The Philippines is a land of contrasts. This is especially the case when traveling: a trip to another city may include a thousand-mile flight on a new Airbus jet, but it may also feature hours of travel on a jeepney, a taxi, or riding with a few other passengers on a single motorcycle.
To serve multiple, widely-separated parishes, and to do evangelism as the Lord sends opportunities, travel accounts for the largest portion of the mission budget.
In Kiblawan, General Santos, and elsewhere in Mindanao are small communities of Orthodox Christians with no parish, as well as inquirers and catechumens approaching the Orthodox Church. Travel by bus is inexpensive – but over time it adds up sufficiently to require budgeting.
Palo travel budget
Our parish in Santa Maria is only a few hours by bus from the major city of Davao, but our mission community in Palo is in an area still recovering from the disastrous Super Typhoon Yolanda. Travel to Palo is quite costly. To fly there from Davao, one must first fly north to Manila, and airfares vary a great deal from month to month. It is possible to reach Palo via a 12-hour bus ride from Davao to Cagayan de Oro, a ferry to Cebu and another to Ormoc, then a bus to Tacloban; though this route saves somewhat in fares, it also takes at least three days in each direction, increasing the cost of meals and lodging on the way. By traveling as cheaply and wisely as possible, we hope to visit Palo every few months.
Your monthly pledge can help ensure that the Orthodox faithful in the Philippines receive regular pastoral visits, while sending Father Silouan to teach inquirers and catechumens in remote locations.