By Caitlyn D., Grand Faith and Representative to Australia and the Orient Pacific
In the first week of June 2019, I had the privilege of traveling with the Supreme Worthy Advisor, Mrs. Jacka, and other Grand Delegates from other Jurisdictions, to the Philippines for their Grand Assembly. When we arrived we were met by members of Perla Assembly #1, the host of that year’s Grand Assembly. Their theme was “Rainbow takes on the World Upward and Onward in Love and Service”.
On the first day, we toured the Grand Masters building in Manila, Philippines where their Grand sessions would be held. I even got to meet the Grand Master and talk with him in his office! Afterward all of the out-of-state delegates and I went to help the Rainbow Grand Officers of the Philippines with their service project where we got to play games, dance and have lunch with local kids. Before they left we distributed bags with toiletries and games for each kid.
Grand sessions were so much fun to watch and observe our similarities and differences. I always got asked about how I did my hair up so nice – of course, I told them it was a hairpiece – and how I floated in my hoop dress. There were so many girls in attendance, and I had a lot of fun passing out my swappies and talking with each assembly as I went around the room. Not only did I get to watch talent, but I also got to be one of the performers. All of the out of state girls and I lip sung and danced to “We’re All in this Together” from High School Musical. One of my favorite parts of Grand Assembly was being one of the assembly scrapbook contest judges.
After Grand Assembly ended I got to have fun and travel with some of the members from Perla Assembly. We went to this HUGE hot pink house that is now a museum. It was very humid in the Philippines, so it was nice when we went to eat lunch by a waterfall. We had to take our shoes off because our feet and lunch tables were in the water. Carolyn, Nevada’s current GWAA, and I bamboo rafted in the river and we probably should have listened to Mom Kim, the Junior Past Grand Mother Advisor of the Philippines, when she said to put more sunscreen on.
I tried so many new Filipino foods while with my Rainbow sisters. One of my favorite foods now is lumpia. We even went to one of the girls’ family farm where I got fresh coconut and the sweetest mangos you would ever taste. I got to feed her family’s pigs and even ride a Carabao. One day while we were touring local areas we met one of the mayors of a city who is a Mason, and I took a tricycle to his office. This isn’t a regular tricycle though. It’s a motorcycle taxi with a sidecar for two. I was on the same tricycle as Mrs. Jacka. The last thing I did with them was going to the biggest mall in the Philippines to get some souvenirs.
Saying goodbye was hard. My Rainbow family grew internationally, and it’s always difficult to leave family. Perla Assembly showed me so much about the Filipino culture and history. This trip will forever be bookmarked in my memories. I miss them all so much. They are now a part of my life and I hope to see them again.