The Gift of Hope
The gift giving endeavor is a yuletide tradition of Akyat Aral, where we are distributing Christmas gifts to indigenous and less privilege communities not just to help them but to let them feel the true meaning of Christmas.
The Dumagat communities of Sitio Bulak in Papaya, Nueva Ecija is one of our regular recipients of various projects and group events such as Project Class Room, Project Playground, Fun and Joy Tours, and other regular group events such as, Back to School Project, Gift a Give, Feeding Program and many others since our first visit in year 2012.
With the support of Akyat Aral, supporters, donors and volunteers, after four years of continuous visit they now have a good school building, but sadly, this is not a formal learning center accredited by Department of Education (DEPED) instead this is only a DSWD day care center with an integrated learning system focusing the only basic skill of learning like reading and writing.
(The three scholars with their teacher from left Maam Aileen, Mayit de Guzman, Sofia Bote and Teresa Ramos)
According to their volunteer teacher Mam Aileen Pajarillaga, there are some good students. Akyat Aral grievances is how the students improve if Day Care Center program is focusing the basic learning skills repeated every year. Our group standpoint is continuous support contributing a positive change to the Dumagat children as indigenous community and as individual. Part of our advocacy is to assist them and give measurable influence in handling the power of change as poor indigenous group. With our affirmation in extending helps with them, we created the project scholar for two children, then after a year another one added.
The two children shows their dedication in their studies and able to compete with other students from the lowland, they received citations and honors. With their good school performance after a year we added another scholar. Our joy for their good performance we give a Christmas gift as a reward, we bring them in Manila for a special day for them that is full of joy and filled adventure.
After a quick breakfast, the first destination is Luneta. Rizal Park or Luneta park, is a place of relaxation is the one of the most significant landmark in our country that should not missed by every Filipino especially students.
This is the place where the execution of Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal fanned the flames of the 1896 Philippines revolution against the Spaniards. Luneta or Bagumbayan and Jose Rizal was an important place and person for them not as indigenous children but as a Filipino . Jose Rizal and Luneta are always a part of their studies they now see it for themselves
Rizal Park also showcase the brave Filipinos in the galery of heroes, the martyrdom of Gumburza, the gigantic statue of Lapu Lapu, visualize the Philippine archipelago with giant raised relief map, stunning artwork from renowned Filipino artist the National Museum and many others interesting places inside the park. .
Second stop is Nayong Filipino
The Kids experience the hanging bridge, Kalesa carriages man made lagoon, golden tilapia and many more.
Manila Ocean Park
Third stop Manila Ocean Park. is the Philippines first world class marines theme park that gives a premiere educational facility and amazing experience blended with entertainment.
Started from the tunnel of an unimaginable cubic meters of salt water surrounded by enormous different kinds of fishes seemingly like flying over their head, gives unusual experience for the three scholars.
While the trainers gives a interesting facts about sea lions, the sea lions starts giving hilarious comedy presentation that gives a huge enjoyment with our scholars. The sea lions gives some acrobatics and athletics behavior like, Olympic style dive, powerful swimming, hurdle and high jumps, flippers walks, balancing acts, splashing and many others surprises. They saw that this kind of animal are adorable, cute and very intelligent.
Jellies exhibit is a is a mesmerizing experience for them. The dancing sea fairies is fascinating and magical, especially when the aquarium lights change colors. .
There many attraction inside Manila Ocean park that really amazed the three scholars, like the Christmas Village, the trail sto Antarctica that they experience the Earth’s frozen wilderness and see the Penguins live. They enter the Yexel’s museum and be amazed to the numerous toys collections and amazing stories. The world of creepy crawlies The souvenirs shop, and many more., all located inside the park.
All of the information they learn inside the park, the wondrous creatures, the awareness for the ocean and its inhabitants a very helpful for them as a student, as individuals as indigenous children that live far from metro-civilization, these educational facilities may increase their learning mentality and abilities for their challenging future.
The varieties of shows, encountered and exhibit maybe tiring for their feet, their Ocean Park visit ended with the Aquatica Fish Spa to pumper them and be relax with doctors fishes nibbled dead skin cells from their tired feet and be ready to the next adventure for the day…
After a quick breakfast, a feast for their lunch, courtesy of Sir James Jinsiang in Korean restaurant. They need to eat well because there still a lot more places to visit.
The Manila Zoo is a must in the itinerary of the three scholars because of its exiting educational benefits and academic knowledge. They will learn and understand the importance of taking care of the environment as it has significant impact on the lives and welfare of the animals. Being an indigenous as part of their living is hunting, they need to learn the importance of conservation and animal care.
They encountered different kinds of animals and its classification and species. like Elephants, pythons, turtles, crocodiles, deer, zebra, monkeys, rabbits, ostrich, colorful birds, hippopotamus and many others.
The funny part of their Manila Zoo adventure is their being first time to see many of this animals alive, and even inhabitant animals in our country they only saw it in a books.
Mall of Asia
Almost evening in Mall of Asia, the activity is not yet finished, the volunteers decide to walk separately to finish everything according to plan. The men buy provisions for the Notche Buena of the family of the three scholars, while women buy clothes and other necessity of the three girls.