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BALIKBAYAN ~ "Returning home"

June 21, 2017


The term BALIKBAYAN refers to a Filipino returning to the Philippines, especially after having lived overseas for an extended period of time.  (

Earlier this year my husband and I visited my parents, Balikbayans, who after 40+ years in the US, have retired back to my father’s home town of Tagum City on the island of Mindinao, Philippines. As we drove home from the airport I couldn’t believe how much progress the city has made since I last visited 3 years ago. So much development! New roads, tourist attractions, giant malls opening up everywhere, even an international music venue - INCREDIBLE! Despite the progress, you couldn’t help but be faced with the reality that not everyone was gaining from the city’s growth- poverty is still prevalent.


Tagumenyo Bisa’g Asa (TBA) is a city run organization my parents have been involved with since they retired back home. My husband and I were blessed to participate in an outreach project where we purchased toys to donate to the children of a small fishing village of Busaon.  I never thought that  a simple basketball given to a little boy, who eventually would have to share it with the other 10 little boys of the village could bring so much joy! A SMALL GIFT WITH SUCH A HUGE IMPACT. The rest of our time in Busaon included a few games, a few snacks  and TONS of smiles! I left with a heart full of love and and an overwhelming need to give more.


How could I give more ? More importantly, how could I directly help the people of Tagum City, so they could serve even more of their own?


I started with my favorite thing to do anytime I visit- shop the local markets! Walking through the stalls surrounded by vibrant colored fabrics called “malongs”, traditionally worn by indigenous tribes of the Philippines, inspired the SPARK!


Design Yoga Mat Bags & Totes by 




10 % OF ALL SALES will go directly to Tagumenyo Bisa’g Asa (TBA) to help fund the organization's next outreach project.


 * The bags have each been named after an indigenous tribe of our beloved Mindinao Island to honor our land, culture and heritage.




- To purchase email 

- Free Shipping within the United States

- No Refunds

- Paypal accepted

* 10 % OF ALL SALES will go directly to Tagumenyo Bisa’g Asa (TBA) to help fund the organization's next outreach project

























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© 2016 by MJBstylesolutions


Melissa Joy Bermudez

Edison, NJ

P: 732-428-2216


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