Last Dec. 9, the kiddie books which you sent for Pens of Hope were distributed in Balat-Balud Elementary School in the town of Bobon in Northern Samar. But it almost didn’t push through as scheduled. First, the district supervisor called for a district meeting of teachers on that day so there should have been no classes. Second, on the day before the distribution date, I was already down with a really bad flu. My body temperature was 39-40. And third, the plane that took the goodies to Samar from Manila got delayed (almost canceled) because of the bad weather last Friday. Instead of the 10AM flight, it left Manila at 1:30PM.
On the night before the distribution, I was negotiating with the principal, pleading her to make it possible for the children to report to school for the distribution. I was praying, too, for my health to get better. In the morning, when told that the flight was put on hold, awaiting further improvement of the weather, todo dasal talaga ginawa ko because I knew that the children were already in school.
When the plane landed at 2:30PM, I immediately claimed the packages. At the time, I was already receiving text messages from the principal telling me that the children were already getting restless.
From the capital town, Catarman, I took a tricycle to the town of Bobon where I met with the principal, two teachers, and a barangay health worker. From Bobon, we took a habal-habal. We started our trip on a cemented road which led to another road full of potholes, muddy craters, and big puddles of water. It was a tough road. Ilang beses muntik malibing ang wheels ng habal-habal. Good thing our driver was good.
After almost an hour of habal-habal ride, I was told we had to walk on a muddy road. By muddy road, I meant hanggang tuhod na mud. Before we left Bobon, I’ve learned that it was best if I had rain boots. It was my first trip to the recipient school so I didn’t know what to expect. I had to walk barefoot. Ang bilis maglakad ng mga teacher na kasama ko! Naiiwan ako hehehe
After the kilometer-long walk, here’s how my feet looked like. I was praying all along na sana ay wala akong matapakan na basag na bote o walang linta hehe
We then had to load all our luggage into a small banca so we can cross a river. The bangkera was a jolly old woman named Ate Bebang who entertained us with her patok na jokes hehehe.
After the boat ride, walk, walk, walk uli. The good barangay health worker took the task of carrying two boxes of books. Bilib ako kasi ang bigat nung dalawang kahon na ‘yun. I was trailing behind her and the principal.
After about 20 minutes, we arrived at the school and started with the distribution. The children were so excited and so happy! Unfortunately, we arrived very late in the afternoon so the children who live in far away sitios had to go home already before we arrived. I just endorsed the goods to the principal for distribution yesterday (Monday). Aside from books, we also gave the children pencils and bags.
To everyone who supported the project by sending books and pencils, I can not thank you enough. We have made many children smile! Next time po uli!
To Ate Ara Nina (you know who you are), maraming salamat sa 55 bags! The kids were really excited to receive them.
To the faculty of Balat-Balud Elementary School, thank you for giving me another experience to treasure. And thanks for the adventure, too! Salamat sa pag-alalay sa akin habang naglalakad sa maputik na daan.
To the children of Balat-Balud, thank you for your smiles! Kahit nilalagnat ako at tinatrangkaso at kahit naglakad ako nang nakayapak sa putik and ended up with my feet looking like this….
you made it all worth it! 🙂