Friday, March 29, 2013


   There is always something you see here that you say, 'Where's the Camera?'. I have missed so many great pictures of things to record because I wasn't ready.
   Well we did manage to get a few that we had second chances to get the shot.

I saw this Shelby Cobra as it went blasting by me. Of course no camera ready, but I think I can catch him when the traffic slows down. Sure enough. Beautiful car.
As we passed we gave him a thumbs up. He loved it. I don't know if many people recognize what he is driving and those that do wonder why he is in this traffic.
Big Bikes are a rarity here, but we got a shot of this Bobber on EDSA one afternoon.
Becky catches another shot when traffic gets backed up in a tunnel.
These big bikes look even bigger when a Filipino drives them.
Haven't seen my Road King in about a year and feel itchy to ride one. Jeff I hope you're taking good care of  'The Duke' while we are gone.


   About 2 hours south of Metro Manila is a small town of Ibaan. We had been asked by Elder and Sister Wagner to look into helping at one of the elementary schools there. They had organized a committee at the school to establish a clinic in a small building on the school grounds and needed input as to what else could be done.

We met them at the school to do a survey of the work they have done and estimate needs to complete their project. What we found was impressive.

A small building on the school grounds had been condemned many years ago. Permission had been  obtained by the Peace Corp to remodel the building and place inside a small clinic and library.
Amy DeCola, a member of the Peace Corp, has been assigned at this school and community to aid in anyway she sees as a need. It was her brain child to refurbish the building and add the much needed clinic and library. Through funding from a group in the US the building was restored. It was beautifully done with the help of parents and teachers. She also had parents make tables, chairs, bookshelves and dividers to be used in the library.
The clinic on the other side of the building has been the project the Wagners have been working on. They have formed a committee for health that includes local govt units and churches in the area. Thus far they have furnished it with the basics. After evaluating what they had accomplished, we recommended that a Nursing School a short distance away be brought in to teach first aid to teachers and parents to give locals the ability to take care of problems that would certainly occur. Also to be brought on board is a local clinic that will oversee and take referrals of those that will need more than first aid. They have the resources to complete their project. Two basic needs came together in such a marvelous way with the help of parents and community. Maybe this can be duplicated? We are investigating.
As we arrived, we found no teacher for this fourth grade class. There had been a school celebration the day before that did not end until 2 in the morning. The teacher was too tired to come in. Sister Hadlock decided to be their teacher for the short time we were there.
Upon saying she would teach them, they immediately ran for their seats. She had a wonderful time as see interacted with them. They are very bright and quick witted. As you can see Boys will be Boys.
Even where we were, they knew what an I-Pad was. They love the tech stuff. Of course, if you look close, you will see Dr. Dave on his Harley in Yellowstone as the picture she has pulled up.
The children are like sponges at this age. It is very important that they continue to be fed education to improve their lives. The library that has been developed by Amy is always busy and a great resource for learning. Developing a model that will be accepted in other areas of the country is now on our agenda.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


   Just across the mountain to the southeast of Metro Manila are several medium size towns. One of those is Tanay. I was told the population of Tanay is 890,000 which in my book is more than medium. The church has a beautiful chapel there and many faithful members in the branch.
  It was here that a request came in to see about donating an x-ray machine.
It took about 1 and 1/2 hours to get to Tanay where we met Elder and Sister Miller. They would be our tour guides. The adventure started with our first tricycle ride. Sister Hadlock's cousin Cheryl was with us that week. She was just returning home to Provo after spending a year in Cambodia teaching English. My place on the tricycle was behind the driver. Those two had a wonderful time as they laughed together.
 They use 125cc to 155cc motorcycles to propel these sidecars. The price is 25 pecos per person no matter where you wanted to go whithin the city. That's about 60 cents each.

We saw the clinic and was impressed by the cleanliness of the facility. They see hundreds each day here. It is ran by 3 Physicians and staff. I don't know how much each is paid, but nurses make about 8 to 10 dollars per day.
The location of the x-ray machine is in another building behind the clinic and has a single door. They are hoping to get our updated machine that is digital. There current machine still uses plates and is very old. If they receive our old machine, they will relocate this machine to a smaller community to give them access to an x-ray machine. We have here one of only 2 x-ray machines in a community of 890,000 people.
Next to the clinic, is a new city hall getting very close to completion. Their plans call for a new clinic in the new facility. We have seen many times the construction of large beautiful buildings and no money to furnish them. It may take years to complete the project.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


  One of the projects that LDS Charities sponsors here in the Philippines is the Neonatal Resuscitation Training. We have Dr. Micheal Visick and his wife come to the Philippines from the Salt Lake Area and work with our partner to facilitate this training. One day is spent teaching a Master Trainer's course and 2 more days are spent on regional training. This training is given to Doctors, Nurses and now open to Midwives. Helping to reduce infant mortality is a worthy and necessary goal.

Our partner here in the Philippines is the Philippine Society of Newborn Medicine. The individual in their organization the works directly with us is Dr. Chat Corpus. She is the Doctor holding the flowers in the above photo at their annual meeting. She has been given an award for outstanding service in the field of Neonatalogy. It is wonderful to work with such dedicated professionals.
She again appears with us and the Statons as LDS Charities is presented an award for its contribution to the NRT Program.  Working with such outstanding people on such an outstanding program brings about outstanding results.


  It has taken over two years to become registered with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). This agency oversees the work of NGOs and the licensing of them.
  Up until this time we had not had the option of Duty-Free status. There has been slow progress on our part to gain the registration necessary. However, Elder Hardick wanted to see this accomplished before he returned to Canada in late January.
  An outside attorney, Mhe-anne Ojeda, was brought on-board to do just one thing - get us registered.
A lot of information was gathered to complete the acknowledgement that our charitable work has been done in each region of the country. We wanted to apply only one time and be covered every where in the country. For 2 months we searched all documents, e-mails and other communications to validate our work in every province. And on January 15, 2013 at 5 pm (the deadline) all documents were turned in. Just a few weeks later and we were notified that it was complete and we qualified..
The awarding of the "Certificate of Registration" was done just a few weeks after Elder Hardick returned home. But he had left with a job well done.
The photo shows Atty. Mhe-anne Ojeda, President Micheal Teh (Area President), Sister Hadlock and I and the Elder and Sister Bailey from Public Affairs.
Immediately after the awarding was a meeting to clarify what the certificate meant and what we needed to do with the information to apply for Duty-Free status on each of our shipments.
Little did I know at that time, that this was just the first step of many to accomplish our goal to reduce the cost of items sent to the Philippines for our projects.


   Another Saturday upon us and an opportunity to go to Sierra Madre Resort. Our primary reason for going was to check a community clinic that had some needs that we might be able to help with.

Sierra Madre Resort is located in the mountains near Sampolac. A small community that just had a church group start up there. About 50 people attended the first few weeks and the number is up to 90 plus. It won't be long until a Branch will be formed.
The resort is often used by our church groups for Youth Conferences or Senior Missionary getaways.
There is the long foot bridge there that spans over 200 ft. and a tower that we were standing on that is the high point of the property above the foot bridge. Also there are 3 swimming pools, large area for get togethers and a large enclosed chapel that can be used for meetings.
Our favorite places were the jungle trails that were well done and led to beautiful areas on the grounds.
The trail eventually lead to a beautiful waterfall. Sister Hadlock and Sister French are really feeling great as this photo op included some climbing to get into place.
On the way back Sister Hadlock found a Cobra. Lucky for us it was the only one we found. There are a lot of Philippine Cobras in this country.
We located the clinic and did a short assessment of their needs. Hopefully we can be of help to them as they try to serve their community with very little resources.


  We have had wheelchair training with some wonderful groups of individuals that can really affect the success of our program, but none more so than "Physicians for Peace". This is the last training that Sister Hadlock and I arranged before moving into our new assignment. We used a large room at Philippine General Hospital which accommodated us very well.

The group began to gather the first day for training. We ended up with about 24 graduates that will be a great assest to our work. They are also all over the country, which allows more opportunity to help the poor and needy. This group volunteers their time and resources for many worthwhile projects. The training went very well as you might expect with the well educated individuals we were working with.
On the last day of training, we do actual assessments with PWDs. Because we were at PGH, we did not lack for people that needed a mobility device. This young man had been in a serious motorcycle accident a few days before and will need a wheelchair for sometime as he heals.
I began talking with one of the Doctors that seemed very interested in this case. As we talked I found out that he had finished the surgery on this man just 6 hours ago. This device will hold the lower leg bones in place while the bone graphs heal. Because of the huge overcrowding in the hospitals here, recovery time in-hospital is very short. He will actually go home in a few days with the help of the wheelchair.
The graduation for this class occurred outside in a courtyard area. I feel this group will help us improve the course we are taking in training and improving outcomes for those using wheelchairs. This is a top priority in our program.
I'm sure you remember Pete Manio. Great friend and cohort. This is his wife and one of his children that attended the training representing KAMPI. He will oversee the new accessors from "Physicians for Peace".

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


  Elder Rodney and Sister Laura Jensen come to us from the 'Great White North'. They have both lived in Alberta, Canada their entire lives. They are one of the youngest couples here and their energy and enthusiasm show it. He has worked in construction and real estate for a long time in Alberta.
  They have been assigned as Member and Leadership Support Missionaries in the Marong District to the east and south of Metro Manila. It takes about one and one-half hours to drive there on a good traffic day, even though it is only about 20 miles away.

Elder Jensen has on the sun glasses and shirt tied on his head. He has been helping some of the members build homes for their families. It took him awhile, but he can now work about 5 to 6 hours a day in the heat before he is exhausted. Starting out, he could only go for about one hour.
 This home behind him belongs to 'Jun', an active member of the church and a strong leader in the branch. He has a partner and 5 children. It is our hope that they will be able to get married very soon. She has no papers for birth and thus must pay a goodly sum to get them. They are saving up the money to get the paperwork. This will allow them to get married, get her baptized and move them forward to the temple as a family.
Jun has turned this home into a collection place for the recyclables he collects and sells to Junk Shops to earn money for his family. A new home is being built for him on a piece of property near to this one.
All the Senior Missionaries in our zone now help Jun collect glass, plastic, paper and cans to help him in his project that will also earn he and his family enough money to go to the Temple.
Another family Elder Jensen is helping is near completion of their 12 ft. by 12 ft. home made of bamboo, tarpaulins and a metal 'tin' roof. This family is investigating the church and has been attending the branch for some time now. Baptism is very close. Their home sits on a lot they have purchased and is 15 ft by 30 ft. To most of us this would be camping, but to them this is a step forward.
Another home they are helping with is just up the hill. The foundation of concrete was poured and the simple structure of coconut wood is now in place. It should only take a few more weeks and they will have a completed structure. This will be the new home of the Branch President. Sister Jensen is in the pink. One of the opportunities they enjoy is the chance to get close to the branch members. Working together forms great bonds of love. Elder and Sister Jensen are truly an inspiration to us. They are giving their all in helping branch members be more self-reliant.
We all gathered for a picture in the newly constructed framework with a lot of children. The children come running when someone pulls out a camera.
We had one more family to visit. Romeo lived down a jungle trail full of vines, banana trees and most importantly bamboo. Our visit with him is to have him ask the owner of the land he lives on to get permission to cut down more bamboo for the housing projects. All the home projects have been completed because of Romeo's land owner's generousity in allowing them to cut bamboo.
Romeo, in the green, lives in the shelter behind and cares for the property of the landlord who has given him permission to be there. Most of the branch members here just live on a piece of land and either rent it or have an arrangement with the land owner.
Romeo is able to grow a lot of the food for his family here plus some casava to sell to the markets, an item used in making a Filipino favorite Casava Cake.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


  In 1983 Ferdinand Marcos had been in power in the Philippines under Marshall Law for 14 years plus 2 terms prior to that as an elected President.
  There was low confidence in his Presidency and a lot of graft was present in making the system work. Those that had money were able to get things done. Those that had none, got nothing done.
  The father of the current President (Benigno Aquino III) had been exiled because of political disagreement. Many people were imprisoned or exiled at that time. In 1983 Ninoy decided to return from Taiwan with the speech, "The Filipino is worth dying for". Little did he know he was foretelling his future. Ninoy Aquino was assassinated in the Manila Airport shortly after arrival.

A short 3 years after the assassination, 2 million people filled the only major artery of the Metro Manila Area. The shorten name is of this highway is EDSA. The occupation took its tool as everything was backed up and didn't move. The leader of the demonstration was the housewife of Ninoy Aquino, the man assassinated at the airport. The above statue shows the image of Corazon Aquino at the top and replicas of people from different occupations holding her up and supporting her. It only took a few days and heavy fighting and the government of Ferdinand Marcos was overthrown. Corazon Aquino became the next President of the Philippines. We pass this monument every day on our way to the office. It is only a short distance away.
It was at this location that I noticed hundreds of motorsiklo in a gathering. I asked what was happening and I was referred to the leader of the Motorsiklo Organization. The longer I was there the more Motorsiklo that showed up. Including Philippine National Police (PNP). By the way, this organization was the strong arm for Marcos when he was in power. It is now a trusted branch of government and adds security to this gathering. 
I found the man in charge of the protest and asked what was going on. He enlightened me on many issues that affect the owners and riders of motorsiklos in the country that are unjust. They wanted to peacefully protest these unfair laws. One such law was a sticker to show that the helmet you ware wearing has had the import tax paid. If you had no sticker, you had to pay a fine.  I had to agree, this should be the problem of the outlet that sold you the helmet, not the rider. They had many valid points.
As we talked, I had a man approach me and wanted an interview. He was from Rappler, an online information outlet.
 Oops, it's code day, I have to leave. I don't think my views on motorcycles in this country would be appreciated while I am in service as a missionary. But it is fun to be educated about our surroundings.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


  It seems Senior Missionaries come and go at a fast rate. This gives us the opportunity to met new friends and say good-bye to old friends. It is not always easy. We form eternal bonds with these wonderful Brethren and Sisters as we work in our various assignments to promote the Gospel and the Savior's Love.

In a little over 3 months we will be loosing our Mission President. President David DeLaMare and his wife Kayla, will be heading back to Taylorsville, UT. Like many of the Seniors that are serving, the plans for returning home may not be very clear. He left his job when he was called and will have to look for a new one on returning home. He is a great example of Faith in his service. He is not alone in wondering what returning home will bring. Several Seniors are here at great expense and faith that all will be put into place when that time comes for them to be released.
From early Zone Conference pictures, you can see the growth in the number of Senior Missionaries that are assigned to our mission. Each serves in their respective assignment and we each lend support to each other. Sister Hadlock and I were the first couple every called to just the wheelchair program. It has been a wonderful experience. Now a new couple, the Statons, will oversee the wheelchairs as we move into our new assignment as 'Country Directors of Humanitarian Services' in the Philippines. It is like beginning a new mission. There is much to learn. We have a strong love of the Philippines and especially the Filipino people. We have had a dream come true by being here.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


   On October 20, 1944 General Douglas MacArthur fulfilled the promise he made upon leaving the island of Corrigedor in Manila Bay. I had posted Corrigedor on a previous blog and the destruction and death that occurred there. General MacArthur was pulled off the island just shortly before the Japanese captured the island in World War II in the year 1942.
  As he left, he stated those famous words, 'I shall return'. Many thought those words would never be fulfilled, but the Filipino people prayed it would.
  He returned upon the more southern island of Leyte. This was the area we went to deliver the wheelchair in the previous blog.  MacArthur was joined by the allied forces on that historic day.

  This event was welcomed, but it brought along with it death and destruction of a great magnitude. Shelling occurred for a lengthy time before the troops landed here, which proved to decrease the resistance from those that occupied the island. By the end of the war, most areas in the Philippines had lost the beautiful grandeur that we see today.

The markers are here as a reminder of a past that should never be repeated. Many scares remain that remind people of the physical and emotional harm caused during the great battles here.
MacArthur came to shore accompanied by other leaders anxious to take back the islands from the intruders that left so much damage. So much is heard about the bombs dropped in Japan and the destruction caused. Not so much said about the destruction here which equalled many times that of Japan.
There is now beauty and peace here once more. The growth of trees, flowers and grass hide the remnants of days gone by. Elder Hardick had a true love of the experiences he had here and really enjoyed living in a country of such vital history. We should all be grateful for the freedoms we enjoy, but remember that the cost of that freedom is high.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


   I had the opportunity to go to the island of Biliran and the municipality of Almeria. Two years ago a project was conceived here to bring water to 13 barangays that had very poor quality water. The water tested positive for e-coli and had high amounts of iron. The color was and is yellow and the oder is bad. Unfortunately, the work up and planning took much longer than hoped. However, if the local area leaders are not fully committed to doing the work necessary, then the outcome is poor. More often it will fail even after a lot of funds have been spent.
  Also in a near by community, a young lady was waiting for a wheelchair. It had been sitting in my office for over four months with promises to be picked up and delivered. I was able to take the wheelchair on the flight with us for delivery.
  This trip would accomplish two very important outcomes.

This was the last trip that Elder Hardick and I had together. He has now returned home to Red Water, Alberta, Canada. But he gave his last wheelchair to this wonderful lady that has had CP since birth. We met her, her caregiver and the branch president at the chapel to make the presentation.
The chapel is very small but fits their current needs. The branch president is in the yellow, the district president is in uniform. The district president was our chauffeur and guide.
The interior of the church had this main room and a few small side rooms for office and classrooms for separation of primary and YM and YW. I am standing at the entrance for the photo and you see everything for use in sacrament meeting and teaching of gospel doctrine. Small but effective.
We left with another satisfied customer that felt of the love of her Father in Heaven. Her life will be improved with the aid of the wheelchair that was given to her.

We arrived at Almeria a short time later. This picture captures Elder Hardick at his best. He is now a celebrity and well known throughout these parts. Actually he is very humble and a little embarrassed by the big 'TO DO'.
He and Elder Benson Misalucha represented LDS Charities in the signing of the legal documents to start the project. The local Mayor headed up the local government. More on this signing can be read on There were 15 other signers and copies made for all. A total of 20 copies were signed and each of the stakeholders took one home.
Final pictures were taken and the signing event was complete. It had been a long two years for everyone involved, but very necessary. NOW THE WORK BEGINS !!