Day 12 – Part I – Build day 5 (Daytime)

Today is January 7, 2014 and it’s our last day at the build site.  Actually, it’s our last full day in the Philippines since we our flight back to Toronto (via Hong Kong) leaves at 5:10 am tomorrow morning.

It’s our last day at the build site and the kids greeted us in full force as usually as the bus approached
01 - Cards
This time however they had cards for us because they knew it was our last day

It was hard not to shed a tear of joy when kid greeted you with a hi-five or hug and a “I’ll miss you” card
Wow, we’re going to miss these kids
Joining us today we had a team of 5 people from Calgary to help with the build
Today, we have a new task, rust proofing these metal beams
There are 40 beams in total so we break them up into 2 piles so that we can have a competition.
After Michael gives us the instructions, both teams have a huddle to discuss the game plan.
First team to finish all 20 beams wins!
Team 2 puts their hands in for a team cheer
1, 2, 3…..Mabuhay
We hold hands waiting for Mike to say go
01 - Prep with Vinegar
Step 1 – wipe down beam with vinegar solution in order to clean so that paint binds better to the metal
02 - Paint
Step 2: Cover ever metal surface with red lead paint
Team 1 – working like an assembly line
Team 2 working efficiently – Their motto: Quality over quantity
Painting is all about the finer details
First important detail: Don’t spill the paint! (Undisclosed name), the AKC community will always have something to remember you by now
03 - Painting
Painting took much longer than we thought. The plan was to get all 40 pieces done before lunch
04 - Final step
Final step is to stack all painted beams in one pile and touch up any areas where needed
Back at the house, some leaders are making thank you cards with some kids to give to supporters back in Toronto
05 - Cards
We’d like to thank everyone back in Toronto that supported us through this process
This is how many we were able to finish before lunch (in about 2 hours).  Both teams are neck and neck
Friendly competition brings out the best in all of us
So much so, Danielle’s finger gets injured in the process
It’s back to school for the kids in PH too. They look so cute in their uniforms.
Time for lunch!
But first, grace before meals
We’ve had chicken almost everyday but these these lollipop chickens legs were the best we’ve had anywhere in PH
Cheers to a productive morning
No time to wash my face, lunch too irresistible
Danielle forgets about her finger after Joshua presents her with a handmade gift from his mother
06 - Sleeping
Before heading off for the afternoon shift, we all decide to take a little nap
After lunch, both teams just have 2 beams left to paint. The competition is tight.
Jairuz: “Let’s do this!”
After group 1 finished painting their pile, the members of “group 1” hop over to help paint group 2’s unfinished beam. Now that’s TEAMWORK
“We can take the lead”
Tasks complete. 40 metal pieces prepared and painted
07 - Cards outside
We take the card taking outside after lunch since the room was being used
Next job is to move all this hollow blocks to one the units being built
The distance is far but we have a big team so we can do it!
We just had to spread out a bit
Eventually this small pile has to be as big as the pile we started from
08 - Katrina
Katrina learns how to bend rebar
But before Kat cuts it, we need to cut rebar to length
Katrina now learns how to bend rebar into a different shape
While Jairuz, Jeff, Alanna, and Nicole take over for her. Wow Kat, it takes 4 people to replace you 🙂
It’s like “barrel of monkeys”
This is the new shape we learn how to make from rebar
It is used to strengthen rectangular rebar post


Time to fill bags with sand
Once filled, we send the sandbags up the hill. On the way down for the next load, kids often hitch a ride
“My turn next to ride okay?”
Waiting in line to take a turn
The sand from the bottom of the hill is used to mix with concrete
Reminds me of Taal volcano in Tagaytay
We can make a volcano too!
Danielle gets a homemade splint made for her finger out of Q-tips (very creative Dad)
It’s our last day, which means it’s our last time to play games with the kids (Buggies Under)
Buggies all around!
Will our building now over, we sign our hardhats to donate them to the construction workers on site
10 - Sign helmuts
A sign that the end is near 😦 We are proud of the work we’ve accomplished
Danielle Hyles gives her hardhat to Joel
Erica Cinco – Master rebar bender
Jairuz Junio – Pandesal Boy
Kyla-anne Ewart – Stella master
Britishawna Petgrave – Selfie Specialist
Shaelyn Talusan – Painter Extraordinaire
Nicole Baret – Paparazzi’s Favourite
Jeffery Wang – Cart pushing specialist
Mark (Father) Balano – Piggy Back Race Champion
Melissa Ayisi – Unstoppable in the paint
Joseph Fantauzzi – Mix master
Alanna Marchese – Brick filler Fiend
Alyssa Cabutaje – Official Tagalog Emcee
Lindsay Curtis – aka Cinderella
This is Katrina’s (aka MVP) who will be giving to Tatay Romir at our closing ceremonies which is signed by all leaders
This is Michael Consul’s hard hart (also signed by all leaders) which we will give to Vida from ANCOP at the closing ceremonies
Group shot with all construction workers with their new hard hats (normal pose)
“Wacky” (said in Filipino accent) Pose
“Look up” pose
Mike and Ryzza do an exploding dap
11 - Mike and Joel
Mike posing with Joel – fierce basketball rivals
Speaking of basketball, we play one last time.
This time we mix up the teams and have PH and CA play together.
Mike and Joel play on the same team and have an outside shooting two headed attach
12 - Mike Shooting
Mike quickly became known for his shooting prowess as he lead his team in scoring
First team to twenty-one wins. With the score tied at twenty, we decide first to 5 wins! Wager – Red Horse 🙂
The team lead by J.R. wins the heated battle!
While we play basketball, Kyla-anne starts a game of Stella
We head back to the build site and get everyone to sign our shirts
It was a signing frenzy
Kids make sure to sign the shirts of their favourite leaders
13 - Signatures
An awesome way to remember our new friends forever
14 - Signatures 2
Signing t-shirts literally could have lasted forever
While signing, some of the kids gave their favourite leaders going away gifts
In addition to our hardhats, we gave away out name tags to some kids
Danielle picks one of her favourite kids
Every time I look, he’s either piggy backing or carrying a kid
Jeff picks one of the cutest kids
I love this little girl (you too Erica) 🙂
15 - Pics
Before it gets dark, we try to take as many pics as possible with our new friends

Next post will be our evening activities and AKC closing ceremonies.

Thanks for following our travels.  Please write us your comments below.

13 thoughts on “Day 12 – Part I – Build day 5 (Daytime)

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  1. I wonder if a small book will come of this, really so many great memories, you don’t want to forget them.

    Peace and Hope, Steve De Quintal Teacher, Bishop Marrocco / Thomas Merton CSS, 1515 Bloor St. W. Toronto, Ontario M6P-1A3. 416-393-5545 ext. 84293 “To think, to pray and to serve.” “Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” – Albert Camus ****You can always email but a call or a visit will get a quicker response***** ________________________________________

  2. I cant believe today was our last day! Just a week ago I was not worrying about time flying by so quickly but all things come to and end but i was upset this one ended so soon. Getting off the bus we were as usual greeted with many smiles and high fives. But today it was different because we got cards! I got two beautiful thoughtful and long cards for Cristina and Chelin. I even got a picture with Cris’ card. She is soo sweet, my little baby!

    I was soo mad at one point because i rolled my ankle and I really wanted to play bal with the boys for the last time! I was soooooooooo sad.

    We got the kids and parents to sign our shirts! I was so happy because ill be keeping this shirt forever and i will surely wear it with pride. It is such a great token of my experience here in the Philippines! I even met more new faces today! There are so many of them!

  3. We all knew it was coming…. Our final build day. Everyone was so excited for the pinoy fiesta, but we all knew work came first. Painting was great with our visitors from Calgary. Breaking off into teams and making our task into a friendly competition made it even more fun. This task made us work as a team for the final time, and that is exactly how I wanted to remember our group. Although it was hard labour under the blazing sun, I can still say I will miss building. Building was only a small contribution to our difference in AKC.

  4. Where did the time go?
    It didn’t feel like it had been two weeks. Yet, here we were on our last day.
    The most enjoyable time about the morning was painting in teams. Having a slight sense of competition made me work harder. And then getting sand with our friends from Calgary was great too. Our last lunch at AKC, and it was amazing, especially the chicken. Afterwards, we gave away our hardhats to the construction workers. It was truly heartwarming to see their happy reactions and it almost lead to cry. However, the shirt signing cheered me up a lot. Having the children greet us and seeing them happy made me want to be happy for the last hours that we have to spend with them.

  5. I never wanted this day to come…but I’m glad that we all came together on our final day and did as much work as we could.

    Not only did we have to say goodbye to dear friends on this day but we also made some new ones from Calgary! They were really nice and I got to know them while we worked different jobs throughout the day.

    Speaking of jobs,the little painting competition we had was fun! Not only did we get to team up with our new Calgary friends but it also helped us to get a lot done to help with the building of these houses which is essentially the main reason of our trip altogether. Oh and tsk tsk to whoever left that huge paint mark on the ground… *cough cough*

    It was great having everyone sign our tshirts! Every time I put on my ANCOP shirt i will definitely remember my experience in AKC and how amazing it was!

  6. Today was fun although it was our last day in the build site. Today we met 5 new friends from Calgary to help us build, they were all really nice and friendly and not knowing that we have the same dialect. This day is another day to remember because we ended up competing with each other on painting the metal beams. This activity brought the group even more closer as we work together, and suggesting new strategies to use to be even more efficient and faster. Also, the giving of the hard hats to the construction workers is another fun activity because we get to give them a souvenir that they can keep that is multi-purpose. Firsly, it’s a souvenir that they can treasure to remember us and/or they can use it while in the construction site to be safe. Lastly, children signing our t-shirts was one of the highlight of the day because children were signing our t-shirts and we get to keep them as memories but the kids also wanted our signatures. They ended up getting our signatures on their t-shirts too but the others were on their arms. This day was another memorable and amazing day!

  7. The last full day of building will be one to remember! It was great to have a bit of change in our work load. Instead of mixing cement we were painting. Finally!! The competition between team one and two was intense, but obviously team one came out victorious! What I loved about my team was that even though we finished first we did not leave team two hanging we went over to help them finish.

    I enjoyed the company of the peeps that came from Calgary! They were so friendly and hard working. At first I thought they didn’t speak English… Lol! Why’d I think that? I don’t know. Lunch today was #blessed. That chicken doe.. I love me some chicken. It felt great to know that I did not only contribute to the kids but also to the construction workers by giving them my helmet.

    During the day after lunch, I took the time to help make some cards for our “Canadian friends”. At that time was when I realized that today was actually going to be the last day seeing these kids. I received a letter from Christina and Chelyn, that made me tear up. It was so sweet. I love when the kids were signing my shirt! I was surprised when they wanted us to sign back their shirts and even their arms. Lol.
    I love them man!! Gonna miss them like crazy.

  8. 100% effort was put into all 5 building days! All of our work is definitely something we should all be proud of. It’s an unforgettable experience working with such great and fun people. Meeting our new Calgary friends and being able to work with them while painting the metal beams was exciting too! I got to know more about them while we were working on cutting and bending wire. A million more pictures were taken on this last day, plus autographs on tshirts and skins. We truly felt like celebrities! I’ll miss doing this, and working with the construction workers, and the kids, and sharing our own stories with the people of AKC. I think we should have a reunion!

  9. I can’t believe it’s our last day of building! Jeez they aren’t kidding when they say time flies when you’re having fun. Being chased down by the kids before we even park the bus is something that will be with me for a long time. It was nice to have a change in routine, instead of mixing gravel, moving bricks, filling bricks, moving bags etc. and being able to paint! Painting the metal beams was a lot of fun, we really got a work as a team and get it done really quick surprisingly. Meeting our 5 new friends and being able to work with them was great as well.
    I think it was when we gave our hard hats to the workers was when it really hit me; it’s our last day working! Hopefully the workers we gave our hard hats to, in my case J.R., will remember us and will be able to finish the houses. I will truly miss all the workers, all the filipino jokes that I could understand only half the time, the random noises they made, their dancing to Selena Gomez, everything about working with them!
    Today is probably the day I felt most like celebrity. The amount of pictures we took with others is uncountable and I have no clue how many different shirts, arms, bandanas and hats I signed. I even signed a baby!!! The AKC community will always have a special place in my heart.

  10. LAST DAY OF BUILDING!! Whaaaaaaaat??!?!! I can’t believe it! It has honestly been an awesome experience at the build site!! I met such awesome, fun, crazy, filipino builders. 😛 They were SOOOO cool! Every minute you spend with them is time well spent. They not only teach you how to “cook” the cement, cut and bend rebar and tell you to carry only 1 block. They teach you how to have fun doing it! No matter how hot it is, and no matter how much you feel like you are going to melt/burn; it’s all good when you have good company! The whole time when you are working, there is ALWAYS music playing in the background and there is ALWAYS someone dancing like there is no tomorrow. Whether they are at the top of the ladder, mixing the cement, or passing down the hollow blocks, they HAVE to dance. I love it! You completely forget about how hot it is and how much you feel like you’re going to die. They are such a blessing!!

    Going into the build site on day 1.. I had no clue how to do anything in regards to construction. The closest thing I knew was nails and hammers.. but they barely even used a hammer or a nail!!! So I was super confused! I realized it was A LOT of lifting and a lot of arm work… JEEEEZ I was unfit.. I got the core and the legs but my arms are as strong as toothpicks. 😛 I definitely had my work cut out for me. But no matter how hard or how heavy the job was. I was always encouraged by the other community members or even from the group! That was some family bonding! If you can watch someone literally make there shirt a sponge filled with water, you guys are BEST FRIENDS. We honestly didn’t care whether we stunk or not, we still worked together and got as much done in the duration that we had to finish the work we were given.

    I love all of you builders!!!! You keep cooking that cement!!! I miss you all! xoxo! ❤

  11. Nope, I can’t believe this day has come already. Our last day in AKC and our last full day in the Philippines. We gave everything we got today because it was important we got a lot done. Turning the painting job into a competition made it more fun and really tested our team work skills which were already top of the line. Our new friends from Calgary were a big help and made sure everything was quality work. This was a nice change from our usual cement and brick filling duties. Even though my team lost, a big shoutout goes to the other team for helping us finish and to Miss. Danielle for taking her injury like a champ.

    Lunch was so delicious but I learned that if you put a plate of chicken lollipops on the table in front of us they will be gone in seconds. I apologize to anyone who only had one! After a well deserved nap, I learned how to bend rebar while Jay told more chemistry jokes……2NA HAHAHAH

    The workers were really happy to receive our signed helmets, it was a sign our work in AKC was over. Unfortunately, I left my shirt in the community with all the signatures on it but getting it signed was crazy. I just put the shirt on my back and kids swarmed me with markers. It was weird when they asked us for our signatures especially when someone asked us to sign their baby. As the sun sets, we get ready to partyyyyy!!

  12. Day 5, the last day at the build site. The last days for anything is always the saddest. During the trip I didn’t want this day to come. 2 weeks flew by just like that. Arriving at AKC for the last time, the kids chased our bus until the moment we got off. Today, we had guests from Calgary who would help us on our build. We had a new task today, rust proofing 40 metal beams. With the Calgary guests, we split into 2 teams to see who could finish painting their 20 beams the quickest. It took us longer than I excepted and in the end it was a close race but my team edged out the other and we came to help finish theirs. After this, most of us continued working in the site for the last time. I gave them all I had to offer on our last day, filling sand bags and mixing the cement for the last time. After the build we all signed our hardhats and gave it to one worker. This was a moment to remember because they were like brothers to me. Also it was our last time playing basketball with the community. We got our shirts signed by everyone in the community before we got ready for the closing ceremonies.

  13. Painting had to be the most fun job we had assigned to us! However, my back was killing me by the end of it and I had paint in my hair that didn’t come out 😦 I had to cut my hair to get rid of it! The paint wasn’t only in my hair, but all over my legs too! I was walking back to the house and one of the ladies got really scared because she thought it was blood! We later got all of the paint off of our skin and clothes with paint thinner at the house 🙂 I’d do anything for these kids! ❤
    I lent my back to make it easier for the kids to sign my shirt, but I didn't really think about the possibility of the marker going through the material and onto the white shirt I was wearing…;A; Oh well, "remembrance"! :p Giving away my name tag was difficult, the kids even took it from around my neck and started fighting over it! I felt so bad just giving it to one kid!

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