TREK Subic Town: Storm didn't stop TREK

October 31, 2009 Voluntourism

There are a million and one things to think about when planning an outreach. The weather is one of them. 

And just when we were ready to leave for an outreach in Subic Town, Zambales, news of very bad weather was reported.

Our group is called TREK or TRails to Empower Kids and we have been helping kids who live in the mountains. 

TREK Subic Town is our group's 5th mission and we had two goals - the outreach and a Basic Mountaineering Course for our growing number of volunteers.

Relying on the power of goodness, we proceeded with our trip to Aeta Resettlement and Rehabilitation Center in Subic, Zambales, not realizing that one of the most devastating typhoons, locally-named Ondoy, was about to hit Metro Manila and nearby provinces. 

While some members of the team decided to stay in Manila, more than twenty believed that charity should happen, even in the most difficult situation. Indeed, with God's providence, everything went on as planned, with only a little delay in our schedule. Even our short trek up to the mission site was blessed with good weather. God only allowed drizzles, just enough to keep everybody cool while carrying the goods the group aimed to give to the children.

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 participated in this outreach program. 

The children are 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 were able to share the wonders of science to these children."

The one-hour show thrilled children with what seemed like magic but were actually cool tricks based on real science principles. Most were eager to volunteer. The children also 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 singing their favorite tunes to delight all gathered at the mission site. After the games, the children lined up for their loot bags provided by members of the team.

Gift Giving

cute Aetas

our birthday girl giving away loot bags

After the gift-giving, everyone proceeded to the dining area for spaghetti, sandwiches, and desserts.

One kid, a one-year-old, requested a plastic wrapper 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.

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