You are with Leslie and Marnita and Haidee Cortez, our in-country host from Eagle Vision, Inc. as we are off again to another school in the northern Philippine province of Ilocos Sur, to gift The I AM! Affirmation Book! We arrived with film crew in tow and saw that this public school had a mural and a garden labeled, “Science Garden.” The principal, Myrna Almero, greeted us and took us to the inner courtyard of the school, where there was another large covered patio. It was a sunny day so the temperature at 2 p.m. was very high, about 32 celsius. As we walked to the patio area, the children began running out of their classrooms, across the lawn towards us. They quickly assembled into loose groups and lines by class, and the teachers joined us. They were so joyful and happy to see us, and very curious; most if not all have never seen someone from America. As we introduced ourselves, the children were mindfully listening. I began by sharing the purpose of our visit, showing them the photograph of me in the book from our gifting mission in Kenya. It is a great story to tell about coming from the other side of the world just to bring them their very own book that contains the truths of their greatness. I talked about how special every one of them is, so special that my friends from California wrote a book for them and sent us to give each of them a copy. I described how many places we’ve been to give the books to children all over the world.
We shared some affirmations with them: “I AM Healthy!” “I AM Brilliance!” They seemed so full of happiness as they shouted out the words, raising their hands high and joining together with us.
The principal then shared an affirmation in their own local dialect, Ilocano. Her words engaged the children and she pointed to the animals in the book, clearly explaining far beyond the affirmation itself. The teachers gathered with us to help as we began passing out the books. Many children wandered to the edge of the patio and started leafing through the pages. We were reassembled for the film crew who shot some footage of us together, and Haidee’s boyfriend Henzon took the photos on this page.
After the children returned to their classrooms, we shared a snack with the teachers, who were eager to listen as I talked with them about the different affirmations and what they can mean for the children. I left a Teacher’s Guide with their principal and pointed out The I AM Foundation website for them to access it themselves. We then visited some of the classrooms, and spent some time talking with some 4th graders about reading and believing in themselves! (along with some high-fives!)
The film crew actually included a director, who did some posing and we did mini-interviews so he could get our story for the video. This crew was terrific and they filmed both San Sebastian and Salindeg Elementary schools. The file is too big to post from here, but we will post it as soon as I get back!
Marnita is just entranced with the whole I AM! experience. She loves to gather as many children as she can in her arms and hugs them all. She says her soul has grown and expanded through her experience gifting The I AM! Affirmation Book here in the Philippines, and envisions a long-term commitment gifting books throughout the Philippines.
Tomorrow, we are off to another school on the ocean in Ilocos Sur, so be sure to check back again for that story!