Friday, January 31, 2014

Weekend Reading

Happy Chinese New Year!

It was one of those busy weeks where Thursday felt like Friday only to find out that you still had one more workday to get through. Although, I can't complain because I only had a four day week. On Thursday, yesterday, I celebrated Isabela Day (the day for the province) by attending the Bumbanti Festival in Ilagan with Sir Patrick, Sandra, and Sir Junior. It was great fun and I can't wait to share all about it next week on the blog!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Birthday Celebration

 This post is more of a photo journal of recent fun times! Friday, January 17 the staff came together to celebrate it’s January birthdays – Sir Patrick (January 3), Grace (January 18), and Ma’am Andrea (January 23). I am happy to say I orchestrated the whole event from planning to execution. There was delicious food – fried chicken, pancit, pork bbq - the boys even cooked aso (dog), which I refused to try. There were great drinks – beer and margaritas – and of course, videoke. There was supposed to also be a bonfire but it got rained out. Actually, I was worried it was all going to fall apart because Ma’am Andrea specifically requested margaritas and my hunt for margarita was falling short until the day of the party. And finding a videoke machine to rent was becoming an impossible task. But Sir Junior pulled through at the last minute!

I was ecstatic it all came together because I just love celebrating people’s birthdays and having fun get-togethers as a staff!

Local Seminarian, Arnold, barbecuing. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Little Things

Not to rub it in everyone's faces back home but this past weekend was glorious! We've been having no humidity, sunny, 75 degree weather. But it's supposed to start warming up.

I found a talipapa not too far from my house. It's a little roadside stall that sells chicken, live tilapia, fresh vegetables and some odds and ends. I enjoy getting a good walk in and buying fresh food. Also, it's better than taking a 20 minute tricycle ride into the busy market center.

We had our staff meeting this past Monday and I learned it's going to be a very busy February with conferences and conventions one after the other. We have our big annual Diocesan Convention from February 25-28. Lots of preparation to be done!

{Moving into this place hopefully next week!}

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

In a Funk

I’d be lying to you, all my readers and supporters, if I constantly described this experience as happy rainbows and sunshine. The loneliness and sadness creep up when you’re least expecting it – riding in a car to market, sitting at a desk doing loan notes, at lunch surrounded by a group of people. I cannot lie. I miss home more often than I let on.

Monday, January 27, 2014


You’ll find that in most development work a majority of the time is spent out in the field. While there is an office, a brick and mortar place that houses reports and files, the key is to getting your face out into the community meeting the people who you do business with in their homes, their comfort zones. It also comes down to if someone is delinquent on their account, most likely they’re ashamed and aren’t going to come all the way to the office to air out the fact they can’t pay.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Weekend Reading

Happy Weekend!

I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend! Not much going on here which is what I love on Saturdays. I found two seasons of Vampire Diaries - that's 44 episodes - for 80 pesos in the market! Less than $2!! Ok, yes, it is pirated and totally poor quality but very much worth it. At these DVD stands you have to dig through piles and piles of DVDs but you can truly find some gems. But at the same time, it's usually a two-pack and I always want one of the movies but not the other. Like I would love to watch the Hobbit 2 but not the Filipino movie, Born to Love You. How do those go together at all??

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Little Things

This past weekend was pretty low key. Lately, I've been enjoying just reading, journaling, exploring the market with Jocelyn, and hanging outside with Zoe.

After mass this past Sunday, some of us from the congregation piled into Fr. Clarence's car to go bless the boarding house of Grace and her husband, Brian. Supposedly, they've been seeing a "White Lady" aka a spirit. I'm not one to believe in ghosts but if that's what someone believes, I will gladly help bless their house to ward off any lingering spirits.

Hope everyone's had a wonderful week!

{How I spend my Saturdays}

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

New Year Celebration

This year’s New Year’s Eve celebration was quite different than the past couple of years and I quite enjoyed it. There’s not much to say about or many pictures because of its low key nature.

On December 30, 2013 I traveled with Andrea, my neighbor and co-worker, with her husband, George, her two children, Shemain (19) and Kevin (21), and her nephew, Dave (14) to their family house in the mountains of Nayon. It’s only about two hour travel from Santiago City, but a vast difference in climate and landscape. It’s definitely quiet, simple, country living.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Callao Cave

The Friday after Christmas, December 27, I traveled with Vhanessa, Joyce, Sir Junior and his wife, Annabel to Callao Cave. I’m sure you’re thinking, “another cave?!” but this wasn’t like Sagada. No swimming, sliding, or repelling involved. Think more Luray Caverns style, except not underground.

Sidenote: this post is going to be picture heavy since I think they do the cave better justice than my words describing it.

We started out early as it took four hours driving to arrive at our destination. Upon arriving we read that no food or drinks are allowed inside. So we enjoyed our snacks at picnic table before our small trek. After mandatory pictures with the sign, paying the entrance fee, and receiving our ‘voluntary’ guide, we were on our way.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Christmas Eve & Day Celebrations

This post is almost a month overdue but here it is! 

Christmas celebrations were pretty low key for me. They consisted of quality time spent with friends and family (over skype).

Christmas Eve was a lovely day which I spent outside with my new puppy, Zoe, and cleaning my apartment top to bottom! That evening the Cathedral had a typical Episcopal service with lovely Christmas hymns. I was disappointed we didn’t sing Silent Night, though.

After the service, the priest, Fr. Clarence, invited everyone, about 20 people, over for dinner and birthday cake. It was his son’s 14th birthday! I passed out candy canes to all the kids. Someone brought out a guitar and Christmas carols were sung.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Weekend Reading

Happy Weekend!

It's the weekend and already the middle of January! I hope this isn't a sign the year will be gone before I know it. I want to cherish every memory and experience. Last night, we had a fun, joint birthday celebration for three of my co-workers. Of course, karaoke was included! Today, Saturday, I'm celebrating St. Peter's feast day at St. Peter's church. Busy weekend!

Friday, January 17, 2014

ISEM! Smile!

Continuing with my posts about my Christmas Celebration in the Philippines, today I'm sharing the concert I attended at the Cathedral. On December 22nd, the Cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of Santiago hosted the Holy Guardian Angels Parish Choir from Pica, La Trinidad, Benguet.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Parlor Games, Gift Exchange, & Karaoke.... Oh My!

The Friday before Christmas, December 20th, the office closed early for the Episcopal Diocese of Santiago's annual Christmas program! Of course like any party in the Philippines karaoke was involved along with fun games and many laughs!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Little Things

Last week, Peter Ng, Global Partnership Officer for Asia and Pacific Anglican Relations, quickly visited Manila to check in with leaders of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines and us YASCers who are volunteering here. Margaret, Andrew, and I traveled down to meet him.

While our meeting wasn't until Thursday, Fr. Clarence of EDS was traveling down on Tuesday for a meeting on Wednesday. I chose to ride in a personal car instead of taking the bus. Along the way we visited one of communities supported by the Development Office, Galintuja. I always cherish opportunities to see more parts of the Philippines.

I wasn't part of any of the meetings on Wednesday, so I just hung around. Curiosity got the best of me, I started job searching for the Fall. Not only did I feel completely overwhelmed but also gave myself a headache. I need to start small and take baby steps!

Thursday was our day with Peter Ng. We met with some staff of ECP and Peter, went out to lunch at a delicious buffet place, Dad's. Then it was time for YASCers to meet one on one with Peter for our check-in. Later, we went to dinner and celebrated Margaret's 28th birthday!

On Friday, I took an 11 hour bus ride back to Santiago. Talk about exhausting!

{Viewpoint over Pantabagan Dam on the way to Galintuja}

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Santa Hats & Candy Overload

Candy wrappers scattered across the ground. Excited children running and screaming round in circles. Santa hats discarded all over. It can only mean one thing…. Preschool Christmas Party!

Monday, January 13, 2014

ERD Visit

I apologize for the delay in posts. Last week, I was in Manila meeting with Peter Ng, Asian Global Partnership Officer for the Episcopal Church. After many hours of traveling and meetings, I didn’t have the energy to blog. I promise to get back on track this week!

A month ago, December 11, Sarah Delaney of Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) did a quick tour of current Episcopal Church of the Philippines’ projects. As part of that tour she came up to Santiago to see the Dap’ayan processing center. Unfortunately, her trip up to the Diocese was delayed and due to a tight schedule she only briefly saw the center before it closed for the day. However, she was able to have dinner with some staff members to socialize and learn more.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Weekend Reading

Again, Happy New Year! 

I hope everyone enjoyed time with friends and family ringing in the New Year! I had a fun, relaxing vacation in Nayon with my neighbor/co-worker's family. We were completely unplugged. You can barely even get cell phone service at the house! But it's back to work on Monday, so I'm soaking in as much "me time" as I can get this weekend with Zoe, of course.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Meet Zoe!

Meet my puppy, Zoe, everyone!

As with most things there is a story behind this. You might remember from this post that my neighbor’s dog had six puppies. I spent much time with them playing and hanging out. I got attached to one who I named Jack. I was going to take him in as my own puppy and friend, but I wanted to wait until after my travels to Hong Kong.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A New Year

{image via}

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a wonderful celebration ringing in the New Year whether it was a loud night out with friends or a quiet night in with loved ones. I wish you all a Happy New Year! I cannot believe it's already 2014.