20 Jul2010


It started with a simple idea — a desire to help undernourished public school children — and marketmanila.com readers have responded with such incredible warmth and generosity. From that little spark of an idea some 3 years ago, the marketmanila.com feeding program has raised in excess of PHP1.5 million and provided some 75,000+ FULL meals (the actual number is more, as beneficiary schools often feed more than planned for the budget given) for public school elementary kids in Taguig and Cebu. It has been a SUSTAINED program for the past 3 years, with roughly 250 students participating in 3x a week lunch or breakfast meals for the entire school year. Our biggest single donor has been the restaurant Mamou, and we gratefully acknowledge their generous support over the years.


This year I was afraid that we could not offer the program in Taguig, as funds were running low, but with Mamou’s repeat offer to donate their restaurant’s revenue on their third anniversay on Wednesday, July 21, 2010, we will be able to continue both Taguig and Cebu programs this year. If you recall, marketmanila.com did NOT ask for donations last Fall/Christmas, because we had just been struck by Ondoy and everyone was flat out hit with donor fatigue. So we sustained the programs with private donors, a few wonderful readers who sent donations from Filipino groups in Penang, Malaysia, anonymous donors in Texas, local donors from Quezon City, Mandaluyong and Makati. Wonderful relatives from the U.S. East Coast, and a few others I know who prefer to remain anonymous… A huge repeated “thank you” to all…


This year I think I will be raising the call again in a month or two for folks who wish to donate to the feeding program, as I find so many kids are seriously in need of it. The feeding programs are band aids at best, but if you could see the kids who participate in them, and receive the reports that over the year they manage to gain 2-3 kilos each on average, and that their attendance at school has improved dramatically, then you would know that no matter what, your donation has made a little difference… and over time, 75,000+ meals is nothing to sneeze at, either. Actually, I consider that statistic one of the best things to have come out from having maintained this blog for nearly six years…

As promised, the photos here are of a special market basket that Marketman will be giving away for FREE to someone who eats at Mamou on Wednesday, 21 July 2010. Not only will the proceeds of your meal be donated to the public school feeding program, but you have a good chance (say 1 out of 50 tables or so) of winning this wonderful basket. Philippine made, the strong rattan basket sits on wheels and the handle is covered in woven leather. It has a denim liner that can be removed to be washed. Similar baskets in the West would run you some $200-$300. And Marketman will throw in a 1-hour personally guided market tour (if the winner desires it) of either The Salcedo Saturday Market or the AANI FTI Taguig Market and introduce you to some of my sukis and point out various sources/vendors/etc. The guided visit to be arranged at a mutually convenient early Saturday morning.

I also plan to offer 1-2 more of these baskets as prizes for donors to the feeding program at a later date, but for now, a great meal at Mamou and a 1 in 50ish chance of winning the basket+market tour should hopefully be incentive enough for readers to fill the restaurant to the gills tomorrow. Each table will be given one “raffle” stub and the winner will be drawn randomly by the Teen. :)

Please make reservations for lunch or dinner:
Serendra, Fort Bonifacio

If you just HAVE to HAVE the basket, you can purchase one by leaving a message or comment on Alicia’s blog, here (while supplies last only). They cost PHP4,700 each. If you really HAVE to HAVE a guided market tour, it’s priceless… hahaha. :)

If you want to read more about the feeding program:

It started with a simple question “What t-shirt would you wear?”
Then reader Lee helped with unsolicited and terrific designs for the t-shirts…
…while another reader suggested tote bags that we had made in cacha.
I did a post on the first feeding program done in Cebu…
…followed up by photos of the Cebu feeding program here.
Millet, from Davao, offered a pick-up point in that city
An update of the feeding program, this time from a school in Taguig
Another update of progress of the feeding program
The restaurant Mamou, generously offers to help the feeding program
which results in 4,000 more meals provided
Christmas 2008, we gave out special ornaments for donors
A post on how to send donations
Many donations came in by telegraphic transfers from local and foreign readers
A “Thank You” from the Kids (if you only read one old post, READ this one)!
Another update on the feeding program
The 6,000 meals Mamou donated last year.
Vegetables raised by students at the Cebu Public School which go into supplementing the feeding program meals
A Visit to the Taguig Feeding Program



  1. zena says:

    May the spirit of giving continue to infect your readers, MM. First picture pa lang, I thought “how nice is that basket! Would love to have that strolling down Salcedo Market.”
    And true enough, one can do that! Not I, though, sigh… Good luck to the diners! And more success to the feeding program and Mamou. =)

    Jul 20, 2010 | 7:57 pm


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  3. cheeseheadeatsushi says:

    Cool beans. I am in town in time for this.

    Jul 20, 2010 | 8:20 pm

  4. rose says:

    Thank you MM for people like you, with a compassionate heart…. Keep it up. God Bless!

    Jul 20, 2010 | 8:51 pm

  5. Guia says:

    Dear MM,
    Please remind us again (in case there have been changes) how those of us outside the Phils. can send our monetary donations to your wonderful feeding program. Thank you for your kindness and compassion.

    Jul 21, 2010 | 4:29 am

  6. bearhug0127 says:

    Congratulations to Mamou and all its employees, to all Market Manila readers and donors and to you MM and your family. Now if only we could all go and enjoy Mamou’s offering. Oh, and congratulations too, to whoever wins the baskets offered by MM. And don’t forget the personally guided tour!!!

    Jul 21, 2010 | 7:25 am

  7. present tense says:

    Cheers !

    Jul 21, 2010 | 9:21 am

  8. terrey says:

    if the family was there, we would eat at Mamou too knowing too well that it is for a good cause. More power to Mamou and to you too Mr MM and family!

    Jul 21, 2010 | 12:18 pm

  9. nina says:

    Bless your generous heart and that of the donors! I fell in love with the basket the moment I saw it and I remember France ‘coz the locals always have this trolley basket with them when shopping!!!

    Jul 21, 2010 | 12:37 pm

  10. ziggy says:

    I really admire efforts like this. This is lovely marketman, i’ll be definitely watching out for your december donation program. and maybe feature it in my site as well. :)

    Jul 21, 2010 | 1:31 pm

  11. Quillene says:

    I would hate to see this program stop. THANK YOU MAMOU and MM for making sure this continues… HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, MAMOU!

    Jul 21, 2010 | 1:42 pm

  12. millet says:

    WOWOWOWOW! WOW to the feeding program, WOW to Mamou, WOW to the basket, and WOW to MM’s offer of a guided tour. So heartwarming to see such generosity all around. Just proves that one doesn’t need an NGO, or an agency/committee/association to do something for others.

    as for the basket, MM, you always manage to find the best local stuff! where is this available?

    Jul 21, 2010 | 7:03 pm

  13. alicia says:

    Had a delicious lunch at Mamou. Satisfied my beef craving for now ;-)
    Congratulations to Mamou and thank you MM for allowing us all to contribute somehow to your wonderful feeding program.

    Jul 21, 2010 | 7:24 pm

  14. Marketman says:

    millet, there is a link to alicia’s blog, where you can order a basket… yes, the alicia in the comment just above. :)

    Jul 21, 2010 | 7:47 pm

  15. butch says:

    Thank you, MM, for giving me one more reason for believing in us, Filipinos! You make me proud to be pinoy by your kindness, generosity, and love for food! Mabuhay ka! ;)

    Jul 22, 2010 | 7:23 am

  16. millet says:

    thanks, MM!

    Jul 22, 2010 | 7:58 am

  17. Laura says:

    Your feeding program is very inspiring. More success to you on this project! Looking forward to the pictures & posts from your guided tour of Salcedo Market with the lucky winner.

    Jul 23, 2010 | 1:40 am


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