Sitio Kangko update
Sitio Kangko is located in Barangay Lamlahak in Lake Sebu in Southern Philippines. People usually go to this highland community to watch endemic Philippine birds or embark on a challenging river trek to a hidden waterfall or summit Mt. Three Kings.
Despite the influx of mountaineers, birdwatchers and curious travelers, this T’boli community still does not have electricity, some of the adults do not have health insurance cards and the children have to walk for hours to the nearest public school. When we visited the community and met some of their representatives last May, they did not ask for everything else that was deprived of them. They just shared to us their urgent need of concreting their water source.
We are pleased to announce that the concreting of this small community’s only potable water source has finally kicked off. As of this writing, their spring source is now partially hedged in. This would prevent mud and other unwanted sediments from seeping to the spring especially during heavy downpours. A small portion of the bamboo pipe is also replaced with sturdier PVC equivalent.
Prior to the construction, a chicken was sacrificed in a tribal ritual. The blood was then poured over a small cave nearby. When Honey Lee, and her friends arrived at the site the following morning, they buried gold-colored coins (such as the Php5.00 and Php0.25 denominations) at the actual source. These served as offerings to an entity that owned or watched over the water source, as revealed in a dream of a resident in the community.
We are still raising Php5000.00 for additional steel bars, nails, bags of cement, PVC pipes and other construction materials. These will cover Phase 2 of the small project: covering completely the water source and extending the PVC pipe from the forest down to the community’s common area. Labor is free courtesy of the able-bodied men of Sitio Kangko. They were also the ones who hauled the bags of cement all the way up to the project site.
So what seemed to be just an adventurous weekend in South Cotabato became an eye-opener for us in many respects. I am really humbled by this good news and to be part of something larger than myself. I must thank my God for giving us our day/night jobs that have adequately supported us where we are at this point, for blessing us especially with the things that our salaries could not buy and for allowing us to move beyond our comfort zones and into meaningful opportunities we have never dreamed of.
Ad Majorem Dei Gloria!
It looks like we only need 25 kind-hearted individuals who would set aside Php200.00 this coming payday. Well, that is roughly equivalent to one Starbucks drink and a bagel. But when you come to think of it, you would be able to secure an entire community’s potable water source for that small sacrifice. If you want to know how you can extend your help, send me a PM at baktincorporation(at)gmail(dot)com.
Many thanks to R. Ontanillas and C. Ilao for accompanying Honey Lee in the trek back to Sitio Kangko. All the pictures in this entry are posted with Honey Lee’s permission.