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