BAHAYnihan at Camarines Norte 121716

After a month of rest on out-of-town trips due to unstable weather and heavy workloads, both on school and on our online business, we are now down to our last travel this 2016. This was so far the best of all our first this year, a result of a beautiful impulsive decision indeed.

We had prior plans before this, such as: an overnight at Cagbalete Island or Puerto Galera, but when Coldplay announced their official concert here in the Philippines, all my plans messed up. I had been torn between spending my money for a vacation or buying even the cheapest ticket for that concert (the xylobands argghh). I already convinced Beb about it, he agreed and tried to buy a two for us, but unfortunately all tickets are sold. Nothing left for us.  So due to my frustration to that, on the same day, I searched for an outreach activity. I told myself that if I will be able to find one that will fit on our December schedule then we’ll go for it. And just after minutes of searching on Facebook, viola! I found one posted by Ms. Lorraine Ortiz so I messaged her immediately. The event cost the same as the Coldplay GA ticket and the schedule is just so right on our planned travel date. What a coincidence! I just realized maybe it was really meant to be spent on a much purposeful way.

So that’s how we met Ulayaw Ahon, Ms. Lorraine’s mountaineering group. It was actually their first outreach activity after a year their group was established. Our beneficiaries are the Kabihug tribe and the students of Osmeña Elementary School at Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte.

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Days before the event, we are all aware that the weather is not good, rains are continuously pouring from day to night. But that didn’t stop the group from pushing the event. December 16, Friday, I just left my bags at home from school then get my another bag intended for the trip. The group met at KFC Telus then after some hours of waiting for the other members, we headed to Camarines Norte. It was a long rainy 9-hour trip because of some stop-overs, which I don’t mind because I just enjoyed sleeping on long drives/ trips. Good thing is there were representatives from the group that was already there a night before to organize and coordinate with the officials of the community.

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How roads and some bridges along our journey looks like. We are also informed ahead of time that we will be encountering some landslides due to non-stop raining a day before the event. But none of it stopped the team in delivering blessing to the community. 
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The Osmeña Elementary School

When we came, we immediately transferred all the loads of reliefs packages, school supplies, foods and other stuff from the van up to the classrooms. The locals, especially the kids are all excited as they saw all the packages that will be given to all of them. It was so heartwarming to see how enthusiastic they are while helping us in carrying the boxes of goods, not minding its weight (while we, the adults felt exhausted and grasping with air already after lifting a box of mineral water).

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Gift packs for the kids
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Ms. Indira busy with the balloons together with some of the children.

After all the goods are transferred on the classrooms, we had a short group briefing before the program started, then breakfast and last minute task assignments and reminders. I was assigned at the feeding program, while Beb is on the repacking of supplies, other tasks was for the program proper, the logistics, and the kitchen. It wasn’t as easy as I imagined, from the preparation and repacking of the goods and school supplies itself, cooking of food and up to the distribution of it to the students, parents of Osmeña Elementary School and to the Kabihug tribe, which was the main beneficiary of this event.

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During the program while the kids and their parents are enjoying the games and rafflest.
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Genuine Happiness 
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Mr. Brian, Rapha and Ms. Lorraine with the kids holding their school supplies. 

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The demography in this school is divided into two, the locals called them “Unat” or the straighthaired and the “Kulot” which was the native Kabihug tribe who resides on a mountain near the school. The Ulayaw Ahon group discovered this community of Aetas is Camarines Norte through Kara David’s Documentary on iWitness.

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After the dinner, kids and adults are separated in the classrooms.
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Kids are grouped on a classroom with toys and snacks, while the parents are on a classroom with groceries and clothes. 
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They lined up and given the opportunity to choose and pick the toy and snack they want. 
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Finally a stuffed toy for him! Even though I wasn’t able to give one for them, I already felt how happy and proud the person to whom where it came from. 
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No need for words, just their eyes and emotions is enough to see how thankful and happy they are for all these blessings.
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This girl caught our (Me and Beb) attention, I wasn’t able to get her name because she is too shy to talk but we just stayed on her side and played with her.
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She enjoyed the talking Angry Bird stuff toys. I was just captivated by her beauty. The innocence, the long lashes and simplicity. It was just so good and new for us. Almost all the Kabihug kids has these characteristics.
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With the teachers of Osmeña Elementary School. (Credits to Ulayaw Ahon)

The whole program ended at almost 6pm so after returning some stuff from the classroom to the van, we immediately proceeded to the resort where we stayed overnight.

It took us more than an hour before we found the Pag-Asa Beach, which was supposed to be just 15-minute trip due to some detours (or whatever it is) since it was already and really dark along the way.  I just thanked God that day because we are able to arrived at the beach safe after some sort of Wrong-turn-or-horror-road-stories kind of trip.

It was a high tide and the weather was not good that night, we have our own tent but it didn’t cooperate when the rain came so we have no choice but to sleep on the van the whole night. Another first for me, but I much prefer it rather than getting wet on our tent.

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The shore. It was messy due to trash coming from the other side of the beach being carried by the big waves. 
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After having our breakfast and wash ups, we head back to our van and prepared for another long trip way back home.
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The Municipality of Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte

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Their church which was currently celebrating its 350th year.
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Inside of the church.

It felt good that we are also able to visit one of their churches, at least we had the chance to pray for our safety and thank Him for the guidance and success of this event. Of course, none of this will be possible without His providence.

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To the whole Ulayaw Ahon team, again thank you for this wonderful experience. Words can’t describe how glad we are to be part of your first BAHAYnihan Activity. We enjoyed your company a lot and we saw how dedicated you are in this passion, it was a great pleasure to be surrounded by kind-hearted and fun people like you in this kind activity. Kudos and more powers to your group! (c) Ulayaw Ahon
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And of course, to Beb, Belated Happy Birthday! Hope you enjoyed this different kind of celebration, I actually don’t need to ask if you really enjoyed it because it was pretty obvious all through out the day with the kids. I know, when we first met, how you really wanted to help the street children, old and abandoned people but you don’t know how to start, so I guess, this was a nice beginning right? 
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God knows how I fell in love with you more the time I saw how genuinely and passionately happy you are in helping and touching the lives of those who need it. Others may not know it since you’re really an introvert and not expressive about it.  Thank you for showing me the simplicity of life through having less and giving more. I know God will give us more opportunities to extend our blessings to others. I love you from the deepest part of my heart! ❤ 
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