travel & lifestyle blog by ruth dela cruz


IBM Awarded Community Grants and Made Me a Chef (for a Day!)

December 18, 2011

IBM once again changed the views, if not the lives of many people. To cap off IBM’s year-long centennial celebration, IBM awarded 6 new Community Impact Grants worth $10,000 last week, December 12th.

As you know, IBM celebrated its 100 years this year and instead of throwing parties and big celebrations, IBM decided to celebrate by giving back to the community, and it is such called the Celebration of Service. We (yes, I am an IBMer), did community service and help communities, and organizations. We just didn’t give goods, but also our time, skills and knowledge – from building schools, teaching kids, donating books and blood, we give back to the community.

So there were two parts of the event, the first one is the turn-over and training of the IBM Kidsmart Early Learning Program held at the Pio Del Pilar Elementary School in Makati City. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go because of important family commitment. When I met up with the Cyberpress ( IT Journalist Association of the Philippines ) and bloggers later that night, I saw a different smile and fulfillment in their faces. They looked tired, but happy. You can read about the event here.

The second part of the event was held in the Enderun Colleges. Before the Centennial Dinner, Chef Thomas Wenger, prepared quick-appetizers using chicken, scallop, shrimp and beef.

Then came the (surprise, surprise!), Centennial Master Chef Search! We were grouped into 4 and we need to come up with 2 dishes that can feed 4 persons. In line with IBM’s core values, here are the criteria for Centennial Dish and Centennial Chef search:

Now let’s get ready to ramble! Let’s head on to the kitchen and do the pots and pans. We got all the ingredients, things we need and support from resident chefs – but what to prepare?! I have a degree in BHRM, but I felt the pressure once again, and it is worse than my final exams. We will not just feed the “master chefs” in Enderun College, but also IBM Philippines’ Country Manager and a guest from Unilever Philippines.

I was lucky that I was grouped with very talented and passionate team from Cyberpress.. and yes we made/prepared appetizers – not just two, not three but four!

But the other teams’ entries made me more nervous –

Down at the banquet area, we had a gustatory dinner – and I mean, gustatory! It is my second time to eat at the Enderun College, and I am never disappointed.

After the dinner, it’s time to award 2011 IBM Community Impact Grant recipients. IBM awarded grants of $10,000 each through the Celebration of Service Grants, under the IBM Community Grants program.

IBM Philippines Country Manager, James Velasquez
De La Salle University’s Operation Big Brother:  
This program aims to implement a high quality high school education for selected groups of student in selected high schools in the Division of Schools in Manila. Specifically, it aims to create quality education by providing students with an enhanced curriculum (based on La Salle), and providing all necessary support elements to include: continuous training and development of teachers, provision of learning resources, and a strong values formation component.  The IBM grant will be used to cover the cost of learning resources and student learning materials i.e. full set of books, workbooks, school supplies, and logistics i.e. for teachers and project volunteers involved.
Negrense Volunteers for Change for their “Bulig Mo…Kabuhi Ko” / 
“Young Scientists of Negros” Project: IBM will help drive higher quality of education by leveraging technology in helping five public elementary schools in setting up Science libraries and Laboratories.

RFM Foundation, Inc. – The Outstanding Students of the Philippines 
– Alumni Community (National Capital Region):  IBM will help expand the coverage of the “Youth Hours 2011” project.  The Youth Hours 2011 is an annual youth seeding formation workshop focused on the 3 pillars of the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines (TOSP) program: academic and professional excellence, leadership and social responsibility.


Ayala Foundation’s My Library Project – Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC):  
The project is focused on CENTEX Manila, a public elementary school that will be replicated to other community libraries under Ayala Foundation’s “My Library” Project.  Through the IBM Grant, IBM volunteers will help develop a system that can feature modules on acquisition, cataloging, circulation, OPAC (Search engine).  Students will find great value in having all the needed information easily accessible with just one click.

Miriam College Southeast Asian Institute for the Deaf’s (MC-SAID) Helping People with Disability project:  The IBM grant will be used to purchase additional PCs for their computer laboratory that will help propagate the internet safety coaching material to more people (adults and students alike) and also enhance their computer classes with more up to date tools.  In addition, the grant will help fund MC SAID outreach activities which are spent with more disadvantaged deaf communities and re-echo Internet Safety Coaching.

Exempli Gratia Foundation’s Health – Education – Livelihood – Preparedness (HELP) program: IBM will help sustain standard H.E.L.P. programs that aims to address primary concerns of livelihood, values formation and nation-building — like medical and dental missions, post typhoon relief operations, and donation of e-classrooms in various towns and cities outside of Metro Manila.
I wish I were also able to lead a project and donate to my chosen organization. But given the chance and opportunity to share in my own little way is already fulfilling. People might laugh at how we simply celebrated our centennial, but it means more than drowning ourselves with alcohol and festivities that only ourselves can enjoy.
The awarding of Best Dish and Centennial Chef/s soon followed. I wasn’t expecting to win – especially after my name was called together with my team members ( I share the same name with another blogger, and having my name called during raffles and awardings don’t get me too excited easily). But yes, we won the Best Dish Award! Yey! 
Thank you to OrangeMagazineTV for the pictures!
Of course they also awarded gifts for the best “chef” of each team who truly embodies the Centennial Chef values. Congratulations!
The fun didn’t end there, another award for the Best Centennial Chef Pose.. and the award goes to – Ike Suarez!
It was indeed a meaningful day.  I am happy to be part of the event, and to meet amazing people from the Cyberpress (which I found out is the organization of IT Journalists of the Philippines! – what an innovative name!). More importantly, I feel proud to be part of the organization that not just strive to innovate but also to nurture. I am glad that my bloggies (blogger friends) also enjoy the event and that they found meaning in helping people. 
Thank you again to IBM Philippines, friends and bloggies who joined us, and awardees who partnered with IBM in creating a smarter and healthier planet. 
See more of the events pictures here.
Btw, I might soon fly to an Asian Country for a Corporate Social Responsibility assignment. I will team up with IBMers from different geographies. Please keep on following my blog at and follow me on Twitter at @ruthilicious. I want to share a life-changing experience with you.

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