Kombucha, a Superfood

You’ll be surprised to know that fermentation isn’t just meant for food preparation. Bokashi composting breathes a new life to the fermentation process by creating healthier soil, while also producing tea for healthier plant growth. Even better is that it is easily done even for beginners like yourself. Check out the step-by-step guide below to start your own compost!

Created by: James Clyde Ranario

Goin’ Bananas

Despite the onsluaght of strong typhoons and other calamities, the Philippines again proved itself as a strong producer of bananas in the April to June 2018 results. This is an inspiaration to exert hardwork and learn aboutthe success stories of banana planters. At the Center for the Poor, we help acquire planting skills and strategies for our planters to impove threir yields.

Created by: James Clyde Ranario

Magnitude of Poor Families by Region and Province

With the promise of strengthened economic foundations, the Philippines is said to be on its way to faster poverty reduction. A lookback from 2015 poverty figures, how far have we come? How did Luzon fair in its economic situation as the seat of the country’s capital and large metropolis? Attracting many tourists, did the islands of Visayas improve economic conditions of its people? Highly rich in resources and culture, how did Mindanao cope with economic problems?

Created by: James Clyde Ranario


Bokashi Technology

A recycling process suited for anybody, Bokashi composting gives you a fresh way to reuse your kitchen wastes. It’s easy-to-do, quick and less messy. So, there’s no excuse not to try!

Created by: James Clyde Ranario

Philippine Wildlife and Endangered Species in Facts and Figures

Our country is among the megadiversity in the world. The sad thing, however, is that a large percentage of our animals are considered to be endangered. Here are important facts and figures you need to in order to help to protect our animals. If you know of other endangered animals we’d like to know about them too! Hit is in the comments below.

Created by: James Clyde Ranario

9% Are Out of School Children and Youth (OSCY)

The Philippines smack right in the Pacific Ring of Fire and near the Pacific Ocean, typhoons and dangers of a volcanic eruption are nothing new. However, despite these calamities being a “usual occurrence,” why is the death tolls and gravity of its effects are getting worse? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Created by: James Clyde Ranario

5 Things You Can Do For a Successful Team Retreat

Our restless daily lives shroud and impair our spiritual well-being. How then can we rekindle and deepen our relationship with the Lord and with each other through a day of spiritual refuge?

A retreat is one good way to start reevaluating your purpose as you go through your day to day routine. Conducting a retreat with your team be it from school, work or community creates a new perception of your faith, and double as a way to bond and strengthen your relationship with one another.


    1. Establish and stick to your goals

Spending a day or two out of your daily groove will give you fresh perspectives and renewed energy.  Don’t put this into waste by not setting the right place to channel this vitality.

Aside from bringing you closer to Him and to each other, you might also want to set other specific goals for the event. For instance, this might be a good way to rework on oneself, better the team dynamics, improve leadership, and understanding why putting God in the middle of it all is vital.

Once done, find time to take stock of the improvements and lack thereof. It will help you reassess and see other approaches.

  1. Ensure quality leadership

Quality leadership can spell out the success of the retreat from the outset to attaining the desired outcome. It cuts across various aspects of the entire activity.

Leadership begins with motivating the team members to join the program. Some may have reservations due to circumstances and reasons personal to each. The leader is responsible for encouraging everyone to be there. After all, the team isn’t the same without each player.

Logistics and organization is another element that leaders have to look into when planning for a group retreat. By all means, he or she can delegate tasks or even create committees. But, ultimately sound decision making and systematizing comes from the leader.

  1. Get the right resource speaker-slash-facilitator

Looking back years after the retreat, the learning, and the message should wear well. A good resource or keynote speaker is on the hook for making this possible.

Aim to get a speaker that is independent from the team. Someone that is impartial, who can guide you to see through things differently.  They can take on a journey with an extraordinary path, bringing you closer to the retreat’s purpose.

You might want to involve your speaker through the whole planning, especially when setting the program. It is by this that he or she gets to understand the goals, the number of participants and the venues to prepare for appropriate speeches and activities.

  1. Find a suitable place

A retreat is the time for meditation and listening to Him, to your team and yourself. Your place should provide for the needed tranquility and peace as it influences the whole experience.

Ambiance sets the stage for creating the mood that you want for the retreat. However, never take for granted the basic logistics such as the area size, transportation, and the facilities offered.

Some can seat as many as 100 people like the multipurpose hall in the Center for the Poor. Others cater to a more intimate gathering with lesser seating capacity.

The key to choosing the proper place is to visualize your retreat setting and create criteria. Use these criteria when looking for your perfect retreat venue.

  1. Setting a program

Your program should have three main points: a list of activities, timeline, and budget. Don’t think of this as restrictions of the event, instead, these are guidelines for wise use of your time and resources.

The keynote speaker may have a list of activities prepared for the participants. You should incorporate this into the overall program of activities.  Also, include a timeline that gives you quality time for each activity. Finally, your activity should also coincide with your financial plan.

These considerations are especially important if you have a large group or will spend several days on the activity.

Happiness stems from how we build relationships with the people around us. Make sure that you take time to withdraw and find a bigger appetite for your aspirations— for your life.


Photo © https://stgilesepc.org/

Instilling Sapat Na Principles in Our Children

The illusion of abundance and the convenience brought by the fast evolution of industrial science, wraps us in a bubble of comfort, sidelining environmental protection.

Now, recognizing an intergenerational responsibility, we need to raise a new generation who has a habit of taking and consuming only what is needed.

To guide you in raising children with good hearts, you can practice these principles at home:

Sapat na ang pagkasira ng kalikasan

“Enough of the destruction of the  environment”

The dangerous environmental dilemma of the modern world stems from the unwise, unethical and wasteful human activities. With  75% of the Earth’s land in degradation, life forms may continue to be extinct, and land resources persist in turning into barren dirty landforms.

As parents, it is a serious duty to teach the children to be stewards of nature. They should guide their children to understand their significant role in the fight against the Earth’s total destruction.

You can make activities involving environmental immersions, participating in community events and empowering them that they may realize their capabilities of making great changes.

Sapat lamang ang dapat kunin mula sa kalikasan

“Take from nature only that which is enough”

The emergence of neoliberalism breeds the height of resource exploitation, causing various significant environmental problems plaguing our society. The natives were driven out from their homes; animals found with no habitats; and nothing to keep us safe from forceful calamities.

We endure the effects of our exploitative acts and decisions, and our children will continue to suffer. The younger ones need to learn the virtues of taking from nature only that which is enough.

Among the many things you can teach is to live simply and consider the alternative way of doing things.  

Sapat lamang ang dapat kainin at bilhin


“Eat and buy only what is enough and needed”

Gluttony describes the bad habit of eating more than necessary. Unknowingly, this moniker also extends to the consumerist behavior towards worldly possessions.

Children develop tendencies to be gluttons for food or things when they are either not taught control or when it’s used to control them.  Naturally, parental love manifests in their children’s happiness. And oftentimes giving material gifts is the love language.

Some parents, on the other hand, discipline children by ‘giving’ when they do something good and ‘taking’ when doing something bad. The material possessions are given too much value and emphasis.

What parents can do is to spend more time with their children, limit their spending, and redefine happiness. It might also be good to push them to share, donate and volunteer for a cause that they are passionate about.  

Sapat dapat mayroon ang bawat isa sa kaniyang mga pangangailangan upang mabuhay nang malusog at may dangal

“Each person must have enough to sustain a healthful and dignified life”

Each person, by virtue of his or her being human, deserves to live a dignified life. Each of us works hard to bring food to the table, to be clad in clean clothes to be warm in our homes.

But, there are those among us who are unfortunate in life.  Some live on the scrapes of the necessities and sometimes barely had anything.

We cannot provide for every one of them, nor continue to give dole outs. However, we can do something to help them sustain themselves.

You, as parents, can encourage your children to share their resources, be it financial, knowledge or skills to teach the poor, other children and the marginalized to make a living for them and their family.

Your duty as a parent doesn’t end in putting appetizing and healthy food on the table nor in dressing your children in fine clothes. A vital role parents have to take on is feeding their souls and rearing them into valuable members of the community. You can begin by teaching them the value of contentment, taking and using what is just and enough.    


Photo © https://amritaserve.org