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Children’s Book Partners with Nonprofit Negrense Volunteers for Change Foundation

Every night before bedtime, I read at least three books to my little girl. Sometimes, those books are not enough, and she asks for a made-up story. This is when we go on an under-blankie adventure! Under the blanket, we can be anywhere we want to be! Sometimes we are in Candyland, where the street lights are candy canes, the river flows with chocolate, and the roads are made of fluffy marshmallows! On this particular night, we were in Butterflyland, where Pinky, a pretty pink butterfly who only liked the nectar of pink flowers, went on adventures with her Mama. My children are thankfully not very picky eaters. But perhaps on that day, my daughter was being a bit, uhm, challenging. And so the story of Pinky, the Picky Butterfly fluttered through my mind and carried over to the next day!

Just like Alpabeto ng Kalikasan, where I challenged myself to come up with 28 species from the top of my head (and came up with 20!), I challenged myself to write the story from the night before in English and Filipino. The words flowed, and after much rewriting and editing, they eventually became the story that you will read on its pages.

Dealing with picky eaters is a topic I know many parents can relate to. Having gone through it myself in phases, it’s something that can stump a mom or dad. You want them to eat healthy food, but they won’t touch it. So you go for the next best thing, which is to at least fill their stomachs. Then I think of all the kids who don’t even have the luxury of being picky eaters. And this is where the idea of partnering up with Negrense Volunteers for Change, or NVC Foundation came from.

I came across NVC Foundation through social media. I saw the good work they do in the fields of disaster relief and sustainable livelihood. But what tugged at my heartstrings was their nutrition program. Here was a photo of a little boy, who looked to be about the age of my little girl, who turned out to be the age of my older son, all because of the lack of nutrition. But the problem of malnutrition doesn’t only affect the physical well-being of a child, but also their mental capabilities. And to address this need, NVC has come up with Mingo Meals — a simple concoction of rice, monggo, and malunggay! I knew immediately that I wanted part of the proceeds of Pinky, the Picky Butterfly to go to NVC’s Mingo Meals program!

Pinky the Picky Butterfly will introduce your child to the importance of eating a variety of healthy foods. Every book you purchase can help nourish a child in need and give them a chance at a better life. Pre-order your copy today. Promo rates are valid until November 18.

Is it just a coincidence that the NVC logo is a butterfly? I don’t think so!

We did it!

We’re so happy to announce that we were able to raise 26,000 pesos for our Kalikasan Learning Kit drive! This means that we will be able to send 52 of the kits to the Tanggew: Community Library, Eco-cultural Learning, and Resource Center in Sagada, Mountain Province.

For those curious, here’s a breakdown of the donations.


Nathaniel Oducado
Donors through CCPH
Anonymous Donor
Micah A.
Margaux A.
Anonymous Donor
Anonymous Donor
Jamie and Joggy T.
Uno Miguel N.
Anonymous donor
Anonymous Donor
Anonymous Donor


Weigard and Partners
Culture Curious PH



We’d like to give a special shoutout to Micah, our 14-year old donor who gave her birthday money to our drive. We’d also like to recognize Jamie and Joggy, 16 and 11-years old, for choosing to give as well. It’s so heartwarming to see kids giving for kids!

A big round of applause to our first big contributor as well: Weigand and Partners through Nathaniel Oducado.

Through this drive, we were also able to collaborate with Culture Curious Philippines. With their help, we were able to create a fundraising online workshop teaching Baybayin, one of the Philippines’ pre-colonial writing scripts.

*Many of our donors have requested to remain anonymous. We cannot give them a public shoutout but we are grateful nonetheless.

A few kind souls have pointed out that the message and details of our donation drive are not being conveyed properly. To make things easier, here’s a rundown:

  • What: Donation drive for early literacy educational materials.
  • Who and Where: Our partner NGO Let’s Read Philippines will deliver the kits to:
    • Balobo Elementary School and Spillway Elementary School in Basilan.
    • Giuwanon Elementary School in Guimaras.
    • Tanggew Community Library, Eco-Cultural Learning, and Resource Center in Sagada, Mountain Province.
  • When: Campaign ends on the 5th of June
The Tangew Center in Sagada, pictured above, will be one of the communities who will directly benefit from the campaign.

How can you help?

Every 500 pesos we raise will allow us to build one Kalikasan Learning Kit for a child in need.

Donate to the following accounts directly:

PayPal – 360 Brand Communications

GCash – Dustin Arnold M. Ancheta

UnionBank – Michelle Marie S. Uy
CA 000320024295

Our Pledge of Transparency

All donations will be properly accounted for and a transparency report will be published a few days after the end of the campaign period.

We will also document the delivery of the Kalikasan Learning Kits to our community partners so you can see the smiles on the faces of the kids you’re helping!

By the way, let us know if you would like your name to be published in the transparency report or if you would like your donation to be anonymous.

Where are we now?

As of this writing, we have received enough funds to send 141 Kalikasan Kits. This puts us at 41% of our minimum goal of 300. You can help us get to 100%!

Help us reach our goal today! Any amount is very much appreciated!

About the author

Dustin is the co-creator and business manager of Alpabeto ng Kalikasan. He is a historian, a Baybayin enthusiast, and a proud nerd. He’s also a business development consultant with expertise in cultural intelligence. You can follow more of his works at Cultural Intelligence Philippines, Manila For A Day, and Culture Curious Philippines.

Every child deserves a good book.

I was thrilled when we sold out our first print. Considering this was a passion project that I had hoped that family and friends would support, that would’ve been enough for me. But we went beyond expectations and sold out in just a few months from release. This got me thinking. This must be something that families needed! So I thought about the kids whose loved ones bought the book for them for their birthdays, Christmas, or as a no-occasion addition to their library. Then I thought about the kids who didn’t or couldn’t.

This pandemic has put a strain on our already less-than-ideal public education system. I thought about the children whose families were greatly affected by the loss of income brought about by the lockdowns. If food was a challenge, what more educational materials? Feeding their stomachs was just as important as feeding their minds.

Each box will contain a copy of the book, an activity book, and crayons.

Friends helping friends.

I really wanted to find a way to share our book with a larger audience, with kids from all walks of life! And then I remembered my college friend, Margaux Atayde’s non-profit organization, and the work they do through their RecoveREADS program which focuses on literacy for rural, underserved communities. The upside of our current online lives meant that a quick chat and a few Zoom meetings were all it took to get the Kalikasan Kit for Kids Donation Drive off the ground!

What a little good book can do.

It is our hope that this book and learning kit drive will give kids who are deprived of learning materials a sense of wonder at the environment that surrounds them. It’s also our hope that it instills a sense of national pride. Finally, we hope that it will help them realize that our environment and culture are worth protecting.

How can you help?

We hope that we’ve inspired a little sense of charity in you! If you would like to help, you can donate directly using the following accounts:

PayPal – 360 Brand Communications

GCash – Dustin Arnold M. Ancheta

UnionBank – Michelle Marie S. Uy
CA 000320024295

The Story of ANK

It Starts in the Family

I had always been a tree-hugging kind of person. And when I joined the Haribon Foundation in 2004, it just reinforced it. As Membership Officer, I had to spread the love for the Philippine environment, by letting people know how rich our country was, and by making them experience it first-hand through snorkeling and diving, hiking, and birdwatching! I would always end my membership recruitment talks with a quote: 

“You can’t protect something you don’t love, and you can’t love something you don’t know.”

with Haribon members on an educational snorkeling trip to Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro, circa 2006

Eight years later, I became a mother. And oh, my son was such a naturalist, and loved animals! He could identify them quite easily, just like any other child. He could point to his diaper and see an elephant! Or his wind-up toy that was a giraffe! Lion, tiger, zebra, rhino, hippo, he could name it! 

L at 1-year old at the park.

But wait, he should also know about the tamaraw, dugong, butanding, right? But how, when there are hardly any materials with those animals on them? I wanted to fix that right then and there but life happened, and I forgot all about my pent-up emotions about a lack of materials on local biodiversity.

Then 5 years later, I became a mother again! This time, to a baby girl. And like her brother, she could identify animals quite easily. With more time on my hands, I finally put my thinking cap on and the idea of Alpabeto ng Kalikasan was born.

G at 2-years old at the beach

I said to myself, “if I can name at least 20 of the needed 28 species for each letter of the Filipino alphabet, I can do this!” Lo and behold, with my Haribon experience and a little bit of Googling, I was able to come up with exactly 20! From there, the hunt for the right artist to illustrate these species was the next challenge. 

It All Comes Together

Jay Javier would post his art on Facebook, and they were so cute: flying pigs, Manila street food, I loved the vibe! As with many things today, I briefed him over chats on Facebook. And when we finally met, his artwork blew my mind, and brought tears to my eyes! I knew I found the right artist.

First meeting with Jay Javier, early 2019

Sometime in June, I took a Baybayin Workshop with CQPH. And, ting! I told Dustin and Alain about Alpabeto ng Kalikasan and invited them to collaborate! And thankfully, they were just as excited as I was to get the project done!

Left: Baybayin Workshop led by Alain Austria Right: First meeting with Dustin Ancheta of CQPH

A few months had gone by, and life happened again. 

The 8 remaining letters took longer than I expected because the current Filipino alphabet uses Latin letters that are hardly used in our native language. It took a while before I was happy with the final choices for each entry in the book. The list was finally completed by November 2019!

After the holiday break, a lot of back and forth, consultations with Haribon Foundation’s wildlife biologists and friends, we were ready to print by March. Then Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ)* happened. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as we were able to refine and tweak the book a little more. Once the ECQ was lifted, off to print we went! 

Finally, on August 15, we had a virtual book launch! While I would’ve wanted a live event, this may have been even better, since we also had attendees from abroad. The reception to the book has been so heartwarming. It also showed the need and desire for a simple material that showcases Philippine biodiversity and culture.

Virtual launch of Alpabeto ng Kalikasan with Plant Power Pinay, Celine Murillo, as host

I hope that our little book can spark an interest in all things local, and ignite a sense of national pride and love for the environment in all of us.

*That’s what our government called our lockdown.

Anya Santos-Uy

Anya is the author of Alpabeto ng Kalikasan. She is an entrepreneur, voice actor, and environmental advocate. She is wife to W, and mom L&G.