Roadtrip to Bataan

I love roadtrips! I can’t remember how many times I drove from Manila to Bataan, either with family, friends or by myself. Going to Bataan I usually take the route of San Fernando exit but going home I usually take SCTEX. I love driving to SCTEX during late afternoon, I don’t know why.

We had a yearly visit to Bataan every January when Tita Rita came for a visit from the US. She usually visit her old classmates and friends and of course our remaining relatives living there. We always stay in Montemar Beach Club. It is the only decent semi-private resort in Bagac, Bataan. Years ago, this is open for members only until they decided to open this to the public.

        

        

        

During our visit to Bataan, before going home and nothing to do, me and my niece decided to go to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar to pass time. It is a newly tourist attraction in the province of Bataan. It has a 19th century ambiance, staff were dressed up similar during the Spanish Colonial period.  Accommodation to the resort are ancestral houses, some are original and some are replicas. I’ve heard that the heritage houses were transported all the way from Cavite just to preserve the authenticity of the resort.  It is a good place to do educational tour especially for the students. I don’t have any idea how much is the day tour. We we’re able to go there for free. One of our relative who has a water business in Bagac is the supplier for Las Casas.  So when the driver went there to deliver water and collect empty bins, we decided to join the ride so we can see Las Casas and take pictures. Good thing is that the tourist guides and guards don’t call our attention while we’re taking pictures for the fact the we did not pay any entrance fees. Maybe  because the driver told the guard that we are relatives of his boss. We stay there for 30 minutes only, enough to take picture on the attraction. There are still work in progress on the resort, since it is basically new. With just 2 to 3 hour drive from Manila, this can be a good choice for a quick weekend getaway! ~~~ 01.09.11 / Bagac, Bataan

        

        

        

        

            
           
            
 

Helping others never goes out of style

Who would ever thought that EVERY Saturday morning for the entire year, a group of people is hosting a feeding program for about 200+ malnourished street children from the squatter communities in Malate and Pasig City.  Sometimes I asked myself, did they ever run out of resources? It’s like 4 Saturdays in a month  and 12 months in a year which sum up to 48 days.  One of the volunteer of our Pinoy Volunteer Group was able to find out who is responsible for this splendid act and it was Real Life Foundation. They have been doing this since 2007. Awesomeness!

January of this year, our group decided to host our first feeding program in Malate which is located at Victory Center in Harrison Plaza. To be able to host a feeding program, we need to come up with Php5,000 which is is equivalent to Php250 per volunteer.  This covers the volunteer shirt and the cost of the food for children. This is going to be our first activity for this year and it was a success! Thanks to old members and new recruits who feed, play, interact with kids ranging from 3 to 10 years of age.  Since it is our first time to host this activity, Vince from Real Life gave us orientation on what to expect since we are dealing with street kids who are also out-of-school youth. This activity is divided into 2 batch so we need more energy to interact with these kids not to mention that the area is more than 1000 sq meter so the place is pretty huge for running and playing, very big playground indeed! So the activity started, after the registration, more than 50+ kids run inside the venue, hug the volunteers and very eager to play with us. We act like ates and kuyas to them, some of them, especially the little ones wants to be carried, the other kept on running as if they own this big playground and the other want to be photographed and act as photographer as well!

      

Before feeding them, it’s time to play a game, me being the game master. I thought of a game with the participation of the volunteers so I decided that we play Trip to Jerusalem. 2 person will be paired, the volunteer being the chair and the kids will seat on their volunteer partner when the music stops. It was hard to control the kids during this game, I thought I would ran out of voice since I have not yet slept the night before because I came from work and go straight to this activity. Even If I’m using a microphone, I don’t think they heard me when I said stop and eliminate the pair that were not seated. Thanks to Michelle for helping me facilitate the game. It was a chaos but super fun, everyone is laughing, very eager to win as if a prize has to be won! 🙂

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After the game and congratulate the winning team, it’s time to settle down for story telling. Karla narrate the story while some volunteers are actors and voice on this story. Rhea act as mother while Daniel as the child. Bry is the voice of the child and me as the voice of the mother. I’m pretty much sure that the kids enjoy this part because they kept on laughing and very attentive while  listening and watching the act. And definitely the story we shared to kids will have moral lessons which they can bring along not only when they leave this activity but can be impart on their daily lives.

       

After the game and story telling, it’s time to feed the kids. It was really heartbreaking seeing these kids enjoying their food even if we only serve a cup of rice, corned beef and egg. For them it’s already a feast! It’s time to say goodbye to these kids and other batch is coming up! whooahh! I’m sure we get easily tired with the first batch but for the love of volunteering who cares if there’s a second batch, so bring it on!  The second  batch of 50+ kids run inside the venue and of course we did our part to make them happy just for few hours. Just like the first batch, we also come up with the game, story telling and of course feed them. It was indeed a very fulldiling Saturday morning spending time with the kids. Everyone went home wearing not only the shirt that was given to us but also a BIG SMILE on our face! 🙂 ~~~01.15.2011 / Victory Christian Fellowship, Malate, Manila