After so many invitations from kuya ojie, I gave this one a chance to experience the shoe giving outreach program by LTP Malaya Mountaineering Club in cooperation with the NGO, WE Phils and TOMs Shoes. The beneficiary were three elementary schools in Tanay Rizal namely: Tinucan, Sta. Ines, and the ever challenging Sitio Kinabuan.
15Oct2010 Day 1
First day was a very unfortunate start. We left Villamor Airbase an hour back the planned departure for reasons whatever they were. At 0730H, LTP shuttle bus loaded by around 80 volunteers, we headed to our destination.
Maybe due to overloading, the bus stopped 3 times due to leak. I'm not very familiar with the cause but what they said was that the piston broke down and needs to be repaired. Luckily, our driver knows something about repairing autos so he did the repair himself. But the road in Rizal was a steep assault, that means the bus cannot carry us anymore. The Malayan members decided to fetch the jeepney which will be the one to take us to where we should go. Then the jeepney came after an hour or more, our first stop was Tinucan Elementary School.
The road to Tinucan was a very rough and wild journey. Thank heavens it was not raining or else, I reckon we're gonna be stucked or walk the muddy road and cross the more or less 7 rivers. Well, jeepneys there are well equipped just like the jeep of kuya roger (rip+) of Mt. Pulag. See the wheel spikes they used? Impressive huh? This jeep and the driver's skills kept us safe through our journey from and to the jump off. If a picture could paint a thousand words, then I hope the government will do more road improvement projects.
We arrived at Tinucan Elem School around 1130H. The children we're patiently waiting for us. Sorry kids for the delay. Kuya Ogie, Kuya Jun, Leila and me were assigned in grade 5. But due to many volunteers and only 15 kids are in grade 5, dismay as I am, I was not able to do my duty there to fit them their shoes. Sadly, not all kids got their shoes due to size discrepancies. Most shoes are way too big for them. WE Phils promised those kids that they will receive their perfect fit shoes in a week. So I guess, size really does matters! :)
After the event, the students gave us a dance presentation to the tune of Pitbull's I know you want me. Please click to see the video.
Next stop ==>> Sta. Ines Elementary School.
We have the same groupings here so still, I'm assigned in grade 5. And I will never let this pass again without doing my task. The class was around 30, so i guess I have a chance. Harhar :) So the process was rearranged and i have served 7kids. The last kid named Kevin was not so happy with his shoes. The shoe size was 37.5 but what he needs is 36. We all talked to him that he will eventually grow up and he can wear socks just to make the shoes fit. But I guess, I, we, us have not enough convincing powers, Kevin said he will not take it! He opted to wait for the right shoes than to have that big one. Well, hats off boy! He knows what he wants. I saw the disappointment in his face so we find a replacement for his shoes with the other groups. Good thing, there was one unclaimed spare with the size he needs. Well, Sta. Ines was a success after all.
They also made a presentation after the event. they did the sabayang bigkas. The king of france with 40 thousand men. Marched up the hill and then marched down again! What?! I can't hear you!!! :) To view the video, please click .
A very tiring but great day! We pitched our tent in Sta. Ines Elementary School grounds. Wasn't able to make socials. Just a cup of Empi lite + coke + the tuna with sky flakes, I am solved! Leila and I called it a day at 2000H for our preparation with the next day's activity.
16Oct2011 Day 2
So you know the drill, 0530H early morning breakfast and break camp. After securing our things and not forgetting our packed lunch and individual groceries (3kilos rice+canned goods+noodles), we began our journey to Sitio Kinabuan at 0930H.
Walking in endless paths was not a big deal for me. Especially when the trail is just straight with some minimal assaults. I am not a hardcore mountaineer like any others so I was happy with the trail. :) The challenge was to cross 10rivers making sure that the groceries in my arms will be safe! After 3 hours of trekking and river crossing, we finally reached Sitio Kinabuan.
The school of Kinabuan was not even a school! it was just a small hut. And the students were around 30 in all levels. Again, due to many volunteers, I was not able to do my task of fitting the shoes. Even with the grocery+clothes+toy distribution to the moms. I don't like that feeling of doing nothing in the event like that, but what can i do? As kuya ojie said, "wag na makigulo.."...
Staying at the back of the hut we met Tom's rep Sir Vincent. Then kuya ojie told me that we should plan an outreach program like this in our favorite Bakun. I'm so excited to see the family in Mt. Lubo and give them their family picture taken years ago.
Back to Kinabuan, some moms are very demanding. One told the group that next time, we should give them medicines and a sling bag for their "nganga", like the ones mountaineers used to secure their money or cameras or cellphones. They wanted one just like that for their "nganga". I wonder, maybe this sitio got used to numerous outreach programs that this kind of gift giving are not new to them. Yeah, getting to that small community really needs much effort. But why demand? Duh?! I'm confused now. Was it like, they have their relief, as usual?! :(
Hay, the outreach program was over. Time to segway at Kinabuan Falls. Going back to Sta. Ines again was a great challenge.
More pictures to be posted soon. Since i didn't bring a cam, cp always come in handy. Unless otherwise watermarked, picture credits to kuya jun, kuya ojie and other participants (to be consolidated).
Realization::: like the famous glee/rolling stones song goes, "You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes you might find....You get what you need"
I feel blessed and fortunate to have graduated even it was a struggle for my parents to send me and my siblings to public, private and state univ. We are not a very well-off family, but the things, care, love and appreciation we needed have been provided.
Whether barefooted or not, crossing/swimming 10+rivers, walking endless muddy pathways, every individual has the right to be educated.Salute to the kids who does this struggle everyday of their lives. To the teachers who opted to teach the kids in those areas than to teach foreigners. Knowledge/education is the one thing we cannot lose when everything/one else/s does. Cheers! :)
ps: to family and friends who was worried about me not replying with their texts, i'm sorry for there's no smart or globe signal :) rest assured your prayers kept me safe... thank you.