Cat Arambulo-Antonio’s CAS Cares Is The Inspiration We All Need

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Cat Arambulo-Antonio introduces CAS Cares, and it’s all about giving what you can in your own special way

A turbulent start to ECQ was the driving force that boosted relief efforts for Cat Arambulo-Antonio. Instead of wallowing in self-loathing, she buried herself in work, looking for different ways to help those in need of support. What started as a small gesture of kindness catapulted into a full blown operation, and nearing the end of 2020, it was given a name — CAS Cares.

“My mistake made me realize that when you hurt another person, your “intentions” don’t matter. And since I know from experience how awful it feels to live knowing that I hurt or offended another person, I’ve made it my life mission to make others feel special. It’s really important to me that my intentions reflect my actions and words,” Cat shares.

Cat Arambulo Studio (CAS) is a passion project that Cat launched in September 2019. It’s a brand and a narrative told through Cat’s various pursuits and passions that captures an ethos for nurturing positivity, embracing wellness, and finding happiness from within. Little did Cat know that within a year’s time, it would birth an extension that would amplify her vision, fulfilling its true purpose, and making it “whole.”

Giving back with CAS Cares

It starts with your community

At the beginning of the pandemic, Cat took it upon herself to lend a hand to individuals she saw on a regular basis. “I talked to people who were less fortunate, the ones I knew personally. My ice cream vendor or the taho man, and I started there. I began putting boxes together for those in my community, sending them goods because I knew they couldn’t work,” she explains casually.

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Distributing care packs to the healthcare workers

She shares details of how it all started, saying, “All my work during the pandemic, since March 2020 were funded by me, and I asked favors from Joanne Co of Waltermart, Michelle Gumabao & Aldo Panlilo of @your200pesos, and SV More Pharmaceuticals to distribute all the care packages that I needed to send out.”  

Since it was important for her to remain at home, she looked to others who were willing to help to reach those in need. Beneficiaries varied from construction workers, stranded students, jeepney drivers, frontliners, and OFWs just to name a few. Cars filled with goods would be deployed throughout the day, making sure the donations would reach their intended recipients.

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Asher and Alana love packing relief goods with their mom

Operations took on a life of its own

Throughout lockdown, Cat was consumed by her need to help others. Realising that she had so much to give, she was dedicated to keep her missions going. By the time Typhoon Ulysses devastated parts of the country, she was adamant in doing even more. She reached out to her followers, one of the few times she jumped back online, and asked if there was anyone willing to deliver goods.

To her surprise, the response was overwhelming. Messages poured in from loyal followers eager to help out, and one in particular stood out. Cat began working with Mikaela Mendoza, and what started as a simple favor turned into multiple missions. A serendipitous collaboration turned into a fruitful partnership, and CAS Cares was officially (but quietly) launched. 

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Here is Mikaela Mendoza, Cat’s partner-in-crime, distributing gifts personally wrapped by Cat to kids in Marikina

As word got out, more and more people wrote to Cat asking about sending in donations. Both in cash and in kind, they looked for ways to manage. Cash donations were diverted to a non-organization, founded by her daughter, Danielle Antonio, which was or @ako.orgph.

Major companies and close friends donated in kind, and now CAS Cares is in constant collaboration with Drs. Z and Aivee Teo of The Aivee Group, Kaayo by Marga Nograles, Corner Pantry by Cara de Ocampo, SV More Pharmaceuticals, WalterMart, @Your200Pesos by Michelle Gumabao and Aldo Panlilio, Grateful Tuesdays by Pinky Tobiano, and her fairy godmother, Nadia Uttamchandani. Together, they do what they can to help their communities.

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This amazing turnout would not have been made possible without the help of other generous donors

CAS Cares is in this for the long run

The vision is inspiring, as Cat explains, “I’m committed and determined to dedicate my life to this. Every sale from Cat Arambulo Studio, my projects, investments and other sources of income — a percentage will be set aside to fund my missions. I will continue to do outreaches and send care packages to those in need.” She adds, “My goal is to eventually figure out a way to have my own scholars.”

Cat is also working on creating products for CAS where 100% of the proceeds will be dedicated to CAS Cares.

For Cat’s 40th birthday, she gave away 400 loot bags and shopped from local sari-sari stores

Even the smallest deed goes a long way

With some newfound perspective, Cat shares, “I got stuck in that materialistic world, and it’s a vicious cycle — wanting more, needing more. For what? This is all I need. I don’t really need much to make me happy. This is what I needed to do for Cat Arambulo Studio, this is why it exists, and this is what I needed to go through for me to realize that. I can keep giving and still be happy and still be fantastic the way I am.”

The support of Cat’s husband and kids is the secret behind the success of CAS Cares

If you want to get involved with the mission of CAS Cares, please contact @catarambulo or @catarambulostudiocares on Instagram and find out how. You can be assured that your donations, whether cash or in kind, will be fully accounted for and documented. 

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