By Devon Higgins

kid in bayobay elementary school given a bag full of school supplies

In April 2016, we took a trip to Eastern Samar to do some surfing and deliver school supplies to Bato Elementary School and a smaller school in the town of San Pablo. On April 26, 2017 we took another trip back to surf and visit another smaller school in the city’s outskirts.

Bayobay Primary School is located about 15 to 20 minutes away from the city proper, and is about midway from the main road to the small town of Cagbonga. Composed of less than 100 students, Bayobay Primary School serves a small community in the Northern part of Borongan City. Before we ended our week-long surf trip, we visited the school to hand out school supplies and share a little snack with the kids of Bayobay Primary School.

employees in photoup packaging school supplies for bayobay elementary school

Siblings Michael and Carolyn from PAPEL are joined by our Content Specialist, Gian, as they sort school supplies in the PhotoUp Office. The supplies are sorted and assembled into kits. Each kit contains pens, pencils, crayons, paper, and notebooks.

 

Our luggage for the trip composed of a few days worth of food, 3 surfboards, 3 backpacks, hammocks, and 2 boxes worth of school supplies.

 

Larry doing last minute checks before we’re shuttled to our ferry from the terminal.

 

We docked at around 4AM at the port of Ormoc City the following day.

 

Shortly after breakfast, we loaded all our stuff into the van and began our 6-hour trip from Ormoc City, to Borongan City

 

Touchdown! We’ve arrived at one of the local beaches in Borongan.

 

Beach break right across the street from Bato Elementary School, last year’s beneficiary of the school supplies we donated.

 

For our accommodations throughout the trip, we stayed in our cocoon hammocks made locally by awesome people in Cebu.

 

Kids from Bayobay Primary School lining up to get their school kits. Helping with crowd control are Angeli and Dyna, part of our crew that came along for the trip.

 

Kids starting first grade receiving their goodies.

 

Clyve handing out school kits to kids.

 

One of the school teachers hands out a school kit to one of her students.

 

After distributing the school supplies, we were treated to some fresh coconut juice, bananas, and rice cakes.

Personal notes:

Poverty is a complex issue, and in most areas of the country, being able to send the kids to school can be a struggle as some families are not able to afford basic school supplies for their children. While what we’re doing is not the be all solution, it’s enough to get the kids in this small town started. Thank you PAPEL for the initiative, and PhotoUp for being supportive of this initiative. We are grateful for the opportunity to help serve the community through your support.

A special thanks as well to our friends who came along for the trip:

Angeli, Elizabeth, Mabelle, Mai and little Tan-Tan, Knox, Paul, Dyna, Carolyn and Michael

Finally, a huge thanks to the people of Borongan City for the warm welcome and hospitality:

Sir Al Dala and Ma’am Girlie, Abel, Puwa, Totoy, and the rest of the people of Surfriders Club of Eastern Samar, and Borongan City Tourism Office.

With Gratitude,

Ossie, Clyve, Larry, Ed, Jason
Pogi Surf

Devon

Devon came to PhotoUp with a background in digital marketing and communications. With a BA in Marketing from Michigan State University and previous experience working with both big business and non-profits, Devon brings a well-rounded perspective to the team. Outside of PhotoUp, you can find Devon coaching and playing soccer, socializing in downtown Grand Rapids, or going on adventures throughout the great state of Michigan.

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