Project Imi: Giving smiles to the kids of Batad Rice Terraces

December 2012

Rain-drenched, hiking stick on one hand, some goods on the other, and backpacks covered in improvised plastic raincoat, we trekked from the Saddle Point down the muddy mountain ridge. The night before, the seven of us were able to fill a jeepney with more than 10 boxes of food, sanitary supplies, gifts and books (plus one whole set of encyclopedia), transported them overnight via a commuter bus from Manila to Banaue, Ifugao , then another jeepney through a rough, muddy, winding road and then carried them by hand. Good thing some local mothers and kids helped us. GE DIGITAL CAMERA

At a bend in the trail, the clouds the same level with us in the horizon, the picturesque amphitheater of the Batad Rice Terraces greeted us.

We were originally planning for a highschool friends get together Christmas party, when we thought of making it something more special. The idea of doing an outreach popped up. And after a few days of planning and soliciting funds, goods and support, we found our way into one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Outreach

We were still preparing, but the kids were already excited, playing while eagerly waiting for us..
Wrapping the toys!
Shopping for the family package: bihon, sugar, coffee, sardines, soy sauce, vinegar, juice, cheese spread, TINAPA, salt and soap.
We personally prepared and cooked the food. Our menu: spaghetti, hotdogs, sandwich, and fruit salad & chocolate drink, typical for a kids party but not so typical in this remote area.
Games! Longest line. Photo by Rula
We also donated books for their library.
What was so touching was when the kids themselves presented songs and thanked us. We called the outreach Project Imi, from the Ifugao work to smile. Indeed, what was so rewarding was to see the smiles in the children’s faces.

Thanks to our generous friends and sponsors, Unilever and Magnolia, we were able to hold a party for more than 60 Batad kids. Thanks to Teacher Cathy and the parents who helped us. To Ka Rene for providing the contacts and to Mang Ramon of Ramon’s homestay. GE DIGITAL CAMERA GE DIGITAL CAMERA

This year, I’m going back to Banaue to another Igorot community in Ducligan. I invite you to give smiles and help us with our Project Lingap 😉 project lingap1

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