Dedicated to a wonderful Mother Jean Noble 31/5/1929 - 20/8/2007 - may we never take our mothers for granted. - Goodbye Mum
Emilio Famy Aguinaldo became the Philippines first President of the Philippine Republic, (1897-1901). He was also the youngest (at age 29) to have become the country's President, the longest-lived former President (having survived to age 94) and the President to have outlived the most number of successors.
PHILIPPINES PAGE 1 January 2014
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We Left our home city of Perth Western Australia on the 11th Jan in 44°C heat (About 111°F) HOT!!!
Sadly we learn that bush fires have claimed many homes and one life to date, in Perth. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the deceased.
Kuala Lumpur (KL) is a fascinating city, I have been here more times than I care to count. It is magic and so are it's people. We are staying in the Leo Palace hotel in Chow Kit. Lee and I have never been a “5 Star” seeker(s), not that we can afford that, but even if we could, a comfortable, clean place in an area that comes to life with local people, hawker food, and just the ambience of day to day life. That is “5 Star” to us.
We are meeting up with a guy we met whilst cycling through Malaysia in 2008. Fookleong Tang. It is about 1 hour before we meet and I will continue this blog entry afterwards. Our story with Fookleong, in 2008 can be seen here
We enjoyed a great 'VEGAN' meal with one dissenter wanting fish.... We had a great time with all our freinds
Loads more about Malaysia and our trip to Benong, Thailand, but that is not what we are writing about here.
Saturday 18th January 2014 Arrive Manila Accommodation Leez Hotel Price $AUD25.00 per night. (about PHP950)
We are VERY nervous about our trip, wondering if we will cope. It remains to be seen..... One thing is for sure, we will let you know here as soon as we can.
Our flight was rather uneventful, from Malaysia to the Philippine's. Manila is crowded and congested, traffic jams everywhere. Taxi “touts” abound at the airport, but we managed to get the price we wanted. The Leez Hotel is really great, we paid just $25 and was upgraded to a superior room at no cost. It is barely 6 months old hence in great condition.
Sunday 19th January 2014 Arrive TACLOBAN
AirAsia Zest was delayed through no fault of their own. Staggering congestion at Manila airport meant a long wait for a take off slot.
We hit the ground running and delivered a meal to over 100 people straight after leaving the airport.
A simple vegan meal of pasta, veggies and TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) Sadness abounds and the “meal” includes song and dance, traditional Philippino songs and dances. Much to our delight we are “bunked”in a mixed dorm with the Red Cross and other agencies. We were expecting a tent. 54 people are in the dorm about 50/50 male female. Two toilets and three showers (all FREEZING cold) are unisex. The majority are Philipino with a sprinkling of other nationalities
Monday 20th January 2014 TACLOBAN
We started our job early this morning at the local markets, shopping for our ingredients for today's meal. EVERYTHING is recorded and the money is controlled by our “team leader”. The money is “your” donations going directly to the people. We are THE ONLY agency providing hot meals. We were unable to buy all but a very small selection of veggies as there simply is nothing available. We are told a C130 transport plane will bring veggies to the town tomorrow. Today we cooked mung beans, TVP, tomatoes, sweet potato greens, ginger, lemon-grass and Rice.
Lee doing what she does best, cooking vegan food, despite it's looks it tasted great...... The head chef is the other guy with a ladle.
We handed out the food in a school some 25 kilometres from the centre of town. Heartbreaking as it was, it is something I will remember all my life.
I was asked to pick a drawing from a group of kids, some of whom are pictured here. The little boy on the extreme left of the above was the winner. He received “toys” from the Red Cross. A most memorable day.
Tuesday 21st January 2014 TACLOBAN
This day our veggie situation improved dramatically.
Noodles are the order of the day with veggies TVP liberally mixed in and the food is HOT.
This area is devastated with no buildings having escaped serious damage, there is no electricity, sewerage or running water.
Wednesday 22nd January 2014 TACLOBAN
Our kitchen has no running water, no lights, no power and minimal utensils. We have three gas burners connected to a large gas bottle. A new fresh team arrived from Manila to supplement what was just four of us. We now number 12 volunteers.
A literal mountain of food was produced today, two cut fingers amongst our staff, one bordering serious. We fed a hot meal to more than 500 people today. All of us worked damned hard
It was a long lonely walk to our first school of the day. A very isolated village that has not seen any assistance to date
The school once consisted of two basic buildings and now only has one. A makeshift roof covers the school.
A memorial of sorts stands in the school grounds... The picture can say more than I can.
We were accompanied by some fantastic young people from the Red Cross. They made up 30L of milk from powder to accompany the meal we cooked.
Pre-primary was not to be outdone, these little people hijacked the proceedings – and were duly rewarded.
The two wonderful teachers and their students. All children came away with toys, food and drink
The picture above is the entrance to the second school we attended today. You can see the power pole wedged into the tree, together with some of the roofing material from the classrooms.. This was caused by a 6 metre tide surge. It gives you some idea of the height the water.
Much as been done by the local people to restore some functionality.
Their motto... I was fortunate enough to meed the principal and found out they are yet to get ANY assistance.
The classrooms remain largely open to the elements. However the dedicated teachers will not allow “excuses”
We did not forget the old lady, she got a hot meal and milk. Given her clearly advanced years she is lucky to have survived.
The Internet here is a makeshift connection.
I can only buy limited facilities and must recharge every 5 days. It is woefully slow and drops out most of the time. I am having terrible difficulty uploading pages. There may be gaps if you are vicariously following but I will persist as long as I can to maintain some sort of daily report.
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