Day 5 (part 1) – San Mateo

Jan 1, 2017

It was the first day of the year. Today we travelled to the mountainous region of San Mateo to visit the ANCOP village OLB – Our Lady of Banneux.

This monument is part of an outdoor chapel
We travelled down the mountain to fetch water for the community


For lunch we had a “Boodle Feast” aka “Boodle Fight.” No utensils needed!

Watch video below.

After San Mateo we went to the 2013-14 build site named AKC.

For more up-to-date photos and videos search @MikeCLeadership #PH2k16 on Twitter.

Thank you for following our travels.

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18 thoughts on “Day 5 (part 1) – San Mateo

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  1. Before this trip, I had never really done construction work or anything like it. The closest I’ve been was planting trees! When we helped out here, I got my first taste of what we’d be doing, and I think that really helped later on at the build site.

  2. I remember when the young boys in the village wanted to help us with the hard work! So inspiring

  3. First time that we were all put to work. Even though it didn’t look like much it was a lot of hard work and it was worth it in the end

  4. When I found out that today was the first day we would wear our building gear, I was absolutely ecstatic. We were allowed to choose which colour shirt we would wear this day, we had to choose between blue and maroon. Because everyone on the trip were fashion killas we decided to go with the maroon. We later found out this was a mistake. Wearing dark colours may not be that much of a problem when you’re in Canada with a breeze that will cool you off under the sun. It’s a whole new game play when you’re wearing dark colours on a 40-degree day with little to no wind. This whole wardrobe malfunction was not enough to stop us. We sucked it up – some people decided to cut their sleeves off, we made sure we stayed hydrated and worked through the heat with the help of little troopers from the village! It was a great day for our first day or serving.

  5. San Mateo was the first community where we were put to work. Lunch was a Boodle Fight and it was a good time with good food! Travelling to the stream where we collected water was a journey and a half but it was all worth it knowing that we were able to collect water for the community. Although digging out for the ramp was hard work, mixed it with the hot weather, we could not help but smile and be motivated by the little boys who were all so willing to help us on their on will and they even found it very fun and they seemed like they were having a very good time. Saying good bye to everyone, especially to a little girl name Sandra was very hard. Nonetheless, it was an amazing day getting to help out San Mateo.

  6. It was heartwarming to see how excited and cheerful the children were to help us with the work we were doing. Today we got our first taste of construction but being surrounded with everyone and of course the children, made this experience amazing regardless of the heat.

  7. We had to get water from the stream, which was down a huge hill. I was so tired after lugging the pail of water, I had to take like a 10 min water break lol. We began chipping away at the dirt so that they can build their ramp, and it was truly inspiring to see the little children run and wait for us to hand them the pails filled with dirt. You wouldn’t normally see children here in Canada be so willing to help.

  8. San Mateo was beautiful. Even though we had to walk quite a distance from where the bus dropped us off it was still amazing. Seeing such community during the dancing and when we were working on the hill was just so heart warming. It lifted my spirit up so much. When we were getting the water I remember feeling humbled in a way because I was stressed about walking up the hill but the people of the village do this every single day. This is where I first discovered the shy plant at closes up when you touch it. That was fun to play with.

  9. Walking down the hill to fetch water was an eye opener. It made us realize that many communities in the Philippines barely have access to water for everyday uses. San Mateo was also where we got our first taste of working beneath the hot sun.

  10. Walking to the river was really tiring but for the kids, it was a piece of cake. The kids were very helpful and hardworking. In Canada, we are so lucky to have big equipments that helps with digging, transporting big rocks and we have access to clean water whenever, wherever.

  11. When you’re in the Philippines, the heat is something you will surely not miss out on! But that didn’t stop us from enjoying our experience – climbing down the steep hill to the river where the villages only water source was, shoveling down the dirt to start the driveway, and playing with the kids and giving them gifts. It was also our first time to experience a boodle fight (eating food on top of banana leaves using our hands). Making such close bonds with the kids in such a short amount of time made the experience at San Mateo a worthwhile memory! It was truly an eye-opener for us to see the struggles these people face trying to attain water, such a basic necessity we have in Canada and one that many of us take for granted.

  12. I can’t get over how cute the kids are whenever they dance ahh!! San Mateo was the first community we put our steel-toe boots to use. It was fun going down the hill to get water and seeing a small aspect of their daily life. Despite being tired, we all worked hard and rotated doing different tasks, which helped the job get done. I found it so cute that the little boys were so willing to help using their bare hands and wearing tsinelas! They were all so hard working and it really motivated everyone to keep going under the heat. If the little kids can do it then we shouldn’t be complaining! Also, this was my first Boodle Fight and it was so yums!

  13. This was our first day actually putting in actual physical work. Beforehand we got to dance and play with the kids. They were all kind and welcoming! I remember being really overwhelmed with happiness because they all called me ate. Which to me is special because I’m one of the youngest in my family so I never was an older figure to anyone. I think my favourite part was getting water because it was something new and a challenge to us all.

  14. I absolutely loved San Mateo!! What surprised me was seeing all the children so eager to help us and putting all their strength into it. I met a little boy named Oliver and I absolutely loved him. He was so kind and generous and wanted me to have his cookies. This showed me how loving and giving this community was. This inspired me to always be grateful and put my best foot forward.

  15. San Mateo was so beautiful and everyone was so sweet. The view was so amazing, everyone had to take pictures, but today was a taste of how much work we were going to have to do. Those water buckets were so heavy, and I don’t think we would have completed as much work done if it was for those children helping us.

  16. Our visit to San Mateo was amazing. Seeing how they had to travel to get the water really opened my eyes to how fortunate we are to have clean water as accessible as it is.

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