Tag: The Villar Foundation

The Villar Foundation's Villards Cup

I remember during the height of my husband’s courtship back in the 90’s, he would bring me to this billiard joint in Malate in the hope that I would be impressed with his billiards prowess. Well, I was I guess because he was at his element when he was in front of the billiard table. Aside from basketball, this was the other sport that he truly loved.  The mere sight of a billiard table excited him to no end.  Happiness for him and his friends back then was a couple of rounds of billiards game where losers get to buy 1.5 liter of Coca-Cola for everyone.  It was not the money he said that would get you hooked in the game but the intensity of play that the game requires and the camaraderie it presents.    He seldom watch TV when he was alive, the few occasions that I found him glued to the boob tube were when there’s a mean billiard competition on the sports channel or Ginebra’s playing.  I imagine that he is having the time of his life in heaven now playing billiards with the angels.
Back in those days, I remember seeing quite a number of college students and dropouts hanging out at the same billiard joint we were frequenting.  My husband, then my suitor, would tell me when I look at them disapprovingly that it is better that they get addicted to the game than to illegal drugs.  I had to agree with him on that.
With the influx of technology, particularly the introduction of hi tech game consoles where everything can be played with just a flick of a finger, the game of billiards took a backseat.  Only a  few are into the game now.  It makes me sad because I have to admit, I do have a strong admiration for the game because it is more than just getting the balls to shoot in the holes.  It is all about concentration, focus, timing, strategy, and aim.  Life skills that teenagers need to acquire in order to be successful in life.  I wish the government would do more to revive the game of billiards, given the chance…and the fund…and the support…a lot of Filipino amateur billiard players would fair well in international competition because they have the talent and heart for it.  If this happens, we’ll have more youths trading dota, wii and xbox for the billiards cues.
It was a pleasant surprise then to learn that The Villar Foundation of  Mrs. Cynthia Villar, through their annual Villards Cup, continues to support the game by providing budding billiards players a venue where they can compete and play alongside Philippine billiard legends such as Efren ‘Bata’ Reyes, Francisco ‘Django’ Bustamante, Ronnie ‘The Volcano’ Alcano and Dennis ‘Robocop’ Orcollo.  The Villiards Cup has been around since 2008 as part of The Villar Foundation’s advocacy of developing sports at the grassroot level throughout the country.  As we all know, billiards is larong pang-masa.
Villards Cup
Villards Cup
The Villar Foundation has been staging the Villards’ Cup in key cities.  Last September 23-24, the Villards Cup 2012 was held at San Jose, Del Monte, Bulacan. On its first day, Philippine Billiards legends “Bata” Reyes, “Django” Bustamante, and “Robocop” Ocollo played an exhibition game to the delight of the amateur billiard players and enthusiasts present. On the second day, they played alongside this year’s Villard Cup winners Edgie Geronimo of Marilao (champion) and Eduardo Lim of Meycauayan (2nd placer).
Villards Cup
Villards Cup
The complete list of winners of the Villards Cup 2012 are as follows:
1st: Edgie Geronimo (Marilao)
2nd: Eduardo Lim (Meycauayan)
3rd / 4th: Resty Labastida (Bocaue) / Roberto Bilicario (Sta. Maria)
5th / 6th: Kennet Matheu Garcia (Marilao) / Marlon Glinogo (Bulacan)
7th / 8th: Jonas Paolo Ramos (Baliwag) / William Trinidad (Angat)
With this, I hope to see more enthusiasm towards the game. We need to break the balls so everyone will take their cue and get into the game of billiards again.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/romancingthestone/

Villar Steps Up OFW Support with Livelihood Assistance

In line with its 20th year anniversary, the Villar Foundation is extending livelihood grants to seven overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who sought the help of the foundation through its Sagip-OFW program.
Cynthia Villar, Managing Director of the Villar Foundation, personally met with the seven OFW beneficiaries and handed them the livelihood assistance packages at a simple gathering yesterday at Max’s Restaurant at Starmall, Shaw.
“Many OFWs who are either repatriated or returned to country on their own, have a difficult time restarting their lives here. They need help in the form of jobs and livelihood opportunities. The livelihood assistance we extend to them are just enough to get them started, it is up to them to make their small business grow,” Villar said.
The seven OFWs who received the livelihood packages are: Simeon A. Cerezo, Shally Mar Cruz, Romiely Daguplo, Joanalin Pascua, Joselito V. So, Jovita Tallada, and Jose Gerardo Vasquez. All of whom are former OFWs in the Middle East, except for Tallada who was from Singapore.
“We are aware that it is not enough to repatriate distressed OFWs, we need to help them get reintegrated as productive members of the society. Tinutulungan namin sila sa abot ng aming makakayanan, dahil alam namin ang hirap at sakripisyo na kanilang kinakaharap (We try to help them in every way we can because we know the harships and sacrifices that OFWs are facing),” cites Villar.
Daguplo and Pascua were two of the three OFWs from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) repatriated by the Villar Foundation last May. Daguplo, who is pregnant, said she does not want to be a burden to her mother who is a househelp in Las Pinas. Pascua needs to support her three children. Both OFWs have set up a small carinderia (eatery) and sari-sari store.
Cruz, who was repatriated from Syria in November last year, has just given birth recently and sought assistance to provide for the needs of her newborn child.
The other OFW beneficiaries—Tallada, Cerezo, Vasquez and So—due to their advanced age are having difficulty finding employment . Thus, the livelihood packages will be a source of income that will enable them to support their respective families.
The Sagip OFW program of the Villar Foundation extends various forms of support and assistance to OFWs: repatriation, medical, livelihood, skills-up training, scholarships among others. In November, it will again stage the OFW & Family Summit, which provides livelihood and business opportunities to OFWs and their families. Over 5,000 attended the summit last year. It is in partnership with GoNegosyo. ###

The Villar Foundation Celebrates Month of the Ocean With Various Environmental Activities

May has been declared as the “Month of the Ocean in the Philippines through Proclamation No. 57 which states that the DENR and the Department of Agriculture through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) shall spearhead the observance of the Month of the Ocean (MOO) in collaboration with the different sectors of society through the conduct of activities that shall highlight the conservation, protection, and sustainable management of Philippine coastal and ocean resources.

In line with this year’s theme, “Buhay Dagat, Buhay Natin,” The Villar Foundation, which has since been at the forefront of environmental protection and conservation efforts, held different activities today at LPP-CHEA (Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area) off Manila Bay Area. The event aimed at giving its volunteers and supporters a chance to take part in the foundation’s different environmental undertakings.
As what Mrs. The Villar Foundation’s Managing Director, said, “This is just a continuation of our own efforts to save the environment which we have started long ago. This is just one of the series of activities that we will be having this year in line with our foundations’ 20th anniversary.”

The LPP-CHEA (Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area) is a fitting location for today’s event since this has been the center of conservation and protection efforts of different Non-Government Organizations including The Villar Foundation lately.

Recently plans to reclaim its 635.14 coastal area earned violent reactions from more than 365,849 residents from the cities of Las Pinas, Paranaque, and the Municipality of Bacoor because of its possible damaging effects to their environment, livehood, and safety. The move had also prompted Mrs.Villar to file a petition in the Supreme Court which later issued a “writ of kalikasan”. This coastal lagoon aside from it being a source of livelihood of fishermen in the area also housed a large area of mangroove trees that serve not only as natural breeding grounds of fish but sanctuaries of migratory birds as well.

This is considered as the only remaining natural coastline in Metro Manila. Since garbage problem has been threatening the area, different non-government organizations such as The Villar Foundation, Wild Bird Club of the Philippines, Diocese of Paranaque etc. stepped in to address this mounting problem. Mrs. Villar revealed that, “Nagsimula akong magkainterest dito after we have successfully rehabilitated the Las Pinas-Zapote River. Doon narealize ko na river rehabilitation doesn’t only involve technical solution, you have to learn to address the garbage problem. Sa Las Pinas, we were able to find solutions to our garbage problem. We learned to process our garbage and we psychologized people. Sinabi namin sa kanila na kailangan natin alagaan ang ating ilog kasi tayo din naman ang makikinabang dyan.” Addressing the fishermen in the audience, she said, “Kailangan din natin linisin ang dagat ng mga basura dahil ito ang pinanggagalingan ng ating kabuhayan.”

According to Mrs. Villar, the different environmental celebrations such as the Earth Month in March, Month of the Ocean in May, and Environment Month in June are fitting reminders that we should learn to protect and value our resources.

Sightings of 72 unique and endemic bird species have been reported and documented here by the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines, the organization that was instrumental in the rehabilitation work in the area. Wild Bird Club of the Philippines’ founder Michale Lu related that, “Whenever we go here for bird watching, we notice how garbage in the area drive these birds away. We then planned a clean-up activity. We posted invites in our facebook and twitter accounts to encourage our friends to help out. Others reposted and retweeted, next thing we knew a lot of people started coming and joining our clean up activities including The Villar Foundation.” They made a study and came up with critical points to be addressed so migratory birds, which play an important role in ensuring marine biodiversity, will continue to habitate in the area . Wild Bird Club member Gina disclosed that, “More than anything, we want residents to know that the garbage they throw in the river, it goes to here, and if we don’t address that problem, it will have a big effect on them in the long run. They have to learn to manage their garbage.”

members of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines

The event was well attended by students, youth volunteers, and residents of nearby communities who were there to participate in the coastal clean-up. The members of the Makati Police were also present to help plant mangrooves in the area. And members of the Wild Bird Club initiated and organized Nature Walk and Bird Watching activities.

Makati Police planing mangrooves with Ms. Cynthia Villar

Bird Watching with my fellow bloggers Nina and Vix

all set to do some bird watching!

Philippine Native Plant Conservation Society, Philippine Red Cross Las Pinas Subchapter, Youth Group of the Diocese of Paranaque, Save the Freedom Island Movement and other various organizations from Las Pinas and Paranaque also witnessed the event and took part in the different activities.

It was indeed the perfect way to celebrate The Month of the Ocean. With this year’s theme, “Buhay Dagat, Buhay Natin,” The Villar Foundation, through this event, once again managed to successfully bring across the message that successful protection, conservation and management of our marine resources is not just a job of one foundation or one organization alone but involves the collective efforts of all individuals.
For more details about the other advocacies and activities of the Villar Foundation, please visit its website: www.villarfoundation.org.