Category Archives: Fairplay For All foundation/ Triple E :)

Insane heat and general life

Swimming to cool down in the heat

Swimming to cool down in the heat

The last week has been filled with insane heat, kids, football tournaments and general life.

It’s summer here in the Philippines and that means it’s hot! As in 35o C plus every day and the nights get down to around 30oC! The drop-in centre has a metal roof that is covered by thin ply wood so at times, it really feels like you’re being baked in an oven! As you can perhaps imagine it can be tiring to be in such weather!

The weather has also made the kids hyper! Every day in the drop-in centre, they are high as kites and we truly do wonder where they get their energy from at times. It’s summer holidays here and so there are more kids coming in which is great to see. We have begun more practical classes with them alongside their maths and English and these are going great as each week they learn new skills. Whether it’s baking bread, learning to wash their own clothes or learning how to stich up a hole in a pair of shorts or sew on a button, they are picking things up well and fast. Their keenness to learn is also shown in the speed which they are picking up English and for the smaller ones, learning how to read. For most of the kids, when they go home, they won’t practice the English they’ve learnt or practice reading and so for them to be able to learn so much, in a relatively short space of time, is a great achievement for both them as students and on the part of Amie (our teacher).

Football tournaments are also going well. Its summer, kids are free, full of energy and so it’s a great time really to have tournaments as

Tournaments fun

Tournaments fun

they can be held on any day of the week. Last weekend (April 20), our U13 boy’s competed in a tournament and came third. We were so proud of them and it was great to see how much they are improving and the boys had a great time as well. On Monday, there was a tournament for the younger kids, again they loved it! One of the teams that were taken was Under 8’s and they were so cute! Racing for the ball, full of enthusiasm and played well too, winning 2 games and loosing 2 games. They loved it and for a couple of the players, it was their first time out of Payatas. The football program is really opening the eyes of so many Payatas kids to the world beyond what they’ve grown up in.

The renovations of our new building are also coming on well. It’s so exciting to see all our plans and dreams becoming a reality. There is space for the urban garden, more space for the kids, a decent classroom, it’s really fun to see it taking shape.

New house being renovated

New house being renovated

Things are really progressing well here in all aspects, both with the charity and for me personally and I look forward to seeing what the next few weeks will bring!

Brief update from the past several months!

signing the contract

Signing the contract of the new house

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a blog, almost a year! It’s kind of hard to know where to start really so here is a brief recap of the more major events of the last few months.

In August 2012, there was so much rain! The roof of our house was damaged which meant that the house flooded, not badly in comparison to what was going to happen about a week later though. The rains steadily continued and Manila was hit with another bad typhoon which flooded our neighbour’s houses, some up to waist deep, whilst houses in a nearby area were completely submerged. The rain made a section of Payatas dumpsite collapse and the river burst its banks, washing away houses and generally caused total chaos! We were able to do some things to help, mainly helping to pack and deliver food packages to particularly badly hit areas and support the work of other organisations in any ways that we could. It was a difficult time for so many people and one that left you feeling quite useless as you couldn’t do much apart from give food out to try and help these people who had simply lost everything.

After those few weeks of rains and flooding, the months passed in a blur up until Christmas. December was insane! So busy with Christmas parties, meetings and then all the normal stuff you have to do anyway. We had a Christmas party for the kids which also doubled as a graduation for some of the kids from the drop-in centre classes. That was an amazing day too. The kids were so happy, spoiled with gifts and then all the families were given food hampers also so they could also enjoy Christmas more.

It was good that December was so busy as Christmas is always a hard time for me to be away from my family and the traditions I grew

Christmas lunch

Christmas lunch

up with. It’s strange too having hot weather and Christmas trees and fake snow in 30o C! We were able to spend Christmas with a friend’s family this year and it was really great! So lovely to be a part of a family at Christmas, see their traditions, experience more of Filipino culture and just be able to relax and have fun with so much food, over excited kids and of course, the traditional gift giving. That was Christmas Eve. Christmas day we spent at home in Payatas and another friend came over and I cooked us a full English Christmas dinner. However, as Roy (who I run the charity with) and I are both vegetarians, it meant the entire dinner was veggie, veggie pigs-in-a-blanket, veggie chicken, veggie gravy and veggie stuffing! I was so proud of that meal, two gas rings and an oven the size of a microwave, yeah, I was proud! 🙂

After Christmas it was my birthday and then it was back to normal life and for me, working primarily in the drop-in centre. We hired a teacher so the kids are now able to join more structured classes depending on their ability rather than age, these classes are going great. Our teacher, Amie, is great with the kids and having a teacher means more time to spend on planning different activities with the kids such as art and practical classes. We also now have all the parents of sponsored kids volunteering with us either two mornings or afternoons a month and in general the centre is going great.

Football fun

Football fun

In the football is also going very well. We have now won seven tournaments and were lucky enough to take the kids to a Molten training clinic with some members of the Philippines National team the other week and it was also the first time for many of them to see the sea! We are also planning to have a futsal court built which will allow for more training with the kids and will help them to reach their full potential.  Check out Roy’s blog for more on the football:

Also after Christmas we bought a new drop-in centre with the renovations currently on going. This is exciting! The place is concrete so much better than our current mainly wood structure. It’s about the same size as the building we are in so not very big but we are able to do a lot more renovations to it and are building a second floor with provisions for further floors if we wish and will also have a roof deck which will serve as an area to begin our urban gardening project.

There is so much more going that I just can’t write about it all in one blog so will write another again soon with more updates on the renovations, football and random experiences in the Philippines. Fun times ahead!


July Newsletter, 2012 – Fairplay For All foundation/Triple E




Click the page to view bigger, for more information about the charity, check out the ‘A bit about the charity’ tab. Thanks




So much rain!!

Receiving donations – Credits to Mark Ypon/Craig Burrows for the picture

The last few weeks have been ones of so much rain but the last few days have been ones of constant, torrential rain that have caused massive floods, damage to properties, destroyed some properties, injured people, killed people, damaged roads, wrecked cars and meant so many buildings have been turned into evacuation sites. The evacuation centres are any strong building really that aren’t flooding, from schools, to basketball courts, universities and even some of the malls have stayed open late to allow people some respite from the rain.

It started on Monday, heavy rains that went on for hours. Indeed, in a little respite

Flooding – Credits to Mark Ypon/Craig Burrows for the picture

from the weather, we traveled to a mall for a dinner meeting and then myself, a friend and our volunteer went to see a movie. The film finished about 8.45 and we headed out to try to get a jeepnie home (local mode of transport), the queue was huge and there were no jeepnies in sight and it would have taken several hours so we headed to try to get a taxi. No taxi would take us as we live quite far from the mall and the roads were flooded. So we went and had a drink whilst trying to figure out a way home. In the end we went half way in a taxi, met Roy (we run the foundation together) and then got a jeepnie the rest of the way home as the jeeps are higher so they are more ok in flood water. However, on our way home, my phone also got stolen which was very annoying! We eventually got home and fell asleep to the sound of rain pounding on the roof. Waking up because of the rain, thunder and being cold a few times through the night, we woke in the morning to a flooded world. Many homes had been evacuated and many roads not passable. Our volunteer (Alice) was going home that day (Tuesday) and so had to leave very early to make sure she got to the airport on time and through the floods.

Dinner time at Cashew pre school/ now evacuation centre – Credits to Mark Ypon/Craig Burrows for the picture

It was a long day as the rain pounded down all over the city and more and more people were being evacuated. There was a landslide not far from us in which a whole family were tragically killed, there was a landslide on Payatas dumpsite itself but thankfully that wasn’t big enough or injure anyone and the rivers rose. Some people had to swim to safety from their homes, others sat on rooftops waiting to be rescued.

There were so many people needed to be rescued and so many people coming into evacuation centres. On Tuesday evening, myself and Roy went to Cashew school (run by our sister charity ASCF, directed by friend and colleague Craig Burrows, whose being working hard and doing a great job to help those in need) to help with dinner and take a load of clothes for them. Then Tuesday night was another night of heavy rain and more flooding. It was worse in the Kasiglahan area which is the area our sister charity have their children’s home (Mango) and their elementary school (Papaya). The school became an evacuation site for people from Kasiglahan and the surrounding area. Several hundred people

So much water and in some places it was much deeper! – Credits to Mark Ypon/Craig Burrows for the picture

were evacuated there!

On Wednesday, the morning came wet but the rain wasn’t so heavy. Roy and I went to Cashew again to help with breakfast and general bits and pieces then it was back home for a nap and to try to catch up on missed sleep because of the weather. Later on in the day, a friend bought round a load of donations from him and his family (thanks to all the Palami’s for those!) and so we went back to Cashew to hand out the food and clothes packages and then home again to do a bit of work. The rain started heavy again during that afternoon and then in the night it rained badly. However, apart from some heavy showers today (Thursday) it has been pretty dry so it’s been the beginning of the big clean up.

So many things have been lost – Credits to Mark Ypon/Craig Burrows for the picture

Many donations have been picked up and dropped off at various locations around Manila, hundreds of people are volunteering to help get relief packs to those who have been affected and the people are all really joining together to help each other. It’s amazing to see.

It’s the first time I have experienced floods like this and I wish I could have done more to help but hopefully in the next few days we will be able to help more with the big clean up and distribution of donations. However, it has also been amazing to see how people have joined together, regardless of status in society, to help each other to get through these floods.  The number of in-kind donations has been incredible, big truck loads full to the various places that need it and people keep on giving. It will take a while to clean everything up and for people to get back to normal but these last few days have certainly shown how resilient and resourceful Filipinos can be!

Handing out food to some of those affected by the flooding – Credits to Mark Ypon/Craig Burrows for the picture

Roy handing out food to some of those affected – Credits Mark Ypon/Craig Burrows for the picture

Thank you everyone for your support and donations… no-one here couldn’t help these people to get through this if it wasn’t for you!

Please visit and click the donate button at the top if you wish to donate or email (UK) or (Philippines) for more ways to help or donate. With more heavy rain forecast, I suspect we will need the support! Thanks so much again for everyone’s kind messages, donations, prayers and support!

June 17, 2012, the day the girls won their first tournament!

Early morning!

June 17 dawned very early (5am) so we could all get up and get ready. At 5.30 one of the girls came knocking at the door of the drop-in centre all ready and waiting to go, they weren’t meant to be there till 6am so that shows how excited they were! At 6.15ish the girls from Payatas were all in the drop-in centre and the girls from Mango (the children’s home run by our sister foundation ASCF where we also coach football for the local community many of whom were originally from Payatas) arrived and then it was a mad 30mins of sorting out everyone’s football boots, socks and kits. At about 6.45 we headed to the tournament and arrived just on time at 8am.

The tournament was held in the grounds of a school so it was on grass which was lovely and

The girls played well and each of the teams were friends with the others by the end of the day!

the girls really loved playing on it. As soon as we arrived the girls were kicking the ball about and raring to go. At 9am exactly the first game kicked off which our girls won 3-2, the first time they had ever won a game. It was such a great game to watch though tiring for the girls as each game was 30 mins (15 mins a half) but they did great anyway. About 10 mins after the end of the first game it was time for the second. This time the girls drew 1-1 and so it was taken to penalties which our girls won yet again. This was the first time any of our teams had ever won a penalty shootout.  After that game the girls had some brunch and then it was time for their next game. Having just eaten they didn’t play as well and lost this game 3-1, the only game they lost that day! The next game was the semi finals which we won and then it was through the finals. It was so exciting to watch as this was the first time any of our teams had been in the finals of a tournament. This time the game was only 15 mins instead of 30 mins which was good as all the players were getting tired. This game ended in a draw of 1-1 and so it

Just Won!

was again a penalty shoot out. It was a nerve-wracking few moments and each of the girls lined up and took their shots alternatively with the other team. In the end our girls won again 3-0. It was an unbelievable moment as it we all suddenly realised we had won and the air was just suddenly filled with incredibly happy girls screams, hugs flying everywhere and shouts of ‘girls shake the other teams hands’. It was such a moment of complete pride and joy in the team. They have come so far, from loosing every game to winning a tournament! They won with grace too because they didn’t just shake the other girls hands but hugged them and I heard some of them apologising to the other team for

So excited and happy


It was then time for pictures, with everyone, Roy, myself, Ate Jo (head house parent at Mango), Kuya Ed (who very kindly drove us to and from the tournament), Craig (who directs ASCF) and the girls, then just the girls, then jump shots, then pictures of all the teams together, then more screams and jumping around by our girls and them clutching their trophy. It was just such an amazing moment that words struggle to describe it fully.

The girls with their trophy

During the whole tournament the girls had been asking for Jolliebee (a fast food place here in the Philippines) so we told them, if you win, we will get you Jolliebee. So upon them winning, after the pictures, hugs, cleaning up and everything else was finished it was treat time and we took them all to Jolliebee. Tiredness was evident but the excitement of winning kept them all going and they ate with smiles on their faces and chatted none stop. On the way home, sleepiness overcame some of them and they dozed on and off but upon arrival at Payatas, once again it was congratulating each other before the Payatas girls headed home and the Mango girls carried on their way the rest of the way home.

The win was unexpected and penalties have always proved a challenge to our teams but it just goes to show that if you work hard, practice, put in the effort and really just try, that you can succeed, the girls were inspiring yesterday and we are all so proud. Thanks so much to the people who organised the tournament and well-played to the other teams!

Everyone from our group who was there…so proud and sooo happy!

February Newsletter 2012

Payatas FC 1 yr anniversary and the official opening of the drop-in centre

Yesterday (Sat 25, Feb) was a day spent in preparation for today. From 11am till almost midnight we cooked and cleaned and did general preparations for what would be needed today.

Today (Feb 26,2012) was a very exciting day! It was the day that we celebrated a year of Payatas FC and the day that the red ribbon was cut and the drop-in centre was official opened and those hours of preparations paid off.

The day started at 8am when my alarm woke me up. It was straight up out of bed and downstairs to do a few bits of washing up, sweep the floor, make some egg mayo and lettuce sandwiches and last little bits of tidying we missed yesterday. People began arriving at about 9.15 and the program was due to start about 9.30ish. Roy and Michael (our volunteer) headed down to the barangay court about 9.15ish where the first part of the event would take place whilst I waited for a few more people to come to the drop-in centre (we live in the drop-in centre). Once most people had arrived we all headed down to the court to join Roy and the kids. Once there it was chatting to other people who had come, waiting for the microphone to be set up and more chatting to everyone.

Opening remarks

The program started about 10.15ish. It began with me welcoming everyone to the event and thanking everyone for coming. After that it was time to commemorate the efforts of Payatas FC over the last year. We did this by giving certain players awards for various achievements. We were lucky to have Nate Burkey and Lexton Moy join the event who are both Kaya FC players and Azkals (Philippine national team) and they were both kind enough to help us with handing out the awards and congratulating the players, an added bonus for the kids receiving awards. All the awardees were given a football each and a certificate. They were all so happy and it was so much fun giving them the awards and seeing their faces light up at being recognised for their effort.

After the awards it was time for an exhibition game. No Payatas FC event would be complete

Receiving their awards

without a football game with the kids…them winning of course. The game was just 2 a side as the court was half taken up with a big stage for a beauty pageant on the 5th of March so we were just using half of it and with the amount of people standing around, 2 a side and then goal keepers seemed good, it worked and looked great. The kids had great fun playing. The U11s (team of the year) played first the media people who came down and then the U13s played Lex and Nate and I’m happy to say that both Payatas teams beat their opponents.

Then it was time for the big opening. As some of you may know the drop-in centre has been operating as a soft opening for the last few weeks but today was the official opening. We all headed to the centre and with the kids gathered round as Lex cut the ribbon and officially opened it. It was an exciting

Cutting the ribbon

moment and it really felt so official. The reason we asked Lex was because he was at Payatas FC’s first tournament when he had been here in the Philippines only a week. He has since visited every tournament he can with his girlfriend Cooper. He also helped out with the very first renovation work on the very first day and Cooper was the one who witnessed the contract for the drop-in centre being signed. It seemed natural to ask him to cut it for us. It was a great moment having the ribbon cut and the kids coming in through the cut ribbon, it was a surreal and exciting moment and one that I wish now we could have perhaps captured on video but that, I guess, wouldn’t have captured the emotion of the moment. With the ribbon done it was time to go in and say a few more words to everyone.

This time what we said was more about thanking everyone for coming and thanking everyone for their support both those there and those that couldn’t join us. Then it was time to eat. We gave the kids all their food and then it was time for the adults to tuck in. Whilst everyone was eating it was such a relaxed and happy atmosphere. Lots of chatter and catching up between friends and just general happiness. At about 12.30 – 1ish people started to head off and about 1.45 the kids had also left and so it was Roy, Michael (our volunteer), Zargy and myself left to relax and chat about the morning.

For me, the day was great. It was in some ways emotional for me, not in a negative way but in a ‘I can’t believe this all really happening’ kind of way. The plans for the football and the plans for the centre are ones that Roy and I have discussed for quite some time and to see Payatas FC’s first anniversary and the official opening in one day is really seeing dreams come true. We still have some way to go and will always be developing the work but something that today signified was that the foundations of this charity are most defiantly laid and I’m sure many more exciting things will be happening soon…next will be the employment of a social worker!

I’m so thankful to all those who made today and indeed the last year of work here in Payatas possible. I know I say thank you a lot but I really mean it because I don’t know how this would have all be possible without everyone’s support, encouragement and kindness both here in the Philippines and back in the UK. Thank you!

The kids and their awards with Nate and Lex

January Newsletter 2012

Update of life!

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog about what is going on here in the Philippines and with me. So here is a brief update.

During and after Christmas wasn’t such an easy time and I was super homesick! However, thanks to great friends and of course my family I was able to get through that and into the more positive place I’m in now.

Some of the kids in the centre

There have been some exciting developments with the foundation over the last month with

New Roof!

incoming donations and renovation work still continuing, but MOST exciting is that the drop in centre has started to really be used by the jumper boys (the boys who jump on the rubbish truck as it’s moving along and scavenge through before it gets to the actual rubbish site – Payatas) and of course our lovely footballers are coming round to visit and play and help teach the jumper kids basics in maths and English and of course learning themselves. It is really amazing to see our dreams start to turn more into a reality. Football continues to play a huge role in our foundation. The football project here in Payatas is what got us known here, it’s what began the work here, it’s what draws the kids to us, without the football, yes we would have still been able to do the drop-in centre, but it would have been harder to get to know the kids, more difficult to raise support here in the Philippines  and it would have been a lot more difficult to build relationships with the kids.  Everything has really started to come together and make our dreams of creating ‘fairplay on and off the pitch’ and ‘changing the world, one life at a time’ much more a reality. 

Afternoon Tea, pearl milk tea and cake

Life has been quite fun here with all that going on with the foundation and with personal life. Last month I

Broken shoe

went to see Mamma Mia at the theatre with Zargy. Her and Roy bought me the tickets for my 21st birthday and it was an amazing night. My plan for my 21st, for years had I been in the UK, was to go to London, have afternoon tea at the Ritz and go to the Westend and see a show. So we had afternoon tea Filipino style and then a yummy dinner and then watched the show. It was a great night! The only downside, though actually it was very funny, was that my shoe broke. Like it totally broke, they were wedge style shoes and the top half totally came of the bottom half with a loud crack, it was very funny but meant I wondered around in barefeet for a little while. It really was a great night and one I really thank Roy and Zargy for.

Another little story that has amused me this last month is that of the little child in an electric child sized car in a place called Technohub. Technohub is a studenty type place with places to eat, a hairdressers, massage place, an Apple store, an electrical store and a ministop (like a corner shop). Roy, Michael (a friend and a volunteer with us) Zargy and I were there having dinner one evening when around the fountain popped a little boy in a bright yellow little child sized electric car with a girl in the passengers seat. He was smoothly driving along when he decided to drive in through the open door of the food place we happened to be sitting outside eating at. He got half way through the door when a nice waiter told him they were already closed for last orders so the little boy smoothly put his arm around the girl, turned his head and reversed back outside and headed of somewhere else with I assume his father wandering along behind. It’s a shame we couldn’t have got a picture actually as it was so cute and funny!

So with the renovation work being continued, foundation going well and feeling more positive and more myself, life is generally going pretty well 🙂

Zargy, Me and Cel (another friend who was going on the same night) at Mamma Mia

December part 2 newsletter