Memories For a Lifetime – Captured in Writing and Photos

Marinduque masks SIAC May2019

We love working with everyone at The School in a Cart — and we are into our 9th year now! We see joy and pride in so many children who come to the Center looking for hope, and we are inspired to work hard to support them in every area of their lives, preparing them for better futures.

Joshua Palliera painting May2019
Marinduque ocean SIAC May2019

The School in a Cart band members made a special trip to Marinduque, an island province in the Luzon island group of the Philippines (south of Quezon Province.) They participated in an early morning sunrise service on Easter Sunday and again in the afternoon, both services at the church where our Director Alfredo Olavidez was the Education Director for six years. The children who stayed back at the Center in Cubao were treated to cooking camp. (Photos from the camp will follow in a separate post.)

Below is Joshua’s essay, and translation, on the excursion. It was a big treat for the kids to spend a week away from city life. Joshua’s mother Analyn is one of the first street mothers to volunteer at the Center and receive free food back in 1997. She stayed away for a few years and then returned in 2011 with her two boys, Joshua and his older brother Justin. Home for them is a hut in a nearby depressed area.

Joshua Ballera Graduation April 2014

Joshua graduating from kindergarten in 2014

Joshua Palliera Marinduque SIAC May2019

Here is Joshua’s essay and translation.

Prior to their current home, they had shelter in a government-owned lot above a creek. Six months ago, it was carried away when the creek overflowed, and they lost many of their belongings. Their father is a carpenter who gets work from time to time. The School in a Cart hires him when repairs are needed around the Center. Joshua and his brother are doing well in school and last month Joshua graduated to the sixth grade, while Justin will starting junior high!

“My experience in Marinduque includes going around Gasan courtesy of Sir Iddo (Alfredo). We went to Boac after and practiced at the Church. We also colored *Morion masks. The following day, we did a concert at the Church in Boac. We also held a concert in Gasan Church. We were supposed to also do a concert at the Municipal Plaza but it did not push through. Instead, we watched a play about the story of Jesus. We went to buy shirts while the older boys went swimming.”

*The Moriones Festival is unique to Marinduque being the only Province in the Philippines that observes this Holy Week festivity. The Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ are re-enacted. Men masked and dressed as Roman soldiers represent when Israel was under Rome’s dominion.