Skip to main content

My Thailand advenrure with my travel buddy, Angeline, and her Ate Melissa (Part 1)

It's not really where you travel but where God wants you to be.

I've learned this during my last travel in Thailand in December 2019. It's a good thing we were able to travel abroad before the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted all local and international travels.
My daughter Angeline, together with her Ate Melissa, were supposed to visit Osaka and Hiroshima in November 2019. Un fortunately, we were denied the Japanese visa even if Angeline and I already  had travel history in Japan in 2017.
Of course, we were saddened when our visa were denied. Angeline wanted to see Osaka again and meet friends, teachers at the Saori training center. Likewise, I was excited to meet my niece and her family again. They were based in Chiba Prefecture during our first trip in 2017 and we would be visiting them in her newfound place in Kure, Hiroshima, where she's currently working as a kindergarten teacher.
But really God has other plans. And so we made it in Thailand instead.
Just like our Japan travel, the trip to Thailand  was made possible by Angeline's school, St. Francis Integrated Arts School, Inc., as part of the school's program on
educational/cultural immersion and further training for Saori weaving and other programs for differently abled bodies like Angeline.
We took the plane at 11am on December 2 via Air Asia. It was fortunate of us that the flight pushed through despite the typhoon that was about to enter the Philippines. We arrived safely in Don Mueang International Airport at 1pm. This old airport is almost similar to Manila's terminal 1.
Lopburi, our provincial destination, is about 3 hours drive from the airport.
Thailand's road have their left and right turns above (similar to overpass) thus minimizing traffic. We were on the second hour of the travel when New, our female driver, bumped into the car in front of us, then that car hit the car in front of them as well. Thankfully it was just a minor accident. But it was amazing how they handled the situation -- there were no shouting matches and there  was no need for the militia. New simlpy went out of our car and was talking to someone over her phone when she approached the driver of the car she accidentally bumped and settled everything in less than ten minutes -- no drama, not causing traffic on the road, and as if nothing had happened at all. We finally reached our destination on the third hour which was Jaifa Farm Social Enterprise Resort-Hotel in Lopburi.

Jaifa Farm

It was late lunch when we arrived at the beautiful farm. It was not a simple farm we expected as the place was huge -- set on the foot of the mountains of Lopburi. It was nearly 3pm, yet it was cool and relaxing. We were toured to the whole area via riding the farm jeepney with other guests and farm manager's family who were on vacation at that time. The sceneries and sights were breathtaking as we were just near Lopburi mountains bearing various Buddhist temples. We had been shown the plants, fields, animals and the sea within the vicinity. We had our last stop at the green field -- part of the farm which is being converted into a soft ball training. Yes, there would be a softball academy right at the middle of this huge, sustainable and non-profit farm which aims to train farmers and ordinary folks including the PWDs on organic farming, sustainability and entrepreneurship.
Based on the recent FB post at Jaifa, the Football  Academy is already  operarional. From 9-20 March 2020, a football clinic for children aged 7-8 years old were held for free. Thereafter,  they’ll have it every Saturday and Sunday from May 23 onwards.
After all the sight-seeing and picture taking, we were led to the farm’s restaurant for early dinner. Along with fresh fruits, we were offered Thai dishes such as green salads, soups, fishes and, luckily, rice. Thai soup had strong taste and pungent smell but we were all hungry and tired of the day's trip. That made the food  sumptuous and really satisfying. There was a bonus of Thai cake which was not as sweet and creamy back home but nonetheless, yummy. The farm's executive in-charge, Dr. Sujin Sarangswi, threw a birthday surprise at the farm for her daughter, Mhai.
By the way, Mhai and her younger sister speak good English as both were able to study the language -- where else but in Cebu -- the Philippines' most publicized city for English language proficiency.
We had a good night sleep at the farm's well appointed and sturdy hotel room complete with newly laundered sweet-smelling beddings.

Lopburipanya School

We were advised to bring light and summery clothes for the Thailand trip. Good thing, we brought some blazers, leggings and sweaters/winter coverings. It was terribly cold and windy throughout the day at the farm, moreso in the morning!
Our second day destination would be the Lopburipanya School, a special school exclusive for PWDs.
Upon arrival, we were welcomed by the school officials and teachers. The school offers a special curriculum for the PWDs aged four to 18 years old. It's a huge public school funded by Thai government and supported by various NGOs and philanthropic individuals, organizations and generous companies. Here, the students are provided with a dormitory, fed with nutritious food, given school uniform and other amenities all for free! Most of the students go home to their families at age 19 by the time they are employed or are ready for household chores which are taught and practice in school during the duration of their stay.
The school houses coffee shop which is being mainly operated by the students from preparing and serving the drinks up to cleaning the area. There's  also a beauty parlor  where the students are trained in beauty culture, guided by their teachers. Young as they are, the pupils are also being taught other skills such as fruit and vegetable  carving, curry and sushi-making, and competitions  with other schools to further hone their skills. Teenage girls have actual training  for laundry, ironing, towel folding and bed-making at accredited hotels while the boys go to authorized motor shops to learn motorcycle accessories and proper assembly. The ever-smiling, soft-spoken Thai teachers also teach weaving, planting and gardening, farming, mushroom culture,  carpentry, and selling/entrepreneurship, among others.
In short, the students are being taught life skills which would arm them when they return to the actual, real world. This special curriculum was developed no less by Dr. Sujin who became an educator and school principal all his life before assuming a new role at Jaifa farm. This unique curriculum is recognized and practiced in the whole region of Thailand which currently has 19 schools replicating the good practices at Lopburipanya School. Check out for more details.
Angeline made friends and joined her Thai counterparts in the Saori weaving session, towel-folding, and art crafts. She also insisted to play the drums with the music teacher in charge.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

PAFI’s ASTIG Program Empowers Communities Affected by Mindoro Oil Spill

Pioneer Adhesives Foundation Inc. (PAFI) has recently taken a significant step towards uplifting the lives of communities through the pilot launch of the Angat Sining Tibay at Galing (ASTIG) program in communities affected by the oil spill incident in Oriental Mindoro. This CSR initiative of Pioneer Adhesives aims to deliver practical and sustainable alternate livelihoods to affected local fishermen who have been banned from fishing since the oil spill in February. ASTIG graduates from the Municipality of Pola with Hon. Mayor Jennifer M. Cruz and PAFI Executive Director Janie Alfonso Held from August 28 to September 3, 2023, local fisher folks in the municipalities of Pola and Pinamalayan in Oriental Mindoro -- two of several communities gravely affected by the oil spill -- underwent various trainings on the essential construction skills covering masonry, tiling, roofing, and waterproofing. They were also given comprehensive training sessions on the proper usage of Pioneer product

Janah Zaplan: 2023 PPop Best New Solo Artist of the Year!

  After finishing her academics for the course Bachelor of Science and Aviation Major in Flying (“flying hours na lang ang kulang to become a full-fledged pilot!”) and having won as PH Pop Best New Solo Artist of the Year from the 8th Philippine Pop (PPOP) Awards, which all took place in November 2023, Janah Zaplan launches her Christmas single, “Pasko’y Nagbabalik.” Yes, everything is coming up roses for the Millennial Pop Princess whom we met when she was 17 and was just starting her singing career. And look at her now! Her years of hard work and dedication to her studies and craft paid off. Janah with mediacon hosts Rommel and Mildred of the PMPC Over the years, Janah has won over many fans throughout the nation with her contagious energy and deep vocals. R&B, soul, electronic, and other genres are blended in her music to provide a unique and contemporary sound. Her songs are entertaining and deep, with lyrics that discuss relationships, love, and self-discovery. The gifted sing

Building a robust national ICT infrastructure

The opportunities from digital innovations were accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic as limitations on mobility prompted citizens to accelerate migration to digital spaces. In the Philippines, these changes are evident in the growth of digital payment systems, online meeting platforms, electronic health services, online retail, direct delivery services, and many others. However, with increasing connectivity comes increasing cyber threats. That’s why efficient solutions and infrastructure are essential in combating cyber threats and ensuring business survival. Individually, Filipinos are susceptible to data breaches and privacy violations online. On a societal level, cyberattacks by state or non-state actors on critical infrastructure can undermine national security and impact economic activity. While cyber threats originate online, their consequences can manifest beyond the digital space into our physical lives. These kinds of attacks also have direct economic costs. In fact, f