Wednesday, April 20, 2011

5 Days in Bantayan Island And All I Got ...

I ought to be there.

When the year turned 2011, I was rearing for an adventure.  Be it with people I am familiar with, or with faces I can get acquainted once in a lifetime.  Then, Facebook booked me a slot for an adventure.  GK Bayani Challenge 2011 appeared in my 'Events' list.  I had only been to two GK Builds - one at Budlaan and another at Talisay.  Yet, the experience allowed me to be receptive to their activities.  An added bonus is that GK is going to MY ISLAND --- Bantayan Island!

I printed a copy of their invitation and posted the same on the wall of the Communications and Broadcast Engineering Laboratory Section (CBELS) laboratory room - hoping that I could go with 'fellow' ECE students.  Early on, some interests were verbalized - but there was no evident move to make plans and form a core group.  It was much, much later that an invitation to join a group was given to me.  Oh, yeah!  I am kid again, giddy with excitement and all set to go!!!

The second semester ends on March 26.  I was working to pass the grades on the evening of that day - and thankfully, I managed to do so.  I was to serve as faculty chaperone for the student-tourists of ECE batch 2012 from March 28 to April 3.  Guys, if you are reading this, I had a hell of a tour with you!  Notwithstanding the loss of my digital camera, the memory will serve me well for the rest of my life.  Just sorry that I cannot make additional ones with you.  Yet, my week-long exposure to twenty-or-something guys and gals serve me well during  the week-long GK Bayani Challenge 2011.

This here is my story.

The educational tour lasted until Monday, April 4.  We were waiting for our flight (12:30 PM) back to Cebu at NAIA terminal 3, and  I was planning my GK Bayani Challenge trip and how to spend my Monday meaningfully and fruitfully with my family.  In the end, my Monday morning was 'wasted' at school.  I was on board a bus about to depart for Hagnaya when I was called by the secretary of our department that I still need to encode the grades in ISMIS.  Talk about at the nick of time!

So, my trip was postponed for another day.  I was glad, though.  I spent the night before the trip to Bantayan with my children.  I have been away for a week due to the educational tour of my students.  I slept for an hour, and then woke up at 1 AM to ride the first bus trip to Hagnaya.  I'm off to a new adventure!

I had no expectations.  My bodily default setting is 'roll-with-the waves-frolick-in-the-sand-and-get-burnt-by-the-sun'.  I was walking from the pier of Sta. Fe towards my destination - the Sta. Fe Central Elementary School.  My walk was interrupted by a trisikad driver offering a ride to 'GK'.  I obliged - ending my fantasy of starting this challenge in the rough side of life.

I have arrived.

What a scene!  Exactly like my boy scout days!  Kullen asked me to have breakfast first.  I declined as I already had my breakfast.  The day was about to begin.  I love the exercise.  I love the song.  I love the chant.  I love it all!!!  LIPAD, PINOY, LIPAD!

And I loved the work.  It was hot.  It was filthy.  It was sweat-and-cement.  It was sun-against-skin.  It was down-to-earth, literally.  The work begun with not knowing what we are doing.  It slowly became doing what we do not know - and, finally, doing what we now know.  Skilled workers, yahoo!!! Yes, we never succeeded in building a house from earth to sky.  Yet, we have built something amongst us that tucked in and tagged our hearts.  They got connected, in a way that is less tangible than cellphone numbers.

I also loved the 'rest' period.  The time to cook.  The time to eat.  The time to wash.  The time to bathe.  I especially love the times of Carol.  Oh, Carol, I am but a fool!  Akala ko malambot ngunit ang gahi mo pala!  Ha! Ha!  Not sweating the small stuffs, but Carol's relatives made a very memorable side lights of the whole event.  And Mike!  Who could forget our favorite 'invocator'?!  Seriously, keep it going, Mike.  That was one task that we know who would be doing it.  Plus the 'washers'.  I love the washers!  I have no favorite,  Basta limpyo lang ang kaha ug 'kaha'.  Hapit man to puro kaha ang atong gilutuan!  Ang dili kaha, himuong kaha.  Salamat sad diay sa mga assistants sa 'fire works'.   You kept the fire going - and the smoke, too.

The end came so suddenly.

And then it was over.  Three days I have sweat it out with you, guys.  I was learning all sort of stuffs every time we have time to talk together, do things together - or even just chill out together.  I wished it lasted a bit longer.  I wished I had known you prior to the event.  Pretty wishes ...  Yet, I loved what we had.  I loved the fact that other opportunities are still open to get to know you all better - and better every time we meet again.

I will not be saying 'farewell', but fare well until we meet again.


  1. nakz ani sir oi! very well written. mka.mingaw na pd ang bayani challenge dah. hahaha. till the next build sir! :D