Project Breaking Down Barriers: Before saying good-bye to Lake Sebu

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.

Mother and daughter


Wacky faces of Tara and Andi

Later in the afternoon, Tara and I went ahead to fix our stuff for our departure in the morning.  Because the kids of Lake Sebu had been generous with their talents and selves, I wanted to leave them with something that they could remember us by.  So, I left my shades with all the kids and gave my sago earrings to Andi and Rhea, while Tara left her bracelet with Tamtam.

Shades on Tamtam

In the evening, Manang Oyog and the kids cooked dinner for everyone and Tara and I had the opportunity to dine with the entire family.  At one point, Lola Lonin, speaking in T’boli dialect, was asking Andi to tell me something.  I was doing the Indian seat and, I learned later on, that T’boli ladies were not allowed to sit that way while eating; the proper way to do it is having one of  your lower leg (e.g., right) bent in front, with the foot of that leg going towards the knee of the opposite leg (e.g., left), and your other leg (e.g., left) bent backward, with the foot of that leg (e.g., left) a few inches away from your butt.  I tried doing it but, after giving it a shot, I realized that a bit of flexibility is necessary to sit the T’boli way.

Dinner with the whole family

After dinner, we spent more time with the family, goofin’ around and being crazy.  They created a stage (a throw pillow), where those who would want to have their pictures taken would stand and pose.

Andi and Tamtam

Dogdog and Rhea

Andi and Boyboy

After a lot of laughs, we said good night.  It was too early for my liking, though, since it was our last evening.  I tried to sleep but couldn’t.  So while everyone was already in their own dreamlands, I took out my notebook and wrote this letter to everyone we met in Lake Sebu.  This pretty much summarized how the trip was for me. 🙂

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Thank you! And, in whatever space you’re in now, I hope that you get something from reading my articles.

See ya,

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