Slippers; a piece of rubber used as a footwear mainly for protection, a commodity that is easily available within the reach of of our hands a piece of apparel we use daily. This a common good is sometimes elusive to some part of the country where poverty demands a footwear to be sacrificed or to be set aside because money needs to be spent on more important things. One of these is the Famatudi Mangyan Tribe of Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro that mostly do their day to day activities and manual farm labors across vast fields on barefoot.
I recently joined an event conducted by Footlocker Wanderer together with Gala PH to give pairs of slippers to the children of the tribe. The experience was moving, it made me reflect how blessed we all are in different spectrum of life. On our part, access to basic needs and commodities are easily available for them it might be elusive or scarce; on their part though they live in paradise, maybe lacking in terms of material things but not on natural resources, the raw of nature.
Seeing the children with a new set of slippers on their feet and the constant smile on their faces will humble you because some of them expressed their gratitude saying it was their first pair they ever had. With that a special thanks to our sponsor Dupé for making it possible for this children to have slippers for their feet, not only that it gave them comfort but it gave confidence and self esteem as well. To our media partners Travel Thoughts PH and Design Pirate PH for spreading the word making 57 travelers be connected to a single event with a cause.
For the 57 travelers from different walks of life who gathered to make such event possible blessed the Famatudi Mangyan children in one way or another but most certainly it blessed ours.
Apo Reef: The Jewel of Sablayan
The Philippines’ largest and the world’s second largest contiguous coral reef system is definitely something that we can be proud of. A protected area encompassing 34 km2 in Occidental Mindoro is the highlight of the event. It takes 2-3 hrs of boat ride to reach Apo Island, no cellular reception, no fresh water, a remote area of total peace. I can honestly say that this is the best beach that I’ve gone to so far. Words alone can’t describe how beautiful it is and here’s a video by Diana Zoned and Ryan Real to take you there.
As a whole it was a worthwhile event I was able to see another perspective in life, I was able to feel how privileged we are and that made me a more humble person and it gave me a desire to give back more. Until next time Apo Reef; I’ll be back! for the meantime visit Sablayan on their facebook page: Sablayan: Jewel of Mindoro.