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    The Walk to Wawa (Dam)

    My cousins Jake, Patrick, and Phillip picked us up early on a Monday morning and we ventured off to a place called Wawa Dam. From Makati it took us a little over two hours (on and off random bouts of traffic which we’ve had to get used to in this city) and we finally made it. It’s in a area called Rizal. Upon parking, my cousin Jake told us to give him about five minutes and he will meet us back. He returned with this couple who was willing to take us through the trail/hike to the dam. He also found a family and paid them to make lunch for us when we returned! We knew today was going to be nothing short of “an experience.” Really? You just paid a random family to cook us lunch when we got back? YES, YOU HEARD/READ THAT CORRECTLY!

    You only live once… ? 🙂

    I cannot tell you how beautiful the entire day was. It was worth it for us to experience this whole thing, together. The painful and sad sights approaching this beautiful setting, indeed it was a lot to take in. I’ll let the photos do most of the telling this time, with a little narration in between, of course. 😉 <3

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    The start of the walk is enough of a “third world experience” for your time in this country. It really shows you all the Philippines is about. Yes most of my stay and time is in civilization, but the truth here is that the Philippines is a country split in two. There is no middle class, at least it’s hard to find signs of it, although the economy appears to be “booming”. The poverty here is astounding at times. The sights here are all too common. Dirty, unwanted dogs just hanging around, children with no shoes and sometimes no pants. Hardly any clean water, no proper toilets… you name it. It’s there. And you have to just stop over and over and look up and be grateful for what you have.

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    ^THIS! This is all too common. It’s everywhere in fact. I’ve seen BABIES .. one year olds having to hang on for dear life. It’s also very common to see entire FAMILIES on one motorcycle.. we’ve counted 5 people before. Braving traffic.. sometimes there’s helmets and sometimes no. Just… so many violations that don’t exist out here.

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    ^To the left is the free restroom, to the right is the one you have to pay 10 cents for. I’ve said this a lot but I would rather pee in the jungle in the back, what about you? -_-

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    When Jeff brought the drone out, he became this instant celeb in this little village. The crowd gathered quickly.

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    ^Meanwhile Amelia and her uncle Patrick are learning a bit about Snapchat and it’s new features..

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    This was an interesting moment that I wish I captured better. Amelia was very concerned for this little boy who was running around with no diapers. They just don’t wear diapers, they are naked until they can wear underwear. My kids didn’t understand that. In this photo my daughter is dropping off one of her brother’s diapers from my bag. Bless her heart.. but moments after, the villagers didn’t even know what to make of it or do with the diaper! One opened it up and put it on his head. Then I had to explain to my kids why these kids here didn’t have shoes… ohhh conversations I wasn’t ready to have quite yet.

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    ^In the hot sun, they had conversations of their own.

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    ^The walk to get to the dam… let’s just say this entire “attraction” would be deemed a NO-GO in the states. Can you imagine the lawsuits people would try to file? Nevermind the rickety brides and walkways, and caves with no warning of large rock above your heads… look at this walk down ROCKS to get to the dam. Would you bring your family down there? 🙂

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    ^Who is helping who in this one?

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    Worth it! For about $2 you can rent one of these tables for the entire afternoon and picnic there.

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    ^This is the couple who so kindly took us along the roads and to the dam. They were so incredibly helpful, making sure to stop and wait with us every time we wanted to take photos, they helped with the kids when we had to cross certain spots that were a little sketchy.. I’m so happy my cousin arranged this and I would highly recommend doing the same if you’re in the area. They don’t charge but it’s always a good idea to tip them. And for the few hours they spent with us we tipped them and also fed them lunch.

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    Definitely a first doing this. The hospitality in this country is out of this world, really.

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    All content and images copyright TheSisterFiles©2016 and cannot be used without expressed permission.

    Photos by: Jeff and Talia Cruz

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