Welcome to the Friends of Los Banos Children blog! The FLBC is an informal organization of committed people dedicated to improving literacy among children in Los Banos, Laguna, Philippines.

In May 2002, we thought of establishing a library for Los Banos children, naming it Aklatang Bayan ng Los Banos. With the realization that we were not yet financially capable of creating and maintaining one, we opted to negotiate with Pastor Pepito Bato of the Evangelical Baptist Church (EBC) to open the children’s library at their school, Josiah’s Place. We also agreed to donate books and supplies on a need basis to the other schools in Los Banos.

The core group is comprised of Los Banos natives and has mobilized friends and fellow Filipino expatriates to collect books and other materials, to raise funds, and send them to the local partner, the Grand Harvest Christian Ministries, Inc. Books and other materials were donated to pre-screened "libraries" existing in schools and in the community. The organization continues to need volunteers to reach out to more children.

With the FLBC and friends' commitment for this project, we can reach out to the children in Los Banos and hope that through these books, their lives will be changed! Imagine children learning of many new things! Imagine them dreaming of wanting to go beyond elementary school!

Why books?
Here are some facts to fully understand the needs of these children:

Los Banos has a population of 82, 027 and is located 63 km south of Manila, Luzon. It is famous for its hot springs, and is home to two world renowned institutions - the University of the Philippines (UP) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). It has 14 barangays: Batong Malake, Tuntungin-Putho, Anos, Bagong Silang, Bayog, Maahas, San Antonio, Lalakay, Mayondon, Bambang, Timugan, Tadlac, Malinta and Baybayin. Batong Malake is the largest area (31.32% of Los Banos, including UP) and Baybayin is the smallest (0.49%)

Outside the university and research campuses, there are 12 public elementary schools with their corresponding student populations (1995 census): Batong Malake (2,060), Tuntungin-Putho (508), Calara in Carbern, Anos (451), Bayog (810), Maahas (487), San Antonio (282), Lalakay (460), Mayondon (1,554), Bambang (449), Timugan (1,372), Tadlac (200), and Malinta. Baybayin children go to Timugan Elementary School. These alone account for 8, 633 schoolchildren. With a population increase of 5% per year, student population this year could amount to 12,799. There are also profit and non-profit private elementary schools in Los Banos, with Maquiling School as the oldest private school owned and run by parents. Population statistics show that children 9 and below comprise a sizable 15% of the whole population of Los Banos.

It is ironic that with this great number of schoolchildren population, there is not one public library for children or adults in any of the 14 barangays of Los Banos. Moreover, all public elementary schools either do not have a library or are sorely lacking in books.

Who receives these books?
Church-related groups:
  • Josiah's Place of the Evangelical Baptist Church (EBC, Bo. Batong Malaki) received additional books for their community extension through Christ the Good Shepherd Youth Centers along the "riles" (Bo. Anos), and Marymount Subdivision
Public schools in Los Banos:
  • Lopez Elementary School (Bo. Batong Malaki)
  • San Antonio Elementary School (Bo. San Antonio)
  • Bagong Silang Elementary School (Bo. Bagong Silang)
  • Paciano Rizal Elementary School (Bo. Putho-Tuntungin)
  • Calara Elementary School (Carbern Village, Bo. Anos), and the National High School (Bo. Batong Malaki)
Private DECS-registered schools/learning centers:
  • Kiddie Care Learning Center (Bo Putho-Tuntungin)
  • Hasik Elementary School (Bo. Bayog)