Happy Independence Day Philippines! As much as I love NYC, I miss you Philippines. In celebration of this special day, I've collected photos of what makes the Philippines so awesome for me. For you my beloved, I have these words from Nick Joaquin:
“By your dust, and by the dust of all the generations, I promise to continue, I promise to preserve! The jungle may advance, the bombs may fall again―but while I live, you live―and this dear city of our affections shall rise again―if only in my song! To remember and to sing: that is my vocation...”
And these pictures:
Yes, I miss Manila traffic. I miss the sounds of beeping horns and the craziness of it all. I miss this one in Katipunan in particular.
This is me in a community in Hillcrest and Cubao where we used to have regular feeding programs for the kids. It's funny because they've associated us with the feeding that every time I'd visit them, even on days without feeding, the kids would shout "feeding, feeding!" and form circles around me:)
These boys in particular are 2 of a group that we regularly meet for values education lessons, games and just hanging out. Our little group started rough. They weren't interested in any talk of values and would usually break into fights. But months later, and here they are, helping out in the feeding.
Taken in Intramuros , the old Walled City of Manila of the colonial times, with my friend Sabrina Ongkiko.
Siblings. I met them in Roxas.
Some aeta kids I met in Zambales.
With Joan, a JVP volunteer.
Education does not come easy for everyone in my country where many live below the poverty line. So I can't help but admire those who persisted and never gave up no matter how poor they were.
These ones are from Samar.
How I miss hot, cheap Filipino bread.
Yes, yes, cliche. But still.
I love how each student was responsible for decorating the school and classrooms. Paper-cutting to make hearts for Valentine's Day was a required skill!
The skies of Miarayon.
One of the great things about the Philippines are the non-profit organizations like Jesuit Volunteers Philippines (JVP) who usually go beyond the call of duty in serving the most marginalized of communities.
Love Filipino snacks!
Sunrise in Miarayon.
Dirty ice cream!
and just for 5 pesos!
I miss our blue skies.
And the awesome lechon!
The Philippines will always be home to me:)