We decided to ditch
our supposed Macau trip on Sunday in favor of attending church service and
well, saving the money for shopping. Macau would have been a nice weekend
getaway with all their colonial Portuguese architecture, Venetian ambience,
gondolas and the heavenly egg tarts. The urge to shop and rest persisted, hence
the tradeoff. It was a good one, at any rate.
The morning was spent
walking along the neighborhood in search of the elusive Prizemart. A lot of
people who have gone to Hong Kong told us that if we’re looking for cheap
chocolates, candies and other PX goods, Prizemart’s the key. We found it at the
farther end of Nathan Road and indeed, the legends were true. Hahaha! Compared
to Wellcome and other convenience stores, Prizemart’s got the cheaper goods. We
marked the spot X.
After the morning
walk, we went back to the apartment which doubles as a church every Saturday
afternoons and Sundays. Because we decided to attend the Bible Study, we get to
meet the Filipinas that attend the gatherings. We studied Day 39 of Rick Warren’s
The Purpose Driven Life. The preacher shared that each one of us was created
for a purpose—that is to worship God, be in fellowship with his people, share
his message, make disciples and use our talents to praise him. From everything
that was told, I felt that the central message was on doing things that will
bring praise to God’s name.
During the sharing
sessions, we learned that all of them are working as helpers in different
Chinese or foreign households. It was only the pastor that’s working as a
secretary in an office. Most of them are connected either by blood or by the
locales they come from. Their stories are varied—some are sad, others are nice
and each of them is inspiring. The usual reason why they got to Hong Kong was
their search for a greener pasture. Deprived of opportunities in our homeland,
they pushed themselves to find another source of decent income that will bring
food to their families’ tables, send their children, siblings or nieces and
nephews to school and allow them several luxuries in life.
|Churchmates in Yau Ma Tei, HK :) It's a happy Sunday!|
Each of them
contributes to the payment of the rent, electricity and water expenses. This,
despite the costly maintenance. The other choice was to gather in public parks
or spaces where they’ll be quite uncomfortable due to the heat or the rain or
the constant bustle and rustle of pedestrians.
We went outside right
after the service for some art appreciation and also to allow them some
privacy. After our visit at the Hong Kong Museum, we rode the ferry again to bring
us to the Central side. While my friends shopped, I decided to explore the city
and take some photos. I only have 50 HKD in my wallet and a camera with two
bars of battery, so my eyes feasted on the vivid colors around the town. Good
thing my belly’s quite full so the remaining bucks were not spent. Some photos
are featured here, the rest are on my photoblog.
|Street Art Market beside the HK Art Museum.|
|Installation art inside the HK Art Museum. It looks like a cage and then again, it's not. :)|
|Walking along HK Central interconnected walkways.|
|Sunday at HK Central.|
By the time they
finished shopping, I was also done with doing a Dora. The batt’s are already
used up so I turned to my camera phone. We ended up at Jollibee Central—it’s
like Carriedo all over. I can’t describe what I felt that time when I saw a
swell of Filipinos enjoying a chickenjoy meal with fellow Filipino workers—there’s
a tinge of joy for the ray of resilience they’re showing, a sense of pride for
all the hardship they’ve endured and also a bit of sadness because they’re far
from the people that should be close to them right now.
We took out the food
we ordered and hopped on to the train that will take us back to Yau Ma Tei.
When we got home, the church people are preparing to leave. We bid goodbye
while each of them told us to extend their regards to my mother and father.
They said they were happy to see other people, especially younger ones. I dunno
why and I didn’t ask. I’m just glad they found a temporary relief from all the
stress they had for a week. They told us to come back and invite more to come.
We said our eager yeses. When they prayed for our safe flight the next morning,
I knew we’re in good hands.
Macau could have been
a nice Sunday getaway but the choice to meet more people and exchange stories
was a better one. We could always go back.
Labels: 2013, asia, hong kong, pay it forward, people, stories, sunday, third world happiness, third world problems, walkathon, women empowerment