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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.