10 Aug2009


The most poignant lines from this morning’s visit to the Tenement Elementary School Feeding Program sponsored by Marketmanila.com and its many generous readers:

“We ask them to finish every grain of rice on their plates as this is a gift from God. They aren’t used to doing that at home. (Why? I asked?) They leave food on their plates, because their moms’ tend to eat last, and eat only what the kids have not taken for themselves.”


Heartbreaking. But it’s the reason that mothers are often cited as our modern day heroes. Though if they and their spouses simply opted to voluntarily have fewer offspring, maybe there would be more food for the entire family to consume. But that’s a whole other discussion. This morning, Mrs. MM, The Teen, a guest (visiting daughter of a Korean high school classmate of ours) and I went to visit the feeding program at the Taguig Tenement Elementary School. The program has continuously provided meals for seriously undernourished kids for nearly the past two years. The restaurant Mamou’s generous donations have gone directly to this program, along with donations from marketmanila.com readers from all over the Philippines and around the world.


There were three shifts of 40 kids each lined up outside the “feeding room” set up with stoves, sinks and tables and chairs; a new facility that also doubles as the computer room later in the day! Today the kids had a saucy viand with corned beef, chunks of carrots and sliced green beans with a tomato sauce, over generous amounts of rice and served with a slice of watermelon. I think the juice today was a special occasion thing. And we brought some cookies for everyone to eat at merienda.


These kids are all roughly 7 years of age as this program decided to concentrate on first grade students this year (other programs feed older children), but I swear they were quite small for their age, a full 6 inches shorter than our own daughter at that age. And despite their cheery faces, they were incredibly thin. And as ordered, they left nary a grain of rice on any of their plates today. After all the recent talk of GMA’s dinner at Le Cirque, I needed a visit to the feeding program, to remind all of us just how tough things are indeed getting. For PHP1 million, we could provide another 50,000 meals for kids like these.


Let me take this opportunity to once again thank all of the donors to the marketmanila.com feeding program for their generous donations over the past year; one visit to a feeding like this and you just have to know what an incredibly good thing you have done. Salamat.

All photos on this post were taken by The Teen.



  1. Rhea says:

    and here I am nagrereklamo na wala na akong pang shopping… thanks MM for waking me up and helping me realize na sobrang petty pala ng problema ko if compared to these children. Keep up the good work, MM.

    Aug 10, 2009 | 1:33 pm


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  3. carlo says:

    wow. great job, MM. imagine what 1 million pesos could do instead of feeding our *beloved* politicans in new york. kudos again!

    Aug 10, 2009 | 1:38 pm

  4. denise says:

    hi MM! I salute you and your family and your crew for helping out with these kids :)

    Aug 10, 2009 | 1:38 pm

  5. Marketman says:

    denise and rhea, actually it is us that salute all of marketmanila’s readers and donors that make many of these meals possible. Oh, and for those who are curious, the average cost of each plate/meal provided? Roughly PHP20-25 or U.S. 40-50 CENTS each.

    As I discussed with The Teen this morning, we shouldn’t be so concerned about those up higher or ahead of us, rather we should mostly look back behind us at the huge majority of the Philippine population that is struggling to put a decent meal on their tables…

    Aug 10, 2009 | 1:44 pm

  6. Edik says:

    i wish Arroyo and her cohorts have/would read this…

    Aug 10, 2009 | 2:38 pm

  7. MaryAnne says:

    Marketman………how can I donate money towards this effort? Are you continually accepting donations?

    Aug 10, 2009 | 3:11 pm

  8. Fabian M says:

    These are my favorite posts of yours MM. Thank you for sharing. The quote was indeed very poignant. Thanks again!

    Aug 10, 2009 | 3:51 pm

  9. steph says:

    kudos MM and to your donors! :)

    Aug 10, 2009 | 4:29 pm

  10. joyce says:

    a moving endeavour, are you still accepting donations? shame on gma for spending P1 million on what Press Secretary Cerge Remonde claims to have been “just a simple dinner.” ahem.

    Aug 10, 2009 | 5:01 pm

  11. mojito drinker says:

    thanks mm

    Aug 10, 2009 | 6:02 pm

  12. James says:

    Fantastic program, MM! As a member of the Rotary Club of Tacloban, I get to go around and do feeding programs at times. I recall one time when we brought milk to some kids … they were so happy for just a glass of milk. ONE glass of milk. Something we take so much for granted and these kids were thrilled.

    Keep up the great work, MM!

    Aug 10, 2009 | 6:41 pm

  13. denise says:

    hey MM i’m with MaryAnne, how to donate with this cause?

    Aug 10, 2009 | 6:44 pm

  14. Tok says:

    MM, Keep up the good work! interesado din akong tumulong.

    Aug 10, 2009 | 7:00 pm

  15. myra_p says:

    MM, Xmas is coming soon… I’m looking forward to making another ‘donation’ to the cause. The ornaments last year went to family members who hung it on their trees.

    Aug 10, 2009 | 9:11 pm

  16. Marketfan says:

    speechless…after going through your previous posts about the infamous NY dinner and the comments they generated

    Aug 10, 2009 | 9:46 pm

  17. Bong says:

    Well done! Once again, thank you for feeding our children.

    Aug 10, 2009 | 10:55 pm

  18. sanojmd says:

    1 million php will certainly go a long way. instead of one lavish dinner at New York..

    Aug 10, 2009 | 11:01 pm

  19. Maria Clara says:

    This is clear and convincing evidence of our corrupt elected and appointment government officials. Why feeding programs have to be funded by private sectors like MarketManila? And on top of this, not all kids can participate on this feeding program. If you ask me knowing the poverty level in our Beloved Country, 98% of the kids must be at the feeding program. The rope can reach only that much and cannot go any further. Why our Kangaroo Senate and Congress place an X amount of money in our national budget and fund the program? I find it laughable when our Senate involved themselves in the Hayden Kho sex scandal. Why they have to waste our national resources and energy on this garbage? It is in our national interests to feed these kids as they are the future of our Country. It is as simple as a car cannot run without gas same concept as the kids – their brain cannot run with an empty stomach.

    Aug 11, 2009 | 1:47 am

  20. kurzhaar says:

    Marketman, on investigating on how American donors can contribute to a Philippine charity, I discovered the Ayala Foundation (www.af-usa.org) which is a 501c3 tax exempt charity and is thus eligible for matching funds from US employers (I work for an employer that generously matches gifts at 100% of any donation of at least $25 and always take advantage of this when possible). The Ayala Foundation distributes the funds to Philippine charities.

    Aug 11, 2009 | 4:56 am

  21. thelma says:

    the pictures that you took of those kids are priceless…

    Aug 11, 2009 | 8:56 am

  22. Quillene says:

    Yes, MM!

    Is the BDO account for the feeding program re-opening any time soon?

    Aug 11, 2009 | 9:12 am

  23. bagito says:

    Glad I read this after reading about GMA’s $20K dinner. Kinda took the sting out of that, esp. upon seeing the smiling faces on the first pic. Keep up the good work, MM!

    Aug 11, 2009 | 11:28 am

  24. terrey says:

    kakaiyak…i hope i could do more to help next time!

    Aug 11, 2009 | 11:51 am

  25. millet says:

    just shows how little it takes to make a difference, and that anyone…everyone..can do it.

    Aug 11, 2009 | 7:36 pm

  26. pnsan says:

    I think parents should be responsible enough to have only as many kids as they can reasonably support. Maawa sila sa anak nila mas mabuti siguro kung planuhin ng husto ang pamilya bago magdesisyon na magkaroon ng mga anak na hirap din ang kakagisnan.

    Kung tutuusin yung feeding programs while honorable and commendable does not solve other bigger problems like education and decent housing. Iaasa ba yan sa gobyerno, diosmio alam mo naman satin.

    Aug 12, 2009 | 7:31 pm

  27. GJN says:

    Is the Belen Desquitado account still open to donations?

    Aug 13, 2009 | 11:25 am

  28. James says:

    “We ask them to finish every grain of rice on their plates as this is a gift from God. They aren’t used to doing that at home. (Why? I asked?) They leave food on their plates, because their moms’ tend to eat last, and eat only what the kids have not taken for themselves.”

    This is so sad. I do not have the words for the sorrow that I feel after reading this.

    Aug 26, 2009 | 8:58 am

  29. Lyre says:

    A sad answer to my wondering why there are grains left on the plates. But on my personal observations, I don’t think that is the only reason for that. Even well-fed families do have the habit of not finishing off the grains on their plates. Sometimes, it’s not really inculcated in the young minds that every grain is important. Get a serving just enough for yourself, come back if you want more and never leave anything on your plate. That training should be taught to everyone, starting with the kids.

    Oct 11, 2009 | 11:19 am

  30. Lhai says:

    MM, just reading your old posts..I am moved. Very noble of you and the other donors for undertaking this kind of project. In the future, i’d like to be of help also. God bless.

    Oct 18, 2010 | 5:26 pm


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