I had the chance to join CCBC’s staff retreat this year mainly because Darel is now working full time in our church and I serve as his assistant (hahaha). It’s one of the big blessings/surprise last 2018 (aside from getting married) because we’ve been praying about going “full time” for the past years as an individual and as a couple, and we are so grateful that God opened doors for us to take that step of faith and obedience.
It’s only been what? 3 months since this photo? There has been quite a number of adjustments in our daily life as a married couple because y’know, when you both came from a corporate world, then shift to being freelancers, then transition to working in the church, and add the fact that, “Hey! You just got married!”… I mean, it’s not that easy to jump again from one major decision to another. And even if we’ve wrestled a lot of things together before God and sometimes we get answers and sometimes we don’t, all we have is our faith trusting God in His provisions and blessings at this point. But I believe that He will honor that faith, and knowing that it is He who joined us together and it is He who called us to be where we are right now, I am excited because I know that our God is beautiful and He will be faithful in our lives ‘til the end. And speaking of God’s beauty and faithfulness, I had the chance to reflect more about it because of my experience in this retreat.
I’ve always been fascinated and in love with the island life, mainly because of the sun, the ocean, the sea breeze, and anything that’s tropical involving water, and I have tried mountains as well, but I have never ever thought of being able to experience the “farm life”. Well, Mindoro gave me that, and I feel like we were able to do a lot of things in 4 days, so let me share the things that happened in this trip.
Up Close with the Farm Animals
Typing Farm Animals made me remember our book review of Animal Farm by George Orwell back in elementary. Wala lang. Nasingit ko lang. Hahaha! Anyway, I sure have seen farm animals in the past especially when I was young because we also have a number of cows, horses and something else in the province, but it’s the first time I tried cow branding! Hindi ko nga alam kung ano yun nung una eh. Haha. It’s one of our team building activities and I even shared in my IG story a short clip of Darel pulling one of the baby cows (“guya”).
No animals were harmed in the activity, kelangan lang talaga sila lagyan ng tags and marking. In fact, we spent a lot of time just trying to get hold of a “guya” because the mother cows were literally doing their best to protect their young ones from being temporarily captured. And while we do the tagging and branding, the mother cows would wait on the other side of the fence just so she could keep an eye on her baby (or on us? haha). It was fun and intense! And so when we finished with the TBA, there comes the riding of the horse and it brought back memories of Wright Park in Baguio where we used to go as a family when I was young. Nakasakay naman na ko before ng kabayo pero either my guide, or I’m with my dad. This was the first time I tried it on my own, and I survived! Hahaha. After that, we tried feeding the cows. Medyo nakakagulat lang kasi talagang hihilain nila sa kamay mo yung pinapakain mo sa kanila.
Mag-“talok” Ay Di Biro
Indeed!! Magtanim ay di biro. Mag-hapong naka-yuko. Di man lang maka-upo. Di man lang maka-tayo. Woaaah! Because of this activity, I now have a higher respect for our farmers. First of all, we walked for about 20 to 30 mins (?) before reaching the field, and that involved passing through a semi forest (hahaha), muddy trails, crossing river (sapa na lang kasi medyo natuyo na haha) and a lot of walking. When we reached the rice field, it was past 3 in the afternoon and it was so hot! Grabe yung init talaga. Most of the farmers are from the Iraya tribe and we asked them to teach us how plant rice.
It is very interesting to know that planting “palay” needs to be atleast 15 centimeters apart because it will dictate how long or short it will eventually grow. My feet was submerged in the mud, not thinking if may uod or palaka, although I was able to step on a kuhol? (the one that eats the palay), and masakit sya. Dayu told me that sometimes they would end the day with bruises on their feet because of that. I enjoyed the experience and even the conversation with the him. Grabe noh. While I was watching them, sobrang sisiw na lang sa kanila yung magtanim. Ang bilis and ang galing lang. I cannot even imagine myself doing it for the whole day, only having lunch break to rest, and endure the heat of the sun in that setting. After about an hour (I think?) we gathered everyone and decided to sing and pray for them. I prayed for Rodelyn and Dayu, that God will continue to sustain them, give them good health and continue providing for their needs. I thanked them for their hard work and affirmed them of their contribution to the society. If you have the chance to try planting rice in the future, don’t hesitate and just try it.
There was a day when we divided into groups – some will cook our lunch, others will harvest okra, sili and pechay, while the remaining will be in-charge of harvesting kangkong. Syempre, dun ako nag-volunteer sa feeling ko fun – the kangkong. Hahaha. Pero wait, I have here a photo of an okra plant. I was amazed when I saw na ganun pala tumutubo ang okra. Madali lang sya i-harvest. Sana pala yun na lang pinili ko. Hahaha.
Harvesting kangkong is quite challenging because it is floating in the water na medyo maputik yung ilalim at hanggang tuhod. Not to mention that sometimes, frogs roam around. I was able to get atleast 2 stems (haha) then decided to just hold the basket for the team. Hindi ko kinaya yung palaka eh. Again, napaka-init and we have to complete harvesting our veggies for lunch. Haha. Living the legit #farmlife.
Well, of course, farm life won’t be complete if climbing a mountain is not included. Kaya naman umeffort talaga kami ng konti to get a beautiful view of Mamburao. The hike to the top was just about 15 to 20 mins., pero napaka-tinik ng plants dun sa trail so medyo naka-rami rin ako ng gasgas sa legs. Hahaha. Pero it’s all worth it.
I remembered a song when I was reviewing our photos on the mountain. Here’s a few lyrics of Hills and Valleys by Tauren Wells:
On the mountains, I will bow my life
To the one who set me there
In the valley, I will lift my eyes to the one who sees me there
When I’m standing on the mountain aft, didn’t get there on my own
When I’m walking through the valley end, no I am not alone!
You’re God of the hills and valleys!
Hills and Valleys!
God of the hills and valleys
And I am not alone!
Ticked Off an Item in my Bucket List: Sleep in a Tent
I know this sounds so shallow but I’ve been dreaming of sleeping in a tent since forever and Darel was just not into it for the past years, so when I learned that there’s an option of bringing your own tent (kasi di na kami kasya sa bedrooms) I convinced him everyday of our lives (hanggang makulitan sya sakin) before this retreat. Hahaha! Sobrang saya ko talaga. And now that we invested in buying our own tent, feeling ko kelangan pa sya magamit ng pa-ulit ulit para hindi sayang yung bili namin. Hahahaha.
Cons: Super init sa hapon pero super lamig sa gabi. Also, ang hirap mag ayos ng gamit kasi masikip pero I don’t care, masaya ko na nakapag-tent ako. Haha!! We’re planning to sell this for P800.00 and buy the bigger one sa Ace Hardware. If you’re interested, let me know! Used once lang!
One of the Best Sunsets
Siquijor is still the place that’s on top of my head whenever I think of my best sunset moments. However, Mamburao surprised me. For 3 consecutive days, we will drop by the beach and just wait for the sun to set, and I must say that the last day was the most beautiful.
Experiencing “life” in JALIRI, Mamburao, Mindoro
It was a refreshing 4 days of spending time with God, His people, and His Creation. Medyo mahirap nga lang na isama dito yung mga conversations namin ni God and the things that He chose to reveal and speak to me, kasi hindi ko pa tapos pag-muni-munihan eh. Hahaha. But for now, my heart is at peace. If He is faithful in making sure that farms like JALIRI will flourish and allow people to experience “life” by the activities that they have, I believe that the life He gave me could also speak life to others. If my Father in Heaven could give new life everyday in the farm, may it be in the number of newly born farm animals and the growth of rice and crops, I am excited to witness how I will experience more of His love and grace in every waking hours of my life. Indeed, our God is faithful and He is beautiful.
Thank you, CCBC and JALIRI for this experience! ♥
If the photos are not enough, watch this short video!
Major announcement! I now updated my blog from savingsupergirl.wordpress.com to savingsupergirl.com. Thank you, Lord! ♥