Who would have thought that we are already on our sixth day here in Mindanao? =) I was really nervous and excited to be visiting Marawi City, given the context of the place explained to us. However, I was looking forward to see our colleagues in our field office that even the power interruption during the discussion and presentation did not prevent us from having a lively atmosphere to exchange ideas.
We drove to a community in Ganassi in Lanao del Sur, which was on the perimeter of Lanao Lake. First of all, the laked was amazing and it was so vast that it felt like looking at the ocean. Upon entering Ganassi, the magnificent mosque with the intricate dome caught our eyes. We have already arrived in Ganassi! We had a courtesy call with the vice mayor, who willingly accompanied us to the community. We even stopped by a (deep) well with more than seventy years worth of history.
I already knew the drill. Upon arrival, I must look for the perfect spot to place the camera for recording the video of the itnerview. It must be well-lit and the background should be interesting. While Robyn was doing the interview, I would running and snooping around, looking for subjects to shoot. I am particularly fond of shooting the Basic Education Projects because a place full of kids is always a dynamic and interesting area.
Similar to Barangay Kabingi from Mindanao, the pre-primary education provided in this area was in coordination with the lcoal community. So it was no wonder that there was a big involvement from the parents of the kids attending the school, and most of them were seated around the room. I loved seeing and hearing the children sing a familiar tune (Kung ang ulan ay kasing ingay ng pusa / O kay ingay ng ulan!) and chase each other around the room.
Of all the kids inside the room, I was most interested with the two kids below. I forgot to ask their names but the little boy was the first child noise I heard when we arrived. He was crying in one corner and her sister had to rush and appease him. I found out almost an hour later that she ha to tag her brother along to school just to attend her classes, because nobody can look after him as their mother is sick. I can look at this picture all day and be inspired to work really hard for them. =)
Then after a lunch overlooking the lake, we had to stop somewhere to had a photo-op with Lake Lanao! Kuya Kurt’z stopped by this bend free of trees and shrubs and we could clearly see the lake in its full glory. It was still as amazing as the first time I saw it hours ago. I still could not believe that I had this opportunity to visit a wonderful place in my country, not to mention a geological artifact! =P It was apparently one of the fifteen ancient lakes in the world!
Then just as we thought that we were going back to Iligan, we took a left turn and visited Mindanao State University in Marawi City! Their university looked similar to UP, but they had a good view of the lake. We don’t even have a large body of water in Diliman, and UP Lagoon does not count! I had a series of camera fail as Marianne and I did not manage to have a decent jump shot. We just looked like a bunch happy
idiots tourists by the grass.
And yeah, it was our 4Y10M today! However, it was the first time ever in 58 months not to spend the day with Mon. =( We just had a very long conversation on Skype and we had to celebrate a fewdays after.
I am no longer part of CFSI and, of course, any thing I have written here does not reflect the organization’s views (i.e. all of these are my own opinion). However, I highly encourage you to take part in their activities and help them accomplish the work that they do. They really are the most wonderful and genuine people, I can vouch for that! Feel free to browse the “Mindanao Mission” series to look at some of the organization’s activities and some of the places they work in.
For more information, click the link below to help CFSI rebuild lives! 🙂