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Casa News & Events

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  •  The Jewel of Barangka

    Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013

    Every neighborhood has its unique personality, right? But it’s questionable how many communities boast such a vibrant personality as our neighborhood here in Barangka. From the brightly colored homes to the daily sounds of vendors selling their products door to door, Barangka is lit with cultural vitality.

    However, the secret of Barangka emerges in the afternoons, when exuberant greetings and invitations to play in the park ring out in the narrow streets. The kids in the neighborhood are truly the jewels of this place. They welcome us into seeing life in the Philippines through their eyes, eyes that marvel at the smallest details of a tropical flower and light up at the mention of a piggyback ride. The ordinary becomes spectacular when we spend time with the kids in Barangka.

    As a Casa Bayanihan community, we spend one afternoon a week facilitating games in the park with the kids and their mothers. It’s a unique opportunity to learn more about our neighbors and the culture of the neighborhood. Barangka pulses with life, and the kids in particular continue to welcome us into their realities with liveliness and imagination.

    We invite you to come and encounter the vibrancy of the Barangka community for yourself.

    Find more pictures and stories from the Philippines here

  •  Living in Barangka

    Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012

    A unique and special feature of Casa Bayanihan is the Barangka neighborhood in which student homes are located. The community is often bustling with activity, from vendors selling food in the early mornings to kids playing energetically in the park each afternoon. The nature of the neighborhood allows for deep learning and relationships to form between community members and Casa students. As a way of celebrating and strengthening these relationships, Casa Bayanihan and the Barangka neighborhood recently shared a community gathering (called a Kamustahan) in the local park. The community opened the celebration by leading a rosary outside of the Mama Mary statue at the edge of the park. Mama Mary is the name affectionately given to the Virgin Mary in the Philippines. As a way of honoring the park as a place of gathering, the Casa and Barangka community decorated the statue with fresh flowers. Then, everyone participated in lively games before sharing merienda. It wouldn't be a complete Filipino party without a delicious treat! The Kamustahan is just one way of deepening the relationship between Casa Bayanihan and the Barangka community. Simple, daily interactions are just as valuable as organized events, and Casa students and staff often enjoy playing in the park with the kids and conversing with community members as they walk through the neighborhood.