Jona of Backpacking with a Book

is creating Art for a Cause: Help a waterless village have its water

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An ordinary farmer’s annual income averages around Php20000 ($200) or even less than Php2000 ($40) a month. With this sad statistics, their children would rather go to the cities or go abroad than go into farming. The younger generation doesn’t see farming as a lucrative career.

Hi there! This is Jona of Backpacking with a Book, and after traveling endlessly for the past ten years and after exploring bits and pieces of 16 countries, I decided to let myself grow roots in the very place I dreamed of leaving when I was a teenager. 

When I was 9 till 16 years old, my family (composed of 5 girls and 3 boys and our parents) decided to move to Sitio Tubod, which is contrary to its name (Tubod means spring) doesn’t have any watersource nearby. I was 12 when the neighborhood had access to electricity. Yet until now, 13 households with an average of 7 family members don't have easy access to water. Everyone has to walk down the hill and pitch water from a communal pump and, quiet recently, a metered tap (an NGO project) thirty minutes away.

When I was a kid, we had to get up at 5:30 in the morning to take a shower (the dipper way) and pitch water, and walk back home in an uneven, oftentimes muddy, path. The whole affair took more than an hour. I was one of the tardiest students back then. Our family left the farm and moved somewhere nearer the center with convenient water access. While I moved to the city and became a working university student. 

With our father getting older and under catheterization, nobody tends the farm anymore. None of my siblings has the affinity to the earth. Old farming has never been seen as something sustainable. But it is my lifelong desire to farm, read, and write. And if I can help an entire village to have its own water source, then why not? 

I reckoned if only the whole community has an easy access to water, the farming culture will not die. I spent my 2018 in Ha Noi researching on home steading and permaculture online. And I told myself what my father did back then can be modified to make farming profitable and less physically taxing. I can leave my comfortable life here in Ha Noi, live in our abandoned farm house, and go back to my farming roots. I can personally teach the farmers and the village children new sustainable farming techniques. And hopefully, as the farming culture grows ad becomes alive and well, the community can create a sustainable eco-tourism destination out of our own hard work and will. 

That’s it, if only the whole community has easy access to water. And this is how you come in.

A writer doesn’t earn much. Or doesn’t earn at all. Yet, I have to answer to this stubborn will to pin the ephemeral into words. And as arrogant and ambitious as I am, I envision that art can actually make my childhood village a better place to live in. 

I started Postcard Poetry Project two years ago. The original aim of the project is to rekindle the dying art of sending postcards while spreading my love for poetry, traveling, and photography to different parts of the world. So far, my postcards reached  about twenty countries. The small income was mostly used to cover the expenses of photo developing and postcard stamps.

However, with a vision bigger than myself, it's my earnest hope that my Patreon income can cover most of the expenses of finding a watersource in Sitio Tubod that can mobilize the whole community from thereon.

All funds raised on my Patreon page goes to the funding of a water source in Sitio Tubod, Brgy. San Juan, Tuburan, Cebu, Philippines. 

Funds will be entirely used for the following:
  • 1.Talking with the expert for the most practical, convenient, and affordable way of a water system
  • 1.1Hitch on the existing tap-water system (15-mins away) and install a water pump machine, or
  • 1.2 Dig a deep well near the neighborhood (5 mins away) and install a water pump
  • 2.Install a 1000-liter water tank
  • 3.Make the water accessible to the whole neighborhood
Everything will be transparent and properly recorded. Receipts and cross-checking will be posted on this page.

There are two ways of supporting this project. Share it away. And, or find a tier that works best for you. If you got any questions, don't hesitate to message me.

This page will be regularly updated (weekly) so everyone can track the progress of this project.

Writing you soon,

$0 of $2,000 per month
When I reach $2000, the money will be sent to Cebu to start the project as soon as possible. 

I intend to go back there for good in December. 
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