My stay in Lake Sebu was a celebration of community, talent, and art. I had gotten to know our host family, have conversations with them, and get their openness and love for life, family, and community. I also had the privilege of witnessing the talents of the T’boli kids and of meeting and learning from T’boli dream weavers. It’s an honor to spend a part of my life with the wonderful people of Lake Sebu. And, for our last full day, Tara and I chose to be with the family and enjoy each other’s company as the end of our stay with the community was drawing near.
Later in the afternoon, Tara and I went ahead to fix our stuff for our departure in the morning. Because the kids of Lake Sebu had been generous with their talents and selves, I wanted to leave them with something that they could remember us by. So, I left my shades with all the kids and gave my sago earrings to Andi and Rhea, while Tara left her bracelet with Tamtam.
In the evening, Manang Oyog and the kids cooked dinner for everyone and Tara and I had the opportunity to dine with the entire family. At one point, Lola Lonin, speaking in T’boli dialect, was asking Andi to tell me something. I was doing the Indian seat and, I learned later on, that T’boli ladies were not allowed to sit that way while eating; the proper way to do it is having one of your lower leg (e.g., right) bent in front, with the foot of that leg going towards the knee of the opposite leg (e.g., left), and your other leg (e.g., left) bent backward, with the foot of that leg (e.g., left) a few inches away from your butt. I tried doing it but, after giving it a shot, I realized that a bit of flexibility is necessary to sit the T’boli way.
After dinner, we spent more time with the family, goofin’ around and being crazy. They created a stage (a throw pillow), where those who would want to have their pictures taken would stand and pose.
After a lot of laughs, we said good night. It was too early for my liking, though, since it was our last evening. I tried to sleep but couldn’t. So while everyone was already in their own dreamlands, I took out my notebook and wrote this letter to everyone we met in Lake Sebu. This pretty much summarized how the trip was for me. :-)
- Visiting indigenous peoples communities in the Philippines – The start of it all
- Project Breaking Down Barriers: Travelling to Lake Sebu
- Project Breaking Down Barriers: Hello, Lake Sebu!
- Project Breaking Down Barriers: Arts and Crafts with our T’Boli Hosts
- Project Breaking Down Barriers: Homestay Fun in Lake Sebu
- Project Breaking Down Barriers: Before saying good-bye to Lake Sebu
- Project Breaking Down Barriers: Thank you, Lake Sebu
- Project Breaking Down Barriers: A letter to our host family in Lake Sebu
- Visiting indigenous peoples communities – how we did it
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