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The Music Man Program is fully underway here in Botongon, Estancia. It all seems like a blur the last few days — cancelled flights, rerouting, airport runs, transferring multiple bags and passengers to buses, and finally the 4 hour drive to Estancia.
Finally arriving in Estancia, 6 tired but excited volunteers (including my adopted son Jerry).
But here we are and I feel incredibly privileged to be working alongside a group of such professional and energetic people. If you have never visited David Stanley’s Music Man Project website — get over there right now (after you read this blog of course) and check it out. He is such an amazing performer and his genuine love for the children is both contagious and compelling.
Within a few minutes David and the Music Man volunteers (Paul, Cathy and Daunton) had the kids singing and clapping along.
We spent the morning at Botongon Elementary School, teaching the 600+ kids and their teachers 6 new songs — including BOTONGON SONG. The new anthem of the school, written exclusively by David.
What a delight to hear the kids sing out the name of their home barangay with fierce pride, and learning to play percussion instruments alongside new melodies, and rythyms. Can you feel their enthusiasm in the photos below?
After Botongon school and a delicious lunch prepared by our amazing local ladies, we went next to meet the Mayor of Estancia — Ma’am Melina C. Requinto. David was able to introduce the concept of the Music Man Program to the head of local government in Estancia and invite her to the community concert — being held on Saturday.
But probably the highlight for all of us was wandering house to house at the back of the village, meeting the disabled children who are not able to attend school. Some of these kids are 25 years old and have never attended school. They rarely leave the house. David and Paul especially spent extra time sitting with each of the kids and offered to deliver a short concert to each of them in their homes.
While our driver Rivie offered to lug all the gear up into the puroks to make it all possible.
So after an incredible DAY 1, I’m signing off now to spend some family time with Jerry, who sat on the sidelines the whole day. Tomorrow I’ll be sharing more about Cathy, Daunton and the medical mission — plus photos from the backyard concerts David will be delivering to the disabled kids in the afternoon.
Listen to this little girl sing a song — in front of the whole school — she’d heard just once or twice. Beautiful.