Wordless Wednesday: Volunteering in Kenya

Six years ago, I went to Kenya for a one year stint as a VSO Volunteer.
It changed my perspectives completely.

Farmers meeting in Lukore.

Now I am back in my country, the Philippines, and I am still working in the development field. My experiences in Kenya have made me a better development worker and prompted me to work even harder for the advancement of the farmers, with particular interest with women.

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Monday Mellow Yellows: Street-dancing

Hello everyone. I hope you all had a meaningful Lenten season.
And now we resume our regular routines, hence, I am back online πŸ™‚

I am sharing with you a picture of schoolchildren dressed in a traditional Visayan costume: the kimona (thin, cotton blouse) and patadyong (loose skirt) for the girls; and camisa de chino (a collar-less, long-sleeved cotton shirt thought to have come from China) and a loose, cotton pants for the boys.

Schoolchildren from the different schools in Ivisan join in the street-dancing activities.
Schoolchildren from the different schools in Ivisan join in the street-dancing activities.

This was taken during last year’s Buyloganay Festival in my husband’s hometown in Ivisan, Capiz. Buyloganay Festival is an annual festival celebrated in honor of the town’s patron saint, St. Nicholas of Tolentino.

The word buyloganay is a Hiligaynon word which means unity and cooperation, a quality that characterizes Ivisan and its people. The festival was held with lots of activities in the town center, including a grand parade that showcased street-dancers from different local elementary and high schools in the municipality.

Monday Mellow Yellows

Monday Mellow Yellows: Gown

In December 5-8 last year, the whole city of Roxas and province of Capiz celebrated Sinadya sa Halaran. It is one of the much-anticipated festivals in the province and one that is steeped not only in tradition but also in fun and merrymaking for all Capizenos here and abroad. This festival is held in honor of the province’s patron, the Blessed Virgin Mary.

A month after the festival, I took my sons and my two nieces to a local resort in Roxas City for a dip in the swimming pool there. It’s a nice, family-friendly resort with lovely gardens. We like going there for some quick R and R.

On our way to the receptionist’s counter, we were greeted by this lovely mannequin at the lobby. It was dressed in a lovely yellow floral gown.

Apparently, the mannequin and some posters that were up on the hotel’s walls were part of an on-going exhibit of sorts displaying the faces of Sinadya sa Halaran.

A mannequin dressed up in a lovely yellow floral gown.
A mannequin dressed up in a lovely yellow floral gown.

The lovely gown features an intricate floral pattern, all embroidered by the skillful hands of the women of Capiz. The butterfly sleeves were decorated in what looked like cowrie shells to me. We were told by the staff that it was the same gown worn by the festival queen. It is really pretty and colourful, but my youngest son got scared of the mannequin he wouldn’t go near it.

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Monday Mellow Yellows: Planner

Happy Holidays!

Hope you are having a great one.
We had a small and simple celebration at home, with two of my younger brothers coming home from Cambodia to join us. It’s a tradition for most Filipinos to come home – wherever they may be – to celebrate Christmas with the family. If only my older sister was able to join us, our family would have been complete this holiday.

Look at what my baby sister gave me –

My baby sister got me this planner for Christmas :)
My baby sister got me this planner for Christmas πŸ™‚

How about you, did you have any Christmas traditions that are still being practiced up to these days?
Would love to know about it.

I would also like to wish you all – in advance – a very prosperous new year!

Monday Mellow Yellows

Mellow Yellow Monday 036: Desire

Dear Santa, my husband is dreaming about owning one of this someday:

Big Bike!

It’s his hobby. He is a member of the Philippine Bikers association of sorts in our province. I may not understand what this group actually does or what they’re activities are but, since my husband is so into it, I support him all the way.

Mellow Yellow Monday 035: Transformer shoes

I mentioned a few days ago that my younger brother is coming home for a brief visit. He did; he arrived in the early morning hours of Saturday. My husband and I were supposed to go by ourselves but my little boy wanted to go to see his Tito Big. So, off the three of us went. Hopped on the midnight bus to Manila and excited waited at the airport.

Not long after my brother came out and saw us at the lobby, he handed out a present to the ecstatic little boy waiting for him — it’s a pair of Transformer shoes.

Look, Ma. It’s yellow – like Bumblebee, exclaimed the excited little boy.

It was an advanced birthday present for the little boy. Now, why am I surprised that we went to school without so much fuss this morning? Lol.

Thank you, Tito Big, for the wonderful presents not only for the little boy but also for us and Labs, our younger sister. Good luck on your business trip!

Mellow Yellow Monday 027: Strawberry delights

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My Mellow Yellow Monday entry this week came fresh all the way from the Summer Capital of the Philippines, Baguio City.

Fresh strawberries!

My sister brought home a box of the most succulent strawberries ever from her holiday. She told us she picked them up herself. She took photos of the strawberry farm and, as you can see above, the ripe and soon-to-be-ripe strawberries.

I haven’t been to Baguio City yet despite the proximity of my current location. No time. Hopefully when I file for a vacation leave, I’ll take my son and husband there in April πŸ™‚

Signs 013: Cut Emissions

A young activist from Mombasa, Kenya holds a sign for the environment. Age doesn’t matter when it comes to helping Mother Earth.

If only government officials all over the world can see and hear the pleas.

This was one of theΒ  activities in 2010 with involvement of the communities that the VSO Coast Volunteers {of which I was a part of} initiated as part of the global grassroots campaign to raise the awareness and push forward the issue on climate change. Environment scientists/researches suggest that the world needs to cut CO2 emissions by 350 ppm (parts per million), or below, to stabilize the Earth’s climate.

It’s a gigantic task but we can all start right in our homes. Let’s find ways to cut our carbon footprints and help save Mother Earth.

Signs 012: Angry-birds kiddie party

In addition to our company Christmas party, the employers have kindly hosted a fun day for our (that is, us, employees) children. What’s even more fun was that it was an Angry Birds-themed party that got the children hooked!

Of course, a picture with the Angry Birds is not to be missed. All of the kids had their pictures taken in front of this wall.

Anyone who has not heard of the Angry Birds must be living in a cave.