TBOLI KIDS: They taught ME the genuine essence of HELP.   

I raised my feet in a direction that leads me to another motivating and inspiring situation. I started trekking to an uphill path and seeing trees and green grass surrounded by a mountain range of T’boli. The lulling voice of winds causing the leaves of trees to dance freely and jubilantly. The trees were happy to enjoy the king sun kindness as the light shines above them like a perfect moon meeting the stars. Fields blazing with different plants and even crops to add up my perfect journey during that day.

This was my journey to Lake Holon that inspired me and have marked an important lesson that seems to be my personal reflection toward this journey. I kept turning the other pages of the book after enjoying the previous one, because I know something lies ahead that waited for me to experience and treasure.

Tboli is one of the many Indigenous People in the Philippines, in fact, they have been acknowledged nationally and internationally because of their unique culture and tradition. They produced their own music without any accompanying modern instrument, but only their own native instruments that are being used for their traditional dance. They wear traditional dresses which is effort-fully made from tie-dyed woven Abaca that comes from a strong fiber obtained from the leaf stalk of a banana. This is where the famous T’nalak cloth came from.


So I made my way to Lake Holon in the middle of a radiating heat of the sun. I saw these little kids washing their clothes in one medium size basin. Then I asked them, where do you live? in Tboli ( Nô Gónoem lémwòt? ). She pointed her index finger far, somewhere that only she and her friends knows. Then I asked the other cute little girl the same question and she said the three of us are just neighbors. Thus, I asked the other girl, who own that clothes you’re washing?  She pointed her index finger to another girl, with a grin on her face. Safe in mind and I assumed that she owned the clothes. I asked the young lady again, why both of  you are helping her? She said, she’s been sick for one week now and in fact she’s not feeling well today, we help her because she’s been helping us too, when we feel sick.

I don’t know what I felt exactly that moment while listening to her, it’s like as if I’m being clothed with a very thick artificial fiber cloth in the center of a tropical paradise causing me to release a clear liquid forming a tiny circles of water while keep dripping on the ground. I was speechless at the moment, and trying to ask another question, but I was driven out of my emotion and was so touched. I told them, thank you so much and may you still be constantly kind and be helpful to each other.

I left them with so much lesson I learned and realization as well. They have taught me a great deal, they remind me to always return the kindness, because the people who do good to us in times of struggles are the people who are genuine enough to embrace us with their honest help. I couldn’t thank those little kids enough for what they have taught me. I should have asked their names so I can remember them, but I know they have always a special space in my heart and they will be remembered forever.

That’s why I am always in love to travel, aside from seeing the stunning creation of God, there are also lessons that I can merely experience while traveling.


85 thoughts on “TBOLI KIDS: They taught ME the genuine essence of HELP.   

  1. Amazing that those Tboli ladies were kind enough to pose with you in their stunning native costume. Tboli cloth show their beauty and the painstaking detail the weaver puts into its production. You should have worn the men’s costume when you posed with them. 🙂 – Fred

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a lovely experience this was for you as you’ve learned so much from this trip. It’s always so nice to get to know the locals and their culture, it makes you appreciate them more. I love that last bit where you reflected on what you’ve learned. The world could use a little more kindness.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s one of the many benefits of traveling! You learn from the people, such as the very simple value of helping but is often overlooked. I was supposed to go to Lake Holon last summer but we didn’t go on because of conflicting schedules. Next time!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Will you help me blog if I get sick. Promise, I will help you blog when you get sick. 🙂 Children are the best teachers. They really know the real meaning of friendship and I hope that us adults will always take care of the “child in us”. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: GUMASA BEACH: The relaxing GLIMPSE of PARADISE in the Province of SARANGANI  | The Little Lai: Beyond limits

  6. I can totally imagine myself being in the same situation where you just get almost weirdly-sentimental and just start looking at things differently and then getting insights or perspectives you’d never expect. Sometimes from other people as well, and maybe even from someone you’d expect the least like those kids. That’s really a huge part of the beauty of travelling, first, taking in the place itself and its views, then followed by the people in that place and how they go through their lives and interact with you and sort of immerse you into their culture. It’s quite extraordinary.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lake Holon! You’ve been to! I am starting to get jealous. Tenge, lapit lang gid hindi ko pa malaktan. Ay nano. You know sometimes, I remember the life of Christian in the movie Into The Wild (which is by the way my favorite movie of all time) that money can’t buy happiness. That happiness is real only when shared. You see them happy despite having nothing. Hays, I wish more people would be like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a great perspective from young children! That’s what I really like when you are in the province. You can see the innocence of the children and yet you learned a lot from them.


  9. At first glance, I knew this is in the Philippines but when I read the unfamiliar language you inserted in your conversation with them, I was surprised, doubted myself and thought maybe this is in another Southeast Asian country. However, reading the comments proved this is in the Philippines. The Philippines really has a lot of dialects. I always appreciate the Philippine culture especially when it comes to our indigenous tribes. We have so many amazing values we really need to apply even up to this day. Like these kids, we need to develop having a sense of genuine compassion to help others even in small things.

    ❁ Grace ❁


  10. Culture immersion is always cool for me. I’ve tried it once and lived with the fishermen in Hilotongan island. They were the most humble and kind people I’ve met. Kuddos to a good read Lai.


  11. Awwwe! I love the conversation you had with the kids. Faith in humanity restored with those kids. haha! Cultural immersion is something that we all needs to do so even just once in our life, it gives us a different perspective about culture and tradition.


  12. Lai! Will include this in our list. We really love talking with locals and becoming immersed in their culture. It isn’t just an educational experience for us but also for our kiddo.


  13. Pingback:  LAKE HOLON: An awe-inspiring JOURNEY to PARADISE with a kind-hearted STRANGERS. | The Little Lai: Beyond limits

  14. I liked the idea that you immerse yourself with different culture. I am originally from Mindanao, and seeing you traveling in different places in Mindanao is really humbling. I will be looking forward to your future immersions and travel. 🙂 God bless you always.


  15. I’m speechless. I don’t know what to say master lai. You’re one of a kind, you blended well wherever you’ll go. I’m a bit jealous but more of Inspired by your travels. It’s really nice to know that they touched you in some way. Those children have the purest of heart imho.


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