“God saw all that He had made, and it was very good…” Gen. 1: 31
Recently, we took a trip up to Alaminos in Pangasinan. On Saturday, Bjorn gave another sermon at our friend’s church. The church’s location was specifically chosen because of two mango trees on the plot. It was in the province; we drove past rice fields and cows, even a few caribou, under an endless sunny sky.
We had Sabbath School with the kids there—all girls, about 9 of them, mostly of Primary age. They were so sweet. And not shy.
They immediately lined up to shake hands with us. They eagerly participated in Sabbath School. They gamely tried to converse in English. (I overheard one girl tell her friends proudly, “I didn’t get a nosebleed!”)
They were friendly and curious. They held up the end of one of Journie’s braids and were amazed that it was “yellow.” They called her “Barbie.”
They sat close to us, and their acceptance and warmth toward us was so genuine and abundant. It was a purity of childhood I have rarely encountered and made me seriously think about raising Journie in the province.
The next day we had another idyllic experience out in the Hundred Islands. (Thanks to the Internet, I now know there are actually 123-124 islands, depending on the tide, covering an area of about 6 ½ square miles.)
The Hundred Islands are tiny, as far as islands go. Maybe you could build 4 or 5 small houses on the largest ones, maybe. They looked like tree-covered mushroom caps scattered over the ocean. The bottoms of many of them had been eroded by the waves, so from a distance they looked like they were floating just above the water. It was like something out of a fairy tale. I was amazed that such a place existed.
We took a long, slender boat that rocked and swayed every time we climbed in or out of it, and island-hopped. One island, called Pilgrimage Island, had a huge statue of Jesus on it. Some of the islands were connected by small patches of sand. We had lunch on Quezon Island and enjoyed collecting shells, playing in the sand and swimming in the water (that is, until I saw a couple of jellyfish.) You could even ride a zipline there.
We climbed Governor’s Island for a spectacular overview of the islands (and some ice cream, of course). Then it was home again, home again. Seriously. We went back to our friend’s home, rested for a few hours, and then at midnight headed back to Manila, arriving safely in the wee hours of the morning.
A huge thank-you goes to our friends C and X for inviting us along and for their warm, wonderful and generous hospitality! I can’t wait for the next road trip. 🙂