By Foo Fang Ling
Hi all! It’s already been a week. How time flies! Let’s start off with a few quick things that I have noticed about the Philippines. First of all, it is really hot here. Due to my sensitive skin, I have already gotten sunburnt! This has started to become some sort of a ritual for me whenever summer comes around. As such, I am very thankful that it is now the rainy season. It gets much cooler whenever it rains. Secondly, Filipinos definitely love music! Not a day goes by when you do not hear music blasting from houses and vehicles. Still on the topic of music, one of the most memorable things thus far is the impromptu sing-a-long sessions my course mates and I have whilst travelling on our jeepney. Thirdly, mangoes are abundant here! I eat it almost everyday and it is so delicious. I love mangoes in all its forms but I particularly love mango shake! I have to always stop myself from having second helpings. Fourthly, tricycles, jeepneys and motorcycles are some of the common modes of transportation here in Cabano, San Lorenzo, Guimaras. We usually get around on our jeepney but I got to ride on a motorcycle a few days back. It was my first time riding on a motorcycle and I have to admit that I was very scared! Shikha and I sat on one motorcycle along with the driver and I held on to Shikha’s waist for the whole journey because I was so afraid that I would fall off! But fear not, it was all good and we arrived safely at our destination. Lastly, the beaches in Philippines are beautiful! Below is one of the beaches we visited during our first few days here.
Now let’s move on to home stays. As I mentioned in my previous post, Shikha and I are living with Lea and her family. Lea makes the most delicious food! There is definitely nothing better than home cooked food. This is something that I have really missed since studying abroad in Hong Kong as I eat out quite often. Also, Shikha and I finally got to meet Lea’s baby, Hazel May. She looks absolutely adorable! This is especially so when Lea dresses her in a little dress and a floral hat for daily outings. I have also noticed that doing laundry here in the Philippines is quite different when compared to Africa as washing clothes was truly a family affair and everyone washed their clothes together on a given day. But one thing is for sure, doing laundry requires a lot of energy, from pumping out the water using the hand pump to hand washing the clothes and drying it. Nonetheless, it is definitely a great workout!
I am glad to tell that we have already met with Rose, the owner of the organic farm. In addition to her organic farm, she also co-owns a restaurant and holds various positions in organizations throughout Guimaras. She is a very busy lady but I am thankful that she tries her best to take some time out from her busy schedule to talk to Clarence, Peng Ye and I. From our talks with her, we have already prepared an analysis of her business and identified the problems that she is facing. We hope to consolidate all our information soon so that we can prepare a report for Rose. I truly admire her hard work and will never forget what she told us which was “money is just a tool but you need passion to keep doing what you are doing”.
Before signing off, I would like to have a quick sharing about yesterday’s day trip to Iloilo city in conjunction with Philippines’ Independence Day. The highlight of the trip was definitely the visits to Jaro Cathedral and Lizares Mansion. Even though we had to walk under the scorching sun for quite sometime, it was worth it. Below is a picture of Jaro Cathedral.
Till the next blog post, bye guys!