Most of our time in the Philippines was spent in The Rizal Provence and the discrepancy between wealth and poverty was quite noticeable, specially in personal dwelling places. Commodities like wood, tiles, cinder block, stucco, windows and doors cost top dollar and only those with great wealth could afford the materials.
However, what was even more noticeable was the creative spirit that the everyday people of this Provence displayed. What looked like slums to most, looked to us like resourcefulness, recycling and artistry.
There were moments that we thought, my goodness, had some of these Philippino builder/artists lived in Austin Texas or Portland, Oregon their work would have been worth thousands, but here on the streets of Manila they were just another squat mixed in with thousands of other squats.
As Francis of Assisi once said, “He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist. And we would add it is the artist that has the power to reshape the world.
We were inspired by the resolve of the human spirit the Philippines to not only provide shelter but a home.