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Casa News & Events

  •  Moments in Praxis

    Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012

    Casa Bayanihan students spend two days a week accompanying community members in marginalized Filipino communities.  Their classroom expands into Metro Manila as they build friendships and learn through experience about the daily struggles and joys of the people

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    Fisherfolk spend the afternoon teaching students how to plunge the water for fish.
  •  Accompaniment

    Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012

    Recently, my father came to visit me from the United States. We spent one morning in a Christian base
    community called El Pueblo de Dios en Camino (The people of God on the way). I wrote a little poem
    about the experience we had during a celebration of the word.

    Accompaniment

    El Pueblo de Dios en Camino. Celebration of the word.

    Stifling, hot, immovable air,

    provided by the Holy Mystery. Dispersed through the homily

    shared by all.

    Incomprehensible to my father.

    No holy sacrament, no body or blood of the Christ.

    Crisis. Salvation at stake?! Wait,

    back to translating.

    So much beauty lost in the process.

    Beauty, like language, cannot be caged.

    Only know, father, that they ask

    about your dying mother.

    They welcome you. Open arms. Common theme.

    Accompaniment enters my mind. Wait.

    What does it look like now? How can we accompany these people?

    Wrong question. What can we do

    to open our hearts to be accompanied?

    Two way street.

    To love others, one must first love herself.

    To accompany, one must be accompanied.

    I came to accompany, but was accompanied;

    my father the same, with his faith, his mother.

    To fully live, you must give yourself away to others,

    fully.

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  •  The Beauty of Taal Volcano

    Friday, Oct. 12, 2012

    This past weekend Casa Bayanihan students and staff took a day trip to hike Taal Volcano, just an hour and a half drive outside of Manila. The day's adventures took us to the lake shore town of Talisay, where we took a relaxing boat ride out to Taal Volcano. We then began the 45 minute hike, enjoying the lush views of the surrounding ridges and the lake on the way. Upon reaching the peak, the view of the sulfuric lake, Crater Lake, inside the volcano was stunning. The beauty of nature in the Philippines was both serene and rejuvenating for all of us, and we left feeling inspired to keep seeking out all that the Philippines has to offer!

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  •  Some Thoughts from the Philippines

    Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012

    "I have no grammatically correct sentences that can adequately portray the feelings, experiences or insights I’ve brought back with me from Calatagan. All I have is awe. Awe for the fishermen who go out to sea early in the morning, awe for the women who go out to the market to sell, awe for the children who constantly carry with them the hospitality and love of their parents and awe for the entire province for their trust and loyalty with one another. "

    -Amber Cavarlez, USF

    "There was something very peculiar about the energy of Calatagan that reminded me of my father, so I wrote this poem the last day I was there. After having lost my father five years ago, it was refreshing to know that his presence still remained in what I encountered in this very special and sacred place."

    I will remember the rain.

    I will remember the ways in which it poured down, washing away my tears

    and reminding me that my father is still here.

    There is something sacred about this place.

    My father's spirit dwells with me here.

    In the dancing of the tree branches in the wind,

    in the gentleness of the ocean waves in the shallow,

    in the drops of rain that fall-sometimes light,

    sometimes powerfully falling down, fleeting.

    In the love that is shared, through the spirit that is Angel.

    When I look out at this beauty I imagine myself

    seeing through his eyes.

    I will remember the rain.

    -Jules Peithman, UC Santa Cruz

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  •  Living in Barangka

    Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012

    A unique and special feature of Casa Bayanihan is the Barangka neighborhood in which student homes are located. The community is often bustling with activity, from vendors selling food in the early mornings to kids playing energetically in the park each afternoon. The nature of the neighborhood allows for deep learning and relationships to form between community members and Casa students. As a way of celebrating and strengthening these relationships, Casa Bayanihan and the Barangka neighborhood recently shared a community gathering (called a Kamustahan) in the local park. The community opened the celebration by leading a rosary outside of the Mama Mary statue at the edge of the park. Mama Mary is the name affectionately given to the Virgin Mary in the Philippines. As a way of honoring the park as a place of gathering, the Casa and Barangka community decorated the statue with fresh flowers. Then, everyone participated in lively games before sharing merienda. It wouldn't be a complete Filipino party without a delicious treat! The Kamustahan is just one way of deepening the relationship between Casa Bayanihan and the Barangka community. Simple, daily interactions are just as valuable as organized events, and Casa students and staff often enjoy playing in the park with the kids and conversing with community members as they walk through the neighborhood.

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