This post has been on my draft folder for months now! There are so many stories that I would like to tell but for some weird reasons, I can’t put them into writing. So today, I am giving it a try 🙂
I was invited by Jernalie, a.k.a. Sofia, of PHR to join her and her readers in a gift-giving activity she was organizing. I almost said no because their schedule was just a week after my Banaue/Sagada trip. Good thing my supervisor approved my leave. I confirmed my attendance in the outreach activity. Jernalie told me that there will be four more participants who will be joining us, her aunt (Tita Luz), one co-writer (Rei) and two readers Janneth and Marge). 4 of them went ahead of me and Rei (who came from Tarlac). They were picked up by Mayor Genesis, Barlig’s mayor in Bontoc, as they were carrying the supplies we will be giving away.
Getting to Kadaclan, Barlig, Mt. Province was not easy. There was a long line of passengers in the terminal of buses from Manila to Baguio. I was able to hop on a bus at 1:30 AM, which was a little late cause I was hoping to catch the 7:30AM bus bound for Bontoc from Baguio. The next trip would be 9:00AM and we really need to catch that one or else we will miss the only trip of jeepney bound for Kadaclan at 3:00 PM. It was 8:50AM when Rei and I reached Dangwa terminal where busses bound for Bontoc can be found. Unfortunately, the 9AM bus had an issue and won’t be able to hit the road. The next one was scheduled at 1:30 PM and that will not work for us. We will miss the 3PM Kadaclan trip. There was a bus bound for Sagada that will depart at 9:30AM, I told Rei that we should take that one and alight at Bontoc-Sagada Junction. From there, we can take a jeep or van to Bontoc Proper. Good thing Jernalie stayed at Bontoc and waited for us. She pleaded to the driver to wait for us. It was raining when we reached Bontoc at 3:30 PM. We thanked the driver and the other passengers for waiting for us.
The trip was soooo eventful! A lot happened. It was raining and the road wasn’t all paved. At some point, I felt as if I was riding a boat and the muddy road made the trip a wavy one. Since road construction was on-going, we had to stop and wait for whatever heavy equipment was blocking our way to be driven aside so we can pass through. We got to the only homestay at Ogo-og by 9 in the evening. The other girls served us our dinner and brewed coffee. We discussed what’s going to happen the next day before we finally laid our tired bodies on the bed.
We had an early start the next day. We divided the group in to two. While some of us were taking our bath and preparing breakfast, some were at the school repacking the supplies and foods we will be giving to the kids. Mayor Genesis gave us an early visit at the inn and checked on us before we start our trek to Brgy. Ogo-og. At exactly 8:30 AM, we started our walk to Ogo-og.
“Siguro hindi na muna ako aakyat ng hagdan sa buong taon” Tita Luz said at one point. It was only May then but we have already reached our “quota” when it comes to climbing stairs 😀
After more than 2 hours of walking, we finally reached the school!
Just like a balloon that popped by a pin, the tiredness we were feeling flew away just when we saw the smiles of the children. Even if they haven’t received anything yet, they were already smiling at us.
We gave each student an envelope which contains papers, pencils, notebooks, crayons, ruler, eraser, scissors and ballpens. We also gave them some candies and cookies. The activity was initiated by Jernalie, aka Sofia (PHR writer).
Spending time with the kids of the little village was indeed a memorable, time-worthy and such a fulfilling day. We are hoping to do the same activity next year, and perhaps by then, we will be able to bring more school stuff needed by those kids.