Buhi's water project has been completed for over a year now and is expanding to other barangays by their own means. If there is a project to copy it would be the one in Buhi. More than 20,000 people now benefit from the clean water system that has been installed and maintained by the local water association.
To get to the communities we needed to see, we flew to Lagaspi City. The Mayon Volcano is located very near and is a perfect cone in shape. Unfortunately the clouds stayed the entire time we were there and we weren't able to get the perfect photo. This is also the area of a new mission to be organized July 1, 1013. We are fortunate to have 4 more missions added to the 17 that are currently here, bringing to 21 the total number of missions in the Philippines.
Elder Benson Misalucha, Sister Hadlock and myself, Brother Todd Tapp and his wife and Sister and Elder Staton attended this gathering in Lagaspi City. Todd Tapp is the Area Director of Temporal Affairs and this is the first time we have had him with us on a project. This is a rare but wonderful opportunity to have him with us.
Behind the group is the only remaining ruin of the town of Cagsawa. The bell tower of the church stands as a witness of the great destruction caused by Mayon on February 1, 1814. This volcano remains active even today.
Sister Hadlock stands among the ruins of Cagsawa destroyed by the Volcano many years ago. This is the top of the large church that was once here. The volcano buried everything under almost a hundred feet of ash and lava.
Many people joined us on a tour of their prized water system. Our champion on this project is Doc Batoi. You can barely see him as he looks like he has his head on Elder Misalucha's shoulder. My 'Where's Waldo' for this blog is to find him. This group worked so well together as we partnered to bring clean water to their community.
The next group we visited was in the municipality of Bato. It is not far from Buhi. In fact, the success of Buhi is the reason they have contacted us. Their mayor is from San Francisco and lives here while she remains in office. She is in the pink top. This project is only in the vision stage and has a long way to go. They are thinking big, too big for what we can offer. We left a lot of food for thought about how we can help. Hopefully we can assist them to get clean water for their community.
One area in the Bato city limits has water, but poorly put together. We have many requirements in our projects one of which is the pipes must all be buried to avoid contamination, vandalism and provide a longer length of service.
Elder Staton examines the current system that is a hose with a stick to plug the end. Living in the provinces is a lot like camping every day of the year. No plumbing, no indoor water and cooking on an open fire of wood or charcoal. But they are happy. Truly they teach us that having "things" does not bring happiness. Their happiness revolves around family and friends.