“Peace, Play and the Power of Endless Possibilities” by Pheonyx Roldan Smith

“Sunrise over Sibulan” by Pheonyx Roldan

OCG 365+ Travel Blog Update 04/30/12: [Tubtubon, Philippines] :: Monday morning… a slight breeze flows in from the east as the sun begins to crest just above the palm tree line across the horizon.  The air is not as thick as it usually is here in the mornings, and the usual haze of smoke from morning breakfast fires  and the dust from the dirt road that runs in front of the house is a little bit lighter than usual as well.  However, I know I have approximately half an hour here before the sun heats up the fully exposed front porch tile (and my person) enough to make it uncomfortable enough to retreat back into the air-conditioned comfort of the bedroom. (I know… I know… spoiled American.  I’m the first to admit it… for now.) =)~

It’s the dry season here in the Philippines.  “Dry” being a relative term, considering I am in the tropics.  According to one of the demographic websites on regional climatic conditions in this area, (gosh, what did we do before the world wide web? really??)  “Though some rainfall can be expected in every month, the rainfall differs greatly through the year.   In the period June – October it’s raining cats and dogs!  The influence of the southwest monsoon is  very clear.   In the period December – May  there is no monsoon anymore. The trade wind is coming from the northeast and brings hardly any rainfall.”  

According to my cousins and personal experience, it’s also the hottest time of the year here during the months of April and May.  And “dry” only refers to the amount of rainfall.  Trust me, there is no lack of humidity as it still lingers in the 80+ percentile.  So that, combined with an average temperature of 95oF and surprisingly very few days with an actual breeze, means plenty of sweating.  Despite my attempts to acclimate, my body still operates most happily (aka, productively) below 80o and a relatively dry environment.  I know I won’t always have this seemingly minor luxury, so I’m enjoying it while I have it.

Thus, the past few weeks have been a labor of love, from the comfort cooler, drier interior spaces.  Mostly on making massive changes and updates to the flow and content of the OCG Project’s website, researching upcoming volunteer and work-exchange projects throughout southeast Asia, and contacting and communicating with some really amazing beings who are doing some really great work in the world, and pre-preparing for a major online fund-raising campaign which will help support the work and the mission of connecting with so many great people, causes and communities and help us tell the story to the world at large.

What time I’ve had left beyond that has been taking some much-appreciated quiet time for myself and sharing some time with the many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.  It’s been a much slower pace and more one-on-one opportunities, compared to the first three weeks when my parents were also here and there were massive gatherings around mealtime and sight-seeing expeditions.  I appreciate both, but much prefer the latter.  Perhaps it’s my age.  Perhaps it’s my personality.  No doubt, a combination of both, but I just prefer the quieter more intimate opportunities to connect with the beings with whom I happen to also share some genetic connection.  Everything occurs in its right and perfect time and place, of course.

another curious child gaze caught on film

For about two and a half weeks I also did some volunteer work with a local orphanage for young girls called Isla ng Bata (the “Island of Children”) in a town called Calabnugan up in the mountains about half an hour from here.  It was founded by Francesco, an Italian who married Flora, who is originally from the Philippines.  Together with a staff of about half a dozen and a handful of other volunteers, mostly Italian, we care for about 15-20 children at any given time.  I was put in contact with them through the social services department of the neighboring town of Sibulan where a few of my cousins work.

It was a good first experience albeit short-lived simply due to the fact that the organization had plenty of staff and volunteer help with not enough to do.  I felt I was a bit of an “8th wheel”, if you will, and discovered that I personally prefer a little more structure in my volunteer work.  Currently, the children are on summer vacation from school.  Seems they run the same calendar year as the public school system in the states, which I find somewhat ironic considering it’s pretty much summer season around here year-’round.  The children are lovely and though many of them come from poor if not a few “broken” homes, you would not be able to tell simply by looking at and engaging with them.

The children are very eager and active (very very active), and it turned out that my primary “job” became being the resident uncle as one of the very few male figures, aside from a gentleman well into his 70’s and Frescesco, one of the founders, who was usually busy with more mundane tasks of running an orphanage.  It was exhausting (LOL), to say the least.   It really was.  And since there was very little structured down-time built into the days for rest or education (outside of mealtimes, which provided quite another spectacle) and more than enough staff to assist in various ways, I decided to keep my time short and move onto some other personal project related items that were requesting my attention.  I did teach the children (and few of the adults) some yoga and breathwork, but given the immense amount of loose energy of the children, I was only able to really hold their attention for about a half an hour or so before the jungle-gym mentality, or something else new and shiny, would begin to grab their attention.  Alas, another beautiful practice of surrendering to the flow of children.

So… we played.  More importantly, I played… and that’s exactly what I needed to do.  So, for three days a week for approximately three weeks, I played with the bata (children) of Calabnugan.  It also gave me the opportunity to play with my video documentary skills and the new equipment donated to the project.  I’ve got some good footage and we’ll see how it all comes together in the end.  However, you can check out a few of the video blogs on the OCG travel journal page.

And for me personally, about the same time I was wrapping up the volunteer stint, I noticed my own energies beginning to shift inwards; thus, answering the inner call to take care of more back-of-the house administrative needs on the Project from the calm, cool, quiet sanctity of my cousin’s home in Tubtubon.  I recently discovered that this shift also started right about the same time that Mercury (planet that rules communication) and Mars (action) went into retrograde (going inward/resting).  Just happened to intuitively work out that way (lol), which I still get a kick out of no matter how often it happens these days.

mural of history of Filipino on outside wall of the downtown Dumaguete open air market

And within the past couple of weeks the two planets have been moving forward, and so has my energy.  Just yesterday I received a video post titled “Astrology Forecast May 2012”.  It’s good and perfect and in alignment with so much I’ve personally been feeling build over the last couple of weeks.  And despite my usual go-go-go disposition, I am often reminded by my Guides and the Universe that there is a right and perfect time for everything, and it’s equally important to go within in order to self-nurture so that you can eventually go further out.    And as one of my all time favorite Jason (I love you) Mraz (call me! lol… seriously though… call me =)~ songs say, “the details are in the fabric”.

I love you all.  Every single person whos eyes and ears come across this writing… this page… this site… this journey.  Many of you I may never even meet either in person or through the many modern-day channels of communication and connection we have today, but I love and appreciate you still.  I appreciate every single being who has and IS showing up in support of this project, be it in your words, your sharing it with others, your recommendations, your contacts, your dollars and most importantly… your love and appreciation for what is also a very personal and self-fulfilling project of love and life for me.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!  I love you!  Don’t stop believing. If you have not already done so, please subscribe to theOCGproject.com’s newsletter (upper right-hand corner of the website) and continue to explore and share the many resources and works of inspiration we have created for you… members of the One Family sharing space here on the same common ground of Mother Earth, the great School of Life.

Much more to come.  Stay tuned!  Light it up!  lov-en-lght, Pheonyx


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