On Day 3, our first full day in the Philippines, we started our adventures in a beautiful city called Tagaytay. This rural area has vast untouched landscapes. Here we’ll be doing some sight-seeing and recreation before gearing down to do our service work. Tagaytay is a 2 hour drive from the hotel.
Spoke too soon, that’s a 2 hour drive WITHOUT traffic!
Good time to get some shut-eye. This is what a student leader looks like when their last sleep was way back in Toronto
Street vendors take advantage of the traffic as they weave in, out, and between cars
Boiled Peanuts anyone?
During the drive, we were able to see some beautiful scenery. Believe it or not, these are pineapple fields.
First stop: A beautiful sanctuary where the Canossian sisters live and do their work
We are welcomed by Sister Haydee Librojo, Mike and Bernie’s dear friend who use to work at both St. Barnabas and Our Lady of Assumption. “Mano Po” (a Filipino sign of respect shown to those older than you are)
The landscapes and architecture here at the sanctuary are beautiful
Sister Haydee shows us around
A very easy place to ground yourself and open your spirituality
And a perfect place to take a picture
And a selfie!
Now we know why we travelled all the way to Tagaytay!
Jeffery! (Jairuz is rubbing off on you)
Imagine living here.
We met and conversed with a group of ladies discerning to enter the life of the church. Their lives and background were so diverse.
Now off to get some snacks prepared for us by the sisters
But first another photo-op
Before heading upstairs for some refreshments
Many of us were introduced to this white fleshy fruit called guyabano
This is what Guyabano (aka sour-sop) looks like uncut
Mark (aka Father Balano) seems to like this super anti-oxidant
Nicole on the other hand…… 🙂
We were also treated to some delicious Lengua de Gato (translated as “cat tongue”) which tasted like shortbread cookies
And Kyla-Anne’s favourite: Skyflakes
And no Filpino merienda (translation: day time snack) is complete without Milo to drink
We thank sister Haydee for her hospitality and words of wisdom: “How you do anything, is how you do everything.” “Name it, claim it, tame it, then aim it.”
Next stop, mass at Our Lady of Lourdes parish
The church was packed. We arrived just as the previous mass was just about to end
Standing room only for the 10:00 am mass
Luckily because we arrived early for the 11:30 mass, we were all able to get a seat
Mass was 1.5 hours long but felt like an hour
The boys get to play some b-ball back at the spiritual centre as the girls change from their “Sunday Best” into some more recreational clothing
Up next: Skyranch amusement park
The home of Philippines’ tallest Ferris wheel
You can’t tell from this picture but Erica is freaking out!
Gorgeous view of Taal Volcano from the top of the Ferris wheel
Lunch time aka chicken time (again!) Why they chose KFC beats me 🙂
No where to sit so let’s use the floor
KFC isn’t KFC without kanin (rice) – Toronto take note!
Next stop, Picnic Grove to do some horseback riding
You’re smiling now, wait till your rear end gets sore
Jairuz: Hey Kyla-Anne, I bet I can beat you in a race
Shaelyn, Erica, and Joe
Lindsay posing as she gets her helmet adjusted
Horseback riding, beautiful landscape, a sunset, what can be better than this?
I know, a foot spa!
Tickles like crazy but a highly effective exfoliant!
Shaelyn, you can do it!
Let’s take a closer look at what’s really going on down there
Keep your feet in!
The funniest picture ever!
Everyone in the spa was deaf after Danielle’s screams!
Everyone is finally getting used to the sensation
The foot spa even comes with a foot massage – Jairuz, wake up!
Relaxing for Jairuz but still ticklish for Alanna
And same with Shaelyn
Joe on the other hand loved the special treatment
Awww, time to relax
Time to head back to the hotel to prepare for tomorrow’s big day in El Dorado.
Each student brought 2 pieces of luggage. One for clothes and one with personal gifts and donations
Student leaders unpack and sort their donations
It was unbelievable how much stuff we brought over
We had hundreds of toothbrushes and toothpaste thanks to a drive at Danielle’s school (Blessed Mother Teresa – DCDSB), and donations from Colgate-Palmolive (thanks to Merle Gonsalvez for hooking it up)
I know “Ball is life” Kat, but those are for brushing
We also had toys
Various stuff animals (if you can call that an animal)
We had socks and various types of clothing
Different games including a wooden hand crafted chess set
And even letters from elementary students from Danielle’s school
And MORE toys!
Now that’s Christmas love! All from Toronto
Student leaders be PROUD! You’re all amazing!
El Dorado, here we come!