Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Welcome to Bato

It's that time again!

I'm finally in my FIRST area in the Naga mission. The name of the city where I'm serving is called Bato, or "Rock" in Tagalog. Over the first couple of days I've managed to experience so much of the Philippines. My Tagalog is still progressing. We are now living a completely new lifestyle here. No plumbing. No air conditioning. All we have are fans and thin sheets. I also really REALLY hate mosquitoes. If the devil were an insect, he would definitely be a mosquito. With regards to our daily schedule, we trudge through rice fields every day to get to investigators' homes. There are cows on the sides of the roads EVERYWHERE here. It's green. OH IT IS SO GREEN. This is truly an experience that I'm never going to be able to take back. Last night we walked about half a kilometer through a rice field. It was pitch black and all we had were two flash lights. We could hear the boisterous voices of hundreds,even thousands, of frogs croaking in the night. It was muddy, wet, and absolutely awesome.  We also walk up and down a railroad, along which many people live. Some would think that it's redundant and boring, but to me it's an opportunity for me to think, practice my Tagalog, and grow as a person. My new companion's name is Elder Marquez. He's been in the field for 20 months now. He's a great trainer. Without him, I don't know how I could get through these first couple of days. 

Something that I've learned in the past few days is how to deal with failure. Here in Bato, a majority of the people we have scheduled to teach are not home or are busy. "Matigas ang puso" they say, meaning "Their hearts are hard" which is fitting for a town called "Rock".  No one wants to talk with us some days and during others, we don't have a single appointment. So imagine this. We walk and walk and walk for about 5 hours without ANY appointments in hot and humid weather. It sure stinks, but every step is worth it. I'm happy. I'm doing my part here in the Philippines and I'm fulfilling my calling as a missionary. We still get appointments and we still get to serve. So despite any shortcomings, we still get the chance to teach and serve. And I truly do love having that chance. I can already tell that my time here is going to FLY by. Wishing you all the best in everything that you do. Love you all!

-Elder Bondoc

PS:The attached picture is a picture of this kid I met at a birthday party. He looks and acts EXACTLY like me when I was his age. Mom. Dad. This'll freak you out. 

PSS:Sorry for the grammatical errors. Sobrang pangit ang grammar ko. (My English grammar is so ugly.)
The bathroom

the neighborhood

trudging rice paddies

mini me


  1. Elder Bondoc ('Doy), this is really amazing - this is where Gilbert's Dad used to live. They used to own the cockfighting arena there. His name is Virgilio Castro but he and his wife passed away already. I've never been there but Gilbert has been there a long time ago. I'm sure if they still have a house there. Take care and so glad to know you are working and learning so much.
    With love,
    Tita Elna and Family