Friday, August 31, 2007

time of darkness

May the light of justice shine in this time of darkness. We are truly sad. Justice for Cris!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

playdate finger painting

Last Monday was a holiday and we were able to get together for a send off play date with my inaanak Buhay Banahaw son of Abi and Earl. They left the other day for New Jersey.

Here are some of the photos while the kids are having fun with the Nemo bubble machine and finger painting. The "paint" was home made by Nina. She used flour, food coloring and purified water to come up with the finger paints. There are no toxic materials used and safe for babies to play with.


Happy Birthday Tatay!

Tatay Amats, we thank God for you! We love you!

The measure of one's maturity is not ones age but how one deals with the challenges of life. You are very much beyond your years Tatay.

Youth Camp part 3

Danica holding a picture of a Dugong (sea cow) an endangered species which can be found in Palawan and Mindanao sea grass areas. When asked if they know Dugong, some said yes, asked where did they saw a dugong? "Sa marina po!" not at the pier but the old primetime series on tv "Marina". I learned alot from these kids as well. During the web of life exercise, we discussed about the relationship of mushrooms or "kabute" with the rain sa "ulan", one of the kids said, you can only harvest mushrooms after a rainshower with thunder. Asked why he knows this, Rodolfo told us that he helps his father gather mushrooms before, and they do it after the rain the next morning. We were inspired by the practical knowledge of these kids.

Later I asked tatay if he knows about it, he said "Remember in science class about nitrogen fixing bacteria"?

When asked what is the relationship of fish and the sun. "Pag nainitan po yung isda magiging daing!" hahahaha which is so true!

Maraming salamat sa Starbucks for sponsoring the food and miryenda for the youth camp. Salamat din sa Julie's na hindi papahuli sa sarap din ng kanilang mga padalang pagkain. Thank you so much. I've never tasted these pastries from Starbucks. After the kids had their fill, I wrapped a waffle for tatay. I was a bit sad that I wasn't able to share this day with him.
At the end of the day, Lakay volunteers, Lingkod servants and happy kids went home.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Youth Camp part 2

Meet the participants. These are indigent children are from the SIGLA Foundation. Part of Lingkod Alabang's community service, they helped sponsor and organized this outreach activity. These kids live in the smallest "barong-barong" in the south of Manila. These kids rarely have an opportunity to go on field trips or organized camps. I was really glad to see the genuine smiles on those faces. The way they enjoyed the games and ran around the trees. Their joy shined through and through even in the gloomy weather.

I honor those who have volunteered their time, energy, finances and service to help make this kids happy even for a day.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Youth Camp part I

Our dive monitoring schedule for the weekend was cancelled. But I feel great that I am able to join my mountaineer group UP Lakay Kalikasan in this year's Youth Camp!

Yesterday, friends old and new, together with other volunteers and servants trooped to Mt Makiling for the one day's activity in cooperation with Lingkod Alabang as co-organizers and Starbucks and Julie's as food sponsors for the event.

This is my first environmental education youth camp that is conducted only for one day. The previous 3 camps I helped organize in Palawan and Batangas were usually 3 to 4 days. All of them previously were coastal communities.

I was really excited to go back to my old campus at UPLB at the Jamboree site where we conducted the activity. Here, I would like to share some of beautiful images of the venue of the Youth Camp.

I feel so rejuvenated and blessed to be able to volunteer! I'll be sharing more about the kids and activities in the coming post!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Bridge over Loboc River

This is the first time that I visited this hanging bridge over Loboc river. The river is as green as the trees which means it hasn't rained in the past few days. My earlier visits to this river the color of the water was always brown.

I didn't cross the bridge because I think I have a mild acrophobia. Yes, in the past I've crossed several hanging bridges specially those in Nueva Vizcaya but still sometimes it hits me.

What I did was to explore the riverbank where I found a farmer filling gray gallon containers of water. I also saw a carabao taking a bath at the other side of the riverbank.

When my friends got back from the other side they brought me a buko juice.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Dumaluan Beach, Bohol

Dumaluan beach is located in the island of Panglao, Bohol. Last week, I was there for a mentoring workshop session. These pictures were taken on the public beach of Dumaluan. It was the exact description from Karen Capenter's...not a cloud in the sky, got the sun in my eyes. The sun and sea was beautiful! The sand as fine and soft as that of Boracay or maybe even better. This particular coastline is not as crowded as that of Bora or even Alona beach which is a few kilometers away in another barangay.

Imagine us on the eve of Aug 7th preparing our things and doing last minute prep work, it was raining cats and dogs in Quezon City. Shoes and clothes were soaked in the rains that hit Manila while doing last minute errands. I was a bit worried the night before. Our flight was at 6:50am August 8that the domestic airport. We were up by 4:00am. We took Cebu Pacific and our flight was delayed by an hour. Other flights were delayed or canceled like those by Asian Spirit to Busuanga. One cannot see through the rain as we grabbed the green umbrellas while we try to board the plane almost at 8:00am. The plane ride was not bumpy. After less than an hour we arrive at Tagbilaran City.

Lo and behold, the sun was shining!!! We had to shed off our fleece. It was such a blessing to be there at that time.

Two days after we arrived, we heard the news about typhoon Chedeng, the floods and school classed being canceled in the metro. Our partners in Bohol said, it is always like that in Bohol. When it is raining in Manila, chances are it is hot and humid in Bohol.

This is my 3rd visit to Bohol. My first was mid-1990's, circa 1993, then 2003 and this recent trip. Each trip was unique and memorable and I will be sharing the "then and now" as I blog about them in my future post. This is the first time I am visiting it with family. Indeed it is a joy to be able to spend time with them.

Will be posting more about this trip soon!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

a universal moral law

A week or two ago, I was struck by a message from an ancient story. I think it was a Sunday in Claret IHMP that I was listening to the story of the good Samaritan. Amazed again at the power of a story which is not new. It distinctly pointed out the differences of the people involved as its core message. The power of the message doesn't seem to fade with the constant re-telling of the story. At the time that I was listening, I didn't realize how relevant it is indeed in the present. Yesterday, I was compelled to look up the historical context in which it was set. And I found this at Wikipedia.

It is important to note that Samaritans were despised by the story's target audience, the Jews. The Samaritans were also largely taught by their interpretation of history to hate Jews.[1] Thus the parable, as told originally, had a significant theme of non-discrimination and interracial harmony. The message's essential point is that humanity's bonds in brotherhood transcend social and cognitive segmentations which we adopt in our lives.

Thus cast appropriately, the parable regains its socially explosive message to modern listeners: namely, that an individual of a social group they disapprove of can exhibit moral behaviour that is superior to individuals of the groups they approve; it also means that not sharing the same faith is no excuse to behave poorly, as there is a universal moral law. Many Christians have used it as an example of Christianity against racial prejudice.
Luke 10:25-37 (New International Version)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

its raining lets wear our pink boots

Last Sunday, after a long while, we had our playdate again. This time to celebrate Nina's birthday. It has been raining in the afternoon the past weeks. Also everyone is busy on many fronts. It was good to go back to UP again and have a play date. Syempre with lots of food. We arrived a bit late as Isay woke up past 3 pm from her nap.

It rained right after we got at the back of Quezon Hall. Thus the picture above of Hannah spinning her toys around. I love this picture of her in her pink rain boots and the umbrellas beside her. It was a bit gloomy day but it was bright in way because you are spending time with good friends.
Iba rin ang ganda ng grass kung umuulan. Ang presko ng pakiramdam. Happy Birthday Nina.