Joven and Anita Antolin from Canada founded Strong Roots Ministry in 2009. It is a registered non-profit entity in the Philippines. A great deal has been accomplished since they started. With the intention of generating enough income to provide for their family as well as fund the ministry for years to come, Joven and Anita have built the first two stages of a guesthouse and officially opened for business January 2015.
Joven and Anita have a vision to raise up a generation of educated, Godly Filipinos who contribute positively to society and are equipped to pull themselves and their families out of poverty. They are transforming people and Yapak spiritually, economically and socially by being involved in the local school with sponsorship, sports and a feeding program, as well as a variety of other community outreach activities. They planted a church that is thriving with young people and have established a community garden and a mobile library program.
There are still many needs in this small community. Things have changed a great deal in the past decade, with the once-quiet island now visited by 1.5 million tourists per year. Resort upon resort now line White Beach, and the cost of living is increasing while local people are struggling to fit in to a smaller and smaller amount of available land. The people of Boracay are not able to benefit from the economic boom, as they lack education, especially English language skills.
Strong Roots' guest house near Ilig-Iligan beach employs only local people, and source their materials from local shops and businesses wherever possible. With the addition of a small restaurant on the premesis, they also source food locally.