Day 7 – San Mateo – OLB Community

Today is the January 1st, the first day of 2016! We will be travelling to the OLB community in mountain region San Mateo

01 breakfast
The restaurant at the hotel is closed so we purchased goodies the night before 
02 walk
It was raining all morning so the bus had to drop us off at the end of the paved path because it was too muddy
03 Community Centre
This is the multi-purpose roof we played our games in which is still under construction
04 hive fives
Everyone did a round of high-fives after their introductions
05 kid intro
Each kid told us their name and age
06 fruit salad
First game we played was “Fruit Salad”
07 kanin
Julius (our ANCOP host) lead the next game. Keyword this time is “Adobo.”
08 pass squeeze
The next game we played was pass the squeeze, but we make it easier by passing a banana. 
09 Duck Goose
We played duck, duck, goose in chairs this time.
10 chapel
The community built this beautiful outdoor chapel. Outside depicts the “Wedding at Cana.”
11 alter
The largest religion in the Philippines is Catholicism
12 Happy NYE
Exactly at 1:00 pm we celebrated another new year and had our second countdown coinciding with NYE in Toronto.
14 Jump
Happy New Year Toronto!
15 get water
We walked down to the fresh spring to gather some water
15 Water 2
Water from this natural spring is drinkable for the locals
16 water
Now back up the hill
17 Pour
We dumped the water into these bins to be used for construction
18 Water 2
We went down another much steeper hill to another river.
19 water 2
Unlike the other spring, this one is not drinkable but the locals it use to bath and do laundry.
20 bags
Now it’s time to work. We need to move all these bags of sand and gravel down to the end of the paved path
21 more bags
We need to move these bags too (that’s a lot of bags!) so that the paved path can be extended down the hill
22 fill
After emptying and transferring all the bags, we fill them back up for another transport.
23 train
We realized that there was enough of us to make a train which made transporting the bags so much easier
24 doctor
Back at the rec hall, Michael’s dad, Bernie attends to the cuts and scraps of the local kids. Having bandaids is such a luxury. They wanted to put a bandaid on even the smallest of scratches 🙂
25 Firework
Like in the other communities we performed our “Fireworks” dance
26 dances
Followed by “Follow da leader” and “Cha Cha Slide”
27 dances 2
These kids can really “Whip It, Nae Nae.”
28 kids dance
The kids from OLB performed a dance for us. So cute.
29 performances
Followed by 2 more performances. One song and one dance from the teenagers.
30 Alexa
Alexa sings a tagalog (Philippine language) song
31 Toys
Gift giving time. 
32 kids
The kids are so appreciative
33 pray
The community prayers over us before we leave. They explain that although they can’t give us much, they can give us their prayers. Little do they know that we learn so much from every community we visit which is much more valuable than the toys, food, clothing, and toiletries we bring.
34 group
Such a peaceful community. So quiet. So laid back. Serenity.
35 bball
Before leaving we have another match of Canada vs Philippines. The winner is……..
36 bball
Philippines! These guys were really good despite playing in sandals or being barefoot.
37 Grace
We travel to Megan’s aunt’s house who is hosting us for dinner.
38 Group shot
Such amazing hospitality. Thank you for an amazing evening.

Today we worked for over 2 hours of strenuous labour. Tomorrow we will be going to this year’s buildsite to work for 4 hours. We are ready for the challenge.

Thanks for following our travels.

Please check back and read our comments below. Feel free to post a comment for us to read as well.

Happy New Year.

29 thoughts on “Day 7 – San Mateo – OLB Community

  1. Amazing to see the impact our youth can have. A credit to all of you for helping making the world a better place. Also it’s good to see Mr. Consul taking shots from beyond the free throw line.

    1. Haha. For the record I stood where the student leader facilitating the station told me to stand. This year I’ll prove to all Redhawks that the winning score was legit 🙂 Thanks for commenting

  2. It looks like you’re doing a lot of good work in the Philippines! I’m sure it’s an incredible experience. Those kids seem really happy to spend time with you and they seem really grateful for all of the food, items of clothing, and toiletries that you’ve brought to them.
    It makes me really happy to see students from our school board making a positive impact on our world. Good luck to all of you!

  3. Great to see you interacting with the children of the Philippians, It makes me happy to see you guys teaching the youth on another side of the world. Keep it up

  4. Its crazy to think that the smallest things like clean running water and a laundry machine are taken for granted and there are people in the world that don’t have those things. I feel so overwhelmed with all the things I never even thought of as a privilege, I feel such strong compassion for all the people in the Philippines and to anyone else that has to live in these conditions. Seeing the people there still so happy makes me feel just as happy knowing they don’t let their surroundings change their outlook on life. To the student leaders, you are all doing such an amazing job, keep up the good work!

  5. This seems like a very peaceful place. I feel calm just looking at these photo’s. It was very nice to see all of the work our students did for those in this community.
    I would like to tell the people working there good job

  6. The leaders are making such a profound difference on the community! It’s amazing to see the impact through pictures, I can’t imagine how powerful it must be in person! This must definitely be a life changing experience for all those involved, and I hope to some day experience something like that in the future 🙂 Good luck to everyone on the days to come!

  7. It’s so wonderful to see the leaders spending so much time with the children! You can tell on their faces that they appreciate you guys being there. I know you guys are putting in a lot of work, and it might be hard and tiring, but it’s amazing what you all are doing! Be proud of yourselves!! Have fun everyone! 🙂

  8. Its always good to understand the people you are helping, learning about their lives and cultures gives motivation to work even harder to give these communities the life they truly deserve. Looking at these photos gives me a sense of hope that there are people like these who in our opinion have it terrible but radiate positivity in everything they do and can find joy (especially the children) in the simplest of activities like the rubber band game. Passing those bags looked though but i’m confident there is nothing the student leaders can’t handle, keep it up you are making a difference in each and every one of their lives.

  9. I love it. I love working hard & participating in an environment where you can feel the appreciation in the atmosphere. I have grown so much from the beginning of the trip, & I only continue to be better than I was the day prior. Today, I experienced the hardcore tanning underneath the Philippine sun, as well as the beautiful fresh water streaming underneath my feet. My love for nature only grows as the trip progresses, much similar to the love I have for my fellow participants. Furthermore, I just want to give a huge shoutout to my family, many of whom I haven’t even met before until this day. I’m so incredibly thankful for their kind words & welcoming arms of all of us together into their. It felt wonderful to be surrounded by so much love in one room, & I am only even more thankful for everything I have. Once again, the day has been more than productive, which prepares me for the days ahead.

  10. Today we got to experience the hard work that we will be doing for the rest of the days what we are here. I can’t say that it’s going to be super hard but I know that the work we do will help them get closer to there goal of having a new home. We did a water walk and the hill we had to go down was steep and slipper. But once down there it was beautiful same with the view of the city from the top.
    Once the day was over and we were heading back out the adults of the community circled around us to pray for us. They mentioned in the pray that this pray was all the they could get us which is really special because it’s not al about the material things in life. They also mentioned how God will give us the thins we need….it’s important to know these things and I know that I will remember them for forever. Get learning experience too. Can’t wait to see what tomorrow has in store for me.

  11. Seeing these students give up their winter break to build homes for others is truly inspiring because we always say we want to help others but we never do. These students are actually giving back to others. I was shocked to see how much hard labour they have to put in to doing these hard tasks.

  12. it is very insperational to see how much effort everyone put into help making the school. you can see that we are very lucky to have the school we have and that we have the resources and technology to do more things to help imporve our eductaion that other people in the world do not.

  13. its nice to see that the kids can have fun even through what they have to do everyday. Good job to you guys for helping. keep going!

  14. This is amazing! Seeing all the hard work from the leaders is really an inspiration. It’s interesting to see the difference between Canada and the Philippines in things as simple as having access to clean water. It really is a good example of how privileged we are in Canada and how thankful we should be! Good job leaders, you are truly making a difference in this world! 🙂

  15. It’s great to see the work that the student leaders are doing in the Philippines, and how they are making a difference in the world. The work that they are doing is an inspiration. The lessons that they learn from each community are valuable and are great to learn. Looking at the pictures and reading the captions, I feel privileged to live in a country where I can get little things, like water, easily, where as in the Philippines and other countries, they may not be as privileged. We often take so many things for granted. I hope that everyone is safe and having a good time.

  16. I’m so happy and very proud watching all of you guys! You’re doing such an amazing job. You’re putting your faith into action and truly makes a difference in this world. God bless you all.

    1. Thank you for supporting us and Megan. She has made such a big impact to all the communities and to our group. Makes a teacher proud. I can only imagine how it must make a parent feel.

  17. Today I had mixed feelings in regards to celebrating New Years away from my family. However, I viewed it as an opportunity to do something new. Although we where a day ahead of Toronto, it was something else the would conquer my attention and energy. On this day, we had our first day of actual work. We all had a great time and i think I can speak for the group by saying that we are eager to work.

  18. Today must have been very tiring. The hard work you are doing is absolutely amazing. Dancing with the children and getting to know them must have been so much fun! So proud of all of you dedicating your Christmas break to serve others. It’s truly inspiring.

  19. Today gave me a little taste of what we’re going to be doing the next few days. I think it’s going to be a lot of hard work but i think it’ll be fun to bond with everyone on this trip and help people at the same time. The pre build wasn’t that bad, my favourite part was playing with the kids, the games were a lot of fun, and they really seemed to enjoy the dance which was great! A close second had to be the river, it was really nice, the water was awesome and felt so good. I think i’m ready to start working!! Im excited.

  20. Today was so much fun! It was amazing to form such a huge circle to play games!! The work was pretty hard carrying all those sand bags but, it felt very rewarding afterwards. Also, the natural springs were beautiful. However, they were super slippy and we fell a couple times. It was funny though because the children had no problem navigating in the slippery mud:):). Furthermore, it felt super nice to take off our shoes and dip our feet in the springs. A huge thank you to Megan’s family for having us!!! They were so welcoming and happy to have so many of us in their home. The food was also amazing!!!

  21. This village was one of the places that made me realize how convenient our lives are. For example, the people at this village have to make a trip down to a creek just to get a litre or two of (kinda) fresh water. Meanwhile, we go through litres of water a day from the sink, toilet, and shower. This is one of the values that I hope will never leave me: a gratification for where I live. And I hope I could one day make a difference to help these people and make their lives more comfortable.

  22. Today we had a building tutorial. We traveled about two hours away from Manila and found ourselves in a small community in the mountains. In addition to building and community outreach, our program makes us try to imagine day to day life for the villagers. So after we had some lunch we filled the buckets. Usually at home, this didn’t mean much, as you could just go to a tap and simply fill it. But here, locals have to travel down steep hills and fill their bottles at a mountain river. A number of us struggled to get to the bottom while we watched as many of the village kids ran and jumped down the steep hill. It surprised many of us (me especially – I was technically on the ground holding on for dear life). I couldn’t believe it – we could barely climb down a hill without complaining. These people did it more than twice a day and if they didn’t – they went without drinking water or clean clothes. After this job, we aided the villagers in paving their road by carrying gravel and sand to convenient spots for them. We did this only for two hours but we were already dead tired. I remember Tito Bernie resting his hand on my shoulder and saying: “pace yourself, this is only just the warm up.” I couldn’t imagine what worst there could be than hard labor in the sun, and then I realized that what was worst was hard labor under the sun everyday because you had no choice. Because of us, they wouldn’t have to make probably more than 100 trips up and down the hill. The same applied with the water. Pouring my gallon into the village drum, it didn’t even look like I made a dent, but it meant one less trip for someone else, and that’s all that matters.

  23. I was so ready to get my boots dirty and finally start building. Being up in the hills, with the sun out, and working together to help move rocks was so unifying and satisfying. I loved going down to the stream and hanging out with people doing their laundry. The beauty of the country was calming and inspiring. At the end, the elders of the community did a prayer circle around us, which was beautiful.

  24. Today was the real test of my strength (which was really difficult since I’m not that strong), I’ve been waiting to help build for a week and now I realize how sore I will be tomorrow, but I know it’s worth it. My favourite part of today was the little water walk that we did, it really symbolized the change and impact we’re making. When we poured all of the water into the large jug it seemed like we didn’t really do anything, although it was a small it helped them a lot. That one walk was 20 less trips for one person which could’ve taken them maybe an hour or more to do. The kids are always what I’ll remember the most, one of them kept bugging me and making jokes especially since I could speak Tagalog. He reminded me of my little brother and when we were on break he saw the bracelets on my wrists and he asked if he could have one so I gave it to him, something he could remember me by. The bracelet had “WWJD” written on it, “What Would Jesus Do”, give him the bracelet of course because at this point do materialistic things really matter when you could give someone joy and put a smile on their face?

  25. ​Each email is like a piece of GOLD! Thank you for sharing such treasures so generously!

    Peace, Joy and Hope,
    Steve De Quintal
    Teacher, St. Mary’s CSS, 66 Dufferin Park Ave. Toronto, Ontario M6H-1J6. 416-393-5528 ext. 84293
    “that they may have life and have it the full.”
    “Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look at what they can do when they stick together.” – Vesta M Kelly
    ***You can always email but a call or a visit will get a quicker response***
    ________________________________

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