Our second last day of ministry has come to a close. Typically the roosters starting crowing from 5:30am but we had the luxury of a sleep-in till 8am. Breakfast for most was two eggs and bread, served with a fork and spoon (knives aren’t common). The morning was spent at a privately owned beach resort, where the water was blissful (not too warm but not too cold). Unfortunately it was low tide, so the water slides were out of action but the hammocks over the water were nice and relaxing. Tim did a devotion on the Holy Spirit in a hut there as we sung some worship songs with myself and Tim sharing the guitar playing. Capping off the beach visit was seeing crabs on the rocks. As there wasn’t much sand underneath the water but rather lots and lots of rocks and an equal amount of seaweed.
Tour guide Tim then led us around the Shrine of Lapu Lapu on Mactan Island. A place where each year there is a re-enactment of the events of 1521 where Lapu Lapu led the local troops to victory over the invading Spaniards. There was a massive canvas depicting the historic battle, as it marked the first victory for the Filipinos. The greenery at the gardens and the totem pole statue was something to see. Also at this shrine were several local markets selling souvenirs. As tourists this was our first opportunity to perfect out bartering skills before lunch at the mall.
In a drastic change of scenery we then visited the town dumpsite. Upon arriving we were greeted with the sight of roughly 50 roosters and a handful goats that were to be sold for income for the place. Looming over this was a massive concrete wall enclosing the rubbish. It was incredibly muddy and without elaborating too much, the smell was, as you’d expect. We saw their makeshift housing arrangement around the site, and a mental comparison between that and the memory of home was inevitable. We handed out a few hundred koalas to the children living there, it was saddening to see them so violent and aggressive in their attempts to get one as we were told of the increasing number of people living there. On a brighter note, we were also told that us visiting the site assists in adding a sense of value and worth to the lives of those living there. Moreover, the Filipino Government does provide housing for them at a low rate but many choose to stay at the dumpsite as they receive free handouts there. A reminder of the complexity of poverty.
One happier note is that the organization we are working with has sponsored two trikes (the form of public transport for the Philippines – think of a small push bike with two seats on the side) to two families and thus providing them with a source of income, so they have now been able to move from the dumpsite.
Spring rolls, rice, meatballs and vegetables were served for tea back at the Church. It was then time for the second round of guys and girls night. The girls (supposedly) enjoyed some facemasks, four-coloured semi-frozen ice cream and asking questions they had each written and then randomly selected. Whilst the guys enjoyed (the somewhat weird) 1 hour full body Swedish massage before ice cream at the local 7-Eleven. All in all, it was a full on day, but with one day of ministry left; bring on tomorrow.
Schoolies Rev is a project of HopeBuilders International, a registered organisation that partners with Global Development Group. All images, media and content are used with permission & belong to Schoolies Rev.
© COPYRIGHT SCHOOLIES REV 2019.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.