I’m not a hero nor saint but I am a volunteer



When I began my journey as educator and started exposing myself with different kind of learners.  I was so inspired to be part of community work regarding children literacy or volunteering in informal teaching for kids especially who are underprivileged. Maybe because of stories I heard from passionate educators, fearless young people who committing their lives in imparting learning to the next generation and my encounters with children during my field study observation.


Volunteering is not knew for me at all. I have been serving as volunteer in our parish community and leading my fellow youth for youth formation, prayer sessions and outreach program. I can say that it formed me for who I am right now. In one point of my life, I’m keep asking myself “What if I start creating and organizing my own advocacy?” Believed me, I was so doubtful, not so sure and even starting be pessimist. But I remembered my friend’s question during our formation session in church, “Why you are here?” and “Who called you?” For time to time that questions always pulled me back to purpose of doing something.


With brave heart even I don’t know what will happen, I choose to say this “I will do this for kids, I leave my own mark and I will be part of small change” (Sound so heroic?). After that moment, I asked some of my friends who love reading also if they would like to be part of this advocacy. We meet and I present all the details about the advocacy. We agreed to call this advocacy as Lakbay Basa (Reading Journey).They positively responded and I was so excited. Since I knew who I’m working with, I haven’t a hard time asking or delegating tasks during our preparation as our first debut as Lakbay Basa. Everyone is so initiative, they even suggested ideas and very willing to learn for new things. In some point, I knew that we are different in some areas but we choose to prioritize our goals.


Lakbay Basa is an advocacy to inspire children to read by doing interactive activities, invite and encourage other people to be part of this advocacy as we travel from different places. I must say that it is not easy when you starting something new. You need to learn new things even extending patience for this. I was so bless that I’m not doing this alone, I have my fellows at my back. Truly, if you choose to be good, do good things, and journey with good people. Good things will come to you that you can’t imagine. You will realized that you simply do things differently, love your country intimately and look forward for more experiences.


I am Roden Mansueto, I’m not a hero nor saint but I am a volunteer!



Assignment for Next Generation



During class observation to preschool, there was one student who stood out from the other students. She would be considered the class “brainy” not because she knew everything, but because she raised her hand more than any other student, and answered more questions correctly than any other student. She was also very talkative when called on. She interrupted me three consecutive times when I was asked introduced about myself.

First, when I was formally introduced.
Student: Teacher, yung sintas mo po hindi nakatali.
Me: Ah, thank you. (Thinking, hindi pala ako ganun ka galing magsintas huhu. Skill that I didn’t hone during my childhood.)

Second, when I was asked if there was homework in my school, before I was going to say the same thing.
Student: Cher, marami po bang assignment sa school ninyo?
Me: Opo, marami din. (Yes. A lot)
Student: Nagcocolor lang din kayo?
Me: (I just smiled and think how I wish my assignment and project is coloring something)

The third time was when a her classmate asked me
Her classmate: Anung ginagawa mo cher (what are you doing, Cher)
Student: Wag mong guluhing si Cher, gumagawa ng assignment si Teacher.
Me: (I just smiled again) Okey, students tapos na ang recess.

Thank you kiddos for very light experiences with you. Don’t worry I will do my assignment intended for next generation.

Serving Straight from the Heart


Last February 18, we were able to share goods and some clothes to 10 Adopted families of PCS in Panday Paltok, Barangay Sta.Ana Kanan. Ate Jingle assisted us in visiting those families. As I walked and have short conversation to each families I learned 10 important things.


Three out of ten families we visited, there are three grandmothers who took charged of grand children because of their parents died already or can’t able to support them.


One out of ten families we visited, are worrying about their jobs stability as MMDA sweepers. After their contract ends, they might be going to ‘pagkakalakal’ and ‘paglalaba’ as their new jobs.


Three out of ten families we visited, there three mothers who struggled of how they are going to support their children’s education. 16831646_1525146150838492_1442216067_n

Two out of ten families we visited, two wives loss their husbands because their husbands were victims of extra judicial killings.
One out of ten families we visited, one family moved in relocation site in Montalban, Rizal even the better opportunities were here in Manila.


But these 10 families gave us experiences that we will cherished forever as servants.

As I reflected with this learnings, I was challenged to do more small actions that would lift up there situation and listened to their stories as someone who care for them. It might sound too ambitious but I believed that there are no impossible for God who provide everything.

Thank you San Roque Parish Youth Ministry for making this action as way to be more sensitive to the needs of others. #ServingStraightFromTheHeart

Photo credit to Romeo Miranda

Another Awesome Year!


Celebrating our yearly Christmas Party leads me to this question “Why I’m here?” despite of opportunity outside waiting for me but really this question not about the reason for “why I choose to stay here?”. Maybe because of same advocacy that the institution trying to believe and live in or maybe because I was able to continue learning by experiences I acquired here. Nonetheless, it was life changing decision to stay and be inspired and surrounded by these people.


One year of deadlines to comply, finding ways to be motivated, appreciating kindness and most especially creating impacted to the lives of others.


Being with these to ladies test my patience and ability to be flexibility. They brought color and noisy to our office and really can’t imagine how our office function without them haha. 


Assisting them is one of tasks but more than that they simply inspired and help me realized that joining the education system is a journey of joy and life changing moment for me and our future students.


With my MBC family, Thank you for an awesome year! Journeying with you is an honored for me. Let’s continue to bring bright future to the Filipino youth.