TREK Subic Town: Storm didn't stop TREK

October 31, 2012 Voluntourism

Relying on the power of goodness to be just enough, we proceeded with an outreach mission for the Aeta children of the Aeta Resettlement and Rehabilitation Center in Subic, Zambales, despite the presence of Typhoon Ondoy.

While some members of the team decided to stay in Manila, more than 20 of us decided that charity should happen, even in the most difficult situation. And indeed, with God's providence, everything, except for a little delay in the schedule went on as planned. Even the trek up to the mission site was blessed that God only allowed drizzles, just enough to keep everybody cool while carrying the goods the group aimed to deliver to the children.

We actually had two goals – the outreach and a Basic Mountaineering Course for our growing number of volunteers.

The Aeta Resettlement

Our friend Sr. Eva Fidela Maamo, a Ramon Magsaysay Awardee, established the Aeta Resettlement and Rehabilitation Center.  One of her words that I will remember forever is "ang mahihirap, di pinaghihintay." (We do not let the poor wait).

The area is perfect.  The site has a function hall, a kitchen, a banquet hall, two big dormitory type rooms and smaller rooms.

More than 80 children went down their houses scattered around the resettlement site to participate in this outreach program. The children were from families displaced by the Mt. Pinatubo eruption in 1999. The Foundation of Our Lady of Peace Missions (FOLPMI), headed by Sr. Eva Fidela Maamo, is managing the area. The site is located at Sitio Gala in Barangay Sacatihan in Subic, Zambales.

Philippine Science Centrum Foundation (PFST) joined us.

As soon as the Aeta children gathered inside the outreach site, wide-eyed and cheery, PFST started delighting the children with how fun science can be. This is despite the fact that Ondoy is flooding the Science Centrum at the Marikina Riverbanks.

Karen Jayne Santos of PFST shared "despite our worries for our museum in Marikina, our family, and friends, we are happy we are able to share the wonders of science to these children."

The one-hour show thrilled children with what seems to be magic but which were really cool tricks based on real science principles. Most were eager to participate and volunteer for some of the activities. The children lined up to try some of the exhibit modules that were equally fun and educational.

Enjoying the science show
More science magic

After the science show, the children participated in some popular party games organized by members of TREK. They also took turns in singing their favorite tunes to delight all gathered at the mission site. After the games, children lined up for their loot bags provided by members of the team. 

Gift Giving
cute Aetas
our birthday girl giving away loot bags
Then, they proceeded to the dining area for their spaghetti, sandwiches, and desserts.  A one-year-old child requested plastic so that he could bring home a portion of his spaghetti for his sister who stayed home.


Every member of the TREK team was in good spirits while serving the children.

Group shot

After the outreach program, some members of the team stayed overnight in the mission site to plan for the next outreach program and to learn the basics of mountaineering.  We also had a lot of experiences to share. 

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