Black Pencil Project (part1)

Posted: August 13, 2012 in Blog, Events, Travel
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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Black Pencil Project
Guinihon/Mayoyao, Ifugao
July 4-5, 2009

BLACK PENCIL PROJECT is a collective initiative to provide pencils (and other light school materials) to public schools in remote communities (accessible by foot) across the country through resources mobilization. It aims to encourage localized participation, individual commitment of goodwill, in support to government education program in the countryside.

Founded by three avid photographers with different backgrounds but with one passion – to help school children. Their aim is to reach out to every Filipino child in the far-flung communities around the Philippines and to spur among passionate individuals to become instruments of hope.

I first came across BLACK PENCIL PROJECT while surfing the net. As an avid traveler and photographer I was fascinated by the places they were going while handing out pencils to school children. After checking their website, I left a message that I would be interested in joining one of their treks. I almost forgot about it because of the time that has passed when I received an email informing me that there would be a meeting at 7:00pm that night at Grilla Bar located at Robinson’s, that was a Monday, June 29, 2009. We arrived at the meeting and learned that the trek would be this weekend and was given an itinerary and things to bring and do on the trek.

Our trip for Banaue was at 10:30, Friday night and would meet up at 9:30pm at Florida Bus Lines. We were there at around 9:00pm and left the terminal around 11:00pm with stop over at Bulacan and another at Sta. Fe, Nueva Vizcaya. Arriving around 7:00am at Banaue where we had breakfast and freshen-up at Halfway Lodge where our guide (and BPP volunteer) Lawrence Atimango showed us on the map where we would be headed.
Regrouping at the Banaue Tourist Information Center, we went to the Banaue Market for some photo opportunities… at 9:30am we left Banaue. The five-hour trip to Mayoyao was as exciting as it could be with our ride getting stuck in mud before reaching Bangaan where we stopped and took pictures. Upon reaching Anaba we were greeted by children singing in the side of the road, our first stop to distribute school kits to the kids.

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Seeing all those kids with their big smiles on their faces while receiving their school kits was a great sight to see… moving onwards on our trip, our jeep got stuck in the mud again which took longer time so we walk about 300 meters to the bridge at Barangay Aduyugan, Mayoyao, while waiting for our ride we took some pictures then went down to the river and look for a place to eat our pack lunch of chicken with veggies and rice (carol ate fried fish).

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After lunch we crossed the bridge and headed for Mayoyao, reaching the junction where we went down hill to Guinihon when it started to rain and it rained hard so we waited for the rain to stop at the jeep. After a long wait they brought umbrellas for us to use and we all headed for the school. Upon reaching the school there was coffee and newly cooked sweet potatoes or camote waiting for us where we had our fill. Then the program began with a presentation of the school children and the teachers and some talks by the heads and the principal. Finally they all lets us join in their dance…

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After the program, the heart warming talks, the photos and most specially the thanks you’s, plus the small gifts given to us we started going back to our ride but since the rain was strong and there was a landslide where the jeep got stuck again, we walk up to the junction and waited for the jeep to come up where I took some pictures of the side of Guinihon and the side of Mayoyao. It was already getting dark when we reached Mayoyao where we stayed at Milcah Lodge. After taking a bath and resting we had dinner which is grilled pork chops, chicken with mushroom, chop suey and pineapple and bananas for dessert. With a night cap of TAPUY or rice wine and GSM blue.

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•Photos from Mon Corpus

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Take nothing but Pictures
Leave nothing but Footprints
Kill nothing but Time

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