Last July 23-25 the Center for Social Action (CSA), the volunteering unit of my school, had a 3-day immersion-team building program at Botolan and San Felipe Zambales.

Team VEE
     This posting is I know not enough to show my gratitude, enjoyment and learnings that’s why for now i will try to sum up the highlights of that wonderful event and gonna post another blog for some details. (sorry ahh maarte lang haha)
     But before that, I just wanna brag out what good thing happened in my life. Well, hindi lang naman ako nasuka at nahilo sa biyahe. Ito lagi ang kalaban ko whenever I travel lalo na  kung ang biyahe is 1 and up hours (see ) That is why mas gusto ko pang maglakad ng ilang kilometro kesa magtagal sa jeep o bus o kung alinmang sasakyan!
     Enough to that. First stop is at Botolan, Zambales in LAKAS PAMAYANAN as Aetas called it. You read it right! LAKAS PAMAYANAN is an Aeta community. This was their residing area after the Mt. Pinatubo eruption. CSA have been organizing different community services to them since late 90s. And the partnership between them is getting stonger and binded.
Bahay Kubo. Ganyan ang mga bahay na tinirahan namin.
     We slept at our host family’s house. They have taken care of us for more or less a day. They prepared us dinner and breakfast and provided a bed to sleep on. They too mingle on us. Talked about our goals in staying at their area. And have shared indifferences in our cultures.
     ‘Sinabawang Sardinas’ shall I call it? Honestly, first time kong kumain ng ganung luto ng sardinas. Hindi masyadong masarap but I didn’t complain. I just enjoyed the food as they do and that is what important. And it is really hard to eat using your hand lalo na kapag sabaw ang ulam. Actually, there were only 3 spoons in that house. One as the serving spoon for rice, one for the ulam and the other for the other ulam! But I really enjoyed it! yumyum!!!
My host family –> from left MJ, Jeric, Lola Dayrit, Nanay Nenita, Baby Gerald, Izel (yung dalawa di ko kilala hahaha
     The morning after, we went to the farm. Unti lang kaming nagpunta dun, yung iba sa ilog yung iba naman sa kung saan lang! The best thing there was when we planted rice plants. Totoo nga talaga ang kantang ‘Magtanim ay di biro’ Imagine We all started at exactly the same time pero yung mga kasama namin nakatapos na ng ilang line kami wala pa sa kalahati. Ang bilis nila kumuha ng itatanim. E kami feeling ko kumukuha ako ng sampaguita garlands na kelangan pang bilanging para pare-pareho ang dami e.
Me and MJ at the farm. (Framville mode!)
     And that was the first day! After which we went to San Felipe retreat house to carry out the team building proper. And from that I learned a lot. That being a volunteer is not just about offering your time to the community but submitting your life to those who are in need. That being a volunteer is not about your deeds but purpose. That being a volunteer is not about presenting material help but sustainable aid.
     The night of that day, we had our ‘Special Last Supper’ This was really unexpected. I thought they will give us exotic foods or something that would make our stomach move upside down. Only after it when my confusion became apparent and got learnings from it. Whose creative mind deliberated that? I should  commend you!
At the retreat house
     Then we had our ‘Solidarity Night’ were we did showtime-like program. Labasan ng talent but of course we still have to be considerate with what we have learned with the Aetas. And well , we won! weee!!! But honestly i really enjoyed the performance of everyone kahit PANGIT hahaha. Dalawang bagay lang naman ang nakakatawa e. Yung talagang maganda at yung super pangit! wahahaha. BUt I have to thank them for giving laughter to each of us! =))
     Refreshment came after. We all went at a beach near the  retreat house. The place was very peaceful, approriate for relaxation. Pero dahil hindi ako marunong lumangoy nagtampisaw lang ako sa pinakamababang area ng dagat, sa seashore wherein mababasa ka lang everytime the water waves toward the shore. HAHAHA.
At the beach!
     And that was the immersion slash team building all about. I guess all of us enjoyed it and all of us will crave for another same event. weeee! =))