Author: Tanya

About Tanya

The Flight of the Maya Bird by Nathania Aritao. 2009. The maya bird won’t stop flying for you, won’t stop her flight. Steady, strong. The maya bird won’t sing for you, won’t sing just for you. Listen closely. When the maya bird perches, she pauses. But you can never catch her. A getaway it is not. Sweet soaring adventure it proves to be. Maya bird, she sky dances, gliding melody in whispering wings. Maya bird, you fly, never forgetting where home is. Come home soon. Maya bird, you dance, never forget what home is. Maya, let’s take me home.

Growing from Hope to Courage!

We’ve been all over the place! And bad at keeping you posted. (Sorry!) Since we last spoke wrote (a year ago, in a few days), we finished our 2014 season of hope-rallying and began our 2015 with a charge of strength!

Our plan to reach eight different communities affected by Yolanda in 2014 became a reality when we brought our banner of hope to children in Estancia, Nueva Vizcaya and Negros Occidental. It was an incredible year. The adventures of which we had not foreseen or imagined. We were brought way beyond our comfort zone and into the warm embrace of local community leaders in so many different places. One for the books. Our gratitude goes out to all those who supported us through the journey, on the road and off.

The whole experience placed on our heart the beautiful burden of continuing the story.

This year, we are back on the road, adamant about returning to the communities we connected with last year. This time, our vision is of strength and courage for all the little ones! In the reality of natural disasters, terminal illnesses, hunger and great financial need, it is a powerful message to share.

In just the past few months, we have had three Children’s Fairs – in Tacloban and Manila. And as we write, we are working from Roxas City, in the middle of the first of this year’s free training sessions for community workers and leaders. (It’s going wonderfully!) Not only are we hoping to return to visit our friends, we hope to train local leaders to independently run child-centered programs that are creative, educational and fun! What an adventure we are on!

We will be traveling out of Manila for most of the year, but if you would like to help support our efforts to build capacity for child-centered learning and play in a handful of communities across the country, please email us at We are continuously need of partners willing to share their time, resources and prayers.


Tanya, for Buhay Makulay

P.S. For more updated news, please follow our Facebook page, which seems to be the most convenient means of communication. And follow this blog too!

Thank You, Volunteers! August 23 Children’s Fair, Calauan, Laguna.

Your response was incredible! Thank you, dear friends, for taking on the challenge of 1,500 kids with us!

Volunteers, we are continuously grateful for your serving and compassionate hearts that allow us to reach children all over the Philippines. If you were in Calauan with us, you may agree that this was one of the craziest Children’s Fairs we’ve ever had. The sheer number of children that were present, the heat of the sun, and the chaos of managing so many activities at once could have been completely overwhelming. But God is faithful and you were patient and loving the whole way through. THANK YOU!

We are also certain that you will agree that the children taught us much about hope in the few hours we had together. They shared their dreams, they shared their joys and they shared their smiles with us.

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Buhay Makulay was blessed with first-time and returning volunteers from Manila from all walks of life. We also had the help of local youth and young adults from TVET, as well as the blessing of the priests and nuns who live and serve Calauan, Laguna. The volunteers are in the photo above – still smiling after a long day of play and love with the children!

Help Needed at our Children’s Fair in Laguna for 1,500 Kids! AUGUST 23!

Next weekend we will be hosting our 5th Children’s Fair of 2014 and our first adventure in Calauan, Laguna! The community we will be spending time with represent hundreds of families relocated by 2009’s Typhoon Ondoy/Ketsana, and 2013’s Supertyphoon Yolanda/Haiyan. This same community was also hit hard by the recent storm Glenda, which brought damage to their homes, power outtages and food shortage.

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This is the largest number of children we have ever invited to an activity and we need your help to make this happen! The nuns and priests that have been ministering in this community have a daily feeding program for about 1500 children! There is no shortage of children in the community and we welcome the opportunity to share hope with so many little ones.
Below are some ways you can get involved:
We need many volunteers for our activity with 1500 children! Volunteers need to be able to commit 5am –  6pm on the day of the event. We will provide transportation to and from Union Church of Manila, in Legaspi Village, Makati.
If you are interested, please respond to this email or get in touch with me (Tanya) at 09178274755. All volunteers must confirm attendance by Sunday, August 17th, and will receive volunteer info via email.
Children will be receiving a Buhay Makulay tshirt, a box of crayons, a prize or two from some games, and food for the day. All donations will be going toward items such as these that go to the children, and not toward transportation or logistics (unless specified by the donor).
If you would like to donate in kind, we would gladly receive any of the following items for this activity:
-simple toys (stuffed toys, yoyos, balls, dolls, nothing that requires batteries)
-school supplies (notebooks, pencils/pens, pencil cases)
-art supplies (poster paint, face paint, paintbrushes)
Drop off point is Union Church of Manila corner Rada & Legaspi Sts, Makati,, c/o Len Aritao or Buhay Makulay, or make arrangements through 09178274755.
Direct deposits may be made to our BPI checking account.
Account name: Buhay Makulay Children’s Project Inc.
Account number:  0041-0339-24.
PRAY with us
The Children’s Fair is a fantastic opportunity to share the joy and hope of Jesus with children living in the midst of different challenging situations – chronic/terminal illness, extreme poverty, abuse, or abandonment. Pray that their hearts begin to open, ready to receive the love of God, shared through us.

How to be a part of our upcoming Children’s Fair – July 12th!

In less than two weeks we will also be hosting our eighth annual Children’s Fair at the San Lazaro Hospital, Manila, and the fourth fair of the year. Below are some ways you can get involved:


We still have some room for volunteers for our upcoming Children’s Fair in Manila on July 12 with 100 children. Volunteers need to be able to commit 7am-3pm on the day of the event. We will provide light breakfast, snacks and lunch.

If you are interested, please email All volunteers must confirm attendance by Friday, July 4th, and will later receive an orientation.


We are collecting donations in kind. These items will be added to the gift boxes that we are giving the children.

  • Crayons – 1 box of 16 crayons, any brand
  • Toothbrushes – packaged individually, children or adult size, any brand
  • Toothpaste – 10-12ml sachets, any brand
  • Shampoo – 14-16ml sachets, any brand


Drop off point is Union Church of Manila corner Rada & Legaspi Sts, Makati,, c/o Len Aritao or Buhay Makulay.


PRAY with us

The Children’s Fair is a fantastic opportunity to share the joy and hope of Jesus with children living in the midst of different challenging situations – chronic/terminal illness, extreme poverty, abuse, or abandonment. Pray that their hearts begin to open, ready to receive the love of God, shared through us.



School Supply Drive: 10 more days to give!

Thank you for the donations! There’s still time to give to PlanaFORMA’s School Supply Drive! All donations go to the children of the Buhay Makulay Children’s Project Inc.

2 notebooks + 2 pens = free class of your choice (Forma, Zumba or yoga!!) What a great deal!

Receiving donations at Fort & Centris studios until June 25. Free class valid for 3 months.

Thank you PlanaFORMA!


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Hh is for Hope =Buhay Makulay x Alphabetype

Buhay Makulay has got some awesome friends in Singapore! Have you guys heard of Alphabetype?


Alphabetype describes themselves as, “The playful side of type, Alphabetype started as a series of experiments with type and graphic design, constantly on the lookout for obsessively fun ways to share and spread the love of typography.”

We are so excited about our collaboration. Big thank you to all the Manila-based Alphabetype-rs who supported their first run of tees. The proceeds went to our Children’s Fair in Leyte last May 16.

The TtShirt Project’s Hh Alphabetees second batch are available in Singapore, in black and white shirts. Sizes are Teen Size, XS, S, M, and L. Order now through

Check them out at

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Buhay Makulay at the Set Apart Girl Conference (Manila Simulcast)

Happy Saturday!!!

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Screen Shot 2014-06-14 at 10.48.38 AMBuhay Makulay is at the Annual Set Apart Girl Conference Simulcast Manila, at the Union Church of Manila. We have the privilege of being the beneficiary at this beautiful event! Thank you, Union Church for inviting us!

We’re here until 5pm today at a table by the entrance. We’ve got free jelly ace, awesome info cards, a sign up sheet for more information and cards for sale.

Later in the program, Tanya will also be sharing about the Buhay Makulay story and vision of hope for children across the Philippines.

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Thank you to the Paper Project Inc. for helping us fundraise today. They’ve got a one day sale of their beautiful cards at a discounted price. Their cute and witty handmade cards are winning everyone over! Find more of their cards here.