Scholarship Fund in the Philippines (Life Is Too Short)

Not sure what crazy mood I’m in, but I’m sitting here thinking….I may die tomorrow….and what gets the most joy out of my life.

Its changing lives. I enjoy seeing someone learn and be able to create opportunity for themselves.

While most of 2011 I have been in South China and Hong Kong, I do miss my experiences in the Philippines….and feel the people there just need a better chance, or hope.

Maybe its also on the comments I’ve been receiving on my personal blog post Leaving Philippines You wonder people are so frustrated.

But one of my favorite workers, Darlene, is a very loyal worker. I remember her interview (wow, that was a lot of interviews) and she was curious, wanted to learn, and studied the company site (new york bar store) before talking to me. She applied herself much more than the others and I think its worth investing in her education. I really wished I could have hired so many more people, but maybe each year I can return and offer a scholarship / work contract exchange program.

Here is her email to me today asking about the scholarship:

.. ahm about university is it okay to enroll in second trimester also to get me in, in my one year contract for studies coz for now i want to study call center the one that marie recommended I was already registered for my slot in informatics all i need to do is to pay for my tuition. But all things must goes to you and came by you thats why I’m just waiting for your decision always boss.Darlene

Educating People – Giving a Chance

I’m so soft….but really, what else can be better in life than to help someone build their career and education. I may be too nice, but in the end, its not business, its making the world a better place.

I remember talking to friends / business associates in the past about these programs, they would always say I need to earn more money before I can do this, and then I can help people. But come on….when is there enough money? We will always have an excuse, its about MAKING it a reality. I will set aside enough money to make this program work.

Find Great & Dedicated People in the Philippines

Also, I hope to attract top performing students into this scholarship. I am going to try to have one per year, and interview them when I am visiting the Philippines, from the Clear Cafe internet cafe in Manila. This year Darlene, who has been working with me almost a year now, will be the first recipient…still testing exactly how this will work. She will still do some part time work for the company, a bit flexible, but focus her time on her studies.

She is interested in computer engineering and programming, she has already been studying how to fix computers and gadgets. She plans to stay with the company for as long as we will have her, and loyalty and hard work in each staff member is critical in success.

So I don’t think this scholarship program is at all a waste….it will make me happy too, to be honest.

I may die tomorrow, at least I can die knowing I helped people expand their minds and further reach their potential.

More People Want To Start a Scholarship Program in the Philippines

Update, Jan 5, 2012

Been getting a decent amount of emails of other foreigners interested in investing in a Philippines scholarship, as below:

Hi Michael,

I briefly read your post on setting up a scholarship in the Philippines to help some of the Filipinos/as make it to and thru university / education.

I am interested in creating a similar vehicle to help fund a specific person through their education.

Were you successful at this? Do you have details at how to organize it to make it easier for me to embark on this? Or, is it possible I could take advantage of the vehicle you have constructed by contributing funds into it to be dispersed to a specific person?


I hope to organize more, and will keep you all updated!

Mike Michelini

Mike Michelini

Michael is an American social media, e-commerce, and SEO Specialist that has lived in Asia since late 2007. He is a passionate business connector that helps companies do business in Asia as well as Asian companies to work in overseas markets. He built the cross border e-commerce community GFA is a platform to help cross border business owners learn, network, make business partnerships, and grow global businesses.

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Comments 26

  1. Avatar
    1. Mike Michelini Post
  2. Avatar

    I don’t want to sound negative, because I am not. But I really think the Filipinos would be better off if they learned how to manage their money. I see so many times they’re out and about spending left and right. It just crosses my mind whether they put any money in savings.

    Then at the same time I talk with my Filipino staff and many send money to their brothers or sisters or family to have a nicer life. I think its great they’re investing their time and efforts in which they made their money into making their families have a happier, nicer life, however at the same time it crosses my mind, “how did it get like this?” Is it because money management, or because their parents weren’t fortunate enough to have the type of opportunities (or job demands, or pay in salary) like we do in todays world (2011). I can go on and on, but damn, I have to get back to work.

    Final note, I think money management and saving for the future would help the Filipinos out a lot. Sometimes Filipinos miss opportunities because they’re too shy to step forward, to stand up, or whatever to catch the opportunity, although thats part of culture and its hard to “change” that…

    1. Mike Michelini Post

      then how about we do some joint seminars on money management?

      I think its similar in America, low income, therefore less educated class of people dont learn how to manage their finances, how to make a budget, balance a checkbookl therefore spin further and further into debt,,,,,creating a cycle for generations….

      until the children are educated how to do it.

  3. Avatar


    Not only is this a great post, it is a great act of kindness. Like the Nike motto, “Just Do It”, you’re actually doing it. When you put your mind and heart to something, you have that unstoppable determination to make it happen…to make it a reality. It is very true what they say, one person can make a difference and you’re proof of that!

    1. Mike Michelini Post

      awww thx Elle,

      yea, i just do it, but so many times i get in over my head…..i spent one year investigating philippines situation, and i think this is a do able thing ….i hope to grow the program over time…..make it a competition, hqve more than one get accepted

      its about enabling people,,,,,giving opportunity

  4. Avatar

    if it’s not for a scholarship grant i would have not finished college. it sounds cool to be called a ‘scholar’ but the conditions are tough. in my case i have to maintain a grade or else i’ll be kicked out of. the vouchers, receipts, class cards etc that i need to submit before every exam period are hell to me just to get that check to pay the fees.

    i think this one won’t be this hard. this is a very great idea. you remind me of another one i showed around from CS from Switzerland. he had a few extra amt of baggage so his sister decided to have him bring over some of her unused clothes. so he carried it all the way from europe, stopover in dubai to here as he said he heard there’s a lot that he can give of these mostly baby clothes. like he carried it two bags in every place he’s been here in palawan, bohol etc. he even gave me some kids clothes w/c i said my siblings are big enough but i just accepted it and gave to my officemate’s kids.

    so yeah it’s not about how big or how small you helped but realizing how much the efforts, it’s already something to be thankful of.

    1. Mike Michelini Post

      Yea….mine will be easier than yours for sure… least at the beginning…maybe if it gets bigger / more formal it will get more complex w/ paperwork and grade requirements. I think having those requirements pushes you to take your classes seriously. I also had partial grants and scholarships from organizations to get to college…..

      But yes, its these kinds of things that make the world a better place. Seriously it took me getting out of my NYC job and explore entrepeneurship, different cultures, different opportunities to really realize whats important in life

      the number in your bank account really doesnt matter, and many times it can drop so quickly anyway and you’re left with nothing inside. These kinds of acts cannot be taken away from you or society.

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    awesome mike – it sounds like you are investing in your employees. hope you don’t listen to generalizations about philipinos and just trust your instinct. but also protect yourself by having an agreement in writing. here in the US companies will offer to pay for education, capped to a certain amount per semester, given that the person gets a B or better in each class and the class applies to what they are doing in work. they also usually have a clause that you have to work for the company for a certain amount of time after getting the degree so the company gets a return on investment. in most cases this works out well for the company. so don’t think of this as charity but as an investment in your employees. but glad to read this post.

    1. Mike Michelini Post

      thanks Piotr, yes, this will be investing in staff, but then again, many companies (maybe smarter than me!) hire already trained staff with full education. Sure they may pay more, but they are getting faster startup time….poaching from companies who already invested in training their staff. I have had bad experiences with that in China….feeling almost like a training school , except I am the one paying the students!

      But yes, I do see your point its an investment for the company.

  6. Avatar
    1. Mike Michelini Post
  7. Avatar

    get more to ivest in school fund
    many would want to help people
    improve their quality of life .

    goggle has new product chrome
    works off y fy or 3G lap top with
    no hard drive.25 usd / month, cloud tech

    1. Mike Michelini Post

      yea, people hopefully can spend less….share more…..still hard to change peoples mindset to owning so many material things…..

      but yes like these cheap google chromebooks, people can spend less on goods and more on sharing and giving.

      before i make an educational fund i need to learn how it works, this is just the first

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    I don’t know you but you always amaze me everytime I read a post from you. Nowadays, it’s very hard to find people who have golden hearts and genuine soul and you have just proven me that they still exist. While I read every word in your post, I can’t help but smile and feel so blessed eventhough I am not the one receiving that education and gift of love from you. I don’t wanna dig in to your private life but whether you are single or married, those people around you should realize how lucky they are to have such a great brother or son or grandson or dad or uncle like you. You’re such an amazing person in and out and I know you will receive more blessings (whether it’s success in your business, or career, or family life and relationship or just simply self-fulfillment) from God because you love sharing what you have with others. You’re the modern Good Samaritan and I want to thank you for looking at the better side of the Filipino people and for understanding that Filipinos are not at all bad and that they deserve more chances in life. I think I will have to write a blog entry about you in own website one of these days as a sign of my gratefulness to you. I don’t know but in return, I just want Filipinos or Asians to realize that not all Americans or Westerners are judgmental and mean and narrow-minded when it comes to their views about Eastern cultures and their values. I may not always comment, but now you know I always read your blog posts and each time, you always make me reflect and I always learn new things about life. More power! Cheers!

    1. Mike Michelini Post

      Hey Renan,
      i just have grown so much by seeing the various economic and cultural conditions in my travels….i dint know why the world cant be more equal and fair….i think maybe this my way to give some chance to hard working people that do not have ease of access to scholarships in western countries……
      hopefully the first scholarship goes well, so that i can increase the amount of money or people….already think some of my american friends would want to contribute to a fund for this

    2. Mike Michelini Post

      thanks man….it was all my travels that opened my eyes….smart capable people that if born in usa would be in such a different situation…
      just because where you happen to be born into this world should be a factor for opportunities we are given…..

      i think technology and internet are making it easier to connect and share information, and i see future generations able to make opportunities from anywhere in the world…..but for now, money and location still are major factors

      hope this first scholarship program goes smoothly so that i can offer friends and the public to invest in a non profit fund for this scholarship program

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  10. Avatar

    Even well educated Filipinos (coming from universities like La Salle and Ateneo) have a difficult time getting good opportunities abroad primarily because of the ‘discrimination’ of Western countries in terms of their visa and work regulations. People are limited to career and scholarship opportunities based on their nationality and the passport they carry.

    1. Mike Michelini Post

      yes Alexandra….
      sadly in today’s “modern” world its still not just based on hard work and ability…but still where you happened to be born into the world….

      wonder how it can change for the better…but i do have to admit we are making fast progress for future generations with the internet and technology and communication.

      sadly, in today’s world, its just not that way yet – but you can earn decent money with a home based business.

  11. Avatar

    There are online and home based opportunities, but this aspect is also still very limiting in terms of career fields as most of the start up home business and telecommuting involve IT; however more personal, social and direct careers cannot really be done via the wonders of the internet.

    I’m not sure if my passport frustration falls under a small percentage of people’s complaints as well, but I do however think I am more frustrated than most individuals as I am a native English speaker with probably more education and qualifications as say the general American, and yet just because I carry a Filipino passport (despite having a British father w/ a Brit passport) I am stuck having to find work in the Philippines (under employment – low salary and a menial job — call center) which I don’t exactly want to do, but seems as if the universe is almost forcing me to do.

    … Rant over 😀

    1. Mike Michelini Post
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    hi michael…may our Dear Lord bless you with good health and more blessings….as you are having a journey of helping others and mostly young generation for helping them through your scholarship support program…education is really important to our young generation especially the they want to reach their life goal ahead…you really amazed me ….you are really a rare samaritan helping our students to acheive their your vision and mission, we include scholarship grant fund program in our alumni association in my home town in the philippines..PAG-ASA NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL ALUMNI ASSOCIATION.WITH THE ADDRESS OF PAG-ASA ,BANSUD ORIENTAL MINDORO,PHILIPPINES..We wil be glad and honored if there will time you will visit our place and meet our 31 scholars and our school faculty members and teachers .. and alumni members…with your being good samaritan…..i will include you always in my prayers…..hope and pray you will be guided always for more progressive program and effective leader for helping the students,,God bless..and may i introduced myself..i am joseph of the organizing members of our alumni association…presently,i am working here in riyadh Saudi Arabia as Maintenance Technical Supervisor…i AM VICE-PRESIDENT OF OUR ALUMNI ASSOCIATION ..and chairperson for scholarship grant program committee.Our scholars are more than 31 students who are taking engineering courses and education,IT ad other 4 years courses.We provide them tuition fees and monthly allowances and misc. school expences…Your visit to our place is our glad to join with us for any support you may help to our scholarship grant program..My e-mail add is here in KSA 00966-0506458456.God bless!!!you can see our alumni association at fb.PAG-ASA NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL ALUMNI ASSOCIATION group fb accounts.

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    Hi, Mike. You are absolutely right that life is too short and that we have to make the most of it to give back to society.
    I am currently a member of a small organization here in Canada and I have started to advocate for a creation of a scholarship program to help in the education of the less privilege students in the Philippines. I am an orphan and I can relate to the plight of the underprivileged. To keep the ball rolling, I have pledged to send x#of students starting next school semester (June 2019). I am hoping against hope that the other members of the organization would share my vision of helping the “future leaders”. I am spending my free time researching online on how I could get a wider audience who shares my views and would be willing to financially help these students and/or the school directly (financial assistance will not be sent through me; will be sent directly to the school). The tuition fee for a secondary school (public school) in one of the schools in my hometown (southern part of the Philippines) is about USD 18.00, however, parents of the students enrolled in this school could not afford the fee. Would appreciate if you could guide me and share your expertise. Thank you and more power to you and your family.

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