FPVI has its origins in the minds and hearts of a family with strong roots in Leyte, Philippines. The roots were planted by a young couple, new graduates, who got married in 1945 soon after the war. They decided to build their future in their home province, not in the big city.
The couple established the Leyte Institute Tunga, a secondary school in a barrio under the municipality of Barugo, Leyte. It was the only learning institution in the area at the time that allowed students to continue their education interrupted by the war and Japanese occupation. Leyte Institute Tunga flourished and produced graduates who also put down their own roots in the barrio. Ultimately, these graduates supported the move to make the barrio an independent municipality, which we now know as Tunga, in 1949.
The Ponferradas initially rented a large two-storey house for the school which also served as the family's residence and as dormitory for teachers. The house was formally purchased in the late 1950s. The family made the house their permanent home, not just for them but also to those who were willing to learn. Leyte Institute Tunga would cease operation in the 1960s when the government-supported local high school opened.
The house has undergone several transformations over the decades but in 2017, sixty years after the founding of the school, it would revert back to its educational function as the FPVI Center.
FPVI exists to channel funds from the Filipino diaspora to the hometown and neighboring communities and by such means champion opportunities for young Filipinos.
FPVI underwrites opportunity where there was none; it acts for those impacted by poverty so that they regain a chance to live according to their potential; and it offers opportunity to donors who, in a like-minded way, believe in and wish to act in accordance with the tenets of social justice for all.
Jose Victor Peñaranda
Having been away for decades from the family home, family members thought of an effective way to re-enter Tunga and re-introduce ourselves to the townsfolk. We did this prior to the formal registration of the Foundation at the Securities and Exchange Commission by conducting a series of values transformation workshops in 2015 and 2016 with local government unit staff and with teachers and educators. This was to ensure we were aligned with the needs and aspirations of the LGU and the community.
We were supported in this work by the spirited enthusiasm and commitment of Jose Victor (Bimboy, to many) -- an indefatigable community development organizer, a tireless researcher-writer, a beloved poet and mystic, and a prime mover of the Theosophical Foundation in the Philippines -- with which we organized the values transformation workshops with. He didn’t live to see some of his work bear fruit in the children in FPVI’s care but he was introduced posthumously to them in the end-of-summer-program activity in 2018. As we enrich lives, we remember his contribution.