PROUD YET HUMBLED
I took a last look at Rizal Elementary School Library as I went out of the school’s gate. I was overjoyed from the inside out, proud yet humbled for the opportunity given to me and other travel bloggers.
A DREAM COME TRUE
Three days ago, I was in tears as the kids cut the ribbon of the newly built and furnished library in Rizal Elementary School. I can’t believe that a small group of bloggers and friends can do such work after I blogged about Travel With A Purpose: Book Sharing Project 2 months ago . DepEd and the Alumni pitched in and what we saw that day was a dream come true- A Bayanihan Library, built not with lots of money or under the name of a particular politician, but with heart and soul.
That Friday, September 14, we gathered together and started the day by reading some books to the kids inside their classrooms. Volunteers from the Book Sharing Project spent an hour teaching the students of Rizal Elementary School before we finally did the turn-over ceremony in the afternoon.
I bet everyone who joined the trip were happy and elated to be witnessing such a life-changing event. If you can only see the kids running towards the library’s wooden windows and take a peek of what’s inside you would find yourself teary-eyed too. They were happy and all cheers! They were excited to finally take a hand of the new books inside their library. Mind you, the school has been there for more than 50 years and this is the first time they will be having a school library.
Because most from the group are travel bloggers, we opted to make the walls of the library filled with photos from all-over the Philippines. This would also serve as a learning aid for visual-learners.
One was interviewed and told that she can now do research easier with the help of more than one book reference. The school principal, Sir Aldrin Estipona, was full of gratitude as he coordinated the turn-over ceremony together with our partner, Emelyn Balabat, an Alumna trying to give back to her alma mater. She even recounts her experience during college when she first stepped inside a library.
BOOK SHARING TEAM
We were exactly 37 in the group all came from a 13-hour bus ride from Manila. Diksyonaryo Atpb. led by Lia del Castillo partnered with the group as they celebrate the Literacy Month of Spetember. Travelers from Pinoy Travel Bloggers and some of their readers came too. In the afternoon, a crew from TV 5 came to cover the event.
You can watch the feature made by Camille Abadicio of TV5 below:
ONE OF MY HIGHLIGHTS AS A TRAVEL BLOGGER
Personally, it was a memorable experience in my career as a full-time travel blogger. Never did I think that I will come this far. I was thanking God for the opportunity of inviting others while inspiring the youth. Working with these passionate individuals is one of the highlights of my year. One even said, “Marami na akong nagawang mali sa buhay ko; ngayon naman kahit minsan gumawa ako ng tama.” (I have done a lot of stupid things in my life; today I want a redemption, to do something right for a change). At least five in the group are celebrating their birthdays during the week. They chose to give back instead of doing the usual birthday party in an over-priced restaurant in Manila.
This happening in the Philippine travel scene right now, I’m hopeful and positive that travelers will change the world, one community at a time. This might be a small success, but the seeds that we planted that day at Rizal Elementary School in Gubat, Sorsogon will be forever in the hearts of more than 300 students of the school. I just imagine 1% from then paying it forward, then Gubat will be a better place in the future right?
As for me, I guess I would do this kind of travel more often- VOLUNTOURISM. Don’t worry, I would let you know of ways how you can join. I thank everyone who supported the Book Sharing Project. I always believe that travelers has changed and will continue to change the world. Here’s to more projects in the future, cheers!
To Rizal Elementary School, I rejoice with you! I hope and pray that you would maximize the use of the library. I hope you enjoyed our gift.
To all my readers and friends, Rejoice with me. Let’s inspire the youth and make history.
Ending this post with a quote from Garrison Keillor, ”A book is a gift you can open again and again.”
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You can also read what other bloggers say about the event last Sepetember 13-17:
Christine’s Book Sharing Project Update
Thanks again friends, followers, fellow bloggers, Diksyonaryo atbp, TV 5, R.O.X. and Runner’s Circle.