Real Life Heroes – Aldin Beta-a

Aldin Beta-A is more than a DRR Supervisor for our MOVE UP 3 Project, he is one of our Real-Life Heroes.

After spearheading the Resilient Livelihood Support turnover for 50 families in Marikina last September 18, he shares his experience as a humanitarian worker and working tirelessly to help others amidst the pandemic.

When did you start being involved in development work?
My initial employment was focused on ancestral domain management after I graduated back in 2000. After that, I was mostly involved in the agricultural field and was also part of an earthquake rehabilitation program. In 2006, I was deployed in Southern Luzon, in Aurora, for a community disaster risk reduction program. Thereafter, I was more involved on humanitarian responses during in 2013 until now.

What were your struggles as a humanitarian worker, especially now during the pandemic?
Well, the normal struggle is how to expedite the process given that time is limited, and especially now that transportation between areas have become challenging. The common way we communicate now is through non-face-to-face interactions which can be challenging when it comes to decision-making.

What motivates you to continue a career in humanitarian work?
As a humanitarian worker, it is common in our DNA to help others and doing no harm, so that motivates me to help others even if it needs more patience or innovative ways of getting things done.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
My hope for the future is for us to continuously adapt. I see that we constantly change as a society, even though we experience many hazards or risks. I see that as we can adapt to these different disasters and emergencies, and cope as human beings.

Moving Urban Poor Communities Toward Resilience (MOVE UP 3) is an urban disaster risk reduction (DRR) project which aims to build resilience among urban poor communities in Mindanao. With funding from the European Union, MOVE UP 3 is implemented by a consortium of partners consisting of Action Against Hunger PhilippinesPlan International PhilippinesCARE Philippines, and ACCORD Incorporated.

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The Cruciality of Safe Water Access in Infectious Diseases Prevention like COVID. Around 7 million Filipinos are dependent on unsafe and unsustainable water sources.

𝗔𝗰𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝘀𝗮𝗳𝗲 𝘄𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗶𝘀 𝗰𝗿𝘂𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗹 𝗶𝗻 𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗶𝗻𝗳𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝘂𝘀 𝗱𝗶𝘀𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲𝘀 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲 𝗖𝗢𝗩𝗜𝗗-𝟭𝟵. However, around 7 million Filipinos are dependent on unsafe and unsustainable water sources.

In fact, even before the pandemic, those residing in congested dwellings in informal settlements, transitory sites, and evacuation areas were already facing problems with inadequate water, poor sanitation and waste management, and limited access to health care facilities. Now, these vulnerable areas are more prone to widespread virus infection.

Photo by Jasper Llanderal for Action Against Hunger

We help these communities through our programs on 𝘄𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗿, 𝘀𝗮𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻, & 𝗵𝘆𝗴𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗲.

Learn more about our WASH programs 


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Providing Food Security and Livelihood assistance to Our Country

“I am more afraid that my family will suffer from hunger, than the actual virus,” is a sentiment shared by many Filipinos.

The country is facing an unprecedented hunger crisis as a result of the pandemic. Aside from the immediate impact on people’s health, COVID-19 could create more devastation to more than 13 million poor families in the Philippines.

Faced with this situation, we have provided 𝗳𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝘀𝗲𝗰𝘂𝗿𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗹𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗹𝗶𝗵𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗮𝘀𝘀𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 to 23,686 people as part of our COVID-19 response in the country.

To join our fight against hunger, go to:

Life After The Mindanao Earthquake: Wheels of Hope

“Mother, why are we different from other kids?” asks 6-year old John Rey to his mother, Janisa. John Rey and his two older brothers Christian and Gary Jr., have not been able to walk and run like other children because of a bone condition that started when each of them turned six years old.

Janisa looks at John Rey and finds it difficult to answer his question. Even the doctors that they consulted could not determine the reason why her sons’ bones in their lower bodies were shrinking.  All the doctors could recommend was to conduct more medical examinations to determine the cause of the boys’ conditions and how to treat it.

The eldest, Gary Jr. who is now 13 years old, has trouble sitting down and usually spends days lying on the sleeping mat. The father, Gary Sr., earns just enough to get by their daily needs as an on-call carpenter. Janisa stays at home and takes care of the children. As much as they want to have their sons treated, they have limited financial capabilities to do so.

To make matters worse, their community in Balabag, Kidapawan was affected by the series of earthquakes that struck Mindanao during the last quarter of 2019. The disaster affected more than 300,000 people, almost half of them displaced, including Gary Sr. and Janisa’s family.

Despite their struggles, the Lopez family continues to move forward especially after our Earthquake Response Protection Team, together with the Integrated Provincial Health Office – IPHO and the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), referred and assisted the Lopez brothers to Kidapawan City Public Hospital and other private hospitals in the area for more extensive check-ups and medical examinations. John Rey, Christian, and Gary Jr. each received wheelchairs courtesy of the IPHO, and the CSWD provided financial assistance for their family. Action Against Hunger continues to monitor the condition of the three children.

Prior to the referral, the Lopezes also received humanitarian support forms of multi-purpose cash transfer, hygiene and shelter kits. Inside their evacuation tent, Janisa watches her two youngest sons play, the eldest brother lies in his back beside them. The boys may not be able to use their legs like other children, but Janisa is hopeful that at least her sons will now be able to walk and run in their own special way with the help of their new wheelchairs.


Life-saving Humanitarian Assistance to People Affected by the Mindanao Earthquake is funded by the European Union, and implemented by Action Against Hunger Philippines, CARE Philippines, and ACCORD Incorporated.

Written by Joayra Gem Balagtas


Muntinlupa School for Child Development (MSCD), Nord Anglia International School Manila (NAIS) and Philippine Cultural College – Main Campus (PCC-Main), have committed to organize the Race Against Hunger in their respective campuses for the school year 2018–2019. This would be the third consecutive year that these schools are empowering their students to help Filipino families suffering from hunger.

“We’ve been doing a lot of fundraising here in the school through the years, especially during the Christmas season. The way we did charity was usually through giving,” said Ms. Winsdy Marcos of PCC-Main. “When I first heard about the Race Against Hunger and how

it works, it was something special because it was fun and challenging at the same time. For our students, they have to break their own limits and try to run as many laps as they can, while at the same time convince their family and friends to pledge an amount for every lap they finish. It’s not just a dole out, because they really work for it in a fun way.”

“This year we hope to beat last year’s total,” stated David Kirkham, NAIS’ principal. “It is important that schools raising funds for any charity to directly impact the local community, so that the young people can see the real impact of their efforts.”

“We’ve included the race in the student handbook which makes our commitment to helping official. The students were so excited to see that—it’s an activity that they look forward to,” said Renier Correa of MSCD. “As long as the campaign continues to exist, MSCD will continue to support it.”

The Race Against Hunger is an international campaign held in 26 countries that aims to create awareness of the problem of malnutrition to young people and raise funds for Action Against Hunger’s projects. In the Philippine edition, all funds raised will be used to help projects in the country.


Meet Mikkel Cruz, the 5 year-old student from University of Asia and the Pacific – Child Development and Education Center who was able to raise ₱50,730 during UAP’s Race Against Hunger last January 26, 2019.

Interview with Mommy Patricia Eliza “Pia” Cruz:

At home, how did you motivate Mikkel to get pledges for the campaign.

He was already interested in the race part itself because his older siblings already had an experience with fun runs but this was the first time that our family engaged in a fundraising activity. I thought of reading [the newsletter] to him, and read to him the story of the one-year-old child whom Action Against Hunger helped. I guess that’s what made the difference for him because as a child he is already shows great empathy. Rather than randomly asking our relatives for pledges, he thought of making a short invitational video explaining what the race was all about. I took a chance of posting it in our family groups and sharing with friends, I wasn’t expecting it but I was surprised that the pledges kept coming in.

How many sponsors did Mikkel get?

We used up 5 booklets, so we got around 45 people.

How many laps did Mikkel finish?

He did around 25 rounds/laps. In total he ran for about 3 kilometers. I was asking him, “what made you run?” and he would say, “because I want to help children.”

How was he able to do it?

He was very excited because he was with his friends, classmates and even the morning of the race, pledges were still coming in so that added to his excitement. He was so full of energy because the next day after the race, he joined dad to go jogging.

What advice can you give to parents who would like to motivate their children to give back to the community?

I think it would help a lot if you have the children see how the situation is for the other kids who are not as privileged. What helped Mikkel was when I shared the stories and showed him pictures of the child that you featured in your newsletter. I just told him that not everyone lives the same kind of life that you do, that there are a lot of people there that have nothing to eat. Just let that sink in and also how to make them realize that even if they’re just little kids, they can do something about it. No one is too young to help!. ●


Food establishments and food lovers will once again unite to take action against malnutrition through Love Food Give Food, the campaign that aims to create awareness and raise funds for Action Against Hunger’s projects in the Philippines.

From October 1 to December 1, the campaign encourages any food establishment—from independent restaurants, restaurant groups or chains, bakeries, cafés, cafeterias and even online food sellers—to fundraise in two ways: 1) select 1 or more special items and for every order, a portion of the profits is donated, or 2) encourage their customers to voluntarily donate.

“Running the campaign is really simple, which is why a lot of the food establishments that joined since we started in 2016 continue to support us,” said Dale Nelson Divinagracia, Fundraising Manager for Action Against Hunger. “We know how busy running a business is, especially food service. We send participants all they need in one handy kit that contains all they need to run the campaign: posters, table-cards, menu inserts, guide for staff, donation envelopes and boxes.”

172 food establishments joined in 2018, raising ₱697,557. The campaign was previously known as Restaurants Against Hunger. “We rebranded this year to Love Food Give Food because we wanted any type of food establishment, be it a milk tea kiosk or a carinderia have the opportunity to help out – to make their food good in more ways than one,” continues Mr. Divinagracia.


Mario “Luigi” Guiterrez, proud father of 2 boys and 1 daughter, is the Branch Manager of Café Mediterranean Powerplant Mall branch.  Luigi has been with the restaurant chain for 9 years.  First starting as a server in the Greenbelt branch, he has risen through the ranks in several capacities: Service Trainer, Branch Supervisor, and now Branch Manager.

  1. Café Mediterranean has been participating in Restaurants Against Hunger (Love Food Give Food) ever since it started in the Philippines in 2016, how has this been received by your customers?

The reception was great!  Having the table cards in each table really makes our customers curious about the campaign.  They ask the waiters more about Restaurants Against Hunger and we tell them that just by ordering their favorite appetizers, they are donating to Action Against Hunger’s projects for families and their children in the Philippines.

  1. Is the campaign easy to implement?

Very easy!  Again, the materials you send (the tabletops, posters) makes it easier for us to explain the campaign to our customers.

  1. Does joining this campaign affect the tips that waiters receive?

Not at all.  When customers donate, they know that the tip for the waiter is different. This does not affect any

  1. What do you do to motivate your servers to be proactive in promoting the DISHES THAT FEED MORE?

Our boss Marla (Café Mediterranean Owner Ms. Marla Moran) is very supportive of the campaign and we as front liners feel that, just by endorsing the DISHES THAT FEED MORE to our customers, we are also helping our less fortunate countrymen.

  1. How does it make you feel – that the company you work for is actively taking action in ending child hunger in the Philippines?

Really proud!  I and all of the servers are at an economic level where we really see the effects of hunger.  We would like to help as well.  By promoting the campaign, we really feel that we are donating. By promoting the Charity Dishes to our customers, the servers and staff feel that we are also helping our less fortunate countrymen. ●


The school year 2017-2018 was made a lot more exciting for students in the Philippines with the launch of the Race Against Hunger. Promoted by Action Against Hunger and present in 28 countries, the campaign aims to create awareness on the problem of malnutrition to young people and empower them to help families suffering from hunger.

The campaign has three key moments. First is the awareness-raising session where an Action Against Hunger staff goes to the school to discuss the problem of hunger and malnutrition in the Philippines. Second, the students look for sponsors who will be willing to pledge an amount for each lap they would finish during the race. Students will collect this after the race. Lastly, the school puts up a race where students run for as many laps as they can.

“An important part of the campaign is creating awareness among the young people about the problem of hunger,” said Suresh Murugesu, Technical Coordinator of Action Against Hunger, “through them, they will spread our advocacy to their immediate family – parents, cousins, aunts, uncles, even friends. Such engagement will eventually lead to commitments from concerned citizens to support our projects in fighting hunger all throughout the Philippines.”

Five schools in Manila initiated the Race Against Hunger in their campuses: Muntinlupa School for Child Development, Philippine Cultural College – Tondo, The King’s School Manila, Philippine Cultural College – Caloocan, and the United Campus of Mahatma Ghandi and Australian International School.

For Elizabeth Carandang, Principal of MSCD, the race was a great opportunity for their faculty members and students to extend their help to other communities. “We were excited because we are not only reaching the barangays near to us but we are reaching out to other barangays who need our help. The children are excited to learn that they can also help little children by just participating in this race,” said Carandang.



She is not your average runner.

That is the best way to describe Katrina Candice “KC” Veran, a Grade 5 student from Muntinlupa School for Child Development (MSCD) where the first Race Against Hunger in the Philippines was held in July 15, 2017. KC is the 10-year old record holder for the highest amount a student was able to raise in sponsorship amounting to Php16,500.00 in pledges. Action Against Hunger interviewed her on how she did it.

What was your motivation in getting a lot of sponsors to pledge?

  • The reason I was motivated was because I really wanted to help the children who were hungry, who did not have food and who have a

lot of needs.

Who were your sponsors?

  • My Lolo, my Titas, my cousins, and my mommy & daddy. I would tell them that by sponsoring me, they will be helping people who do not have food.

How many laps did you finish?

  • 12 laps I think… No, it was 14 laps.

14 laps! Wow that is great! How did you feel after the race?

  • This is the first time I’ve joined a charity event and I felt happy because I knew that I would be helping people in need.

We will be having other Race Against Hunger events in 2018. What tips can you offer other children in getting sponsors?

  • Whenever a relative visits the house, I would immediately ask them to sponsor me on how many laps I can finish. Just go and find sponsors – anybody can be a sponsor!


Chefs, restauranteurs, and foodies will once again get the chance to fight hunger this 2018 through Restaurants Against Hunger, a campaign that aims to create awareness and raise funds for projects fighting hunger in the Philippines.

The mechanics of the campaign is simple: from October 1 to December 1, participating restaurants offer dishes from their menu which are tagged as ‘dishes that feed more.’ Every time a customer orders a special dish, a portion of the profit goes to Action Against Hunger projects in various areas in the Philippines.

“Restaurants Against Hunger makes me realize that our craft goes beyond mere cooking, it also transforms into a stronger cause that enables us to have a chance to make someone’s future healthy,” stated Chef Roland “Lau” Laudico, the campaign’s ambassador in the Philippines. This international movement started during the World Food Day in France in 1998. Because of the success of the campaign, this was later launched in the United Kingdom, Canada, Spain and the United States. As of writing, 13 countries around the world, including Italy, France, Colombia, Bolivia, India, Germany, Guatemala and the Philippines, are implementing it.

“The campaign is now on its 3rd year in the Philippines,” said Dale Nelson Divinagracia, Fundraising Manager for Action Against Hunger. “We initially launched it in 2016 coinciding with the burgeoning Manila food scene. Amidst the growth, we knew that chefs and restaurant owners were looking for ways to help stop hunger in the country. The campaign was the perfect avenue for them to

extend their reach.”

In 2017, a total of 103 restaurants joined the campaign and raised Php 683,737.00. The previous edition was supported by LTB Chef’s Association and sponsored by McCormick Culinary Philippines. Collaborators were Zomato and Spin Manila, Inc. “I’m on board for Restaurants Against Hunger, I hope that you will come on board too!” said Marla Moran, owner of Café Mediterranean and Wild Ginger. ●