One of ALIG’s priorities continues to be a focus on reaching out to newcomers who have come from all over the world and may be just a little lost or overwhelmed in their new home country. The ALIG Mabuhay Club is an informal group that aims to be a source of information on the Alabang surrounds, a way to connect to the community and other members, as well as an intro to the Philippines. We hope to help new members enrich their expat experience in a way they may not have even imagined.
The 2016 Mabuhay Club is currently led by two wonderful coordinators, Sarah and Charlyn. Each week is carefully planned by the coordinators to help new members expand their view and understanding of their new home, together with other members who happily share their experiences and knowledge.
The first week of the program focuses on acclimating members to the village of Ayala Alabang. Members will hop on an authentic and popular form of Philippines transportation; the jeepney. Attendees will visit some local parks, locate convenient ATM’s and find the water refilling stations. They’ll visit the (Ayala Alabang Village Association) AAVA Office to learn about obtaining a Barangay ID, visit the medical center and discover various shops around the village.
The next outing takes members outside the gates of our village to the Alabang local area. Attendees will visit Asian Hospital, the nearest late-night pharmacy, various grocery stores, malls and restaurants. They’ll also discover some fun places to bring their kids, learn where to bring their dry cleaning and where to get things printed. They’ll also experience something they may never have seen before, such as the Alabang “Wet Market” where produce and a variety of unique goods are available.
The third and fourth trips will be outings on which the group will vote. Their choices will include several of the following; exploring the BF Homes Sub-division, enjoying High Tea at the Peninsula, enjoying a guided tour of Intramuros (the “Walled City”), hiking Mt. Pinatubo, climbing Taal Volcano or taking a guided canoe trip through Pagsanjan Falls. The 2014 Mabuhay Club members recently went to the famous Pagsanjan Falls, to see the beautiful river, waterfalls, the breathtaking scenary and tranquil surroundings.
While the interesting activities themselves are like the initial appeal, the members soon find themselves with an expanding group of friends with whom they have already shared some really great experiences. They soon find themselves feeling connected to their new community and eventually, they “pay it forward” to another new person someday. This is the spirit of “Mabuhay” and this is part of the purpose of ALIG.