Over the past few months, LG Philippines has been collecting entries for the first-ever local iteration of the LG Ambassador Challenge. The initiative, which was started with Korea Friends of Hope International, is a first in the Philippines and affirms LG’s commitment to help deliver sustainable growth to local communities in the country. After reviewing all the entries, LG selected ‘Ride for Hope’ by Bahay Aruga and ‘Roof for Siargao’ by Red Charity Gala.
Bahay Aruga, which was founded in 2014, is a free halfway house for Pediatric Cancer patients of Philippine General Hospital (PGH). Most of the children need to be in PGH every week because of their long-term treatment, but the predicament they are facing is that they don’t have a place to stay here in Manila. Hence, the halfway house was born.
There are many cases that patients and parents slept on the sidewalk of the hospital to wait for the patients’ next check-up and treatment. Sadly, many of them abandoned their treatment because of financial hardship. This is how the Bahay Aruga came into life. As endorsed by the Oncology department of PGH, patients with their parents or carer are fully accommodated at Bahay Aruga for free.
These patients are given utmost consideration to make their stay comfortable, as cancer treatments can often be difficult and at times mind-boggling in terms of mentally, emotionally, financially, and otherwise. Recently, the matriarch of Bahay Aruga and who conceptualized the halfway house, Marietta Bonilla, passed away due to COVID-19.
During these uncertainties, a family member made an assurance to its residents that Bahay Aruga will remain operating. The distance to PGH however, is still quite far and with Manila traffic and medical emergencies, every minute counts. The Ride for Hope project’s aim is to procure a new ambulance for the kids who need immediate medical response. Receiving the grant is Mr. Josefino B. Bonilla, Board of Director of Bahay Aruga ‘The daily battle of patients and carers are endless, but choosing Ride For Hope project, and with the new ambulance that we will be able to use, life will be more convenient and better for the pediatric cancer patients. Thank you, LG and KFHI for this program’.
Red Charity Gala (RCG) was started in 2009 by chairpersons Tessa Valdes and Kaye Tinga whose objectives have been to raise funds for numerous beneficiaries thru the celebration of Philippine fashion. In the last 11 years, they were able to raise over 30 million that have been distributed to Philippine Red Cross, Gifts & Graces, and Assumption HS 81 Foundation, among others.
These funds have been used for relief efforts and community building in several provinces across the country. With the onset of the covid pandemic in 2020, thier mission was put on hold as we wait for better days to come. Jordan Valdes has been very much present in the RCG events and witnessed the generosity of its organizers, guests, and donors; making RCG the most awaited fashion charity event over the last decade.
She was living in Siargao for six months when Typhoon Odette hit the province in December 2021. Having seen the destruction that was made to her second home, it became apparent that her kind-heartedness, generosity, and her exposure with RCG made her equipped to launch her own fundraising for those whose lives were in shambles after the typhoon.
She initially asked for donations from her family and friends from Manila and all over to world to provide food & supplies for the typhoon victims. She was able to see firsthand how the houses were all destroyed. There was so little help coming in to help rebuild these people’s houses and lives. Two months after the storm, Jordan saw that there is still a lot to do for Siargao. In February, she went back to Manila in the hopes that she can raise more funds to help the communities in Siargao.
Thus, the RCG Roof for Siargao project was born. As RCG evolves, they go back to the core of bringing people together: it is about giving hope, sharing our blessings, and empowering people to rebuild their lives. Ms. Kaye Tinga, co-founder of RCG was grateful to LG when she attended the awarding “The opportunity for Jordan Valdes to be chosen as an LG Ambassador can inspire young people to take the initiative to help improve other people’s lives. We thank LG for giving us Red Charity Gala, a unique opportunity to make a difference”.
LG Philippines Managing Director Sungjae Kim shares his excitement about the two winners of the pioneer program “The LG Ambassador Program is the first in the Philippines and a part of LG’s commitment to help Filipinos through social contribution activities that deliver sustainable growth to local communities.
We, together with Korea Friends of Hope International, would want to become arbiters of change and to help communities blossom. These two programs, Ride for Hope and Roof Siargao, are both in line with our brand values under an overarching vision that sees to achieve a better life for all. We stand behind their vision and we want to see more of what they can accomplish with this win”.