Christopher and Marvin are two of the four Philippino Change Agents. They are all fabulous, and I was deeply impressed to see how the Changer Agent programme is functioning on local level in the Philippines. They are changing so much, and they are embraced well by their movement.
During the very first National Youth Conference I was interviewed and then grilled by the young people with many difficult questions. It was called Kapyhan with Johan. I enjoyed it thoroughly!
I have to pick among 80 group photos taken during the National Assembly, and here a good mix of young and old.
This is Honorio Tan, the President of Downtown YMCA in Manila. A great friend and an impressive YMCA leader. I enjoyed our conversations so much!
The formal instalment of the newly elected National Board – a very solemn and precious moment.
Ramona Dr Morales, the President of YMCA Philippines. What a formidable YMCA leader – the mother of the movement and a very solid governance leader. I was really impressed and we spent a few days together with deep conversations and good sharing – thank you for your great hospitality and friendship!
And here together with the whole Governance of the YMCA Philippines. It is a movement in strong growth and under very good leadership.
A long drive through the country to Baguio YMCA where the local kindergarten performed an impressive show for us. Look at all these daughters of Cleopatra!
Anything more cute than these girls?
Baguio YMCA is a green YMCA and we planted trees in the forest where YMCA has taken responsibility for replanting for decades.
They are called Jeeps, the popular busses that you can find all over Philippines. They are creatively decorated and extremely religiously dedicated!
Onwards to Pangasinan YMCA. Here a good group of young YMCA leaders.
I visited one of the Universities in Pangasinan and the Student Y group and we had an excellent discussion. Again difficult questions. What did I think about the relationship between the Philippines and USA? Would that impact the programmes of the YMCA? What did I think of the killing of drug addicts in the Philippines? What does the YMCA do for illiteracy and unemployment? I enjoy the questions the more difficult they become, and the audience was very attentive.
In Pangasinan we made an excursion by boat to one of the islands to see the YMCA there. Exciting and fun!
We passed this rather vulnerable wooden construction for fishery. I can only imagine how this will look after a medium size typhoon!
A glimpse of the touristic Philippines, long beaches and blue water – beautiful. I see a lot of these sights as well as a lot of YMCA swimming pools. Still I remain dry as always – no time to test the water anywhere!
The young man on this photo is Ian – read more about him in my Christmas blog post which will follow tomorrow. He has a fascinating history.
This is San Pablo YMCA with Kristy, the General Secretary together with Pablito, or Paps, the popular National General Secretary. A very warm and gentle person and loved by all YMCA people in the movement!
Look at my shirt – it is the official attire for Philippino men, what is used in the Parliament for example. I was given one shirt and it was the right size in a country where most people are a few cm shorter than me! Lovely!
The above video from the Christmas celebration back in Manila! Beautiful and full of atmosphere!
A glimpse of Manila together with good friends – the Philippines is full of warmhearted people and good hospitality, a wonderful country with some deep going challenges.
And finally the President, Ramona Dr Morales, one of those emotional relationships which enriches our lives and increase our faith in the YMCA movement around the world.