All over the Philippines, the iconic red and white logo of Coca-Cola always evokes a feeling of refreshing ice-cold beverages that can be enjoyed and shared with loved ones and friends to make meal times more special.
But in other parts of the nation, in remote villages where water is scarce, in communities where women are struggling to improve their household income, and in schools where students are suffering from poor health, Coca-Cola has been a refreshing sign of hope and progress, thanks to the various social responsibility programs of the company through their social responsibility arm – the Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines Inc.
Since it was established in November 1986 as a manifestation of the commitment of Coca-Cola to corporate citizenship in the country, the Foundation has helped improve the quality of life of hundreds of thousands of Filipinos through education, health, water sanitation, and livelihood programs. Through the Foundation, Coca-Cola has also provided emergency assistance during disasters and implemented various environmental conservation projects.
Celebrating 30 years of fulfilling the mission of providing sustainable growth and well-being in Filipino communities, the Foundation’s current programs this year are focused on enabling access to safe water in underserved, rural communities as well as providing education and development opportunities to the Filipino youth.
“At Coca-Cola, we have a shared vision of growing our business and enhancing the sustainability of local communities around the world. We are very thankful that for the past 30 years, we have been given wonderful opportunities to serve thousands of Filipino communities, share happiness and make a difference in the lives of countless people through programs implemented through the Foundation and our partners,” said Diego Granizo, Coca-Cola Philippines President and General Manager.
The Happiness Project
In celebration of its milestone year, the Foundation will publish a 30th anniversary magazine, “The Happiness Project”, which highlights its achievements in uplifting the lives of Filipinos in various communities. The publication features amazing stories written by University of Sto. Tomas-Journalism Society, and photos taken by De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLSU-CSB) School of Design and Arts students and faculty volunteers. They captured stories of struggles, hopes and dreams that came true for beneficiary communities of Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines and their program partners.
The Happiness Project magazine, along with videos and photos capturing these true stories of hope will be exhibited from November 10 to 12 at the Activity Area of Gateway Mall, Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City – a project made possible through a partnership with the J. Amado Araneta Foundation and Araneta Group.
Among the “happiness” stories are that of a barangay captain in Bato, Leyte and a 74-year-old man in Baao, Camarines Sur who were blessed with finally having access to clean drinking water through the Agos project of the Foundation, in partnership with the Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation, Inc. and the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement. The project uses a gravity installation, which brings water from upland sources to communities downhill.
The Happiness Project also features eye-opening stories of the hardships of young Tacloban students in the aftermath of super typhoon Yolanda and a retired high school teacher in Butong, Quezon province who both found the passion to continue learning and teaching, respectively, after experiencing the Little Red Schoolhouse project which the Foundation built. The two-storey, typhoon-resilient Little Red Schoolhouse inside the Marasbaras Elementary School in Leyte has six classrooms, each fully equipped with chairs, tables blackboards, and comfort rooms, while the Little Red Schoolhouse at the Quezon National High School-Apyao Annex is the first one built for middle school students.
“Our work in Coca-Cola Foundation has rewarded us over a hundred-fold – with warm smiles and the sincere expressions of gratefulness from the people we have met along the way. Even a tearful speech of a grandfather who has turned hopeful that his grandchildren will have a better life because they now have free flowing fresh water a few steps from their home, beats any award or trophy,” said Cecile Alcantara, Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines President.
The Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines, Inc. is a founding member of the League of Corporate Foundations, and member of the Association of Foundations and the Corporate Network for Disaster Response. #