I have written several blog posts on our last visit to indigenous peoples communities in Kalinga (Tinglayan and Buscalan), Mountain Province (Sabangan and Guina-ang), South Cotabato (Lake Sebu), Bohol (Duero), capping it with a swim on the rocky beach of Samar (Marabut) and buying banigs in the province (Basey). When I first shared this with my friends, they were all wondering where I would get the money to finance this trip, given that I am officially unemployed. And, have been since June 2012.
But, as I had learned over the past couple of years, lack of money shouldn’t stop me from living the life that I love.
It took me a while before I asked for support from my family and friends. I considered every option available that would allow me to get the money to pay for the trip expenses. On my own.
For those who know me, it’s a well established fact that I hate asking for support. I would always endeavor to complete anything I set my mind into getting on my own. Specially, when it comes to money matters. So, why did I ask for support this time? Because I acknowledge that I can’t do everything alone. And, this is also my way of inviting people to contribute to the cause that I am committed to, i.e., preservation of our art, culture and traditions.
So, I shared my intention with my friends and family. I shared with them why I am so interested in visiting indigenous peoples communities. I shared why I would love to know more about our art, culture and traditions. I shared why I would like to take pictures of the places we’d visit and the people we’d meet. I shared the contribution that I would like to make while and after doing this. I shared, shared, and shared some more.
I had no expectations. I was clear that they can say “no”. But, I was also clear that they might give a “yes” to my request. And, I was overwhelmed by the support and love that I got! Friends from high school to college to work and relatives whom I haven’t seen for years now have responded to my call for support. Some of them providing monetarily and some lending their energy and talents to this project. I will forever be grateful.
To those of you who have contributed: Mommy, Daddy, Jan-Jan, Tara, Kuya Rey, Ate Darling, Ate Caroline, Shailoe, Gladdy, Therese, Carla, Kuya Pao, Mel, Rhea, Arlene, Honey Lou, Apple, Flaj, G-anne, Arianne, Raisa, Angge, Mavic, Sarji, Cel, Tin, Ate Tanya, Pao – maraming, maraming salamat! This trip became possible because of your generosity. You gifted me with courage, fulfillment, friends, and a new love and admiration for the Philippines and our people. I love you all!
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Thank you! And, in whatever space you’re in now, I hope that you get something from reading my articles.