Jay Jaboneta and his Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation: Modern Pinoy Hero helped Little Kids in Layag-layag Zamboanga


Jay Jaboneta a.k.a Jay Michael Ortuoste Jaboneta, is a Filipino blogger, philanthropist, new media advocate, and online community organizer. Jay Jaboneta is best known for having sparked the idea that led to the creation the charitable organization Philippine Funds for Little Kids, for which Jaboneta was recognized by Yahoo! Southeast Asia as one of their “7 Modern Day Pinoy Heroes.” In May 2012, The Philippine Funds for Little Kids was incorporated as the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation, Inc.

 

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The story behind the Yellow Boat of Hope

Jay Jaboneta narrated that one of his friends told him about a group of children who litterally swim and wade through about a mile of mostly chest-deep water and cross sandbars to reach school in Layag-layag, Zamboanga City, a mangrove village where the people are mostly seaweed farmers.

Upon learning the situation, Jaboneta posted a facebook status describing the day-to-day living and school life of the children. Things suddenly changed when one of his friends replied back on his post asking him, "So what are you going to do?".

Jay Jaboneta helped start a fund-raising campaign through his Facebook account. His Facebook status became viral in a few days and donations poured in coming from different parts of the world. Jaboneta accumulated 1300 Euros in a short span of time.

He traveled far down south of the Philippine archipelago looking for someone to build a motorized boat. He met a lot of struggle and challenges in building the first boat but everything turned out well with the aid of the local residents. The first yellow boat was made available for the children's transportation in a couple of days of hard work.

Jay Jaboneta thought that the scenario in Layag-layag was unique but someone from Masbate phoned in and told him that there is another spot where the students need to swim an open sea, about 300 meters, just to reach their school too. Knowing the success he made in Layag-layag, the eager Jaboneta visited the location and replicated the project he made in Layag-layag.

It has been reported that he his foundation built more than 120 yellow boats.

His tale was spotlighted in the Best of Facebook Stories. Watch the video featured in Facebook Stories.

The Acronym

H is about Harnessing one's potential. It is about finding your passion in life. I personally feel, even after 15 months into the project, that I have found my life's mission and it is to help children who struggle to go to school.

And more than that, it is to help bring communities in the Philippines the resources they need to get a better chance in life. Without discovering what you are passionate about in life, it is very hard to stay focused on a mission, on a project. You've got to find what you love to do. - (Jay Jaboneta)

O is about opening one's mind and one's heart. When I first heard about the story, I couldn't shake it off. I didn't know what to do then. I shared it on Facebook, not thinking that it would transform into a thriving national movement helping children in three communities around the Philippines. - (Jay Jaboneta)

P is about Perspiration. You cannot help people without getting both your hands and your feet dirty. When we want to help people, we should act on it. Only in doing so can we gain insights into how our efforts and operations can be made better. Perspiration is very good for the body and the soul too, as it cleanses our system. Personally, I have become thinner as a result of my involvement in the project. - (Jay Jaboneta)

E is about empowering others. And this is for me, where the challenge really lies, even when you think of our national leadership. In order to succeed sustainably, we must equip and empower more leaders to take on the challenges in education and the other challenges our country is facing. - (Jay Jaboneta)

Why yellow boat?

According to Jay, the concept was taken from the yellow school bus.

Jay Jaboneta is a proud alumnus of Ateneo de Davao University.

Source: Wikipedia, Huffingtonpost (authored by Jay himself)

 


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