Brgy. Budlaan, Cebu City
19 February 2009
Upon waking up the next day, I received a call from one of our SFC sisters asking if we would like to join them in visiting the Gawad Kalinga Village in Brgy. Talamban. We didn’t have any plans for the day, and GK has been part of the community, so we were more than happy to see the village.
We all converged at the lobby of the hotel, then we ate breakfast at Jollibee. From there we walked along Colon Street to get a jeep ride all the way to Talamban. It took us nearly one hour, but it had been a great ride considering that we were able to see different facets of Cebu City. It was unfortunate that I wasn’t able to take some drive-by shots, but we all agreed that Cebu City was like the whole Metro Manila packed into one city.
The village was located in a remote area, and the only way to reach it was taking a habal-habal (motorcycle) ride. Each motorcycle can accommodate two passengers, and one must pay 10 pesos for the ride. It was a very exciting and a new experience for me. Quite scary, it was really great!
The Gawad Kalinga Budlaan Village started in May 2006. Through the help of generous people and companies who shared in some of their money, efforts, and man power, some 260 houses were built to give shelter to the poor people. Since the CFC Singles for Christ held its International Conference in Cebu City for 2009, it was just appropriate for the members to come together and help build more houses in the village.
There was a program when we got to the village, and there was no schedule for build (although some members were doing some construction here and there), so after helping in a few errands, we took pictures:
And… would I forget taking some miscellaneous shots?
This girl lives in the village. She got so interested with the sunglasses, so she was borrowing some from the members.
A mother feeding her daughter. I took this as we leave the village to eat lunch.
Looking down on a zinnia flower.
One family in the village invited us to eat lunch in their house, but we were just way too many, that we graciously decline the offer. It is really a Filipino trait to be helpful and hospitable, but we know that they needed the food more than us.
Going out of the village, we took the habal-habal again, and the driver who drove me out refuses to accept my payment. At first I was thinking maybe because I was just 1 passenger riding his habal-habal, but I found out from my SFC siblings who rode on the same motorcycle that he also refused to take their fare. We found out he lived in the village and was just graciously giving back the help that the community gave him and his family, but as sweet as it may be, gas prices that time was way too high, that we insisted to give our fare and just asked him to buy some food for his family.
I was not able to participate in the GK Build, but I am sure it have been a very wonderful experience. Seeing people work hand-in-hand in eliminating poverty in the country is just overwhelming.
To know more of Gawad Kalinga, you can check their website.
*** Jenn ***