Rayla Melchor Santos with Angie Conti-Martinez

Rayla Melchor Santos with ANGIE CONTI-MARTINEZ, Owner & CEO of Conti’s,
The 1st SAM L.E.A.P.S. (Love and Embrace A/All Public Schools) STAR Awardee


One fine early night, over two years ago, I went walking around my neighborhood and I literally met an angel, Angela Martinez, on the street where we both live. She had a very warm and sweet smile, and was quite friendly. We exchanged numbers and eventually emails.  I shared my passion which is the foundation and I got to know and was thrilled to meet one of the persons behind a favorite of mine and many, Conti’s Bakeshop and Restaurant!


Angie responded to one of my emails which was an invitation to the first ever I AM S.A.M. Foundation Educators Forum in San Beda College Alabang on July 14, 2012. She came at the very end and was met by a trove of 450 happiest educators from the public schools of Muntinlupa on their way out after a fun, significant and meaningful day. I hurriedly introduced her and her son, Gabriel to Mom, the founder of  I AM SAM.


THEN, ….  ANGIE GOT INVOLVED! She became one of the judges in the finals of the Build-up Activities in the celebration of the 21st National Children’s Month in October 2013. With the biggest of hearts, she provided the snacks and water for the 800 attendees during SAM WALK and the Awarding Ceremony last November 21, 2013.  Having paid forward, I wholeheartedly accepted to give an inspirational talk using the I AM SAM PEP (Prevent-to-Empower Protocol) during her company’s annual team building  workshop for top management and part of middle management in Tagaytay last May 5, 2014. The Conti’s gift certificates have become a part of our celebrations during the  Extra Special Partners (Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao) monthly meetings and get-togethers! Angie also has dropped in and graced activities like the Special Mother’s Day Treat for the ESP Team with her children and their friends in tow for much moral support! And again, this year, on November 29 for SAM WALK and the Awarding Ceremony in celebration of the 22nd National Children’s Month and 25th Anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN CRC), Conti’s provided snacks and water for the 1,100+ children and other stakeholders of the 28 public schools of Muntinlupa! Oh, I almost forgot! Angie texts or we/I text her when we need something and yes, on two occasions, we did need to feed 100 HS students each, from Pedro E Diaz HS and Muntinlupa Science HS! Lo and behold, an answered prayer, she texted back that she would share her grocery money. We had juice and snacks and she had her cook make delicious fried chicken which the students so appreciated and devoured with much gusto!


​It is no wonder that ANGELA “Angie” CONTI- MARTINEZ is the 1st I AM SAM L.E.A.P.S (Love and Embrace A/ All Public Schools) STAR Awardee. I choked as I read to her and to all, the Certificate of Appreciation and Recognition. It reads:


Is lovingly and proudly presented to
For taking the Leap of Faith and Focus with us
to Love and Embrace All Public Schools
in the School District of Muntinlupa


and for knowing and in knowing, doing …….
For “to whom much is given, much will be required and demanded,
more will be asked of him to whom more has been entrusted”. (Luke 12:48)


You are a Shaker And Mover! You are a S.T.A.R (Someone To Admire and Recognize) !


NOT THE LEAST,  Angie is one of my prayer warriors who I text unashamedly with general and specific prayer requests. I wear a ring she gave me from her recent spiritual pilgrimage as a symbol to stay courageous and focused on Him.  We have been blessed to spend quality time together.  On Angie’s initiative despite her horrendous schedule where every minute counts,  it has been either an afternoon tea or a brief but wonder-full lunch on Saturdays! Such special, unique and precious moments for two friends in our respective and parallel journeys with one heart.


Angie lives up to her name! She is heaven sent! Though, Mom did not live long enough to get to know Angie more, I am certain she smiles from Heaven knowing and comforted that yes, I have an angel on earth in the person of Angie who loves and embraces the foundation she founded ……  and a sister I never had!