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Reel Good Brings Love to GK Communities
[Date Created: April 28, 2015]

"Who here has experienced watching a movie in actual movie house?"

We asked a room full of ~80 children this question, and only 1 child raised his hand.

"Who here is excited to watch a movie today?"

And just like that—big grins spread on these children's faces, and you could hear excited murmurs reverberating everywhere. EVERYONE raised their hand. Even the adults.

Last March 7, 2015, Gawad Kalinga (GK) volunteers headed to Nueva Vizcaya, where Reel Good was sponsoring a movie screening for the kids. This was done as part of the Love Means Walang Iwanan (GK's Valentine campaign) activity that day.

Reel Good was founded by Carla Fleisher and Razan Ghalayini, friends of Laurie Paguio, a New York-based GK volunteer who used to be an intern for the Marketing Department. At Reel Good, they organize movie nights in New York City’s best bars, bringing people together to have a great time, start a conversation and contribute to a good cause. They then pool these resources to help partner organizations around the world host movie screenings for children in underserved communities.

Through a partnership with GK, Reel Good was able to reach out to indigenous and rural communities in the Philippines: Ari-tau GK Village in the mountains of Nueva Vizcaya, Handumanan GK Village in Capiz (a province still recovering from Supertyphoon Haiyan), and a Muslim-Christian community all the way in the southernmost part of Mindanao, in previously war-torn Basilan. Carla and Razan had this to say: "Reel Good is incredibly proud to support Gawad Kalinga! Together, we were able to use funds raised from a movie night in New York City to bring the magic of movies to children and volunteers. Thank you to the whole team at GK!"


~80 kids were gathered in the multi-purpose hall of the Ari-tau GK Village in Nueva Vizcaya. Living in a rural community up in the mountains, these kids have little access to the comforts normally available in the city. The "Love Means Walang Iwanan" Valentine activity was done here precisely to bring joy to these children and show them that we haven't left them behind. That afternoon, they just had their fill of a sumptuous lunch lovingly prepared by the volunteers, and they were eagerly awaiting the movie screening.

Eager for the screening to begin, only one of these children raised his hand when we asked who has

experienced watching a movie in actual movie house.

The movie screening featured Dayo: Sa Mundo ng Elementalia (The Wanderer in the Land of Elementalia), "the Philippines' first all-digital full-length animated feature film." A film endorsed by the Department of Education (DepEd) and the National Council for Children's Television, viewers (kids and adults alike) were taken into an audiovisual journey deep into the world of Philippine folklore, mythology, and pop culture.

Everyone was engrossed as the movie played in the screen

At the end of the screening, the children were grouped and volunteers helped them process what they enjoyed and learned from the movie. These are the same youth volunteers who facilitated the storytelling sessions, games, and Valentine card-making workshop earlier during the day.

The children loved watching the movie, and based on what they shared after, they were able to take away a lot of valuable life lessons from the activity.

After the movie screening, the kids shared about their favorite characters and what they learned from the movie: bravery, obedience, truthfulness, and the importance of loving and respecting one's parents.


On the same day, from the mountains of Nueva Vizcaya in Luzon to the typhoon-torn province of Capiz in the Visayas, volunteers also came in droves to Handumanan GK Village, Brgy. Cabugao Oeste, in the municipality of Panay.

The people of Panay are still slowly recovering from the effects of Supertyphoon Haiyan. As GK goes full force with the rebuilding of communities in the aftermath of this disaster, there is a need to pay special attention to the children, who are the most vulnerable.

The movie screening of Big Hero 6 as well as the various fun activities (and special lunch!) during the day brought smiles and joy to the faces not just of the children but also of the volunteers.


In the municipality of Lantawan in the province of Basilan, around 300 children from the level of kindergarten to Grade 6 were gathered in the multipurpose hall of Concepcion Central Elementary School, Brgy. Matarling.

All excited and ready for the movie screening!

Volunteers were there to conduct a feeding, as well as some activities with the kids. Gawad Kalinga has seen how the consequences of past armed conflict prevent the children of Basilan from fully enjoying their right to quality education. In Lantawan, a number of school buildings are in ruins and remain unused, which is why we previously launched the No Child Left Behind campaign, raising enough funds to rehabilitate a 3-classroom school building.

With the help of Reel Good and the Love Means Walang Iwanan campaign, we were able to revisit the school not just for the usual play therapy and feeding but for a very special movie screening as well.

After the activity, the kids wrote their thank you notes in pieces of paper. Cherry Lane O. Bot (above) writes, "Kami po ay nagpapasalamat sa tulong ninyo sa aming paaralan, sa amin bilang mag-aaral sa walang sawang pagsuporta. Salamat sa pagkain sa binigay ninyo ngayon thank you again and God bless." (We are deeply grateful for all the help that you have given our school, and for the never-ending support you have given to us as students. Thank you for the food that you have shared with us today. God bless.)

From Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, many children have experienced the joy and magic of watching movies, as well as the care of the volunteers who personally went there and the Reel Good supporters who sent their love across the miles. Thank you Reel Good for showing us that regardless of the distance, we can still bring love to these kids and build a kinder world for the next generation if we have the sincere desire to help out.

Truly, love means leaving no one behind.

Gawad Kalinga is not a charity, rather, it's a nation-building movement that aims to end poverty by building empowered and sustainable communities. Like Reel Good and these volunteers, you too can bring love to the children who need it most. The Love Means Walang Iwanan campaign period has ended but we are still raising funds to fill the hearts and stomachs of children all over the Philippines through Kusina ng Kalinga. Click HERE for the results of the Love Means Walang Iwanan campaign.

You can also
GIVE NOW directly to Kusina ng Kalinga ("Care Kitchens").

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