Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Phillipines.

May 12th: Off to Tabogon

Posted in Phillipines on May 12, 2014

Well, no problem for Team DWC: up before the sun, a very very very strong cup of coffee and some fresh fruit provided enough energy for the car and ferry transport back to Cebu.

Jenny was there to meet us and off we set for Tabogon. Of course, we had to make a quick stop for more coffee and a snack. What better than the opulent Radisson Blue. The hostess who greeted us was wearing a long blue gown, with off the shoulder lace collar and a string of pearls. So Canadian ;) - well maybe I should say so Filipina!

I must say that I was glad to have Cebu behind Although it was "mission accomplished" at the Rise Above facility, I believe we all felt a sense of relief as we left the densely populated, oppressive concrete jungle called Cebu City.

The drive to Tabogon took about 3 hours.

As we drove into Sea Turtle Resort, Jennie pointed out some of the ravages of Typhoon Yolanda. The plan was to get settled in, have lunch and then visit our project sites for Week Two.

Sea Turtle Resort is the antithesis of our accommodation in Cebu. It is a small magical resort (could accommodate 30), sculpted into the side of cliffs overhanging the Pacific. Walkways thread there way through flowering shrubs, around thatched cottages and resting places. Some paths take you to jumping off platforms and stairways right down to the ocean.

We are all housed in one of the guest cottages. Rick and Heather in one bedroom and the rest of the girls in the other bedroom. Dianne has laid claim to the deck where she plans to sleep. This is not just any deck! It overlooks the thatched roofs to the brilliant blue Pacific. A true haven after working in +35C, I'm sure!

Our hostess Sally meets us in the lunch area and provides us with a recount of what happened to the community as a result of the typhoon. Apparently the Philippine government has not really provided much as far as relief or rebuilding resources to this area. Hence, the projects that Rise Above is coordinating/funding.

We also met Grant who is a Canadian who has recently moved/retired here. He is assisting several agencies, including Rise Above with the rebuilding of the area. Grant took us in his van to the various project sites that we will be working on.

I cannot really describe the road. We bumped along a stone, dirt and rock route with an occasional strip of concrete. At one point, we all had to get out of the van, because Grant had to turn around. This particular section had piles of rocks left such that they obscured passage any further. Grant tried but bottomed out.

Our work for this week will be to:

1. Paint three homes that have been built for families that lost their homes in the typhoon. Three coats, one primer of white and two coats of green, all oil based.
2. Gardening/restoration at the school site.
3. Excavation of the septic area at the school.

Once back at Sea Turtle, we took a much needed swim and relaxed until dinner. Grant was insistent that we engage in Karaoke after dinner. Karaoke is so very popular here in the Philippines and I mean popular! Thank goodness we have Robin along. With Robin, it's all about fun if you are doing Karaoke. Her rendition of Twist and Shout got us up dancing.

Then off to bed to be up and at it by 5:30AM to beat the heat.

Debbie Bragg
DWC Volunteer Participant
Cebu City, Philippines: May 2014

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