A different way of life

Hello! I’m back from the Philippines. Contrary to my earlier post, we ended up heading to the GK village in Panabo City instead of the one in Compostela Valley due to some administrative complications. The village in Panabo City aims to relocate the people who are living near the shoreline so as to reduce the risks should a typhoon strike again. It was Β anΒ enriching (for the lack of a better word) experience that I would not trade for another.Β 

The warm welcome we received from the villagers when we arrived was heart-warming. It was a nice surprise after getting off a long flight.

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From the various GK villages we visited, the brightly coloured houses and the closely-knited community remains a distinctive trait of the place.

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Our first day there, we were struggling with the sweltering heat, met up with shy kids and trying to get use to the change in living conditions. The water pump became our best friend for the next 13 days. It was here we bath, we wash and did our laundry.

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We were then assigned to our home stay families for the next 13 days. The home stay segment remains to be one of the most interactive session I’ve had with the locals. It was here I truly understand the hospitality of the locals. They willingly gave us their beds, fans and whatever they had just to welcome us with open arms. Initially, I truly felt guilty that I was imposing on them but I’ve learnt that this was how they showed their appreciation for our presence there. The day ended with a site visit to a completed GK village

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and a wonderful seaside view with a nice breeze to accompany it.

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Sleep eluded me the first night there as I was bombarded with mosquito kisses and the sweltering heat. I was quickly woken up by the chicken choir and light streaming into the room at about 4-5am. Not the best sleep I’ve had but I’ve gradually gotten used to it. Now, back in Singapore, I’m trying to adjust back to life as I’m still anticipating the chicken calls in the wee hours.

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