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Mano Amiga Philippines

The Mano Amiga community in the Philippines prides itself on the school’s holistic approach to learning. Combining the imperatives of a developmentally appropriate learning environment, solid curriculum, a strong spiritual formation program and extra-curricular activities, the school has seen great success in educating impoverished children, many from the urban slums of Manila.

About Mano Amiga Philippines

mano amiga philippines student working at desk

Students: 100
Founded: 2008
Location: Paranaque, Philippines

Founded in 2008, Mano Amiga Paranaque can attribute its creation to the success of another one of our schools halfway across the globe. In her early twenties, Filipina native Lynn Pinugu spent time as an international youth volunteer at Mano Amiga Guanajuato in Mexico. Impressed by not only the quality of the school but also the “students’ self-confidence, good communication skills and enthusiastic participation,” Pinugu pushed for a location in the Philippines. Through the aid of Catholic World Mission, the number of enrolled students has more than tripled from its initial 60 during the school’s starter year.

mano amiga philippines student learning in classroom

At Mano Amiga Philippines:

  • Students gain mastery of subjects and develop the communication, leadership and critical thinking skills they need to succeed
  • Passionate and well-trained teachers deliver lessons using innovative techniques and engaging activities
  • Catholic values are integrated in every lesson & activity
  • Students have access to after-school support: mentoring, remediation, and counseling
  • Health and nutrition programs help ensure each child’s optimum performance in school
  • Field trips, sports activities, leadership programs, clubs and student enrichment activities are run by local volunteers.
mano amiga philippines students at recess
  • Classroom Resources and Facilities: Age-appropriate furniture and resources that promote experiential learning in core subjects will be purchased for the children’s 2015-16 school year.
  • Assistance for 26 Third Graders: This group of students is in need of text books, school supplies, classroom materials and uniforms which will be supplied for their upcoming year.
  • Nutrition Program: Students who are in need of nutritional support will be served additional meals at school.
  • Enrichment Activities: Students will have the benefit of participating in activities outside of school to gain real-world experiences along with their classroom education.
  • Parenting Skills and Formation: A key element to the success of the Mano Amiga schools is family and parenting support. Funds will provide parents with seminars on life skills, financial management and spiritual formation.

October 2018

Students gather at the #iamdigital Youth Summit in the Philippines, October 2018

Student leaders, social innovators, community developers, and tech enthusiasts from all over the Philippines represented their causes in the second Digital Youth Summit, called #iamDigital. #iamDigital was a three-day workshop with the goal of promoting authenticity, critical thinking, empathy, and helping form youth leaders in effectively promoting digital responsibility and citizenship.

Participants received mentoring and guidance form content creators, social entrepreneurs, and thought leaders through various panel discussions and speaker sessions.

The Summer ended with a celebration as five groups were recognized as outstanding Digital Youth Ambassadors. It is truly inspiring to see how young leaders and community organizers are shaping the digital landscape into a more meaningful place!

May 2018

MA Philippines 8th Grader Lovely Marie

The 8th grade class worked hard to support the Autism community in the Philippines. They led the school-wide effort to raise money for Autism Society Philippines by organizing a garage sale fundraiser. Students from all grade levels brought clothes, toys, and other goods to sell. They raised about 8,000 PHP (the currency in the Philippines is the Philippine Peso)!

Lovely Marie, MA Philippines 8th grader, told us: “We wanted to help the autism community and raise awareness so that other people will accept it as a difference and not as a disorder or disease. It was such an amazing, meaningful experience for all of us, especially to me because this made me realize more that children like me can have a huge influence in making this world a better place.”

Lovely and her classmates also created a video and PowerPoint presentation, which they presented to the younger students to raise awareness within the student body.

Thank you for all you give so that Mano Amiga schools can continue to educate and empower children throughout Latin America and the Philippines to be world changers!

MA Philippines - 8th Grade students raised about 8,000 pesos for autism awareness

May 2017

Idea Carnival allows students to shine! Students in every grade level got to showcase projects and ideas to their parents, guests, and school donors and partners. Students shared artwork, ideas (including solar panels students made themselves!), and audio visual communications skills!

January 2017

Project-based Learning projects are in full swing at Mano Amiga Philippines! PBL activities focus on immediate application of what students learn in the classroom.

Examples include: 6th grade students turned their classroom into a TEDx event to educate guests on important topics like Role of Education in Terrorism and Changing Corruption in the Philippines; 4th grade students created a fire safety puppet show; 3rd grade students acted as tour guides for their guests as they led them on a journey through Manila with dioramas, display boards, maps, and a Manila-themed photo booth they created!

MA Philippines - 1st Grade artists
MA Philippines - 3rd Grade students with guests

December 2016

This August, Mano Amiga Philippines opened their campus to double the number of students they had enrolled in the 2015 school year! This huge leap is thanks to the generosity of so many donors who have made it possible for Mano Amiga Academy to expand and move into a new building! This new building now has nine classrooms and 171 students who are eager to learn. Partners also enabled Mano Amiga Philippines’ students to swap their heavy textbooks for e-tablets, a change that is more cost-efficient long-term, and will create an engaging learning experience that fosters responsible digital citizenship among the students.

Mano Amiga Philippines was also granted a five-year Non-Government Organization certification by the Philippines Council for NGO Certification! Meaning they can better serve the community by maintaining their nonprofit certification.

Mano Amiga principal, Revelyn Tria-Siasoyco, shares, “To develop life-long learners, students need to associate learning with both fun and hard work. We take pride in giving our students an exciting and enriching learning experience.” (, 21 November 2016) The students at Mano Amiga Philippines come from extremely impoverished families. Without the generosity of donors and the Catholic World Mission family none of this would be possible.

May 2016

Earlier this year Mano Amiga Philippines broke ground on their new site! Their school is going from a three room house for 95 students where they currently take turns attending class between morning and afternoon shifts to a dedicated building where all the children can attend school at once! When Deacon Rick, Executive Director of Catholic World Mission, visited Mano Amiga Philippines this year he saw how happy the children are at their school!

“I’m excited for my son, John Christian, as he joins the move of Mano Amiga from FTI, Taguig to Betterliving, Paranaque. He and his friends at school will have a different and better environment where they can actively learn through their access to world-class facilities.” – Mary Jane Gorgonio, Mano Amiga Parent for 5 Years

The new permanent campus will enable Mano Amiga Philippines Academy to accommodate between 800 – 1200 students at once! The school year begins in August 2016, and Mano Amiga is in the process of acquiring tiles, piping, windows, doors, and other materials needed to finish the building. The facility is three stories high, and students are already lining up to take a seat in the new building. Mano Amiga Philippine’s long-term goal is to build a library with a technology-enabled classroom to enhance the students’ learning.

See photos from all updates below:

In the Philippines, 4 million children have been unable to enroll in school due to the pandemic which has created the biggest educational emergency in the country’s history. To combat these unsettling numbers, the Paranaque Campus has been providing resources to students such as computers and internet connectivity, mental health and counseling services, and emergency relief for students and their families. Without your continued support, students like Nico and Iya may not have the opportunity to continue their path out of poverty.

Ten-year-old Nico, a student at Mano Amiga Philippines, wants to be an engineer and build special shelters for the homeless. Nico is an active member of the STEM Club at Mano Amiga. Unfortunately, Nico’s father lost his job due to the pandemic making it difficult for Nico to continue his education.

Eight-year-old Iya has a knack for communication and dreams of being a newscaster one day. Like Nico, Iya’s family is struggling since her father’s employer shut down.

Are you able to support a Mano Amiga student for an entire year for $800?
The future of Mano Amiga students like Iya and Nico, depend on your generosity.
Student at Mano Amiga School Philippines

Nico wants to be an engineer.

Student at Mano Amiga School Philippines

Iya dreams of being a newscaster one day.

Boy writing something down on paper