Oct 22, 2013


Hello guys! I know it's been a long time since I last posted something. But I have a good reason this time, it wasn't because I was lazy, it's because of the loaded school works I had. I'm in my last year in college now (can you believe that?) and we're doing our thesis for the next semester. After that, I'm graduating! Hopefully. Ha ha. And now that I'm on my break, I got lots of time to blog! Well, hopefully this time I won't get lazy again. 

So, last month was a blur. I haven't even realized that September started and ended that fast. Papa came home from Saudi Arabia (he works there) and he stayed for only 13 days. On the 27th of September, the day that Papa leaves for Saudi was the day I leave for Quezon Province, too, for the Cultural Immersion for one of our subjects, Filipino Psychology. 

The immersion was supposed to be in Tagaytay for our group (me, Debbie, Embi, Jhek & Ica). The traditional immersion is supposed to be like this: you and your group mates are the ones who will choose the province you will go to and experience their culture and jobs. But then, the former Dean of our college passed away and he was replaced by a new Dean, so the rules have changed. We sent her our proposals, but then she did not allow us to go unless our professor will go with us. But that would be expensive for our professor if he has to go to every group. (Of course, he wouldn't let us pay for him, too.) 

So instead of going to our supposed-to-be provinces, the Dean suggested that we go to Quezon Province instead. Like, all of us. The whole batch who is also taking Filipino Psychology. Our section, 4PSY01 and also 4PSY03 are the ones who are going. 4PSY01 is an exception because they already went to their provinces for the immersion. 

We went to Alagad ni Maria Novitiate House in Brgy. Tongohin, Infanta, Quezon. This is where my professor, Fernando Carandang, Jr. spent his 2-3 years (I'm not sure) to become a monk. (He did not become a monk but that's a different story.) So he knew all the people there, especially the monks that we met and shared their stories of becoming a monk, too. 

We stayed in the retreat house/dorm rooms which has 4 rooms; 2 rooms that are composed of double deck beds, and the 2 others rooms are for 2 persons only. We all stayed in the rooms that have many double deck beds in it. The boys and girls are separated, but my team, (we call our team Team Van 5 because our van is number 5) we were the second to the last to arrive at the location so the first ones that arrived already chosen the good spots in the room. My team decided to transfer to the boys' room. They didn't mind though my professor told us that we should stay where we are, yadda yadda yadda. I wasn't able to take a picture of the room but it's quite big. We also shared the restroom with the boys but of course, there was a rule. We have to close the restroom door when we use it and no boys are allowed inside even if he's your boyfriend.

When we got there it was already in the evening so we just rested for a while and then Bro. (I forgot his name, omg sorry but I will tell you when I know) oriented us about the place and the rules. After that, we ate our dinner which was so good. We ate Galunggong and rice. After that, we just bonded and discussed the things we have to do the next day. My group picked the Women in Infanta to interview. (More about that later on.)

Papa drove us to school where we were supposed to meet up with the others.

With Juergen at a stop-over in Laguna

More groupies. LOL

Inside our van with Parekoys & Reanne

I took the photos using my iPod touch only. I wasn't able to bring my DSLR because my things were so heavy.

The place was so peaceful and green. When we were there, we couldn't think of the stressful life back in Manila because of the place.

The next day we went to Real, Infanta to meet and interview the women/mothers. 

I interviewed Ate Shirley and Ate Minda. I asked them about their problems, challenges in life, hopes and admirations. 

The Women

After the had the interview, me and my team took lots of pictures outside while waiting for sir Vince to arrive.

With sir Vince

The night of the same day when we were eating, sir Jhon asked us to share our experiences and stories of the ones that we interviewed. Buuuut before that, while we were waiting for sir Jhon the boys played 'punong braso'. We all had fun though we girls were just watching. We were all cheering the boys up and we were all laughing. 

sir Vince vs Juergen

Estong vs kuya Mark

Peter vs Juergen

We all had fun in that game and we were laughing so hard even though we weren't supposed to be making noise because of the rules. LOL. Oh well.

When sir Jhon arrived we were chanting for him to join the game be he resisted. :) So, after that we started sharing stories about the interview and also what we've learned about the experience. Bro. Carlos shared his some stories, too.

The day was so exhausting and fun but we didn't go to sleep yet after eating and the sharing of stories. We all played cards, poker and anything that involves cards. Others were sharing scary stories outside the dorm, the others were eating, others were smoking. In short, we were all having fun. For a moment we forgot all our problems and the stressful life in Manila. That's why I never regretted the decision of coming.

Me and my group mates concluded the interview and here it is:

"Most of the problems of the women of Infanta, consisted of financial instability, being unable to provide for their family, and natural disasters like typhoon and storm surges. These problems are the most common in the rural areas for they rely on agriculture and fisheries. Most of them weren’t able to finish college or didn’t even have a proper education that’s why it is difficult for them to find a stable job. So whenever there is an offer, even if the salary is small, they will accept it as long as they can do the job. These women would do anything to help their husbands and
support the needs of their children. You would see in their faces how difficult their lives are but you would feel in their hearts the love that they have for their families.

The role of a mother is a consistent challenge to the women of Infanta. They struggle to provide for their family financially and emotionally. Maintaining their own health is also a challenge for them since they strive so hard for their families that they tend to forget to take care of themselves. They would do anything and everything for their families. They are ready and willing to do a man’s job just to support them despite of the problems and struggles that come their way. And still, they manage to smile and laugh their hearts out. That is how beautiful these women are.

The hopes and admirations of the women of Infanta are just for their family to be well and good in health, be financially stable and of course for their children to finish their education. They also hope for a better living in their province so that they will not be left behind in time. These women are so selfless that they are willing to sacrifice everything, even their lives, just so their children would live. They value education because that would be the foundation of their future. Simple yet moving."

The next day, we were going home. All of us never wanted to go home because all of us enjoyed the stay, the experience. It was hard to say goodbye even though we only stayed for 2-3 days. 

While we were on our way home, we stopped in the way to go to Pacific Ocean.

For me, it was a very great and fun experience. I have learned a lot of lessons from this experience and if I will be given a chance to go back, I will. I will forever treasure this memory in my heart. I'm thankful because I never expected that people could ever live that simple. They don't have that much but they treasure what they have. They treasure and they love their families so much. I wish I could live a simple life, too. I guess when you live in city like mine, you can never have a simple life like theirs. No internet, no malls, no material things, just their family and their friends. I also thank God for this very wonderful experience, for keeping us safe, for guiding us and for giving us the chance to experience this.

I also want to thank my team, Team Van 5, I guess it wouldn't be that fun if you guys weren't my team mates. :)

- A

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