Did You Know

  • Our Hope for the Island team consists of 6 farm workers and 7 others working alongside Derek and Jenn at Burgos.
  • Siargao Island is approximately 10K wide and 40K long.
  • Hope for the Island is located near Burgos, the smallest and poorest (6th class) municipality on Siargao.
  • We face the Pacific Ocean and are in the path of typhoons.
  • Bat caves are everywhere on the island. We are often woken up by fighting bats.
  • Jenn is homeschooling our 10 year old daughter Makana and eight year old son Brison.
  • Makana and Brison have pet monkeys – Hannah & Moe, 2 mini Dachshund dogs and a rabbit.
  • A 12 ft. python ate our pet bird.
  • Coconut is the main source of income on our island and is harvested four times a year.
  • In one day, an islander will climb hundreds of tall coconut trees barefoot with no safety equipment. Dried coconut meat is sold for 20-30 pesos per kilo. . Harvested rice and coconut is dried in the sun on the road.
  • Children are often responsible for taking care of younger siblings. They will also cook, clean and do laundry by hand.
  • Many children and youth do not attend school on our island because of poverty related issues
  • Homes are built from wood cut from forests and have a nipa (thatch) roof. Many homes still do not have toilets.
  • There is no toilet paper in most washrooms in the Philippines. Washrooms are called comfort rooms and  have a bucket of water with a dipper for “flushing.”
  • The Filipino culture loves to smile, joke and laugh even in the midst of poverty and hardship.
  • Dog is still commonly eaten although it is against the law.
  • Urine is the most common remedy to relieve pain when you are stung by a jelly fish or if you step on a sea urchin.
  • On a scale of one to 10 — with 10 being the worst — the Philippines garnered a score of 8.9 for corruption, poorer than 2010’s 8.25, in Hong Kong-based Political & Economic Risk Consultancy, Ltd.’s (PERC) latest Asian Intelligence report. Similar dips for Cambodia (9.27 from 8.30) and Indonesia (9.25 from 9.07), however, allowed the Philippines to stay in third place.
  • Rainy season is at different times of the year depending on where you live in the Philippines.
  • Coconuts, Bananas, Papayas and Guava fruit grow on Hope for the Island property.
  • A whale shark was spotted in the ocean by a surfer – it was the size of a car.
  • Common diseases on our island: Various skin diseases, Tuberculosis, Schistosomiasis and Typhoid Fever.
  • Passenger boats and Jeepneys not only carry people but also animals and cargo brought in and off the island. I once saw a water buffalo led across a narrow plank of wood off the boat he had travelled on. He took a few steps and fell into the ocean!
  • It is 150 pesos ($3.75 Canadian) per kilo for good quality fish.
  • Japanese & Chinese commercial boats are buying large quantities of fish from local boats to export. Fish supplies are down because of this and because of illegal fish nets and dynamite fishing.
  • Power outages are frequent and are called brown outs. It is usually dark by 6pm at Hope for the Island.
  • Mold is a common problem because of the high humidity. Corrosion / rust are big problems because of strong winds off the ocean. Many varieties of termites eat away anything built with wood.
  • Bugs and worms will get into many kinds of food that is not eaten right away. It is common to pick them out and keep on eating.
  • Dishes, laundry and showering are all done with cold water.
  • Beetles, bugs, land crabs, toads, praying mantis and other critters roam the property.
  • The youth love playing board games. Children and youth alike who come to Hope for the Island have access to clean safe drinking water.
  • Islanders avoid getting wet when they are hot or going out in the rain because it is believed to bring on fever and air in the body.
  • Brooms made from the coconut trees leaves are used to sweep the property each day.