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 Tboli. 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.

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87 comments

  1. 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.

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  2. 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.

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  3. 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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  5. I am extremely inspired with your writing skills and also with the structure on your weblog. Is this a paid topic or did you modify it your self? Anyway stay up the nice high quality writing, it is uncommon to see a great blog like this one these days..

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