, the results can be nothing short of spectacular. Perhaps, even bigger than all of us. iVolunteer registered its strongest year yet thanks to a strong showing from NGO partners, volunteers, and partner institutions.

With everyone’s help, the iVolunteer team was able to reach out to 82 partner communities and produce 1558 volunteer events with 25,600 volunteering opportunities. However, what really stood out in 2018 was the sheer number of volunteers who helped us make a difference with our partner communities.

In total, iVolunteer was able to connect 114,300 volunteers to different advocacies and NGO’s, which is easily over a hundred thousand more than the number of people that reached out in 2017.

BayaniRun 2018

Of course, our story this year wouldn’t be complete without the institutions that went out of their way to feature or partner with iVolunteer. RSRJ Events, for one, worked closely with the team to make the second BayaniRun possible. As a result, iVolunteer’s Run for A Cause year-end event hauled another 700+ volunteer runners who raised P250,000 for their chosen NGO partners.

Connecting Volunteers to NGO and Communities
iVolunteer PH featured in Radyo Veritas' Tanggol Karapatan - YouTube

Our media partners also helped us throughout the year to extend our reach and show what iVolunteer is all about. There’s Radio Veritas, CNN, DZMM, ETC, and more. In fact, ahead of BayaniRun, Judith and Bel of iVolunteer was invited by Net 25’s Pambansang Almusal to promote the event and also open up about iVolunteer.

When asked by host Mr. Leo Martinez on how volunteers from provinces can reach iVolunteer, Judith shared that while the volunteer opportunities that the organization have often been within Metro Manila, there is a collective effort within the team to extend iVolunteer’s reach to other regions. Along with Bel, she encouraged those outside of the capital to visit the iVolunteer website to see how they can participate in other volunteering opportunities.

Our media partners play an important role in spreading our cause, but do you know that you, too, can help iVolunteer gather more volunteers and create more volunteering opportunities in the future? Aside from registering on our website, you can also share our content and events on social media. Just follow our iVolunteer Facebook page to stay in the loop.

Thank you for an awesome 2018! - YouTube
Celebrate Our 10th Year with Us!

Following a successful 2018, we’re now looking forward to a brighter 2019 with YOU! Going this far after Ondoy, have only made us much better and stronger as a community.

The iVolunteer team extends our deepest gratitude to everyone (NGO, partner institutions, volunteers) who partnered with us since 2009, and at the same time invite all to join us this year as we try to reach more people and communities that need us.

Tune in to our social media portals for further announcements and check out our website for weekly volunteering opportunities that you and your friends can join anytime.

Whether it’s GoVolunteer 2019 or #BayaniRun2019, we hope you’d be with us next time as we look to empower the spirit of volunteerism in every Filipino!

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A few minutes after the last runner out of the 700 #BayaniRun2018 participants hit the finish line, a mild shower threatened to bring the festivities to a halt. But what’s a little rain when everyone’s having a good time, and for a greater cause? For those in attendance, their smiles simply meant everything was worth it.

Even before things officially got underway, a few volunteers got together at the Liwasang Ullalim, CCP Complex to ensure that #BayaniRun2018 will be just as good, if not better than its successful inaugural run. By the time the runners arrived, the stage was set and the spirit of volunteerism was again at the center of it all.

BayaniRun Comes Back Stronger in Year Two

iVolunteer’s run for a cause raised a little over P250,000 from the runners who pledged their support to 14 participating NGO. The event also got a nice assist from its sponsors and volunteer staff in the form of backstage personnel, marshals, photographers, and more, including Cara Welfare’s very own volunteer dog who greeted the runners and posed for photos during the event.

Stormtrooper poses with Volunteer Dog from Cara Welfare

The “force” was also stronger this year, thanks to the Star Wars-themed photo booth courtesy of the 501st Legion Philippine Garrison, who came in support of ATD Fourth World.

#BayaniRun2018 exceeded the help it received last year from runners to sponsors, and volunteers. The participants from all around Metro Manila and nearby provinces showed up big-time, including PBA’s Paul Zamar of Blackwater Elite, who rallied everyone at the beginning of each race.

The NGO partners also made the gathering more colorful with some cool merchandise of their own. The attendees eagerly extended their support and took home some additional souvenirs, aside from the medals and certificates they earned from completing their respective 3K, 5K, and 10K run.

The 14 NGOs who partnered with iVolunteer this year were:

We strongly encourage you to go check out these wonderful non-profits to know how you can become a part of what they do, or help them reach more people like you by simply sharing their profiles to your network and friends.

iVolunteer is also here to help you find the perfect NGO based off of your skills and interests. Just visit our website to sign-up and we’ll gladly keep in touch.

Everyone Saves the Day, Again

The beauty of BayaniRun lies in every person who has participated in its two iterations thus far. After all, the event is about people coming in as strangers, then strangers coming together as volunteers.

“Sasama ulit ako (I’ll join again),” Den, a volunteer photographer said while working her first event with iVolunteer. For someone who usually takes photos of landscapes and architectures, it was quite easy for anyone to tell that she was in form and enjoying her new assignment.

Meanwhile, Kevin, whose hobby is taking travel videos, expressed how he personally loved the challenge of covering something new, then doing it for someone else at the same time.

It wasn’t easy, though, since he’s the lone volunteer videographer who covered the event with the iVolunteer staff. If you missed this opportunity, don’t worry, you can still sign up here because we’re definitely going to need more hands for next year.

Runners Meet their Chosen Non-profit Orgs

Another cool thing about BayaniRun is seeing the runners who pledged finally meet the volunteers who represent the organization they chose when they signed up for the event.

“Sa Animal Rescue, sa kanila kami nag-pledge,” shared Emmanuel who was with his high school buddies Michal, Sharon, and Sheena. The friends had a chance to meet and talk with Luzviminda, Animal Rescue PH’s representative and founder.

After the group took photos to commemorate their get-together, they spent the rest of their time checking on other participating organizations.According to Emman, the event also served as an opportunity for them to reconnect while taking a break from their respective colleges.

“May 36 runners kami today, nandito na yung iba,” Mai enthusiastically shared while showing a list of names who have chosen ATD as their partner.

The list featured a mix of current ATD volunteers and those whom they will be meeting for the first time. They also had a few members of the community they’re helping join the fun, which echoed Mai’s statement about how the beneficiaries themselves are helping with the projects of the organization, “We’re not just doing it for them, we’re doing it with them.”

Everyone’s a Winner and a Hero

All those who came out to support #BayaniRun2018 will always be winners and heroes for making the event happen, but at the same time we’re also very proud to share the Top Finishers this year, who still climbed up the stage and were all smiles despite the sudden downpour during the closing ceremony.

10K Top 3 Finishers (Women):

  • Celie Rose Jaro
  • Marge Pabilonia
  • May Ann Alcantara

10K Top 3 Finishers (Men):

  • Jonathan Musenga
  • Rolando Berecasio
  • Mark De Villa

5K Top 3 Finishers (Women):

  • Jasmine Pacheco
  • Aina Martin
  • Riza Tan

5K Top 3 Finishers (Men):

  • Rener Ladera
  • Bogz Lebrilla
  • Ronnie Delfin

3K Top 3 Finishers (Women):

  • Merly Tero
  • Mary Jane Volunta
  • Ina Beatrice Laurente

3K Top 3 Finishers (Men):

  • Jujet De Asis
  • Marjoe Aregador
  • Reskie Cagoco

iVolunteer Executive Director, JB Tan, welcomed everyone on top of the event, while Jasmine Salem closed the program and thanked all those that were in attendance.

In between runs, everyone happily participated in Zumba sessions to keep their blood flowing and have a little fun with some of their new friends. As the event came to a close, the skies cleared and we’re all treated with a scenic rainbow just above the bay, sending everyone home with another token from what we hope was a wonderful and memorable #BayaniRun2018.

This year’s run for a cause was made possible by iVolunteer’s growing list of sponsors, runners, NGO partners, and volunteers.

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Pasay City, Philippines – Stretch your running goals and support communities in need. Be the hero that you wish we have.

iVolunteer Philippines is back with a bigger and better BayaniRun, a fun run for a cause. It is a healthy way of supporting advocacies that matter to you. Your registration fees for the 3K, 5K, and 10K event will go a long way towards supporting numerous nonprofits for various advocacies and their respective communities. And you can pledge additional pesos to further help the causes you care about! We cannot put limit to kindness, can we?

Not a runner? Drop by the advocacy booths and learn more about your causes and other means of supporting local communities–explore and take your volunteering journey to the next level. You can also watch and enjoy the community performances specially prepared for the modern hero in you! This event is for all. Who said making a difference cannot be fun?

Join us in a run for a healthier and happier heart, and let us take the first steps to making Every Juan and Juana, a Hero.

iVolunteer is a 100% volunteer-powered organisation that brings together nonprofit organizations (NPOs)  and volunteers. Its website and social media channels serve as a platform for NPOs to find the right set of individuals, and for volunteers to find opportunities that match their skills and interests. iVolunteer is a group of passionate individuals working towards one dream: Every Filipino volunteering towards nation building.

Choose your advocacy at www.iVolunteer.com.ph.

For inquiries, please contact Jasmine Salem (0917-250-1023/jasmine@ivolunteer.com.ph).

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When we hear the word “hero”, we generally associate it with “war”, “blood”, “weapons”, and other gruesome words. But as we celebrate this day of heroes, may we be reminded that there is heroism in volunteering.

In this modern age where battles are mostly fought in the political and economic arena, and victims appear in various shapes of collateral damage, may the passion, service and leadership as exemplified by our great heroes inspire us into action.

Here are five simple ways of becoming a modern day hero:

1. Participate in Disaster-Related Volunteer Activities

Typhoon season has yet again hit our country with unrelenting force, leaving calamity-stricken families and communities in dire need of assistance.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is calling for volunteers who can help process and re-pack relief goods in their Pasay facilities.

With donations coming in in huge quantities, they need more people to help them provide faster aid to those who were affected by the recent storms and flooding.  Volunteer works are available between 8 am to 5 pm on scheduled dates.

For those interested in becoming an advocate of disaster-preparedness and being part of a year-round campaign, the Citizens’ Disaster Response Center (CDRC) is looking for social media campaigners.

They need help in building a stronger social media presence, with the intent of spreading awareness and educating more people, specifically on community-based disaster management.

Interested volunteers can visit their Quezon City office on the day of the activity.

2. Help Feed Children in Marginalized Communities

Not all children grow up believing in fairytales and bedtime stories, some of them grow up with hunger as their constant reminder that life is far from magical.

Volunteers who wish to stand in as fairy god mothers to these innocent children, may assist Project Pearls as they organize a daily feeding program in a slum community in Tondo.

Daily Soup Kitchen, as they call it, aims to provide nutritious breakfast to help marginalized children start their day right.

Volunteers can help set up the feeding area, distribute the food and supervise the children. Join Project Pearls every Tuesday to Friday as they work on shedding some semblance of positivity and encouragement to these children.

3. Teach Former Street Children

“On this battlefield, man has no better weapon than his intelligence, no other force but his heart.” – Jose Rizal

As Jose Rizal eloquently puts it, knowledge is indeed a power in itself. Many of our children are living a shattered dream, primarily because education is not within their reach.

He Cares Foundation grants scholarships to former street children, and organizes volunteer tutorial programs to help their scholars maintain the required grade. Volunteers will be tasked to teach basic Math and English, and to assist the children in understanding their lessons and assignments.

Since these children live in informal settlements with unhealthy environment and financial difficulties, they need all the encouragement and support they can get to help them rise above their situation.

These tutorial sessions are being held in Quezon City and are available almost every day (including Saturdays).

4. Protect Animals from Abandonment and Abuse

With the kind of loyalty they give us, animals deserve nothing but love and care. It’s an unfortunate reality though that a lot of them end up in varying stages of neglect and abuse.

CARA Welfare Philippines is looking for Animal Welfare Champions who will help them improve the quality of life for pets. They will hold their monthly volunteer orientation this coming September 15 (Saturday) in CARA Clinic, Mandaluyong.

Volunteers can choose from 4 different teams: adoption, educator, media and events. They require a Php 500 annual membership fee which will help fund the Laguna Pitbull Sanctuary.

5. Join Eco-Warriors in their Fight for a Greener World

With the persistence of pollution and the trend towards urbanization, it comes as no surprise that even Mother Nature is crying for help. It’s a good thing that the month of September offers a wealth of volunteer opportunities for the nature lovers.

Unleash your creativity with CDRC’s biodegradable-pots-making activity held every Sunday at the CDRC Rooftop Garden in Quezon City. Instead of throwing away donated clothes that are too worn out for use, CDRC—with the help of volunteers—sew and design them into pots for plants.

Eco-volunteers are also needed every 4th Sunday of the month to sort and segregate collected plastics waste in Pandacan Manila. The Pandacan Ecology Ministry is a volunteer group that collects and segregates plastic wastes to be picked up and re-used by their partner organizations. Their advocacy is to help build an eco-friendly city.

The Humanist Alliance Philippines, International and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) would also like to invite volunteers in the 3rd Manila Bayside Clean Up on September 15 (Saturday).

Volunteers of all ages can join in this collective effort of preserving the Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area, the only remaining wetland and bird sanctuary within Metro Manila.

A Tree Planting activity in Mt. Banahaw will also be organized by Haribon Foundation on September 29 (Saturday). Volunteers will learn more about their advocacy, enjoy a leisure trek to the site, and plant native trees that will help revive forests instead of bringing them down. Interested participants should be prepared to pay a minimal registration fee of Php 350, exclusive of food and transportation.

Looking for more activities? Visit iVolunteer’s website and follow us on Facebook for a weekly update on upcoming events. Indeed we need more modern day heroes to spread love, care, awareness and encouragement. Let’s help create a world filled with heroes rather than villains—one small act at a time.

Lorraine Rañoa, iVolunteer Philippines

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