We woke to the urgent and distressing beeping of alarms this morning, as we were told that we all had to meet in the lobby at 7 o’clock. Most of us made it on time except for a few stragglers which we realised were still asleep as we were boarding the bus. After everyone and everything were aboard we headed to Ikthus church where we were served breakfast (banana, omelette & toast). We were then briefed on the Filippino culture.
After Breakfast we headed out to a local school and a nearby community where the group blew bubbles and tied balloons for local children, which resulted in the most amazing smiles and laughter. Our time spent at the local community was a sort of initiation into how the typical less fortunate Filippino lives. Many of us were startled to actually see what conditions they lived in and began to emphasise with the locals, there was a group discussion after where many came to the conclusion that most of our beds were bigger than their rooms.
It was an eye opener for most as there is a major difference between seeing slums on tv and actually being there and experiencing first-hand how they lived and the way the community is so closely linked.
After the trip to the local school and community we headed back to Ikthus Church and had lunch (chicken on a stick, rice, coconut jelly & spring rolls). We then departed for VMA Global College, where we were greeted with a marching band and probably around 2000 (roughly) students saluting on either side of the road as we made our way into the college. We then partnered with our buddies and headed for the gymnasium where cultural presentations were performed by the students of VMA College.
After some activities with our buddies the group squished back into our bus and went to the training centre and performed an ‘abandon ship’ maritime simulation and jumped into a pool from a 12ft platform. Some were afraid to jump while others were more confident. Other activities we took part in were; firefighting drills and mediocre karaoke that went into the night.
We then said our goodbyes to our buddies and then hopped back onto the bus headed home for the hotel (with a quick detour to 7/11 for an ice-cream). Everyone’s looking forward to our big day tomorrow and we’re all sending our love to family and friends.
Jono & Claire.