5 HAPI Pantries Spring Up Across the Philippines

Posted by Marissa Langseth | Posted on May 10, 2021

By Marissa Torres-Langseth
HAPI Founder

Slowly, HAPI is becoming a household name in the Philippines. In our quest to bring smiles to Filipinos across Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, the Humanist Alliance Philippines, International has managed to establish five HAPI community pantries over the past month.

The Philippines, a country of over 7,000 islands, remains mired in abject poverty and overt religiosity; superstitious beliefs are still so prevalent in Filipinos’ daily lives, blocking progress on many fronts. We at HAPI have put a dent in these beliefs and hope to penetrate more in the Filipino psyche in the hopes of promoting critical thinking and logic amongst our kababayan.

Despite the pandemic, our Chapters throughout the country have proven to be creatively resilient in putting up these pantries (just like the many other kind-hearted Filipinos who constructed their own). This is a genuine attempt to reach out to communities in far-flung areas; the reason we put up a banner in our pantries is so that onlookers would not assume that those helping are religious in nature. (Besides, honesty is one virtue HAPI has espoused from the outset.)

Pantry 1 – Zambales

The trailblazer of all the HAPI pantries is Van Pugay Catayong, Lead Convenor of the newly-minted HAPI-Zambales Chapter! Zambales lies in the Central Luzon region which is famous for its beaches and tourist spots. Here is just a quick rundown of bucket-list-worthy places you simply must visit: Anawangin Cove, Talisayin Cove, Mt. Pinatubo, Mt. Balingkilat, Pundaquit Falls, islands like Capones, Camara, Potipot – and more tourist spots for millennials and seniors alike!

Oh, and not to forget, it is also the home of the Pawikan Rangers of Pawicare Hatchery, which HAPI National visited quite recently!

Pantry 2 – Alabang

The next HAPI pantry on our list sprung up at Alabang, Muntinlupa, a densely populated and predominantly poor municipality in Metro Manila. This pantry was initiated by Jamie del Rosario-Martinez, one of the longest-serving HAPI members who has been with us since 2014. Her community pantry lasted for more than 14 days!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

While Alabang is densely populated, there are plenty of good sights to see, including a number of famous churches – proof that religion is very much alive and encompassing Filipinos’ way of life since the Spanish Inquisition.


Pantry 3 – Sorsogon

Through the supervision of Lead Convenor Janice Buenaventura, the next pantry to open was HAPI-Sorsogon‘s. Sorsogon is a municipality in Luzon and it is yet another mini-paradise in the Philippines with tourist spots galore! Truly a haven for sightseeing and adventures.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Pantry 4 – Northern Mindanao

The fourth HAPI pantry to open belonged to HAPI-Northern Mindanao at Cagayan de Oro, a province just a little south of Luzon.

Members had to deliver aid to far-flung areas and carry life-saving items on their heads at times. They were headed by the chapter’s Lead Convenor, Johnny Denden, who lives in Cagayan de Oro and is also a long-time HAPI leader.

Should you happen to tag along with the team on these supply runs, you will also inevitably see the beauty of the island along the way. Here are some photos from TripAdvisor and Johnny’s own collection to prove it:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Pantry 5 – City of Malolos

Last but not least to establish a pantry was the HAPI folks at the City of Malolos, Bulacan – where the HAPI Headquarters also happens to be located! This pantry was led by the HAPI Chief Finance Officer herself, Maria Juana Valenzuela, a multi-tasker with intact integrity. She is a pioneer of HAPI and its most active member since its inception in 2013.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What’s there to see in Bulacan? Since it is just an hour’s drive away from both Metro Manila and Central Luzon, you can enjoy practically all of Luzon’s tourist spots at your leisure. Given Bulacan’s status as the rice granary of the Philippines, our CFO has kickstarted some rice livelihood programs catering to mothers in the area. Female empowerment comes naturally to us at HAPI.

Humanitarianism is part and parcel of HAPI’s mission and vision and we set our priorities depending on the situation, like crisis intervention during the pandemic.

We thank all of our local donors who helped make these community pantries a reality. We would also like to deeply thank our international affiliate Humanists International for their continuous support, generosity, and kindness towards HAPI.

We are also grateful to all HAPI leaders for inspiring each other to do more. There is strength in numbers and diversity.


“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
― Margaret Mead


Other good reads...

COVID-19 Mythbusters

Alvin John Ballares July 2020 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Corona Virus, beyond dispute, has changed our lives. This virus has shut down the world, cancelled our vacations, made us pack more pounds, caused depression, and in other ways we never expected. Right, what a bummer! What exacerbates this pandemic is the proliferation of wrong information that […]

Welcome to HAPI Office

Welcome to HAPI Office July 21, 2019 Las Pinas City Now we have an office! This is great news for all of us and sure deserves a special day for all those who profess secular humanism as life-stance. HAPI has a permanent abode now, and opened its office at very long last! We have been […]

HAPI Core awarding of the Humanist Award to Mr. Alvin Dizon of Cebu City Council , Cebu Philippines

Wider, Broader, Deeper, and Longer: The Banality of Moving the Goal Posts

— By Scott Douglas Jacobsen Andrew Sullivan, prominent and long-time essayist, declared every person has a religion. By implication, this would include atheists, as most see themselves, likely, as a-religious within the referent frame of a-theism. This seems more wrong than right, and also appears to miss the basic nature of religion: handed down answers, or, […]

HAPI Official Statement Of Values On the 2016 Philippine Elections

HAPI is a non-partisan organization committed to the humanist ideals of free thought, critical judgment, secularism, democracy, and human rights. We condemn all forms of dictatorship, and threats thereof, then and now. We stand for liberty and freedom to express, for civic equality and human rights, for due process and rule of law, for the […]

2018 National Young Leaders’ Conference: The HAPI Report (1/2)

2018 National Young Leaders' Conference: The HAPI Report

  Humanist Alliance Philippines, International (HAPI) answered the call of the United Nations (UN) to support the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. HAPI accepted the invitation of the Youth Development Academy and the United Nations Major Group for Children & Youth to be part of the 2018 National Young Leaders’ Conference (NYLC). Representing HAPI at the […]

Barangay Leadership: A Cause Standing the Tallest

A public servant is born 2010 was the beginning of my political career; I had won as the Sangguniang Kabataan (Juvenile Conference) Chairperson in Barangay Bata (Bata Village) with a slim lead of only three votes. Being in a country riddled with corruption and tainted with dirty politics, I almost gave in to the culture […]

Scroll to Top