Hands On Manila Hosts Good Deeds Day 2024 in Quezon City with “Pista ng Libro”


On Saturday, April 13, 2024, the nonprofit organization Hands On Manila (HOM) hosted the 7th annual Good Deeds Day (GDD) event in the Philippines with Pista ng Libro (Feast of Books), a celebration of the love of reading and literature, and games within Filipino culture. GDD is a global movement that encourages individuals and organizations to come together for the betterment of their communities through acts of kindness. HOM is GDD’s official partner in the Philippines. 


Co-Founder Gianna Montinola of HOM, the Philippine affiliate of the US Points of Light, and the Pista ng Libro team headed by co-chairs Rose Anne Belmonte and Marianne Po were inspired to create a literacy event that not only got books into the hands of children and schools but also served as a cultural touch point for all attendees. 

Guest of honor the Honorable Mayor Joy Belmonte of Quezon City, who very generously provided the venue for the event at QCX: Quezon City Experience in Quezon City Memorial Circle,  called to mind the current crisis in the nation’s literacy rates, which have dropped significantly since the Covid pandemic. 

The event hosted 204 students across 18 schools and 1 NGO in Pateros, Taguig, Quezon City, and Manila. Children and teachers enjoyed traditional Filipino games (Piko, Sipa, Filipino relay, and Luksong Tinik), food, and, most importantly, live, interactive storytelling by special guests, including Quezon City Hon. Mayor Joy Belmonte, Actress Ms. Iza Calzado, Teacher Jackie Lou Campanero, Teacher Emalyn Espinas, Teacher Mercedita Babon, and Ms. Melanie A. Ramirez, who is a professional librarian and storyteller.


Each child went home with free books and over 100 eBooks from Filipino authors, provided by publishers Rex Bookstore, Bookmark, Inc., Tahanan Books, Vibal, and nonprofit NABU.  Additional books were donated to the libraries of all participating schools.

HOM is a leader in activating volunteers to address a variety of local challenges. This event was made possible by 150 volunteers, including emcee “Miss Balot”. A bank employee, she volunteers for many HOM programs, earning her the title of ‘Sherpa’ or volunteer leader.  For Pista ng Libro, she added games and prizes to entertain the crowd of very excited students, ages 4-11 years old. 


HOM is grateful to the many sponsors who helped make this event possible. 


They are Bookmark Inc., Flipfun photo booth, Rex Bookstore, Tahanan Books, Vibal Foundation, Spartan Malaysia, and all the individual donors who gave their heartfelt donations and support.

“Our exploration does not end with words on a page,” Ms. Montinola said, “ It extends into the vibrant realm of Filipino games. Through these books and games, we honor the rich heritage of the Philippines, passing down traditions and stories from one generation to the next.” 

Miss Balot closed the celebration encouraging children to ‘Read, read, read!