Day 1

1 2 The locals of Sitio Yangka greeted us at the foot of the mountain, to help and guide us to their village. The climb was difficult: there were no footholds nor handrails, and the soil crumbled away under our unsure feet. To put it simply, we were untrained. We were a mere group of students, teachers, nuns, and volunteers – but what I experienced at the peak made the aches and pains worth it.

3 45

6 Once the lens is pointed, all of the children grin and shout one thing: “Kamusi!”

7 Tatay Seryo Gudoy8Jan-Jan and Janice

9 2 9 10

11 My home during our stay in Sitio Yangka

12 13

14 2 14 15 16 This is Tatay Junior Gudoy and his son, Lance. He taught me how to wash his carabao named Kalabaw.

17 Tatay Rupino (right) told me an interesting story about his American friend he met in Manila.

18 19 20 21

Day 2

22 23 24

25 We went to Gasak (gasak = farm) and this sight greeted us. 26We gathered some firewood with the kids of Sitio Yangka for the community night bonfire. They also picked some mangoes! Amazing little kids. 🙂27 28 29 Athena with her cousin, pretty Patricia, Nanay Nene and Jessica

30 31 32 33 34 35 36 Up on the mountain, everything narrowed down to a single point in time. All turbulent feelings rooted in a fast-paced world were forgotten in a place where it seemed like everything was played in slow motion. Electricity was non-existent, and time was told by looking at the sun and the moon. Some of the locals do not even know their ages.

37 38Nanay Nene’s younger sister showed us how to grow and make your own tobacco.

39 40 Our 2nd sunset in Sitio Yangka.

41 42 43 44 45 46 47“We’re up here for a reason. We all have a purpose.” Sister Flora ended our last night in Sitio Yangka with a simple, yet powerful phrase. And as far as reasons go, they all boil down to one: mission.

Day 3

48 49Nina and I with our family – Tatay Seryo, Nanay Nene, Janice, and Janjan.50 The kids of Sitio Yangka on their way to school.

5152 53 54Despite the locals living in material poverty, their camaraderie made up greatly for what they do not have. And the most remarkable thing, which we realised upon making our descent, is that they made up greatly for what we were lacking, as well.


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