Coffee Painting with
Thai-Korean Cooking Camp
Chef An-an Saldana
Palu Balein- Abustan
Learning is like a trip to Hong Kong Disneyland for me. It makes me feel young and excited. Maybe this is why I chose Education as my program of study; and still not satisfied, I chose LTS as my NSTP component in my sophomore year in college. This is how I met ARAL. And without having to realize, my lifestyle and belief have gradually changed. Actually, using the word ‘change’ is an understatement.
Like in movies, let me give you a sneak peak of what we do in LTS-ARAL that time.
Our weekly routine is:
1. Wake up early.
2. Meet with other LTS classmates in school.
3. Commute together and reach Diosdado Macapagal Elementary School on time. And best of all:
4. Teach the kids. Honestly, a lot from us teach the kids just because we’re scared to fail the LTS course.
But going to another mile of doing this duty was a goal for me. Saturday became my favourite day, because I get to meet again my learners. My “co-teachers” were amazed with how I prepare for the teaching sessions and I was amused to see one of them to be inspired to do the same preparation for her learners.
My LTS journey was too short, so God arranged another trip for me. A year after LTS, I got a mail from a friend that ARAL was no longer part of LTS, but their project of teaching the kids will still continue. Feeling the nostalgia of teaching the kids, I agreed to help ARAL. This time, it’s not a duty anymore. I am no longer an LTS student, but an ARAL volunteer who has developed the love for helping younger kids learn and develop friendship.
There were times I feel giving up volunteering in ARAL in exchange of more time for academics and rest. But seeing the volunteers gradually decreasing in number, I felt I’m selfish to think of my own concerns first, while a lot of kids are wanting to learn.
When Efren Peñaflorida was nominated as a CNN Hero of the Year, I felt praying; not for an award to ARAL or for the volunteers, but the same support that poured their advocacy.
4 years after, I have lived my dream of becoming a teacher in a ‘real’ school. I am still with ARAL and I will never regret continuing to see eager students running towards the school’s gate to greet us and ask for our lesson. Now, let me ask you: Do you need to be a teacher to help ARAL? Or you just need to wake up the teacher in you?
by Carol Relucio
March 20, 2011, was the definitive date of our transfer. The long wait was over. We transported our stuff with the eagerness of pioneers. It took several trips of the pick-up van and 3 cars to complete the big haul. Before 5 p.m. we were settled in the new site and ready to UNPACK!!!! But first we have to take dinner. Since the kitchen and dining room were not yet finished, we went to Shakey's. It was just a short walk since our house is practically in the middle of the university belt. Dinner done, we dropped by Mercury drug to buy drinking water and some other needs. Back home, we had a short get-together where we sorted out the plans for the coming days. The scenario was quite exciting! The Oratory, kitchen, dining room, living room, were still "in the making". There were no furnishing yet except the beds. The next day would be recollection, circle and confession for the students. It was a long memorable day. We were exhausted yet filled with great expectation for the wonderful things to come.