Day 7 – San Mateo

Today is Thurs, Jan 1. The first day of 2015!

We start the day by givings thanks for the first day of the new year.
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After breakfast Geerthan buys himself a Mickey balloon to hang out with us for the day.
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Visiting a village, but first we must hike up the path to get there.
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Our boys make friends right away with a game of basketball.
Tito Warren welcomes Julie and our group to the village Our Lady of Banneux.
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Comfort room stops are always an adventure…we never know what to expect. Hang in there Melissa!
Mimi gathers the children for a game of Sungka…a native Filipino game.
Here is the large multi-purpose room…a work in progress.
Tito Warren takes us on a tour of the village.
Wedding at Cana – Jesus’ first miracle
Solar power lamps are used to light up the chapel at night.
#PH2K14 posing with Mother Mary
Into the chapel we go, just in time because it started to rain.
“Father Marc” delivering mass for the group.
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Following in Holy Thursday Filipino tradition, some of our students carry the cross.
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Praying and meditating in the chapel.
Touring the lush grounds of the community.
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Overlooking the city of Manila.
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#PH2K14 group pics
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Our student leaders couldn’t resist climbing this tree

As it approached 1:00 pm  here in the Philippines (which would be midnight EST) we record this video message for our friends and family back home in Toronto to wish them a Happy New Year.

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Here are the ANCOP homes in the village. Families as large as 13 live in one home.
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We have been invited to take a closer look inside many ANCOP homes.
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Here are the Couples for Christ/ANCOP Canada homes. Canadians donated and built these homes. GO CANADA!
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This woman creates wallets and coin purses with wrappers. It takes her an entire day to make ONE!
The entire community uses this outdoor kitchen.
Mitch is surprised by the amount of BBQ chicken and pork the village provided for us.
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We were served lunch on banana leaves and encouraged to eat with our fingers. Ma sarap = delicious!
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Jermin and Nicole devour their watermelon. So refreshing!
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We were supposed to build and do a community clean up, but the heavy rainfall forced everyone into the Multi-Purpose Room.
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We play a game called “Fruit Salad.” Are you a strawberry, mango, guava, apple or banana?
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Huge game of Stella Ella Ola…if you were out, you had to sing, dance or do 5 jumping jacks in the centre of the circle.
Look at how many kids are in this wonderful village.
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Macarena, Chicken Dance, Filipino hand clapping game and Twinkle Twinkle.
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Shake it off…these kids catch on quick!
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Now just the #PH2K14 group performs.
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Everyone shakes it off!
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Dance party…lookin’ good doing the Hokey Pokey
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A duet from Marc and Dana.
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Mimi and her uke.
The audience love it!
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The dancing KPop duo.
Mimi does a solo dance to “Problems”
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Axile wows the crowd with her amazing dance moves.
Kaisha cuddles a sleeping child. Awwwwwww.
Mitch then juggles 5 iphones…just kidding 🙂
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High 5 dance game.
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Getting to know our new friends
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Duck Duck Goose…who will win?
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Buggies Up!
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Huckle Buckle knee to knuckle…elbow to chin…
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Limbo Time…how low can you go?
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Look at Axile, Dana, Mitch and Geerthan!
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Oh my, Libby, Chloe and Adrian!
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The village children perform Jingle Bell Rock…so cute!
An amazing xylophone performance!
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The ladies made pancit, sticky rice and coconut bars as well as a sugary sweet tapioca drink. YUMMY!
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Emily thanks the community members who made our day so memorable.
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Tina wore her steel toe boots all day long. Michael and Chloe had to carry her back to the bus. Her feet were soooooooooo sore 😦

Due to the rain, we didn’t get to build or do a community clean-up.  The upside is that we had more time to play with the kids.  Many students commented that this was their favourite day!

Tomorrow we’re off to ANCOP head office for an orientation.

Thanks for following our travels!  Please leave any comments below 🙂

23 thoughts on “Day 7 – San Mateo

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  1. This day was really chill, i love nature so much, it made me appreciate it more. The surroundings was just amazing, fresh air and the view. Playing with the kids was really fun and dancing with them. New Years lunch was the best! I learned how to eat with my hands, first i was just picking the big clumps of rice because they were easy pick up but i learned. Everyday I learn new things and it’s great. This place was so peaceful, it’d be nice to do some yoga or meditation.

  2. Visiting a village with houses similar to which we were going to build was very cool. Seeing how grateful every family was for having their own house and a roof to live under was very heartwarming. It made me truly believe that the help we were going to offer in the next couple days building more houses in a new village is going to have a big impact on the lives of the new house owners and their families.

  3. It was so nice to visit yet another community, every community we visit everyone is so welcoming. It was so much fun to play with the kids all day, they even taught me a counting hand game of their own! The food was absolutely amazing (as usual), it was cool to eat with our hands, it was hard to eat the rice at first but after learning the proper technique it was easy.

  4. It was great to see the product of what we were going to do in another community through the finished houses and such. It was also great to be welcomed so nicely, as always, by the community. It is inspiration that these people teach us so much more than they know it, because us visiting them and being with them, inspires us even more to keep going along with mission trips and creating change. Most touching part of today: Amongst all the toys the kids got to choose from, my child chose the can of spam. It definitely shows you how different a child’s mindset is in the Philippines as well as how great of a need there is there for an eight year old boy to choose food over toys. Truly affected me.

  5. This community was great! The kids were all so lively and ready to learn new things even though it was raining outside. This was the first day i got sick so i wasn’t as involved as i would have liked to be :(. The scenery and the food was amazing! I think the lunch we had was the best meal i had on this trip. I really liked the part where i got to use my hands to eat 😉

  6. I was a little bummed out that we didn’t get to build this day. But, I was also really glad we got more time to play with the kids in the village! Everyone in the village was so friendly and welcoming. Not to mention the incredible meal they fed us! Mmmm so good!

  7. I won the game of Sungka against Erin! One of the few I’ve won ever haha.

    I sang for the kids in that same area where we played Sungka, and many gathered around. It was wonderful singing with them. Eventually so many came to sit on the table that it broke!! I hope that when I return next year (*Fingers crossed*) that they have a new table…otherwise I would feel bad.

    Tito Bong also learned some chords on my ukelele before taking out his guitar and singing with me.

    Besides music, I also played Appear Disappear and Rock Paper Scissors with any kids I ran into. It was funny how I met Cindy, who is 17 like me, who wants to go into kinesiology, and then later met her sister Kathleen! I loved how together this community felt. I had so much fun with the kids.

  8. This day was amazing! Playing with the kids the entire day was great fun and I would have happily done it again :). I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. Touring through the homes in the community showed me how much ANCOP and their volunteers really help these people. At first, the houses seem small, especially if they plan on fitting more than 10 people in the house. Looking inside their homes, they were actually cozy and were divided to have enough space. They even created a loft floor in some. These people do the best with what they’ve got. The huge houses in Toronto almost seem unnecessary.

  9. Such a relaxing day away from the busy city. It was so great just being with people and directly interacting with them instead of through social media. There is really nothing like the human touch. It was so beautiful sharing our talents to one another and just giving our full attention to the community.

    San Mateo is absolutely beautiful! The people are even more beautiful! So was the food! Hands down the best meal ever! We really got to see how blessed the community in San Mateo is! So thankful to get to spend a day in nature with a loving community! I hope the team and I make sure to unplug and just be mindful of the people and the environment around us! ❤

  10. Visiting San Mateo was definitely a great experience! Such a beautiful small village on top of a mountain so the views of the city were amazing. It sucks that the weather was pretty bad when we went there but we made the most of it and just got to play even more games with the kids, which was so fun! Overall it was a really interactive day with the kids and also just being in the village in general. We even got to go inside some of the houses and see what it was like inside, something we hadn’t done in other villages. It was amazing to see how they made use of such small spaces and made it seem so cozy. The ones with the loft build ins were super cool! eating lunch that day with only our hands was something I definitely would like to do more often.

    We also got a lot of snacks throughout our visit there, my favourite was the taho (this tofu and brown sugar drink they served us when we first arrived). I was so happy because that is like my favourite filipino dessert that my family makes here in Canada and I knew that the ones in the Philippines were suppose to be really good, which they were! I must have had like 3 cups at least lol. Not a lot of the other leaders knew what it was and were hesitant to try it but that’s okay cuz it left more for me aha x

  11. I don’t know why but this was one of my favourite day in Philippines. Though it was raining, I had so much fun, we ate on bananas leafs which I found so cool and amazing. Playing with the children was extra fun, we were playing stella ella olla, the fruit game and etc. This community was fun and nice. Though we didn’t build, it was still a good day.

  12. Once again playing and dancing with the kids was my favorite part of the day. I love to see other people happy. Other then that i loved the food we ate, as seen in the picture i couldnt wait to dig into the chicken. I love trying new things so eating off a banana leave was really interesting. Everyone in the group did a great job with dancing, singing and overall just making the kids happy.

  13. Today we took a long bus ride to a village and hiked up a muddy hill to an old work site then went on a tour of the village. Some people from our group decided to climb up a tree that turned out to be covered in red ants :’D ! Then we played LOTS of games with the kids and gave out LOTS of gifts. They were so sweet and one girl fell asleep on my lap :’) . We also got to see a bunch of little wallets this woman makes out of rappers and ‘garbage’.They were so cute so I bout a few for my family members.

  14. I really enjoyed San Mateo. Although it has been about 7 months ago I cannot forget this visit. Its was such a beautiful quiet community and surrounded by natural scenic surroundings. This was also the day I got inspired to create my own things because while walking around the homes, I noticed a lady making small wallets out of candy wrappers and I thought it was so creative and really inspiring. I also enjoyed lunch time…that was the first time I ever ate a meal from banana leaves and used my hands to eat rice! Of course we played with the children and played so many fun games and activities with them, and it was great. Everyone was so hospitable and welcoming and I loved this whole day.

  15. Going to that village was fun! Despite all the rain, we all had a great time. It was so interesting eating from a table covered with banana plants! Geerthan was very excited to take a picture and post it on instagram haha. Playing with the children was also fun! My favourite was playing a musical chair like game and all the children were enthusiastic and they had a great time!

  16. For a place with so little everyone was so happy! But I guess with good food, good company, good health and a home in one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen, I can understand why they were happy.
    So….. the games were meant to be played outside along with a lot more work then what happened but it rained….. which Mike assured us wouldn’t happen seeing as it never has while hes been there -.-
    At least we got to celebrate New Years during toronto time in good weather!

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