Day 9 to 14 – Building in Tarlac

January 5 to January 10, 2017

Due to poor internet service at both hotels, it has been difficult post up-to-date photos/videos.

Below are some pictures from our days at the ANCOP Tarlac build site.

We had an amazing time building both homes and relationships with the people in the community.

We knew it would be hard work but we had our game faces on
We had different tasks. Job 1: mixing concrete.


Job 2: moving hollow blocks.
Job 3: cutting rebar
Job 4: building support beams from rebar
Job 5: Filling sand bags.
Filling sandbags wasn’t our favourite job but we tried to make it fun.
Job 6: Moving sandbags (assembly line style)
Job 7: Laying hollow blocks
We had other jobs as well. On the last day we had a community clean up.
We wanted to leave the community cleaner then we arrived. Like always all the kids got involved.
We will always remember our time in Tarlac together.
The friendships we made with each other on this trip will last a lifetime.

Tomorrow we are catching a plane back to Toronto.

Many more pictures and videos to come. Subscribe to this blog to keep up-to-date.

Please write us a comment below. Thanks for following our travels. Make sure to check back daily for updates.

ETA in Toronto is Wed. Jan. 11 at 8:00 pm.

God Bless.

25 thoughts on “Day 9 to 14 – Building in Tarlac

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  1. Dear Michael Consul,

    Hi Michael, my name is Soom Arunnaveesiri and I am a grade 12 student representative at my school Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School Scarborough. I am emailing you on regards to our Camp Olympia Team because we are not sure if we did not get our theme and weekend yet! Our team is ready to go and made and we were wondering if any dates or themes have been confirmed yet because we are PUMPED and ready to roll. Thank you and hope to hear from you as soon as possible.


    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Choosing who to give my hard hat, name tag, and shirt was one of the most difficult decisions that I’ve had to make in a long time. I din’t want to leave anybody out, and I didn’t want any of the kids to think that I cared about them less than the next one.

  3. Ahhh the memories! I miss all the kids there, especially Rosana. I had such a bond with Rosana, we were like best friends. I remember crying so much on the last day because I didn’t want to leave her. I hope that our friendship would last forever!!

  4. While signing up for this service trip, I was completely unaware of the build site. It wasn’t until a week before the trip, that I found out that the build site was in my hometown of Tarlac. The hotel was about a 15-minute drive away (with normal traffic) from the hotel. The hotel happened to be a 2-minute tricycle or 10-minute walk from my Lola’s house in the Philippines. It was a complete coincident that I happened to be from the area. On the way to the build site every day, I would pass by the Paniqui park that my Tito would always bring me to as a baby. I have pictures of me on the slides at the park and it was cool to see that they were able to maintain the park well – it looked almost exactly the way I left it (with exception to the “Avengers” statues that were added to the park).

  5. Paniqui, Tarlac will always have a special place in my heart. Here, we were able to be part of something so amazing. We were able to be part of such a loving, caring, and true community. Every person that we have encountered in that community made us feel so at home and for that, we are eternally grateful. It was without a doubt, my favourite hello, and hardest goodbye. Although the last night was the hardest night of all, we all cherished the last moments we had with each other and as one community. Here, friendships and memories that are meant to last a lifetime were made. Thank you so much Paniqui! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  6. Giving away my DeMar Derozan t-shirt, another basketball t-shirt, and my bandana away was such a great feeling because I was able to leave behind a little piece of myself with them. Seeing the kids perform our Can’t Stop the Feeling dance for us, made me break out in tears because to me it showed that we were able to make a difference in their lives, and it made me extremely happy.

  7. Learning how they manually did the work and what kind of work went into actually building the houses was really interesting. What made this more impactful was how we saw the community and bonded with them every day instead of just once, and it made it a lot harder to leave them and say goodbye on the last day.

  8. The build site was amazing. Just building and cleaning up the village made me feel like my purpose in life was starting to be fulfilled. I am so proud of our progress that we made with the sand. I was one sand every single day. Team 3, always on sand. I didn’t do it all day which was good but I did it every day. I had fun working with the family and the village. More bonds were made here because we stayed here for a whole week.

  9. Throughout the days, we only did not help build houses but we were also able to build long lasting relationship with friends and with the kids in the community. Memories made will always be in my heart. ❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎

  10. The last day at the build site was definitely the day we gave it our all. When we passed down our last sand bag down our production line, I felt the sense of accomplishment. As I stepped back and looked at the progress we did over the past week, I was speechless. From moving all the sand, bending the wires, digging out the dirt for the base of the house, and slowly starting to cement the walls, all in the scorching heat, I was ecstatic. Not only that but the personal connections we made with each of the kids and grown-ups of the community really made the whole trip worth filling out all those papers from the time we were in class to our flight back to Toronto. We left as strangers but came back as one, big family. Would definitely do it again!

  11. Throughout this week, I learned so much about myself as well as it truly opened up my perspective. The people of Tarlac really embraced us and showed us what a true community looked like!! They taught me how to value my relationships with other people. What made it even harder to leave was the fact that we were there for a week and truly felt like a part of their community. I will forever love Tarlac and love the people in it as well!!

  12. Going through these pictures make me reminisce so much. Tarlac itself was such a welcoming place. They made us feel at home at all times. The community really showcased a tight bond and loving atmosphere. Having the kids around us while we worked made the work more fun and memorable. It’s crazy taking in how much manual work it takes to build these homes because I am so used to things back here in Canada. This really made me reflect at that time. All in all, not only did I help in building homes but I got to build friendships with the kids :’)

  13. This whole week was so memorable and I feel like I am changed because of my experiences in Tarlac. I learned how important community was and how important my relationships with others were. I also learned that if we all work together as a community, we can accomplish truly amazing things.

  14. It was amazing to be able to help build homes and share so many memories with the kids. The Tarlac community was so loving, caring, and fun to be with! They welcomed us with open arms, put smiles on our faces, and taught us the value of community. Tarlac was a new found home and it was definitely hard to say goodbye on the last day. I also can’t believe all the progress we made at the site and that soon the homes would be complete for the families! It was definitely a good feeling that we made a difference but I think we gained back much more from the bonds and the people we’ve encountered. This experience is truly unforgettable:)

  15. I could never forget the people in the Tarlac community. They treated us like family as soon as we arrived. There was never a dull moment with them, even when building in the middle of a very hot day. Being with them taught me so much about myself and showed me what true happiness feels like. My heart will always be with the Tarlac community ❤

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