My stay in Lake Sebu was a celebration of community, talent, and art. I had gotten to know our host family, have conversations with them, and get their openness and love for life, family, and community. I also had the privilege of witnessing the talents of the T’boli kids and of meeting and learning from T’boli dream weavers. It’s an honor to spend a part of my life with the wonderful people of Lake Sebu. And, for our last full day, Tara and I chose to be with the family and enjoy each other’s company as the end of our stay with the community was drawing near.
The previous day, we paid for unlimited broadband access and we didn’t want to put it to waste. So, we told the kids that they could use the internet because we’re done with it anyway. While eating breakfast, we met Tonton, the singer of the group. Dondon and him transferred the computer because they didn’t want to bother us eating breakfast. They kept on asking, “Ate, ok lang ba talaga?” I would say, “Ok lang. Ano ba?” They said, “Baka makaistorbo sa pagkain n’yo.” I think Tara got that they were being so awkwardly shy about using the internet while we were eating that she said, “I’m not a princess!” Haha! That’s when they finally went to it.
The following day, Tara and I woke up at around 6:30 AM. Everyone was already up and about by this time. I even heard someone cutting wood. So, after breakfast, I went down to see who it was. Then, I formally met Dondon and Jayjay. Jayjay is a son of Manang Oyog and Dondon is related to them in some way. Dondon is in college, taking up education. Jayjay stopped schooling but will return this coming school year and take up electronics. They are both 19 years old.
We asked the driver to bring us to Greenbox, following Manang Oyog’s advice. We were already there for about 3 minutes when the kids from across the street went down and asked, “Sino sa inyo si Ati Monica?” So cute! I introduced myself and Tara and got to know the names of the beautiful kids that we were going to spend the next four days with: Heng, Potpot, Andi, Tamtam, Dogdog, Boyboy, and Rhea. There was also Manang Barbara, Manang Oyel, Ate Tisay, and of course, Manang Oyog.
There was no more hitch from Bontoc to Lake Sebu. We got to Manila with enough time to walk to Tara’s apartment in Scout Borromeo, repack, withdraw money from Western Union, and take a cab to the airport. We got to the airport with a few minutes to spare before boarding so I also got to withdraw money from the ATM. When a Cebu Pacific attendant saw Tara’s tattoo, he said, “Fresh na fresh pa po tattoo nyo ah!” To which Tara replied, “Huh?” The flight attendant then said, “Good morning!” Haha!
Another one of the projects of our couchsurfing host, Russell, is the Guina-ang Village School 1Book Blessing. Upon his request, Tara and I brought books donated by our friend, Gladdy. We were going to skip personally delivering the books to the village because we were cramped with time. But, I’m glad we pushed through with it because we got to meet the adorable kids and people of Guina-ang.
Another one of Russell’s projects is Guina-ang Village School 1Book Blessing. Because we believe in acts of kindness, we brought books donated by a friend (Thanks Glads!) for the kids of the village.