Tugon was formed by six Ateneans in the summer of 1984. These six friends were Tet Panganiban, Tina Goco, Arthur Yap, Johnny Escaler, Abet Cuesta, and Chito Salazar. Chito Salazar explained that they learned that it was necessary for the babies to be touched and hugged if they were to survive. Inspired and driven by this knowledge, Tugon came to life.
In Tugon, these students found an apt way of ensuring the call of service in the face of a devastating social reality.
Tugon’s first area was the Reception and Study Center for Children (RSCC) behind SM North Edsa. Once a week, members board the ACIL bus to spend hours with their kids – playing with them; talking to them; teaching them.
Chito Salazar was its first president. Tugon was officially recognized by the Council of Organizations of the Ateneo in 1986. Its first set of officers comprised of Abet Cuesta III-BS Management Economics (Chairman), Theresa Panganiban III-BS Management Economics (Treasurer), Tina Goco III-BS Management Economics (Secretary), Johny Escaler III-BS Management Honors (Logistics), Peanut3 Edralin III-BS Management Honors (RSCC Head), and Jun Retna III-BS Management Honors (Settlement House Head).
Tugon then moved on to three other apostolates: the Bratpack (for street children) of Fr. Ben Carreon, OMF and the New Beginnings (for female survivors of abuse) and Receiving Homes (for abandoned babies) of CRIBS, Philippines. With the passing away of Fr. Carreon in 1995, Tugon was left with its area in CRIBS at Major Dizon St. Marikina City. Since then, the said apostolate has been the focus of Tugon’s activities.
As a society oriented organization, Tugon’s activities were not limited to its weekly area. Once every other week, members gathered in small prayer groups to share their experiences of joy and frustration to the Lord, an activitiy integral to the holistic formation of the members.
To fund its projects and promote the organization’s advocacy, Tugon also initiated projects created by creative minds. Such projects include caroling, Tugon Week, babies’ day-outs, Side-A concerts, acoustic concerts (with witty titles as Tugons and Roses, Tugon with the Wind), food sales (homemade chocolates) fund raising for the renovation of RH (in cooperation with the Philippine School of Interior Design), alternative class programs (Kids at Work) and variety shows.
Its vision has been revised through the years, but its spirit of service to children who have been victims of physical and emotional abuse remains.
Today, Tugon has expanded into several partner institutions such as the likes of Laura Vicuna, Redeemers' Home, End Child Prostitution and Trafficking (ECPAT) Philippines, and Meritxell Children's Foundation.
Founded in 1983, Concordia caters to the various needs of abandoned and/or neglected children, from infants to crawlers and toddlers. As the organization grew, they expanded to serve the street and urban poor children of Sta. Mesa and of Pasig City. Concordia envisions giving these children love and hope for a better future by developing and enhancing their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. To know more about Concordia, visit their website: http://www. concordiachildrens. org/
ECPAT (END CHILD PROSTITUTION AND TRAFFICKING) PHILIPPINES
ECPAT Philippines is an NGO representative of the children’s sector in the Inter-Agency Council against Trafficking (IACAT), created by the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 to monitor and coordinate the implementation of the law. It serves as a temporary home and rehabilitation center for children who are considered to be potential victims of commercial sexual exploitation (CSE). To know more about ECPAT, visit their website: http://www. ecpatphilippines. com/index. php/en/
REDEEMER’S HOME FOUNDATION, INC.
Born of a vision given to Benilda L. Cruz, urging her to pursue her dream of putting up a home for disadvantaged children. The power of testimony moved her Christian fellowship group to embrace her vision; and thus was planted the seed of another of the Lord’s work. Established in September 1997, the Redeemer’s Home Foundation continues to provide a Christian home to orphans and children who have been abandoned, abused, and neglected.
MERITXELL CHILDREN’S FOUNDATION
Mertixell cares for both abandoned babies and girls. Both the babies and the girls in this institution live a normal life with their house parents and social workers, who work hard in taking care of the kids and making sure that they would grow to be responsible citizens of their country.
CRIBS RECEIVING HONES
CRIBS Receiving Homes or RH provides an alternative home environment for abandoned, surrendered and neglected children aged days old to 2 ? years old. The program is staffed with professional, compassionate and competent caregivers to ensure optimum health care, nutrition and age-appropriate stimulation for early detection of developmental delays and prevention of illness. TUGON assists in the early child development program by implementing the psychomotor stimulation and age-appropriate activities. In CRIBS, each child is uniquely loved.
LAURA VICUNA FOUNDATION, INC.
The Laura Vicuna Center in Cubao is the residential center which houses street girls who may be orphaned, neglected, abandoned, battered, morally endangered and sexually abused. It aims to establish a family-like environment to give the girls a chance to grow up and transform in a wholesome home life.
CRIBS NEW BEGINNINGS
NB is a residential home for young female survivors of sexual abuse aged 7-17 years. It provides a nurturing and therapeutic environment for the healing and recovery of each child. The program utilizes a multidisciplinary team approach in meeting the physical, emotional, educational and spiritual needs of the children. In CRIBS, healing through the arts is an important part of the recovery process. In line with these, TUGON serves by providing recreational activities for the girls in building back their trust and self-esteem.
Tugon is a community of those who seek the fun-loving children within themselves. Tugon aims to share time, hope, love, and warmth with the babies and the girls of the organization’s partner institutions who are survivors of abandonment and sexual abuse. Despite the adversities that tainted their early years of life, we help them remember that they are indeed children, so that in the future, they may be able to have childhood memories worth reminiscing.
To be a community of Ateneans who play a creative role in the growth and development of children who are survivors of abuse – physical and emotional – in line with the Ignatian tradition of service and excellence.
Tugon addresses the plight of children who are survivors of sexual abuse and child abandonment. We form members who wish to respond to social reality by encouraging them to imbibe their area experiences. We partner with other institutions to provide activities promoting healing and development of the children. We advocate the children’s plight as our own.
We create and implement activities that foster the growth, development, and healing of our girls and babies. We effectively advocate our cause, to address the plight of children who are survivors of physical and emotional abuse, within the Loyola Schools. We aim to be front-liners in the fight against child abuse and abandonment in the country and affect change in a wider audience.
Empathy . We advocate the plight of abused girls and abandoned babies as our own and feel very strongly for our cause. We feel their pain and sadness from the traumatic experience they went through and joy in their smiles and happiness.
Sense of Community . We are a community of Ateneo students that cater to abused girls and abandoned babies. We function as an organization but we relate with and love one another as a family. At the very core of our family are the girls and the babies for whom we exist.
Service Excellence . As an organization that caters to a community, Tugon does its mission and pursues its vision in loving service to the abused girls and abandoned babies we cater to. All initiatives undertaken are all an attempt to further advocate our cause in service for others, in line with the Ignatian tradition of service excellence.