It was just another day of great adventure, fun and bonding with everyone.

Vacation Church School is one of the most-awaited activities of United Methodist Church here in the Philippines. It is held every April and May where every student is in vacation. What I love the most about VCS, is that it promotes free christian education to everyone. Also, the fact that it is a voluntary work, it is amazing how every teacher and worker give an all-out love, care, creativity and passion to what they are committed to. God to be praised.

And as what is written on Matthew 6:33 (KJV), But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

It is Bagong Buhay UMC’s tradition to treat the VCS Teachers every summer. It is a simple yet meaningful way of saying thank you to the commitment and passion they had given to the ministry. So for this year’s treat, they ended up going to Eco Park (as usual). This place is just a 15 minutes ride from our church and almost 30-45 minutes by feet (which we always love to do).

Eco park is a good place to unwind and relax. It is a real “forest in the city” thing. The cold and fresh breeze of air, the comforting leaves of the trees, the beautiful shade of the sun and the wonderful formation of God’s creation tells that there is a place in this world where you could be free and happy.

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Wooden Signage on the entrance of the park. (c) http://www.mytripolog.com

(c) google. Top view part of the park showing the Koi fish pond and the beautiful flowers on the side of the ladder.

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Here are some interesting things you could find inside the park. (c) www.juanderfulpinoy.com

These are some of the beautiful spots and recreational activities in La Mesa Ecopark. It is better to see it with your own bare eyes.

As the trip continue, we arrived around 8:30 in the morning. We were 19 in all including our pastor and worker. We rented a cottage near the pool. We waited for about 30 minutes because the pool will open at exactly 9:00.

So when the clock ticked at exactly nine they were already in front of the line. Not so excited huh! I could not hide the happiness I feel every time I see the excitement on their faces. They were like small butterflies amazed by the beautiful flowers and its sweet fragrance. Time flies so fast. I am now an “ate” to them.

After changing outfits to swimming attires, they jumped into the water and enjoy the summer heat. The sun has its perfect shade which at the same time keep us warm while in the pool. The 4ft. part of the pool was so high. Before, it was on my shoulder level but now, it was already leveling on my nose. Oh my! The small kids, oh… I mean little youths were sad because even though they were in 4ft. they couldn’t manage to swim and play. Poor little kiddos. #heightproblems

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The almost-olympic-size pool.  (c) Google

Though the pool is not that kind to us, they took the risk of going under the eight feet to take a picture on the famous glass under the water. They really believe that all things are possible. Here are some of their shots.

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Upper left: Charles Upper right: Faith & Joan Below: Melanie & Jayr

After being a risk-taker, we finally felt the gastrointestinal urge. In short, we are all gutom na! Our lunch is adobo with egg and rice. Our worker were very sweet because they prepared our food, from breakfast to lunch and the bounty snacks.

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Left: Teacher Marichu, wife of our Lay Pastor, teacher of our day care and worker Right: Pastor Lourdes, Administrative Pastor of Bagong Buhay UMC ps: sorry for the photobomber ^.^

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Everyone is very busy eating suman, pandesal and everything.

We had a blast with the delicious food prepared on the table. Most of us took a second round. Thank you Lord for providing everything and for those people who love and support us. 

The afternoon session has started. No matter how hot it was, no one could stop them enjoying the pool. Since, I was maarte, I sat under a tree and joyfully watched them. Their endless laughter sounds like music, they were so close with one another. Well, that is a good thing. While watching them, I realized that God’s time is always on the dot. I remember that when we were on our early years in Umyf, most of us worry about the next liners. We don’t know who will be the one to replace us when we graduated in Umyf and now, here they are. Doing the same thing we were doing before. Dedicating to God the talents they have, strengthening each other’s faith, growing as a person and as servant. Isn’t that amazing? 

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Youths of Bagong Buhay United Methodist Church

Just like every movie, our day has to end. They were so maitim na. They were like a hotdog left on the grill (that’s so exaggerated of me), so I started teasing them with love ^.^ We were ready to bid goodbye to the place, when Mr. Rain started to fall which made us stranded on the waiting shed on the vicinity of the pool.

Everyone was complaining about their dark faces and skins while I kept on saying, “buti na lang hindi ako umitim! Kayo kasi eh ayaw paawat,” then they were going to say, “okay lang masaya naman.” 

Yes, that was true. It doesn’t matter how dark your skin get, what matters most is the new chapter added on a solid relationship rock. When the rain had stopped, we went home and kept the memories that will always remind us that friendship doesn’t have a price.

So, ’til next summer!

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