Mar 2, 2014
Jeanne's Community Outreach Program
Location: Cebu City, Cebu (province), Philippines
Yoga teacher, musician and good friend, Jeanne Torrefranca has always been a yogi who takes yoga out of the mat - not just in demeanor and lifestyle, but in the service of others. I was still a resident of Dragonfly Yoga Studio when she embarked on her first feeding program. Luckily, I was invited to help out. We were four - Jeanne, Jason, Regina and myself (come to think of it, we're all yoga teachers).
Jeanne would buy bread, peanut butter, napkins, juice drink and we'd all sleep-in to wake up early in the morning and start making peanut butter sandwiches. We'd drive around the city giving out sandwiches to homeless people who were still sleeping at the sidewalk at that time. When all is done, we take a break for a modest breakfast, chillout and resume our normal day.
In the second feeding, through Regina's contacts, a couple, PK and Lana, offered to be a part of the program, but gathered donations from their friends from abroad before coming over - nice! This is the first time donations were made for Jeanne's cause. The usual routine, we woke up early and distributed the sandwiches around the city.
Jeanne invited me again to participate in a yet different program - distributing school supplies to students in economically-challenged schools. The usual suspects met again (the four of us), packed the goodies and headed to Guadalupe, to a makeshift classroom in Maria Teresa Village, to distribute the goods to the delight of the surprised kids.
As a backdrop, charities have become the new con-game. Big 'non-profit' corporations take out a tear-jerker campaign to 'help out' but once donations start pouring, only loose change reach the intended recipients. Mostly, the donations are used to pay 'expenses' - the CEO's new mansion, the Mercedes Benz, etc. Charities have become a fiercely competitive industry with participants jockeying up to be ahead of the game. Many horrible acts are done in the name of charity. Example?
- trademark bullying - Komen, a charity for breast cancer using the catch line 'for the cure' has sued hundreds of charitable organizations that is using the word "cure" in their campaign. Of course, donations were used to pay for legal bills.
- CEO salaries - charity CEO Nancy Brinker received $648,717 during her tenure, on top of five-star accommodations and private jet services
- corruption - Kids Wish Network, a charity for dying children, has raised $125 million. $110 million went directly to solicitors and $4 million to the charity founder's personal bank account. Very little was actually spent to directly benefit the dying kids. Cancer Fund of America, which had raised $100 million for the benefit of cancer patients, only gave useless trinkets, paper plates, and napkins to their dying recipients.
The Real Deal
With Jeanne's charity program, I see the beginnings of what can be a grassroots charitable machinery that cuts-out the corporation, solicitors, agents and extend the goods peso-for-peso down to the last centavo to its intended recipient. It's the real deal (she even pays for the gas). Until a donation was received (the only one so far, handed down by the couple PK and Lana), Jeanne has been doing her charity efforts from her own pocket.
Personally, the school supply-giving is a great charity idea. It invests in the future - the kids who will run the country when their time comes. I'm still a little conflicted though about the feeding progarm. Of course we want these homeless people off the streets. But giving them a sandwich only reinforces the predicament they are already in now. It gives them a fix for the first 3 hours, and they get hungry again and find themselves back on the street. However, until a more permanent solution is arrived at, this seems the most immediately effective remedy.
If you count your blessings, how much would a sandwich and some pencils amount to, specially if you know 100% of your money goes to the kids and the homeless? You can donate out of compassion, or even if only to show appreciation for the things you are grateful for.
- Ashtanga Primary Series Yoga in Cebu May 5, 2017
- 3-Night Cebu Stopover Apr 6-9, 2017
- Thank You Cebu, til the Next Time Oct 21, 2013 - May 15, 2014
- Aqua Yoga with Jeanne Torrefranca at Dragonfly Pool May 4, 2014
- SUP Yoga with Jeanne Torrefranca at Plantation Bay Mar 23, 2014
- Jeanne's Community Outreach Program Mar 2, 2014
- New Year Yoga at Dragonfly Yoga Studio Jan 1, 2014
- Fab People: Jeanne Torrefranca (Yogini) Dec 25, 2013
- Cebu Yoga Immersion Nov 14, 2013
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Cebu City, Philippines
Tops - hilltop offering panoramic view of the city
Taoist Temple - temple on a hillslope in Lahug with panoramic view of the city
- Hostel Seven Cebu - newly opened, resto/bar, central location, solo/group travellers
Juana Osmeña Street, Cebu City
- S Hotel & Residences - new hotel, luxury rooms, central location
827 M. Velez corner Andres Abellana St.
resto / cafe / bar
- Fujinoya - new and refreshing twists to Western style desserts using Japanese techniques
Wilson St., Lahug, Cebu City - tel. 888.6075
- Bad Boys Wingz - Buffalo Wings, unique versions of sauces! Great service, accommodating staff, bad boys vibe
Kasambagan, Cebu City | (032) 415 4811
- Love Yoga World - yoga studio
11/fl, Skyrise 2 Tower, IT Park, Lahug, Cebu City
- Yoga Now - first Yoga and Wellness studio in Mactan offering daily Yoga Classes
at The Yacht Club Mactan
- Cebu Mountain Bike Adventure - MTB tours, bike sales and repairs. Bed and Breakfast + Resto Cafe + wifi
1298-b V.Rama Ave, Guadalupe, Cebu City | 0942.959.7451
- Camotes Islands - caves, beaches
- Cebu City - rich in culture and history, 2nd largest city in the Philippines
- Moalboal - amazing coral reef system, sardine bowl, deep drop-off for freediving
- Oslob - Butanding (whale shark) watching
- Bantayan Island - long stretch of fine white sand beach, Virgin Island for snorkeling
- Malapascua Island - divers' paradise for seeing the rare Thresher Shark
- Cantabaco Cave - Toledo
- Barile Waterfalls - Barile
- Whale Shark Tour - Oslob
- Carcar - chicharon and lechon in public market
Mar 2, 2014
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