GK Apartment Lorega
GK Lorega is a partnership between LGU of Cebu City, Congressman Raul Del Mar, Action for Nurturing Children headed by Fr. Max Abalos and Gawad Kalinga. The City of Cebu closed the old cemetery and converted the land to socialized housing. The beneficiaries are families who used to live in the cemetery even on top of tombs that are abandoned. They are composed of employees, construction workers, house wives and mostly unemployed.
這是一處由宿霧地方政府、國會議員Raul Del Mar 和由Fr. Max Abalos和Gawad Kalinga領導的救助兒童組織共同舉辦的社會住宅。政府把舊墓園用地轉換成社會住宅。受助的成員包含過去住在墓園的家庭、建築工人和家庭主婦，而這些成員大部分都是失業。
This is a three-storey apartment, the number of families is not necessary in one residential space. For example, we visited two families who live in a twenty square meter room. There are two families sharing in one space and the total number of members are seven in this room. There are no personal rooms. The place has only a toilet, a storage room, a living room at the same time a bedroom. Kitchen and living room is linked together, there is no privacy at all. The time of our visit was in the afternoon, in the house there was a girl taking a nap so we can only chat while whispering. Her mother was using the fan to let her feel cool because the house was a kind of hot and stuffy. The whole space shares only a small fan stick on the wall. The aunt whose picture above, told us that her house was burned, so her son and her moved to this apartment. They must pay 200 peso (about 120 NT$) to the government every month, and another water and electricity charges.
It’s like a small community here, which includes a small grocery store, a community center, a square and etc.
It's summer vacation when we visited them. Most children are in the community. They danced very well for us. Some of students cannot help but to dance with them.
The social issues in the Philippines are straight showing off everywhere. Is this a culture shock for me? This astonished me that I can't speak any word as if my heart was cut by a knife, but it doesn't danger my life at all. The reason is that I am only a visitor and I'm going back to my country soon. However, this is totally their life. They can't press the "pause" button even this isn't a good movie to see in their mind.
I almost cannot face this culture shock. The only way I can assume is to imagine that this is a kind of ‘'normal life'' in the Philippines. It's like when I'm passing by a bridge every day taking a van going to school. A mother is always standing under the bridge and holding her baby. I guess that maybe she will just stand there or she wants to go to somewhere. However, after several days of seeing her, she is still staying at same spot and feeding her baby. Afterwards, I realized that she lives there with just a piece of cardboard under the bridge. It's hard to imagine how she will be parenting her baby in the future, yet this situation is only a miniature in society.
Actually, Filipino's character as optimistic even if they are in the worst situation, they still manage to enjoy the present. So, maybe it's unreasonable to use our views and values to observe the society in the Philippines.
Anyway, this is a very special experience class that combines different kinds of emotion. And the most important thing is we have learned to live our life to its fullest and enjoy every moment in our life.