It’s already 3 o’clock in the morning, and I’m still typing this blog post. I was about to sleep but then while praying, I started remembering the kids we met at our NSTP Fieldwork at Sitio Mabilog in Tarlac. It is a remote area located at the top of the mountain. The place where Aeta kids live that used to be our students for a day.
Sitio Mabilog is a 3 hours drive away from Manila then we had to go mountain hiking for almost 45 minutes. It was really exhausting and one wrong move you might fall into the cliff, and we even crossed a wooden bridge. I must say, the hike wasn’t a joke. It has to be taken seriously and you have to patient and passionate in what you do. I have been a girl scout when I was in high school. I experienced mountain climbing and survival challenges in the middle of a forest but this one is something different. We went there to teach Aeta kids. While hiking and experiencing intense downpour of sweat, I am starting to ask myself, why did I choose this? When I should have chosen the other option which is CWTS. Civil welfare training Service. It is more focused on nation building more specifically, building homes for University of Santo Tomas’ communities.
But then some part of me knows why. When I was a kid my first dream was to be a teacher. (I think most kids dream of being one). Then from the moment I knew LTS program will expose you to teaching kids, I didn’t have a second thought and chose the Literacy training service. When we reached Sitio Mabilog, kids were already waiting for us. We were so exhausted from the hike but seeing the Aeta kids’ excited expressions made us regain our energy. My group was tasked to teach grades 1-2. We taught them how to count and write numbers (Although some of them already know how). They were very determined to learn. I asked an Aeta named Serio what he wants to be someday. He told me that he wants to be a teacher and teach just like what my group was doing that time. I told him to study hard so someday he will be the one teaching young kids in their tribe. I asked him how old he is and sadly, he doesn’t know. Even his older brother doesn’t know Serio’s age We also taught them the different body parts, antonyms, synonyms and nouns. They also had art workshop which they enjoyed so much. There was a kid there (Serio’s older brother) who draws really well if he will be given a chance to enhance his talent, I am sure he can take up architecture or any program related to arts when he reach college. (I will be very happy seeing him that way. Who knows if I will meet that kid again someday) After the alloted time to teach them academically, we discussed with the whole L-CTHM 1 the human rights of children, and Aeta kids were also there to listen. After the discussion, it was already our time to go. We told our Aeta students our goodbye, they were all smiling and waving at us. We were already going down the mountain but we could still hear an aeta kid shouting, “Balik po kayo bukas!” and that made our hearts melt. Every sweat & kilometer that we hiked were worth it. They want us to be there, they want to learn. This place is in a remote area in Tarlac from the mountain of Sitio Mabilog. UST is doing their best to take care of the community. This was really a memorable experience that I will bring with me until I grow old. Thank you UST for giving us an opportunity to not just hear stories about them, but also to be part of their lives.
Until now, I can still remember Serio. I still include him in my prayers. He was my first student and I want to see him again someday. The experience had been a great impact in my life. An experience I want to treasure and bring with me.
"The best kiss is the one that has been exchanged a thousand times between the eyes before it reaches the lips."-Anonymous (via lunuh)