Kythe is a non-profit, non-stock organization aimed towards improving the quality of life among hospitalized children with cancer and other chronic illness.
We are a group of trained professionals providing the Child Life Services. As the only foundation in the Philippines offering the Kythe Child Life Services, we have provided psychosocial support to over 18,000 children with cancer and other chronic illness and their families since 1992.
Together with our hospital partners, donors and volunteers, we aim to promote healing and growth.
We aim to inspire hope.
Our Vision and Mission
- We are a pioneering team inspired by hope and a deep concern for children
- We collaborate with partners to address the fears of children by promoting a culture of care, that allows children to learn, play and grow through the Kythe Child Life Services.
Create a culture of caring.
Make hospitals a happier place for children
PAG-ASA. PAGBABAGO. KASIYAHAN
The Kythe Team
Ms. Malu Dy-Buncio
Ms. Malu Dy-Buncio is currently Mansmith and Fielders Inc.’s Chief Business Development Strategist, having previously served in Avon worldwide in a span of twenty years as Executive Director for Regional and Business Development in the Asia Pacific Regional Office, opening Avon Vietnam; General Manager of Avon Cosmetics, Inc. in the Philippines; President Director in Indonesia; and Business Development Manager at Avon Pacific (Regional Office) and Avon Products Manufacturing in the Philippines. She is an active management and business consultant for some of the country’s most prominent corporations. Ms. Malu completed a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts at Assumption College and the Business Management program at the Asian Institute of Management. She has been the recipient of a number of business and management awards throughout her career.
Mr. Thirdy Aquino
Mr. Aquino is a former President of Kythe-Ateneo, Kythe Inc.’s student arm. Having graduated from Ateneo de Manila University in 2010 with a Management Economics degree, he spent several years in San Miguel Beer’s Marketing department before moving to Jollibee Group Foundation as Program Officer and now with ABS-CBN as their Marketing Manager for Sports.
Mr. GJ Roño
Gj was the President in 2011 of Kythe-Ateneo, Kythe Inc.’s student arm. He’s currently the Senior Manager for Philippine Market Financial Planning and Non-Mindanao Supply Chain Finance for Del Monte Philippines Inc., where he has spent most of his career. He graduated Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics: Major in Mathematical Finance from Ateneo de Manila University in 2011.
Atty. Roy Enrico C. Santos
Atty. Rico Santos is a founding partner of PJS Law, an Instructor at the University of the East, and a former associate of Quisumbing Torres & Evangelista. He has served as counsel to a number of sectors and organizations, as a familiar in dealing with operational contracts and representation for government agencies and private institutions in energy and power generation; mining; labor; health; litigation; and others. Atty. Rico completed his Bachelor of Arts in the University of the East and Bachelor of Laws in the University of the Philippines, and is a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, the Philippine Bar Association, and the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center, Inc. He has participated in training programs conducted by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the Canadian Human Rights Foundation.
Dr. Kelly S. Salvador
Dr. Kelly Salvador is a practicing oncologist with clinics in Manila, San Juan and Pasay City, and is an active consultant at the Metropolitan Hospital, Chinese General Hospital and Perpetual Succor Hospital, as well as a visiting consultant at the Asian Hospital Medical Center and Perpetual Help Medical Center. He stood as Assistant Vice President of SM Investments Corporation, General Manager of the Springfield Breast Care Center, General Manager of the Hospice Philippines, Inc., and is an active member of the Philippine Cancer Society. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Zoology and a medical degree at the Far Eastern University and underwent internship and residency at the Metropolitan Hospital, subsequently receiving subspecialty training in oncology from the Clinica Universitaria de Navarra in Pamplona, Spain.
Ms. Icar Castro
Icar is the co-Founder of Kythe. She began her career as an educator and child play therapist, having graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and a Masters Degree in Counseling. She is now a seasoned Human Resources and Organizational Develepment Executive with over 2 decades of extensive corporate experience in the financial, telecom and insurance industries. She previously held Senior Regional HR positions in Citibank (Singapore), AIA Group Office (Hong Kong), and Manulife Financial Asia Ltd. (Hong Kong). She is currently a Senior OD Consultant of Management Strategies Asia. Icar is also a Registered Psychologist with the Professional Regulation Commission.
Ms. Rita Nisperos
Ms. Rita Nisperos is a Masters in Business Administration – Health graduate from the Ateneo Graduate School of Business, and a graduate of Bachelor of Arts, Major in Asian Studies, Cum Laude from De La Salle University. She brings thirty years of rich experience from the pharmaceutical and fast moving consumer goods industries. She spent most of her career at Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, largely in corporate strategy, marketing and sales. At Pfizer, she held positions of increasing responsibility, including Business Unit Lead for Philippines and Malaysia, Marketing Director, Business Operations and Trade Development Director. At Pfizer, she held various local and regional marketing positions, including Regional Franchise Director, Skincare for Asia Pacific.
Ms. Ana Bobadilla
Ana currently holds key roles for major women organizations in the Philippines, namely: Women’s Business Council (WomenBizPH); The Philippine Women’s Economic Network (PHILWEN); ASEAN Women Entrepreneur’s Network (AWEN) and the recently-organized Philippine Business Coalition for Women Empowerment (PBCWE). In recent years, she has been actively supporting major women-led projects in the Philippines. Ana has over 12 years of excellent event and project management experience in managing events for corporate, consumer, and government and NGO projects in the Philippines. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Consular and Diplomatic Affairs and a Diploma course in Event Management from De La Salle University – College of Saint Benilde in Manila. A very proud supporter of Kythe Foundation, Inc. since her days in EON.
Maria Fatima “Girlie” Garcia-Lorenzo, MA CCLS
The co-founder of Kythe Inc. and a Certified Child Life Specialist by the Child Life Council, Ate Girlie completed her Child Life internships at the University of California San Francisco Hospital. She is a Registered Child and Family Psychologist and holds experience in Human Resources, Organizational Diagnosis and Counseling, and conducts training seminars and research studies on Team Building, Leadership Training, and Strategic Planning. She finished her graduate studies on Child and Family Psychology at the Ateneo de Manila University.
Angelita Sievert-Fernandez, Ph.D.
Kythe Child Life Program Manager
Dr. Angie is a Registered Psychologist, a Certified Specialist in Counseling and Developmental Psychology by the Psychological Association of the Philippines and a Certified Child Life Specialist by the Child Life Council, USA. She is an advocate for developmentally appropriate practices and intervention strategies for children and promotes play therapy as a therapeutic method in assisting children in coping with socio-emotional stressors they encounter. Dr. Angie completed an Intensive Training and Supervision course at The Center for Play Therapy at the University of North Texas (USA) in July 2016 and obtained a Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills from the Play Therapy International (UK) in 2011. Dr. Angie holds private practice at the Pain Clinics of St. Luke’s Medical Center, Global City, Taguig and Manila Doctors Hospital. She is, likewise, a consultant at The Medical City in Ortigas, specifically providing child life services to pediatric patients. Dr. Angie finished her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of San Carlos, cum laude; her Masters in Family Life and Child Development at the University of the Philippines-Diliman and her Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling Psychology at the De La Salle University. She has published studies, among others, on the value of a hospital-based psychosocial program for chronically ill children.
Nina Nerissa Sumpaico-Jose, MA MFLCD, CCLS
Kythe Child Life Program Deputy Manager
Ate Ninin has built her experience in Kythe as former Child Life Coordinator in the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City and as the President of Kythe Inc.’s student arm, Kythe-Ateneo. She graduated from Ateneo de Manila University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and completed her Masters in Family Life and Child Development at the University of the Philippines-Diliman. She is a Certified Child Life Specialist by the Association of Child Life Professionals, a US-based organization that advances the field of child life worldwide.
Karen Rose D. Rivera, RN
Partner Relations Manager
Ate Kai’s background in marketing, banking, and healthcare extends to work experience in Banco de Oro Unibank, Caritas Manila, Philippine Business for Social Progress and the Asian Social Institute, as well as training from the Philippine Red Cross and St. Vincent Hospital, Marikina City. She finished a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of the Philippines, where she has also gained Masters of Business Administration units, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from World Citi Colleges.
Gracelyn E. Borja
Admin and Finance Manager
Ate Gracelyn graduated from NCBA Fairview with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accountancy. She then passed her licensure exam last May 2013. Since then, she started gaining experience in accounting and auditing thru Business Solutions and Outsourcing Inc. for 5 years handling different type of business industries including retail, restaurants, branch corporations, search engine companies, NGOs etc.
Ma. Victoria Balbido-Aguilar
Finance and Administrative Officer
Ate Bec holds 18 years of experience in treasury and accounting for the pharmaceutical, trading, and land development industries. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in Accounting from Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila.
Rhenzel Aivy A. Fausto
Communications and Data Protection Officer
Ate Aivy graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science degree, major in Laboratory Technology from Technological University of the Philippines, Manila. Surviving her illness with the help of Kythe led her to be part of the Foundation. She is under the Communications Department and is assigned to handle Kythe’s social media and website platform. She also oversees the data privacy and data protection policies to ensure the operationalization of those policies through all organizational units and makes sure that the profile of Kythe’s beneficiaries remains confidential.
Larissa D. Castro, RN
Family Support Program Assistant
Ate Chay’s non-government organization experience includes involvement at Australian Aid. She graduated from Our Lady of Fatima University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and trained at the Philippine National Red Cross.
Carolyn T. Tongco, REACE
Ate Carol’s passion is to use expressive arts, mindfulness practice, storytelling, and life coaching to connect, empower and bring healing to individuals, groups and communities. This is why she prefers to be called a “heartist.” She loves art and helping others.
She’s a Certified Expressive Arts Coach and a Certified Focusing-Oriented Expressive Arts Therapy (FOAT®) Facilitator. She is currently a Registered Expressive Arts Counselor and Educator (REACE) member of International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA), where she was selected as one of the presenters in 11th IEATA Conference in Hong Kong. She’s also a member of Philippine Association for Child and Play Therapy (PhilPlay). She finished Cum Laude with the degree Bachelor of Fine Arts in Advertising Arts from University of Santo Tomas, Manila.
She also enjoys painting murals in pediatric wards with Kythe Foundation to make hospitals a happy healing place for sick children.
Shalom Rea V. Bernales
Perpetual Succour Hospital – Cebu Cancer Institute
Child Life Officer (Visayas and Mindanao Hospitals)
Prior to her involvement in the Cebu Cancer Institute, Ate Shao worked in Telecare Global Solutions, Inc. as Customer Representative, and the Eduardo J. Aboitiz Cancer Center in the Vicente Sotto MemorialMedical Center Compound as Registry Assistant and Program Officer. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Master of Science in Biology units from the University of San Carlos.
Maria Hessa Egot
Perpetual Succour Hospital – Cebu Cancer Institute
Child Life Coordinator
Hessa is a registered Pyschometrician. She earned her degree in Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of San Jose-Recoletos and is currently taking her Masters in Clinical Psychology at the University of San Carlos. She’s also been involved in volunteering activities with different organizations.
April Anne Mangurnong, RND
Tarlac Provincial Hospital
Child Life Coordinator
A registered nutritionist-dietitian, Ate April’s work experience includes lunch counter management at the Manila High School, caregiving, and standing as Medical Representative for AREX Health Corporation. She has done training in Food Services Administration for Max’s and participated in Community Nutrition Practicum held by the Manila City Health Department. She graduated from the Philippine Normal University with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics.
Maryan I. Sanchez, RM, MPA
National Children’s Hospital
Child Life Coordinator
Ate Maryan is a registered midwife and a graduate of both the Masters program in Public Administration and Bachelor of Science in Psychology program from Trinity University of Asia.
Aida Calagui, RM
Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Center
Child Life Coordinator
Ate Aida is a graduate of St. Catherine’s College and a registered midwife. Serving Kythe since 1999, she has been lauded for her service in the hospital with awards from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Department of National Defense.
Amalia De Jesus
Philippine Children’s Medical Center
Child Life Coordinator
Ate Mye has extensive years of experience in sales, advertising, public relations, and marketing gained from positions held in diverse industries including transportation, media agency, and publishing among others. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila. Prior to joining Kythe, she held a senior post in Philippine Daily Inquirer. Her passion for children led her to Kythe.
John Gibbs V. Dacara, RSW
Quirino Memorial Medical Center
Child Life Coordinator
Kuya Gibbs is the Child Life Coordinator in Quirino Memorial Medical Center and is Kythe’s Registered Social Worker. He graduated BS in Social Work from Rizal Technological University. He volunteers to various organizations which promotes children’s rights.
Philippine Orthopedic Center
Child Life Coordinator
Kuya Charm is the Child Life Coordinator in Philippine Orthopedic Center. Charm has shown, that despite his disability, he is able to motivate pediatric patients and provide hope. After surviving cancer, Kuya Charm studied a short course at ALS (Alternative Learning System) a parallel learning system in the Philippines that provides a practical option to the existing formal instruction.
Ranzel C. Posillo
Kuya Ranzel has had 10 years working experience at Greenwich Corporation as part of the service crew and at Careworx Services, as part of their pool of employees. Ranzel assists the Kythe Finance Officer and is responsible for maintaining order and cleanliness at the Kythe office.
- Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
- Hospice Philippines
- International Child Life Council
- Philippine Alliance of Patient Organizations (PAPO)
- Philippine Council for NGO Certification (PCNC)
- Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
- Association of Foundations (AF)
- Child Life United
- Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)
- Childhood Cancer International (CCI)
- Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Center
- National Children’s Hospital
- Perpetual Succour Hospital – Cebu Cancer Institute
- Philippine Children’s Medical Center
- Philippine Orthopedic Center
- Quirino Memorial Medical Center
- Southern Philippines Medical Center
- Tarlac Provincial Hospital
Our Partners and Donors
Kythe’s Milestones through the Years
In 1992, Icar Castro and Maria Fatima “Girlie” Garcia-Lorenzo were Masters in Psychology students at the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City, Philippines. It was through their coursework that they had their first interactions with pediatric cancer patients.
Kythe was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission as a non-stock, non-profit corporation.
Child Life Program
Kythe established its psycho-social activities as the Kythe Child Life Program.
The Kythe Child Life Program expanded its services to other departments in East Avenue Medical Center in Quezon City, Philippines to reach out to all confined pediatric patients.
Maria Fatima “Girlie” Garcia-Lorenzo completed her Child Life internships in University of California San Francisco Hospital while Allan Cabisaga (Kythe’s first Child Life Coordinator) finished his internships in New Children Hospital (Westmead) and Sydney Children’s Hospital in Australia.
Maria Fatima “Girlie” Garcia-Lorenzo passed the exam and became one of the first certified Child Life Specialists in the Philippines.
Kythe moved out of East Avenue Medical Center and expanded its partnership with 8 hospitals providing psycho-social services to more pediatric patients across the Philippines.
Expanding to Private Hospitals
Asian Hospital launches the Kythe Child Program. Asian Hospital is the only private hospital in the Philippines which has a hospital-wide Child Life Program and monitored by Kythe Certified Specialists.