On the 6th day of the Philippines trip we finally got to eat the food we were craving, to our heart’s content. After surviving “Live like a local day” (in which we ate lugaw for breakfast, lunch and dinner) the Ellenbrook team absolutely demolished the delicious and nutritious breakfast prepared by Auntie Dinah. After breakfast, Pastor Gary gave the team a small devotion and reminded us of our purpose here, to show the Filipino community that they are cared about. He left us with a quote: “When God gets the glory, we get the joy”. The two groups then left for their individual activities.
After the hard work group 1 did yesterday, we had a less physical day today. The team walked to the church to meet the preschoolers, where we danced, sang and made balloon animals with the children. We then jumped in the back of Pastor Ely’s van and went to Cabacungan Elementary School. The group was divided into pairs and went to separate classes to teach and interact with the students. Kellie and I sang some songs then played Hangman, Celebrity Heads and Simon Says, which the class really enjoyed. We were given the opportunity to serve lugaw to the children at their lunch break.
Group two headed off to a different local elementary school to reach out and encourage them to become involved in the IRC community. The time there included the students connecting with the children by giving out balloons, pipe cleaner bracelets and stickers. The children were overjoyed with such simple gifts, which is a testament to the Filipino’s way of life, where they are happy each and everyday. After visiting the school, group two went back to IRC headquarters and made potato chips, which will be sold for 25 pesos (around 65 cents.) The money will then be used to fund the children that IRC has taken in. The IRC workers do this daily to raise money and put food on the table for the dozens of kids that call IRC home. The team tomorrow will sell the potato chips in order to help IRC support their children.
After lunch, both groups travelled to Cabacungan National High School (CNHS) to play basketball and volleyball in order to strengthen the friendship between the school and us. The first game had the boys on the trip versing the boys from Cabacungan National High School. At half time it was an even score, but by the end of the game CNHS won by eight points. The Ellenbrook team donated their singlets to the opposing team as a sign of respect and thanks. After the basketball game, all the girls were able to participate in a game of volleyball against some girls from the local elementary school. We lost, but not by much, considering the majority of girls have not played sport since year 10. The last volleyball game was between the Ellenbrook boys and the year sevens of CNHS, and (embarrassingly) the year sevens won. It was such a fun experience that was shared between the team and the Filipino community. Their competition for sport gave us an insight into how much passion they have for the things they do.
For the night activity, the team went back to the local church and practiced the Filipino martial art called Arnis. Arnis involves the individual defending and attacking an opponent with bamboo sticks, improving coordination and self-defense skills. It also included a lot of laughter! After an emotional debrief that brought the team even closer together, we headed home for a good night’s sleep.
Casey Regan and Jonathan Walker