Seeds of Hope for Munting Gubat

The Great Bicol Experience Part I — The Book Sharing Project has just turned a year old. So aside from the Gubat October Swellfest (Oct. 11-13, 2013) , we wanted to check out the Library and how the students are doing in Rizal Elementary School, Gubat, Sorsogon. It is a great time to kick-start another project!, #SeedsOfHope and our Great BICOL Experience!

Seeds of Hope. Trees for Tomorrow.
Seeds of Hope. Trees for Tomorrow.
Chef Arvin Quilloy brought fruit-bearing trees for the Munting Gubat in Rizal Elementary School.

Our favorite Chef, Arvin Quilloy brought several boxes of seedlings of fruit-bearing trees for the Seeds of Hope Project in Gubat, Sorsogon. We rode a bus from Cubao to Legaspi, transported and transferred the seedlings several times before we reached the school. We didn’t realize there were so many transfers until we got to the school. But all the effort was worth it when we saw how excited the students were to join us plant trees.

 The Principal, Mr. Aldrin Estipona toured us around the school to see the plants the kids are taking care of. There are tomatoes, peppers, sitao, ampalaya, lemongrass, malunggay, peanuts, and much more! We were very happy to see the plants and to learn that the produce are usually cooked for their feeding program and/or given away to students to take home to their families.

I haven’t really been out to see public schools lately, but I’m sure if every school would be like this, no school kid would to go hungry.

After the short tour, Meg and I got a chance to chat with Emm Balabat. we learned that she came from the same school, but was not lucky enough to see books in their library. Thus, she talked to their alumni association with the help of Sir Aldrin. The Book Sharing Project continued the efforts of the community. With the help of the bloggers, donors and volunteers, the old room was renovated, bookshelves were built, and they were to put a wonderful collection of books available for the kids to read. They now have a real Library!

Book Sharing Project Anniversary
Happy Library for the Students of Rizal Elementary School in Gubat, Sorsogon. Sir Aldrin, Matt, Emm, Meg, Elvie & Arvin.

After helping unpack the books donated by Lia M. del Castillo of DiksyonaryoAtbp, we started our tree planting. The kids hurried to help Arvin transfer the seedlings from the Principal’s office to the Garden. The boys all wanted to dig the holes and immediately plant whichever tree they were holding. It was somewhat a happy chaotic start, but we all had fun! We really loved that the kids were so eager to participate, and were actually so excited to plant trees! Here are some snapshots:

I hope other kids would be inspired by the students of Rizal Elementary School.
They all wanted to plant their own trees!

The boys were so eager to plant trees!
Elementary Students rush towards the area where the Kalamansi seedlings were assinged to be planted.

#SeedsOfHope is a success! Thanks to the teachers of Rizal Elementary School, the kids have been made aware of the benefits of gardening and tree planting. We are confident that the seedlings will grow and produce fruits that the kids would eventually enjoy.

These Grade 6 Students of Rizal Elementary School are role models for the youth!
These Grade 6 Students of Rizal Elementary School are role models for the youth!

I’m looking forward to join more activities like this when I travel. Knowing that the community values the assistance given to them is rewarding enough. But seeing them striving to improve the quality of their lives, and enjoying the process is a bonus!

I hope other kids would be inspired by the students of Rizal Elementary School. I also hope that my fellow travelers would also take initiative in helping the communities they visit. One can start by sharing your knowledge by tutoring, planting a tree, or maybe helping in a feeding program in a local elementary school.

I just love the idea of visiting a place, and leaving something good behind. If you love to travel and would like to help, let me know so I can update you on my next Volunteer trips and activities.

Travelers Will Change The World #SeedsOfHope

Related Articles:

Nomadic Experiences: Book Sharing Project in Gubat, Sorsogon

Journeying James: Leaving a Legacy in Gubat, Sorsogon

Jovial Wanderer: Book Sharing Project Update : Gubat, Sorsogon

Emm Balabat: the great Bayanihan Library Project : a dream come true!

The author about to plant her 1st tree for #SeedsOfHope.
Photo by: Meg Abano

My friend, Meg helping one of the students plant Mandarin for #SeedsOfHope.
Arvin, Elvie, Meg and James harvesting chili peppers for dinner!
Photo by: Aldrin Estipona

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