The 11th Big Day

For the 11th distribution last June 2, 2012, POHD went back to Brgy Panalum in Paquibato District, Davao City with more school supplies. To see the list we've gathered from our generous donors, please see this document. In case you missed the details of our first gift-giving in the community, kindly read this post

Here's a detailed blog post of Anj about our big day. She's an active Davao City blogger and it was her first time to join the distribution this June.


The day I am so excited about. Maybe it is because after years of dormancy in volunteerism, here is another chance for me to reunite with my first love. With a backpack carrying 2 extra shirts, a bottle of water, a shawl, my IPad, and my camera; I was all geared up and ready to meet the pupils of Panalum Elementary School, Paquibato District, Davao City.

Too excited and frantic to start the day, at around 7:00 AM, my mom already drove and accompanied me to the van terminal beside Gaisano Mall of Davao. Arriving there 30 minutes early, mom and I decided to first go to a nearby restaurant fronting San Pedro College to have our tummies filled up and to catch up a bit on our lives. I love how my mom and dad always push my brother and I to pursue our interests. Their encouragement, support, and trust, fuels us all the more to do good in all our undertakings. With tummies all filled up and a heart brimming with joy, at around 8:05 AM, Ate Dulce gave me a call prompting me to go to the terminal since the volunteers were already there.

The Volunteers

It was there that I first met the SICO members and volunteers whom we will be teaming up with for the distribution. There was Ate Kikit (the project head), together with her husband, Kuya Dan. Aside from the duo, there was Kuya Rohel who at Chinabank, Ate Mabel who works at BPI, and Ate Sugar who loves to talk about her daughter, Sweet. On meeting these 5 energetic individuals, Ate Dulce, Mark and I knew that we were in good hands.

Rohel, Kikit, Kuya Nestor, Shugar and Mabel

After an hour of travel, we reached Panabo and alighted in Jollibee for a quick breakfast and to meet the habal-habal drivers that will take us to the place.

The Journey: Abortion Roads, Mud and Dust

The eating and casual conversations, plus the biyahilo-ness was only the tip of the iceberg. More experiences and unforgettable events occurred along the road to Paquibato.

With plastics in hand, we have to regularly balance ourselves so as not to slip off the seat. When traversing bumpy roads there were those moments when our butts were swaying right to left like a pendulum. Since I was seating in the middle of the driver and Ate Dulce, there were moments when I thought I could already breathe easily, only to find myself squished in my seat again.

My kryptonite were the trucks that leave behind a heavy trail of dust, thereby giving free foundation for our faces and stiffening our hair like a broomstick! HAHA

With numb butts, sunburned skin, leg cramps, stiffened hair, and faces covered with dust; we went for a quick stopover near Panalum Elementary School to grab some bites before going off for a long trek to the mountain where the kids reside.

It was a long ride nonetheless, but I was happy for I got the chance to take a pic of a jeep that is fully loaded with people. Riding on the topload of a jeepney is actually a part of my bucket list and seeing it for myself fueled up my passion to do it also as soon as possible!

After the quick break we again made our way to the banana grove that will take us to the trail leading to the village where the Matigsalug tribe resides.

The Long Way Up

And so, the journey continues...

Aside from the roads, we also have to hike up a small mountain. It was just funny because although we did not require the habal-habal drivers to accompany us up there, they volunteered themselves so as to make our burden lighter.

Kuya Nando stuck in a rut, rather, mud

One such driver, unintentionally found his vehicle trapped in a heavy cake of mud and the other drivers have to push him out of it. Truly, no volunteer work could ever be successful without the cooperation of all individuals who are a part of it. Every person is integral in making sure that the activity ends successfully and wonderfully.

The kids welcoming us amongst the banana groves
Children in the clouds

The Giving of Gifts

Upon reaching the top, we were all breathless. Not just because we were tired, but because of the breathtaking view that welcomed us up there. The view from the top was just awesome! With the wind gently brushing your cheeks right down to the greenery of the surroundings, it is the perfect place to come to for recreation and relaxation.

Because we were a bit late in arrival, the kids were already hungry, thus we have to cut our activity short. Instead of grouping the kids via grade levels, we decided to just hold a storytelling session for all of them (adults included!). And guess who got to be the on-the-spot storyteller-slash-bisaya translator for it... I Did. Hahaha! (Anyways, more of that on my next post. :D)

After the storytelling we had the kids organized according to their grade level. We then proceeded to group the school supplies depending on the recipients. Each child received an envelope complete with writing and coloring materials.

For the preschool and kindergarten, we skipped the notebooks but included sketchbooks. For the grade 1 pupils, we skipped on giving the scissors. For the higher levels that include grades 4-6, backpacks were also given.

After the distribution, the kids were all smiles. Seeing their happy faces, we knew that all the hardwork we've put in for the activity was all worth it. We also reminded them on how to take care of these materials and conserve it, since we might be returning there on December.

Sunburn, cramps, and all are no match to the jovial mood everyone is in. As a way to express gratitude, the villagers broke coconuts for us, which we merrily drank and ate.

The entire activity was truly a success! Come December, we might again be back there again to give the kids Christmas gifts. So, if that comes up, be open and be available to join us as we again visit the Matigsalug pupils in Brgy. Panalum. :)


To Ate Liza, Ate Teresa, Mae, Aiden and AdDU Samahan for the cash gifts,
To Davao Bloggers Association for the notebooks
To Dulce, Mark, Anj, Shugar, Rohel, Belle, Dan and Kit for the time, 

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