Penultimate Post: Memories

Some of my homies at the Magdelena School for children of street-dwellers, in Laguna. Despite woeful backgrounds, gracious, funny, personable young men. (CCT).

Folks, in this, my second final blogpost, I thought it would be nice to reflect back on the past weeks, in part to help remind me of a range of inspiring and interesting people we came across in our travels. A little tribute if you will, kind of like at the end of Survivor when they reflect back on all the people who they have spent time with, except that I haven’t voted anybody off the island. I think of this as a little gallery of memories. I hope you are as touched and inspired by these people as we have been… Cue stirring music….

Communion… Combantrin style.
(Thanks to supporters and Qantas).
5000 kids de-wormed last week.

Mere, chillaxing with Pastora Maravic,
peeling some garlic.

Some of the youth leaders in San Isidro Village, beneficiaries of a Community Development Program (ASKI).

Lilly and Lito (sounding like characters from Billy Joel song), got a loan from TSKI. She makes saipao (pork buns) in her kitchen and husband Lito sells them from the back of his bicycle. They have been able to put their daughter through school and put a second storey on their modest dwelling.

Ingenious farming. Breeding cows without a head means you don’t have to feed them so much.

Edgar, furniture master-craftsman, in his workshop with his son, Edgar Jnr, and friends. Client of small business start up loan (ASKI).

Have to mention Meredith, a rock of calm and grace in the most difficult of circumstances, especially after she’s had six beers.

The groovy and funny women of the Leganes Community Development Group (TSKI), taking their oaths to be good businesswomen and members of church, family and community.

Mark Pedder with some of his youth leaders. Baseco Compound slum. 100 000 people. 1 sq km.

Angel (right) and Frankie (back to camera) former street-dwellers now running feeding programs and prayer meetings on traffic islands for people who society has forgotten.
(Centre for Community Transformation)

The delightful women at the Tondo Group Loan meeting. Tondo is one of the biggest slums in the world, and in the middle of it, these women meet weekly for prayer, fellowship, business and a moment of quiet in their hectic week.

Remedias Mendez, lives in a hut complex with some pigs. Runs a business. Put her daughter through Ohio State University. Wow.

The comedic duo of Ofelia and Virginia, who for over ten years have run the Community Business Branch of their little village of Salvacion 2. Both widows, so single men beware.

Arnold DIzon, Head Cheese of the Kalasag Farmers’ Co-op. Used to be poor farmers. Joined together, got organised, took out a group loan, kicking agricultural butt. (And goats)

The cool staff of ASKI, who in their spare time work on elaborately choreographed performances for visiting guests. Grease.

Our hospitable hosts, the weavers of Salignan, performing traditional dance to Maroon 5, wearing cloth they have painstakingly woven by hand. (TSKI clients)

Mrs Salnat of Salignan, once without a peso to her name, now a TSKI client and proud owner of sari-sari store. Community leader.

Proving me naive and condescending, the farmers of Calaboa put me in my place in discussing the science of composting and the importance of doing their bit to counter global warming.

Mark Pedder, who lives near the beach. Unfortunately the beach is composed entirely of rubbish. Even so, I found it hard to litter there…

Hanging out with each other for five weeks, doing bizarre stuff… priceless.

 Thanks for making it this far and sharing along the way. One more post to go… (And never fear:   PeterDDowney    has just joined twitter as i have decided to continue to annoy people with my witty and banal  reflections on life.)

14 responses to “Penultimate Post: Memories”

  1. Anne Looby says :

    You have to stay there longer just because I have/am enjoying the blogs so much! Enjoy the remainder. It has been amazing to watch from the sidelines.
    A & J x

    • downeyphilippines says :

      Thanks Loobs for reading along. I have found it surprisingly supportive to know people are reading and sharing and commenting. I have not yet been able to pull off the flashmob line dance on Boracay White Beach… maybe you will have to come next time to help me pull that off!

  2. Adam says :

    Hey PD and Mere – It’s been great following along with your journey. What an incredible experience. Look forward to hearing more about it in person … eventually! xx Ads & Dan.

    • downeyphilippines says :

      Don’t you worry about that matey. Looking forward to it, cos you know i consider your spare room our “home away from home”!!!! And we will be there again. Been thinking about your photobooks (Iceland et al.,) And am thinking doing the same. P&M

  3. Diana Jefferson says :

    Pete and Mere, I have been skimming and dipping and sometimes floundering. Lots for me to take in and think about and return to reread. Thanks for taking me on the ride.Love dj

  4. Michele & Gordon says :

    Hi P&M….Just back from Melbourne, again, and catching up on your week of travels, so different to my week :-/ Thanks so much for taking the time to craft the words and add those precious photos. One photo is worth a 1,000 words! Look forward to catching up for a meal at the Spit! LOL M&G xxx

  5. John says :

    Nice work Smoothie. I’m just scared that you have discovered twitter. The world may not big big enough to contain “The Bloginator” (?the Twitternator?). Safe travels home. See you in Barrington. JB

  6. L & P says :

    So many amazing memories. So much to be thankful for. So much more to be prayerful in. Penultimate reply to penultimate post! The question is how will you cope with tweeting 168 characters??? @PeterDDowney 🙂

  7. Peter Stanton says :

    loved the headless cow!!!! and all the other memories, Peter you are such an amazing writer, you have moved me to tears one moment and laughter the next and I thank you for sharing the journey, safe travels, look forward to having you back at st Lukes sue


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