Ep.5: on Stories of Hope

Updated: May 3, 2020

This episode was brought to you by Forest Foundation Philippines. It was produced by MUNI, hosted and written by Jen Horn and Ayen dela Torre, edited by, with music by Diego Mapa and branding by Serious Studio. You can find the MUNI on This Podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or listen directly below.

About this episode

With the COVID-19 crisis, we need to share stories that give us hope -- in a world where we look out for one another, and grow stronger communities that can withstand these greater challenges.

We spoke to: Ayen Lopez of Help From Home, a volunteer-driven information hub to help COVID-19 frontliners and families at risk; Trish Lim & John Francia of Woven, who created the Bahay Kubo food sustainability program for their rural communities; and Christopher Ng, whose individual actions helped grocery workers at the frontlines. 

Throughout the episode, we also feature two short stories of hope from Mikka Malonzo and Dr. Arnel Jumayao, in collaboration with Where To Next, to remind ourselves of the value of acts of compassion and empathy, because we never know how an act of kindness can impact another person.  

See links to people, organizations and initiatives mentioned in the podcast below.

Show notes


  • [00:12] Jen and Ayen introduce the episode, the different format and the different voices in the podcast


  • [03:08] Mikka's story as a volunteer driver for COVID frontliners


  • [04:38] Jen introduces Ayen Lopez and Ayen shares beginnings of Help from Home

  • [06:16] Ayen on the second phase of the website for better monitoring of where help is needed

  • [07:17] Inspiring examples of citizen-led initiatives

  • [08:11] Story of a homeless man sharing his food with others

  • [09:35] On what keeps her hopeful these days

  • [10:48] Story of Joyce Boyones whose knowledge of her community allowed her to better serve it

  • [11:42] On the importance of connecting with your community for support

  • [12:52] On the importance of collaborating with different institutions


  • [15:24] A doctor's story of kindness and gratitude from strangers at the grocery


  • [17:13] Jen introduces Trish and John of Woven, and their Bahay Kubo food sustainability initiative

  • [18:22] Trish on their initial reaction and coping mechanism to the government-imposed quarantine

  • [19:13] Reframing the concept of productivity

  • [20:19] John on the need for longer term solutions vs. one-off dole outs

  • [21:56] Problems in community food security as the quarantine wore on

  • [22:17] How they put the Bahay Kubo program together

  • [23:05] Advice for entrepreneurs challenged by COVID-19


  • [24:11] Chris shares how writing to companies helped get better treatment for grocery frontliners

How you can help

You can find ways to help by visiting, and by simply committing daily acts of kindness to those at home, in your local community or when you're out -- even after this crisis is over. You can also share your own stories of hope with us via And if these stories inspired you, we hope you can share this podcast episode with anyone you feel could use some hope and inspiration too. :)

About this podcast

We started MUNI on This to deal with our personal and collective distress about the state of our planet, but more importantly, we created this to give ourselves and you guys more reasons to hope and more motivation to act. In the show, we talk about the challenges and possibilities in creating a more mindful and livable world. It was created by MUNI, a purpose-driven company that creates conversations and builds community through online content and offline events on mindful, sustainable living. You can find the MUNI on This Podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also listen directly via You can also join the MUNI Community group on Facebook to reach out to our community.

People / organizations / initiatives mentioned

Ayen Lopez

Bahay Kubo - Food Sustainability for Rural Communities

Christopher Ng (and his Facebook post!)

Fund The Forest x Where To Next - For the Frontliners

Help From Home

WTN Stories of Hope


Other links / resources

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

©2020 MUNI Cultural Creatives Inc.