It has been over a year since Typhoon Yolanda hit our place, now, we have another Super Typhoon named Ruby. Oh Philippines, Oh Mablad… how well your strength be??? As I go and walk through the beautiful lands of our ancestor, my feelings were wandering how did they themselves survived in the same wrath of calamities they have experienced if there were during their time? I thought of a hiding place to keep myself safe and secured in this time of catastrophe, A Cave! Our place has many caves to hide in, but, getting there is more than a challenge of a strong typhoon. It is rocky and steep and the trail has many thorny plants and yes! Snakes! I said, No Lucy! you have nowhere to go but FAITH in your heart will keep your soul still and calm.
The result of Yolanda was very catastrophic and left so much chaos in every place it covered. It was huge and the range was wider. Until today, many people have not yet recovered from the said disaster! It has marked a trauma in every people’s heart…losing loved ones, lost houses and even some were desperate and hopeless. This is how badly our place has been subjected to experimentation? And, now here comes another one, please, please… can we stop this and give a rest and let people enjoy a beautiful life that a Universe would want it to be? Why can’t we just focus on things that FIX rather than DAMAGE?
Some say, Typhoon Yolanda was a blessing and personally I thought it was in my selfish way because our family were not directly affected. We are intact, our resources was just slightly damaged and our house was still standing under the rage of Yolly, thank God! And, Yes! Local and International Aids started to pour down like manna from above. International people came to express help and rebuild the broken community. This is where the Green Warrior Field School was born in Mablad. Permaculture Aid Specialist – Steve Cran and his team came and volunteered support to the local people by introducing Permaculture in our place, which is: Care for the people, Care for the Earth and Care for the Environment. A much needed principle here in Mablad, as the younger generation has already forgotten the value of Mother Nature and the symbiotic relationship from within the ecosystem.
Volunteer job faces many challenges and requires a certain amount of Self-Commitment and Personal Integrity to win trust and support in the community. In the beginning, the team was pushing through despite of difficult situation in the heat of the sun, sleeping in tents and cooking under the tree. Observing and feeling the reality was to me a hardest life I could ever have in my simplest journey. But, I admired their passion from doing into action, and compassion to people especially the helpless and the needy, how generous it could be? Working with them, and being with the different batches of International volunteers, I could say that: to do volunteer job is not a simple path but full of complications especially on cultural issues. It is a big challenge for a volunteer to observe, know and adopt the local culture in order to preserve good relations between them. Generally, as the year ending the project was successful and moving forward. Thank you Steve to your continuous mentoring, to the pioneering team and the future volunteers to come!
The GW-Mablad, is now planning to start a small enterprise using the Pizza-zilla oven. Creative Steve and the enthusiastic PAC students have built last October. The field school has also got some inquiries on hosting small parties and accommodation on weekend get away. I think the kiddie pool has something big to do with this. Ten months or so…was a quick time to get into this place. The school progresses quickly, we have just finished building an economical Lorena Stove modelled by Steve in Capoyuan Elementary School to aid in cooking. The stove we built was made of clay, cement and whole rice straws. Many more activities going on every weekend, there is free pizza and free meal to all GW’s doing the community garden. Everybody gets involved in learning and cooking, though. Weekdays is a maintenance day for the farm, nurturing plants, maintaining cleanliness and orderliness around the school area. We do more planting of vegetables and fruits in preparation for next years’ new batch of volunteers and looking forward to market on the town festival – best opportunity I guess? The institution has also inspired local farmers to practice organic method in farming after a bountiful rice harvest. Interestingly, the GWFS is aiming for more resources and products as the sugar milling is about to start next year. Molasses is a good source of organic fertilizer and also an excellent base for making rum. For years this resource has not been realized as significant, but now it has come out that molasses is highly valuable. We need volunteers with expertise on this or have knowledge in this field to train the local GW’s and a lot more for social development and sustainability. Another mission during this summer time is to explore caves for Guano collection. Guano is one of the best organic fertilizer and we aim to use this on our SRI this coming wet season. I believed, Mablad has full potential to become an entity of trained and skilled people if given support. This is a community of self-reliant, hardworking, and people with humility. GWFS – Mablad needs to be filled and has a lot to offer! Come, teach, learn, live and experience life here in the warmth of the mountains’ breeze.