Hello everyone. I hope you all had a meaningful Lenten season.
And now we resume our regular routines, hence, I am back online 🙂
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.
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.
I’m not a morning person but there are times when I am required to get up very early and report to work. These are times when we have some visitors to take to our project areas so we needed to be there ahead of them to make sure that every thing needed for their visit is in place. Some weeks ago, we had another group of visitors and so …
One of the best things about going to work ahead of everybody is I get the opportunity to see the sun rise from the east, as you can see in the picture. Not many people these days get this chance to witness the beautiful sunrise.
I don’t know but I feel so lucky watching the sun rise from behind the mountains. Lucky to be alive, to see another brand new day. That’s just me, being in awe of God’s creation and His magnificence… on my way to work and enjoying the view unfolding before me.
How about you? How do you feel when watching a sunrise, or a sunset?
Thank God, typhoon Ruby (Hagupit) has left our province since last night and today, when the authorities have gone out for inspection, there were no major damages in the aftermath of the typhoon. Our province was under typhoon signal no. 2. Unlike last years typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), we were under signal no. 4 and in the direct path of the super-typhoon.
Still, we made sure we were prepared – for who knows – typhoons also change paths as they enter. Luckily for us, we were spared of major devastation. Other provinces were not and our thoughts and prayers are with them as we all start to re-build our lives.
Today, the rains have stopped, no more cold, strong winds, and the weather is good. Everybody is relieved. Today is also the feast day of the Immaculate Conception. People went out of their ways to hear the holy mass this morning – not only to celebrate the feast but also as thanksgiving for the protection received during the typhoon.
Here is a photo inside the cathedral – the altar with the statues of saints and the Immaculate Conception is bathed in yellow glow.
The Philippines is predominantly Catholic. And being through many typhoons, earthquakes, floods, corrupt politicians, etc., we still have a lot to be thankful for.
This is some kind of a visual output I made – albeit unfinished – during one of the activities at the Gender in Humanitarian Action Training I attended a few weeks ago.
Gender in Humanitarian Action is important for development practitioners like me as it will enable us to acquire a greater understanding of what is gender equality (male-female inclusive) in programs and how will we apply this in our day to day work. Development workers like me are faced with different levels of situations that require gender sensitivity and we need gender-specific tools to integrate in our work processes.
The CCS was set up last September at Ivisan’s town center. Many children and curious adults alike came and participated in the different activities. We hope to set up more spaces like this in many other municipalities.
As mentioned before, I’ve begun my work as a community facilitator in our town of Ivisan for a non-government organization. Our project is aimed at promotion of child rights and protection through various community and school activities.
As my town is celebrating our annual fiesta, ChildFund, the NGO, has set up a Child-centered Space (CCS) in the town centro (center), thus the big sign below. This is one of the many advocacy activities we have for ChildFund’s RISE Project.
The CCS provides is aimed at children and provides free play for children, as well as adults with trained community volunteers and engage them to various fun activities that allow them to express emotions and such.
I nicked this short description from a colleague:
Child Centered Spaces are safe, physical spaces for children affected by conflict or disasters to gather, providing emergency education, protection and multisectoral support, including psycho-social support. Through community mobilization around children’s needs, CCS provide regular, structured activities for children, adolescents and parents of young children under the supervision of caring adults from the community. CCS allow children to participate in activities where they can play, express their feelings, thoughts and opinions, and learn new things from adults and other children, providing a sense that “things are getting back to normal again.” [Starting Up Child Centered Spaces in Emergencies: A Field Manual, Christian Children’s Fund]
This is probably what my son and his cousins were discussing while taking a break from their football training.
They’re enrolled at the free summer football clinic in Roxas City. The three enjoyed the “play” but after three days, only one remained running — and that’s the little one in the middle. The older ones, her sister (left) and cousin, my son (right), gave up because their legs and feet hurt, so they both say. Lol.
I have to thank my husband for not only taking our son but also the girls to the football clinic. The summer football clinic is held at the Villareal stadium. Thanks to activities like these, many kids are having fun this summer. If this is an initiative of our city government, kudos to your effort. I hope many more fun activities will be offered – for free – for children every year.
I’m posting early this week coz I know I will be very busy in the coming weeks. We are on our toes as a new management (and owners) have taken over the company where I’m currently working. Each employee are being evaluated whether they remain in the company, or be let go. I hope I don’t get get into the latter category 🙁
Anyways, my entry this week is a snap I took while strolling at the city centro (center).
I always make sure I get to see the city while on vacation before going back to Pampanga again. Very nice to see old, familiar places and faces and keeping up with them. In one of those strolls, I passed by Arturo Store along Taft Street and reminisced the old times. My, it has changed a lot.
Next door to Arturo is Sunny Store, another old timer, and surprising enduring up to these days. Across the store is a strip of fruit stalls, including my cousin’s. And these are some of the yummy fruits that are sold at my cousin’s stall. They sell mostly imported fruits, those considered as “expensive fruits”, depending on the season. Apples, grapes, pears, tangerines and some local ones like pomelos, mangoes, etc. They also sell foodstuff like banana chips, peanut brittle, watermelon seeds, and many others. They are best as pasalubong, or a homecoming gift, which is a Filipino tradition.
My recent Mellow Yellow Monday posts about this beach resort in my hometown with a nice, spacious playground got me thinking about birthday ideas for children This thought came to me because my niece’s 7th birthday is coming up in two months time and his dad, my younger bro, asked my help to assist his wife to come up with activities that can make his daughter’s birthday a happy and memorable one, not only for the children’s enjoyment but also for the accompanying parents and other adults as well.
Because of my previous stay in this resort, I can say that it is perfect for my niece’s birthday party. First, the location. It is very accessible, just a 3kms away from the city center to Brgy. Baybay where the resort is located. Tricycles and jeepneys ply this route regularly. For those who are car-owners, there is a huge parking area and – wait for it – it’s for free!
Second, the facilities are good. There is a large swimming pool for kids – which is a sure hit for the kids. However, my SIL and I need to take into consideration those who do not know how to swim.
Thirdly, the resort is about 7-hectares and they have well-maintained tropical garden setting. It is a huge space for kids to run around! There is a nice playground complete with the usual playground fixtures, such as seesaws, slides, swings, monkey bars, etc. to amuse them. For the accompanying parents and other adult guests, on the other hand, they will love the benches and tables shaded by large trees to sit down and watch the children play at the party while enjoying drinks and snacks themselves. I heard there’s a wi-fi Internet, too, so they can also entertain themselves with a bingo game or two at FoxyBingo.com.
Generally, kids are very easy to please. We can provide them with fun things to do, like parlour games, such as this musical chair game. There is also a bowling alley inside the resort so perhaps a mini-bowling tournament for the kiddos will be considered as well. The food and the birthday cake and ice cream can come later when everyone’s getting tired and hungry. We already thought about decors and food, etc. But before my SIL and I go crazy about the details, I think it is a must that we first ask what the birthday girl wants. What we might think fun might not be for her. After all, it’s her birthday. Will keep you posted.
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