Day 8 – (pt. 1) Masagana Community

Today is January 2, 2016.

We are all excited to be going to our official buildsite, the Masagana community.

01 prayer
Like all days, we start the day with prayer.
001 walk
We have to walk through several other communities before we get to Masagana. It’s interesting how we would initially consider this a slum compared to Toronto, but after visiting Tondo, it seems so clean and livable. 
02 welcome
Masagana – a place our group #PH2015 can call our own.
02 greeting
We are greeted by the community leaders and ANCOP representatives
04 blessing
Everywhere we go, the community blesses us with a prayer.
05 bags
Let the hard work begin. We need to move all these pre-filled bags so the boys clear an area where they can be dumped.
06 filling
After all the bags have been moved, we refill them. The goal is to get all the debris from outside of the unit so that a level floor can be created.
07 filling 2
3 foot trenches were dug for the foundation walls. So all the debris in the middle came from the edges when digging.
08 line
Left: Carrying debris. Right: Waiting for bags to be filled.
09 ice cream
Break time. Michael buys ice cream for all us, including all the people in the community. One cone is 10 pesos = 33 cents.
10 pile
This was the spot the boys initially cleared. Look it how much debris we were able to move.
11 filling
With no machines, everything has to be done by hand.
12 Carissa
Carissa breaks up debris so make it easier to shovel.
14 unload
A delivery truck comes and we volunteer to unload it
15 were
The delivery has piping, rebar, and bags of concrete.
16 moving bags
Each bag of concrete weighs 40 kilos.
20 Sand
After all the items are removed, we need to shovel all the sand out of the truck as well.
17 Slava
The kids are entertained by Slava
18 group pose
Called to Serve!
19 prayer 2
Tito Morrie and his wife (who we met in AVANAI) leads us in prayer before lunch.


13 washing clothes
Our blue shirts from yesterday are being washed so that we can wear them tomorrow.
23 shirts
What amazing hospitality.


24 chillin
Life here is so happy and relaxed.
25 duck
Time to get the know the kids through games. Here we play duck, duck goose.
26 huckle
We teach them huckle buckle.
27 winners
The remaining 2 children with a knapsack full of items (toiletries, stationery,  clothes)
22 turon
Time for “merienda” tagalog for “snack time before dinner”
29 shoes
Setting everything up for tomorrow.
30 rain
To the left is everyone’s water metre. Michael cleans himself in collected rainwater which has no meter.
31 walk back
We make our way back to the bus escorted by kids from Masagana
32 pics
They always want to take pictures with us. This time we get to say, “See you tomorrow!”

For dinner we are going to the 2013 build site of AKC where we will be having dinner, playing with the kids, and giving out presents.

Thanks for following our travels.

Check back to read our comments below. Feel free to post us your thoughts.


10 thoughts on “Day 8 – (pt. 1) Masagana Community

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  1. Today was our first day building. It was a little hard to adjust into the community because the kids weren’t used to having strangers around. When we tried playing games with them and a few were every shy at first but i had a feeling that by the next day they would get used to us. Today’s work was lot like yesterday a lot of heavy lifting but we worked as a team and had a good system going which I think helped make the work go by faster.

  2. I was absolutely thrilled to serve the Masagana community. Each community has a different vibe which enhances our experience. As the day progressed, we had an opportunity to play games with the kids. They where shy at first however, they open up as we played more games. All in all it was an awesome first impression.

  3. The pictures on the website are amazing and really capture the humble greetings your receive from everyone you meet. The children in the photos seem to look happier and happier everyday. It’s incredible to see how students from our school board are touching the hearts of so many people all the way around the world. Keep up the great work everyone!

  4. Today was… painful. Lifting the cement bags was BRUTAL, especially since Seph and I had cuts on our arms and then lets just say when the cement mixed with our cut it was pretty painful, it really stung. The good part was it was our first day of building and so I was pretty nervous because they’re all strangers, but it was the total opposite. Everyone was so friendly like we’ve met before, and the kids were so nice, they’d come up to you and start talking to you and it was great to see. When I was a kid i used to be so shy, i’d hide behind my mom whenever a stranger tried talking to me but these kids were nothing like that, they were so friendly and energetic it’s awesome. I really think i’m going to like this village.

    1. When we got to our village, I was surprised to see the hospitality that we got right away. I was so excited to start working, I mean, this is the whole reason why we came here. Once we got started, I was exhausting and by lunch, we all felt like talking a break. But we kept working and it was awesome. The adults were also as great as the kids, cleaning our shirts and feeding us lunch. This village is going to be great!

  5. Today was our first day building in the Masagana community! It was hard work (a lot of heavy lifting). However, the community members helped us out to make the job easier:)the children were shy at first and we were unsure how the rest of the days were going to go, but they ended up really loving us!!

  6. Today was the first day of building at OUR village. In all honesty, I was anxious. Extremely anxious. For the first thirty minutes or so, I felt as if I was intruding as an outsider but I felt quickly welcomed by the Titas and Titos and everyone from the community. They were probably as anxiously excited as we were. Working like this reminded my fondly of riding a bike in Toronto. You could ride a bike for hours of a day, only if you paced yourself properly. I think that first day taught me a lot about self control (and tito Bernie was right, yesterday was easier). There were easier jobs and there were harder jobs, like steep hills on a bike and you don’t tell yourself you’re tired on a steep hill. I don’t remember ever feeling tired like dead out of breath ‘I-just-ran-a-marathon’ tired but I remember more than once I thought my arms were going to give out from repeatedly carrying heavy loads so breaks were much appreciated. But honestly, at the end of the day, the kids escorting you to the bus reminds you that doing this all makes everything worth it.

  7. I was kind of nervous going into today, because we were meeting the people of Masagana for the first time. However, the warm welcome we received right away removed any fears and embarrassment that I had. I really enjoyed playing basketball with kids on our breaks, and I look forward to meeting more people and establishing relationships with them in the next couple days.

  8. This is it, what I’ve been waiting for for months! Finally visiting our village, meeting the people and helping them build. I’ll admit since this was our first day the kids were a little shy but I knew as the days went on they’d get to know us. But aside from that everyone was so welcoming and happy to see us there.The rock moving was rough, especially when you encountered scorpions! But nonetheless worth every single bit, I’m just so happy to finally be building.

  9. ​It is so nice to continue to uncover such emails in my inbox!

    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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