Diether Ocampo empathizes with starving kids in Mindanao, says he often experienced hunger as a child.

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Diether Ocampo has volunteered to help the World Hunger Programme raise funds for starving children in Mindanao. "Ang lagi ko ngang sinasabi, na-experience ko ito [hunger]. Hindi mo pwedeng kalimutan 'yon, e. I think there's a very special reason kung bakit ako napunta dito at natutuwa ako na na-realize ko 'yon hangga't maaga," he said.


Although he was not feeling well, Diether Ocampo attended the launch of the Christmas postcards of the World Food Programme held this Sunday, November 28, at Pizza Hut at SM Megamall.


He told PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and other members of the media, about his experience with hunger as a young child.

"It came to a point, may dala akong kaldero tapos pupunta ako sa bahay ng lola ko o kaya sa tita ko para humingi ng ulam at kanin. I was probably eight or nine years old.


"Dati, dalawang beses lang kami kumakain [sa isang araw] at hati-hati pa kami ng mga siblings ko."

Diether said this was when he and his family were living in Cavite. "Sa slum area, puro rice fields, e," he said.

"Now, I see kids who have one or two meals a day [instead of three] sa isang araw."

He says the government should address the basic needs of children in addition to providing formal education.

"Kahit papasukin mo sa eskwela pero kung ang bata 'pag gutom, hindi makakaisip ng tama. Just imagine, kahit yung mga nanay na buntis, kung gutom sila, apektado rin ang bata. It's a chain reaction."



CHRISTMAS POSTCARDS FOR CHARITY. Diether has been helping the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) for the past 10 years.

This year, he is helping the WFP, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell launch the fourth annual World Hunger Relief campaign in the Philippines.

Over 160 restaurants in the Philippines will raise funds for WFP's Emergency School Feeding programme, which aims to provide nutritious meals in school.

They will focus on children affected by armed conflict in Mindanao.

Customers who donate P40 will receive a Christmas postcard autographed by Diether. The proceeds will go to the World Food Programme.

The Christmas postcards are available at Pizza Hut and Taco Bell stores.

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Diether is also asking people to become aware of the need for more educational resources.

"We are helping a lot of kids in the Mindanao area. Sa katunayan, isa sa mga kaibigan natin diyan, si Armand Nocum, nagpatayo ng library para sa mga Christians at Muslim. Ang tawag namin diyan, 'Chris-lim.'

"Na-realize namin na pag tumutulong tayo, hindi naman dapat magkaroon ng discrimination o ma-limit ang pagtulong natin," he said.



FELLOW ARTISTS CAN HELP. Diether said that he has spoken to KC Concepcion, World Food Programme Ambassador Against Hunger, about his outreach programs in Mindanao.

"I told her about how we disseminated school supplies in Cotabato, Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat — naikot naming lahat 'yan. Siya rin napuntahan na niya 'yun.

"Maganda kasi mayroon ka ring mga kasamahan sa industriya na nakaka-relate sa ginagawa n'yo pareho," he said.

"I'm sure na marami rin ang gustong tumulong sa Star Magic. I think sina Piolo [Pascual], they have their own advocacy."

NO COMMENT. Is his involvement in charity projects a way of keeping himself busy? He is, after all, still a bachelor.

"Hindi naman. Alam mo, naging bahagi rin sila (referring to his former girlfriends) nito at na-experience na nila itong 'immersion.'

"Naintindihan naman nila ang ginagawa ko at sila mismo, na-realize nila na kaya rin nila itong gawin at marami silang natutulungang mga bata," he said.



When they were still a couple last year, Rima Ostwani accompanied Diether in distributing food to 1,500 kids in a resettlement area in San Fernando, Pampanga.

(CLICK HERE to view related gallery)


Diether, however, refused to comment when asked about the upcoming wedding of another former girlfriend Kristine Hermosa to Oyo Sotto.

Instead, he appealed to the public to support the Christmas postcards of the World Food Programme.

"For P40, marami na kayong mapapakain na mga bata sa Mindanao. Imagine, four to five kids ang mapapakain mo! And what's P40? Parang barya na lang 'yan sa ibang tao."

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As for his Christmas plans, Diether said he will be busy promoting two films that will premiere this December.

One is the horror film Dalaw where he is paired with Kris Aquino, while the other is an indie film titled Slow Fade, where he depicts a person dying of cancer.


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