Philippines 2012: Day 6

April 2, 2012

Well, this is the last day and we’re off to see an aunt who had invit­ed us over for lunch and din­ner. Get­ting there was quite a trek as the traf­fic was nuts! Let’s say there are three lanes going in the same direc­tion, here in North Amer­i­ca. That would eas­i­ly be five (if not 6) lanes for these dri­vers. As peo­ple weave in and out, cut each oth­er off, whether you’re a big truck, a “jeep­ney”, or tri­cy­cle, I am tru­ly sur­prised that road rage is not even com­mon down there. All the dri­vers seem to tele­path­i­cal­ly under­stand each oth­er and some­times, two quick toots of the horn is a polite warn­ing of, “Hey! Watch your left, I’m com­ing around.” Nev­er­the­less, we arrived at my aunt’s beau­ti­ful Span­ish inspired home. I felt like I was walk­ing around in a Pier1/The Bom­bay Co. cat­a­logue.

High­light of the stay: My aunt toured us around the neigh­bour­hood. We got to a facil­i­ty named The Tuloy Foun­da­tion. It was so touch­ing to see and expe­ri­ence a place where street kids are giv­en a chance for edu­ca­tion in the trade and culi­nary arts and prac­ti­cal­ly, a new life! Found­ed by Fr. Mar­ciano “Rocky” Evan­ge­lista, this facil­i­ty has been pri­mar­i­ly fund­ed by the res­i­dents of the com­mu­ni­ty. In a ser­mon (as my aunt explains), Fr. Rocky encour­aged the sur­round­ing afflu­ent res­i­dents to get involved in their com­mu­ni­ty. Rather than being cooped up in their own homes, fear­ing to face the unfa­mil­iar faces out­side their homes, they would con­tin­ue to live in fear unless they get involved to help these peo­ple. Is that tru­ly a way to live? We were only blessed to have met this inspir­ing priest and per­son­al­ly con­grat­u­late him on his accom­plish­ments. We also met two female clients, aged 8 and 9. One of them had been in the facil­i­ty for only three months, while her best friend, six years. They were both very polite and you could see that peace and joy in their eyes for hav­ing lived there. Both of them are ecsta­t­ic for the upcom­ing Street Child World Cup (soc­cer) which will be held in Brazil in 2014. Imag­ine that…three months ago, one of them was liv­ing with her mom in “God-knows-what-kind-of-sit­u­a­tion”. And now, she’s prepar­ing to trav­el across con­ti­nents and enjoy her child­hood!

What a way to end my stay in the Philippines…with a sense of hope. Hope that there is a brighter tomor­row but it will only hap­pen if we get involved in our own com­mu­ni­ties and help each oth­er.

I hope you had enjoyed this trip! ‘Till the next post!!

…Jol­libee is McDonald’s com­peti­tor in the Philip­pines, boast­ing some home-made dishes…but in a fast-food set­ting!…

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…don’t judge me! I had to try it…

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…there is a Ronald McDon­ald House in this Tuloy Foun­da­tion facil­i­ty…
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