As it is the custom here at Payatas Baptist Church, about fifty of us every Saturday stroll through the area giving out Gospel tracts and speaking with the people here.
We are a regular site to see each week as we all wear our red Payatas Baptist shirts and flood the area with our presence.
Last Saturday was no different. We spoke to residents and encourage them to come to Church. We also ask the parents to encourage their children to come. We use many different ways to make their lives and future better. It is a service so very beneficial to the community.
We teach various school subjects in our members houses so the children will have an extra advantage and better possibilities for the future. The Government will give a scholarship to the students who are at an 80% level and we help them to achieve that goal.
My wife teaches ESL which when learned they will have an opportunity to work in a call center making money instead of the garbage dump and suffering.
We also teach music. Seven students started learning the guitar. I gave them the incentive that if they played a couple of songs proficiently, the Church would buy them a guitar. Three youngsters received new guitars and it looks like more is on the way.
One of our children at the Church was born without part of one arm and finger problems on the other. He was so happy that we bought him an Harmonica which he is now learning how to play.
My own children are taking the violin and flute and even my wife has joined and began lessons on the flute. It’s so wonderful for the entire church.
So why do I say that Payatas is the worst Barangay (County) in the Philippines? Well, with all we do, the local government does nothing to help and even tries to hinder our operations.
Last Feb. 2011, we had a bunch of doctors and nurses with support staff offer to come to have a medical mission to help the poor residents here. We had been asking for the use of the covered court and believed we had it. We also asked for use of the community tables and chairs. They put us off up until the day of the mission. I went down to speak to them and they told me that I could not use the court because the school was going to use it. We argued and I told them there were already about 600 people waiting for medical help and so if they wanted to evict them give it a shot. So they backed down but still never gave us the tables and chairs needed so I had to pay out of my own family money something of which a missionary does not have much.
About one thousand people were helped but the Barangay thought it better to try to stop it.
This past Saturday, we went past the Barangay hall and the residents were telling us that although the Barangay claims to be fighting against the Dengue disease, they have been parking their garbage trucks in front of the local homes. The stench combined with the wet garbage residue is a welcome mat for the disease carrying mosquitoes.
They pleaded with the Barangay to park the vehicles elsewhere but they refused. I guess the Barangay doesn’t realize that they exist because of the people and not vice versa.
Anyway, I told one of our members to start taking photos of the situation. Immediately a guard came out and to began to question my man on what he was doing. I stepped in and asked him why did he need to know. He told me we needed “Permission” to take photographs. I said since when? This is the Philippines, a free Country and we are on public property (the street) then another one came over. We nicely told them to back off and they went away finally.
They don’t do more than they do here. The roads have large deep holes that you could easily disappear if you fell in one. The streets are filthy and garbage trucks are allowed to dump trash in the street to sort. It’s a mess. In another blog, Payatas is a very Holey Place, I showed the many holes and also the empty library or shack they called a library. In any event they built it but never put books in. I think they call that smoke and mirrors.
they also refused our request for a waiting shed so that women, especially with their babies, could wait out of the heat or rain for transportation. Instead they built about a km long bamboo fence on the very edge of the road. It immediately became a filthy eyesore and within days the trucks were knocking parts of it down. what was the response from the Barangay? Build it again. The same thing happened. Then they decided to build it out of metal. Parts of it have been crashed into and most of it was never completed. Just another disgrace.
Payatas is a great place if you are talking about the people. They work hard and try to raise their children well. Now if we can get the Government on their side, perhaps we can change it for the better.
If you have complaints about the Barangay, feel free to drop us a note.
P.S. Watch these pages for we are about to put up a real decent God fearing person for Barangay Captain. We covet your prayers.