It was a beautiful Sunday of February after Church service in Sitio Singawan. The rain has just stopped and the three of us; Ate Cris, Anj, and I, went to the other side of the river to visit one of the communities.

While waiting for the boat to come, I saw some Dumagat kids bravely swam to cross the huge river. And then a brave young girl caught my eye, she took the canoe on the side and crossed the huge river back to us. Just right then after she landed, the rain poured hard. We were standing on what they call “sabangan” -a dry ground in the middle of the river, so the four of us, had nowhere to go but wait until the rain stopped.
This brave little girl is shivering cold so Ate Cris embraced her to keep her warm. Well, we were actually embracing each other because the rain poured heavily and we were stuck to and we only got two umbrellas.

Erika braving the currents of Singawan river
Erika braving the currents of Singawan river

What really surprised and touched our hearts was when we asked the girl “Bakit ka bumalik, nasa kabila ka na ah” (Why did you came back here since you were already on the other side?) She said, “Kinuha ko po ang bangka para may masakyan po kayo” (I took the canoe for you to be able to cross the river). Upon hearing this from a 9 year old girl, there was something inside of me that made me say “Aaaaaah”.
Erika, this 9 year old brave girl never thought of the danger that she might encounter, all she had in mind was for us to cross the river. I was then reminded of what Jesus said in John 15:13 “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
by Chela Mequila
MAP Worker

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