In April 2018, GNE accompanied Mountaineer Outreach (MO), a local NGO doing humanitarian missions in the Philippines. Peter, Marie and Miao flew to Manila and then north to the mountains of central Luzon. We stayed in a very comfortable parador-type hotel in Banaue, Ifugao Province. For the next 2 days Peter worked as a doctor with 3 MO Filipino doctors at medical mission clinics in rural Hungduan district. One of these was accessible only by foot (a 40 min walk) or by “tram” in a 2-person basket strung across the valley. Marie and Miao worked alongside MO: talking to women and community health volunteers or testing the tablets with the education app in English and Tagalog.
We then had 3 days to work on grants, hike on the rice terraces or partake of the Banaue festival celebrating the end of rice planting season with traditional costumes, crafts, parades and wooden scooter races.
From there we drove back to Manila and flew south to Tacloban with 3 young women who came to be known as the “3 monkeys” for they could do no evil. We were met by the pastors of Community Outreach and went to rural Naval, Biliran Province for 2 medical clinics. Again Marie and Miao were able to demo the tablets and meet with local women and volunteers. Afterwards we got a tour of Tacloban and heard harrowing stories about the 2015 Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) not to mention General MacArthur and WWII.
Then we were off to Indonesia for the next leg of our travels. Thanks to everyone who made this trip possible. We hope to parlay some of the enthusiasm we encountered for education and nutrition into future partnerships.
Please feel free to view this slideshow from our trip, GNE in the Philippines 2018 (pending).