For 40 years now, the Jesuit Volunteers Philippines (JVP) sends volunteers to ‘mission areas’ where services (e.g., teaching, pastoral work, and community organizing) are needed most. I know because I’m a JVP. 26 years ago, I assisted organizing agricultural communities in remote villages of Camarines Sur. My favorite is Hiwakloy, Goa. From Naga City, it takes about 2 hours bus trip to reach Poblacion, Goa. In an open window bus, strong wind disfigures my face, especially if the driver has heavy foot stepping the accelerator. The possibility of the bus to crash is high, as I’ve seen many accidents in the past. But, I told myself, WHEN IT HAPPENS, IT HAPPENS! So, I let the thought fade while sitting by the window with my eyes focused at Mt. Isarog. It’s size is imposing that I can see the mountain at different directions mostly throughout the trip. When the clouds cover it, I look at the rice fields: herons balance in one leg; carabaos wag their tails; and black birds speeding away from scarecrows.

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