Ed at ECPFlight over and first couple of days – July 24-27.

This is the first entry in my travel journal for a visit to the Philippines, accompanied by Fr. Jaime Case, Rector of St. Luke’s ~ San Lucas, Vancouver, WA.  We will visit the Diocese of Southern Philippines (EDSP), representing our diocese in our partnership relationship with EDSP “Caring for All Creation:

It was a long day, leaving Seattle at 2:15pm on Sunday and arriving in Manila at midnight on Monday.  We were late leaving Incheon so we didn’t get to the Church center until almost 2 am.  Comfortable flight and without incident.  I’m just getting too old for these 11 hour flights.

This morning, walking around and greeting people; and buying a Philippine cell phone – so if you’re in the Philippines and want to text or talk, my number is 09465590724.

We slept much of the afternoon and had dinner at Shakey’s Pizza and turned in early as our ride leaves at 5 am.  Tomorrow, we’re off to Cotabato.

Up early and Restie was on time at 5 am and the traffic was not bad.  By 6 am we were having coffee and a chocolate muffin in the airport.  The flight to Cotabato was fine and arrived 10 minutes early.  We were greeted by Dean Johnny, Fr. Daniel, and Osang.  We had lunch at a new Chinese restaurant across from the cathedral and have the afternoon to rest before dinner with the bishop, clergy and others at 6 pm.

I noticed the road from the airport into town has been repaved and there’s lots of new stores and restaurants across from the Cathedral.  It sounds like it’s OK for us to be out on our own as things are better politically in the area.  I’ll probably do some souvenir shopping during my stay here. 

We go to Upi in the morning, leaving at 6 am for a special event at St. Francis school, where we’re supposed to make some sort of presentation.  The school headmaster met us when we arrived at the diocesan center to say thank you for the books that we shipped last year.

I have the $8,000 check from our diocese for the Caring for all Creation partnership that I’ll present to Osang this evening at dinner.  School is in session at St. Peter and St. Paul school, so I write this to the sound of children at play – a pleasant noise.

Church center & Trip to Cotabato