Day 9 – Building in Masagana

On January 3rd, 2016, we continued our building in Masagana. Since it was Sunday, we first went to celebrate Sunday Mass together.

01 mass
If you’re thinking that looks more like a sports arena vs a church you’re right
02 arena
That’s because they need to find a space big enough to hold the members of Couples of Christ (this is the organization that runs ANCOP)
03 bishop
This is the first Sunday of 2016 so the bishop himself presides the mass
04 bus
After mass we find the bus stuck in a dilemma. We finally get out relatively fast consider how many people were at mass.
06 ball
Before we start our build, we play the men in the community (who we usually work beside) 5 on 5 basketball up to 21.
07 form
Who has the best shooting form?
08 drive
Why shoot when you can easily drive and take it to the hole
09 crowd
The crowd gets larger and larger. This is the first time we are playing Canada vs Philippines basketball in Masagana.
10 teams
Canada comes up victorious. Our youth was too much to handle.
11 train
Time to start working. The workers in the community filled up all the bags while we were gone so we make a train to transport them.
11b train
The bags that are to heavy for the train are lifted by Wendel and Jaiden


05 pile
This is how much debris we’ve moved so far.
11c back to filling
After all the bags are dumped, time to refill.
24 ronald
Ronald helps the leaders feel more comfortable by providing shade
12 hammer
Seph breaks down a partial wall that’s in the way
13 clearning
The girls clear an area where they can pile sifted sand
14 sift
Sand needs to be separated from gravel so that it can be mixed with concrete
15 pray
Lunch time. As always, we say grace before we eat and give praise.

After lunch we are visited by two special Canadian guests. Senator Tobias Enverga from Ottawa and Neil Reed, the Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines.

Read more about their visit

We felt honoured to be recognized.

16 bracelets
Julienne teaches the kids how to make bracelets
17 before paint
The walls are ready for painting
18 before paint
The goal is to put 2 coats on the inside and outside of 2 units
19 paint
Painting is a good break from filling and carrying bags
20 K painting
Everywhere Kalyna goes, she attracts a crowd. Watching paint dry is boring but apparently watching Kalyna paint is not.
22 moving
The boys are assigned their own house to paint, but first they need to clear it out to make space.
21 S painting
A friendly competition brews, whose house will be painted the best, the girls or the boys.
23 sifting
While a group paints, others continue to sift sand. Mother-daughter team at work!
25 baby
So cute!
26 octopus
After an afternoon of work, it’s game time! We play a massive game of Octopus.
27 leaders
The goal is to get to the other side without getting caught by any of these leaders
27b advance
The kids scream as they try to make their way across
28 advance
If you get caught, you’re out. The sole remaining kid will win a prize.
29 crowd
The crowd cheers on the kids as they try to elude the leaders.
30 men
We play 3 rounds with the kids, and 1 hilariously funny round with the teenagers and young men.
31 winners
The prize: a knapsack full of goodies (clothes, toiletries, toys, school supplies)
32 hang
Hugs and high fives before we say goodbye for the day
33 carissa
All the kids are so interested in Carissa’s hair.
34 zuca
Everyday Eric, one of the kids in the community, offers to roll and load Michael’s carry-on luggage to the bus
34 b hugs
Final hugs until tomorrow


35 skating
After the build site we went to the Mall of Asia for dinner and skating
35b skating
It was like a having a little piece of Cananda
36 b and g
As the sign says in the background, “The Coolest Place in the Philippines.”
37 group
A bunch of Canadians skating in the Philippines. Who wouldathunkit 🙂

Tomorrow we continue our build in Masagana.

Feel free to read our comments below and contribute your own thoughts.

Thanks for following our travels.

10 thoughts on “Day 9 – Building in Masagana

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  1. Masagana was only filled with happiness. Every day as we returned tto our village, there were so many indescribable moments that only fill me with complete joy. The mornings were occupied with hard work & lots of sweat, but after a few hours of heavy lifting & sore arms, our reward was playing with the kids. I remember having Daniel & Allyza clinging to my arms throughout the trip. I only smile as I recall the screams of “Ate Megan” during their preparation to run by me during Octopus. & when they were caught (eventually… After lots of chasing), I swung them around & brought them to the side. The realization of my desire to return back to the Philippines only grows. I just want to hear the laughter of all of the kids again & experience their smile once more in real life, rather than through pictures. Most of all, I want to revisit one more time to instead express my love for them instead of a goodbye. Similar to the bonds I made with the children, my friendship with my peers only grew. The whole trip itself has been so incredible because of who I surround myself with. This is not only obvious with the friendships between myself & the kids, as it is also displayed within the PH2K15 family. The pictures of all of us together as a family only make me smile, as I am reminded of all the good moments of happiness that we all shared.

  2. Every day we come to this village everyone is always smiling and so welcoming and heart warming and it makes me so happy to see that. The best part is when we’re working they’re always want to help us and it’s so nice that they want to be a part of this with us. Ronald was so cute, he purposely brought an umbrella and just stood there holding it above our heads to block out the sun and kept asking us if we were okay and wanted anything and it was just really adorable. I finally got to see Mike play basketball (even though he missed a lot of shots xp) and we got to play a game like octopus with them, it was cute seeing them run, and some pushed each other in front of one of us and run the other way to not get caught, which was pretty funny ahaha. I can say that this village is such a wonderful community filled with amazing people who i really enjoy to be around.

  3. First we went to church. I thought it was really nice of the church to recognize what we were doing. After, we returned to Masagana and the children were so excited to see us again!! It was really fun for the whole community to get involved in a big game of octopus XD. The children were pretty fast aha and it was pretty hard to catch them. After, we went skating in short XD ( which was definitely a first). I really loved Masagana community and all the amazing people in it !!

  4. Every time we came to the village all the children and adults were always smiling and laughing and having an amazing beside the fact that they were always out in the burning sun all day everyday. The best part i think is the fact that they don’t stop going because they know what the final outcome is. They will get a new home and something that gives them safety.
    Being able to help them reach their goal and knowing that this is something will make them happy makes me very happy as well.

  5. It felt really cool to be able to return to a village (finally) and tell the kids ‘see you tomorrow’ while we got onto the bus. I really felt like we became apart of the community in a such a short time. It’s nice to be welcomed back with such excitement from the children and acceptance from the adults. Working in Masagana quickly became fun and enjoyable. By the third day of hard labor, my body sored painfully every morning but in a way, I was proud of it. To me, it means that I’d accomplished something the day before. And for every trip I made it meant a job someone in the community no longer had to do. When we played games it was especially enjoyable for us to see kids participate with such enthusiasm. Not all kids in Canada like playing games because they think ‘they’re too cool for them.’ The best part of the day however was when we left and once again we could say “see you again tomorrow..” The Ice skating in SM was weird only because I don’t think it was nearly as cold as it should’ve been to be able to skate. It was fun though except when people who were learning to skate would suddenly fall right in front of you and you’d have to dodge it to avoid collision yourself. Also we got in trouble multiple times for trying to make sling shots. Guess the Philippines isn’t prepared for a Canadian takeover just yet… next time someone should start a game of puck and see what security says then ha

  6. This was the first time that we actually returned to the same village, and it was great to be able to see familiar faces, and high five kids that you met the day before. I was pretty sore from the last couple day’s work but I worked it off pretty quickly. The massive game of Octopus that we played after building was definitely a highlight of the day.

  7. Today offered me a different experience because I had attended mass in a different country. At first, it was awkward due to the fact that we were not usually seen here. This feeling was lost when we saw their happy faces and the environment made us feel at home.

  8. Celebrating mass with the CFC community was very uplifting considering I’m part of a similar group in Canada. Going back to Masagana was great because they already got a sense of who we are but now we got to know them a bit more. The fact that this is our village and we’ll be returning for two more days makes so excited to build relationships with everyone. Seeing the entire community come out for a giant game of octopus was stunning. There were so many kids in such a small community. We played such simple games but they had a blast. But the highlight of my day was teaching the kids how to make bracelets, someone of them struggled but they helped each other out. They all turned out so nice and now they have something small to remember us by.

  9. What an amazing experience for all involved…

    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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