Sitting on top of an old little jeepney with a bunch of locals while the warm summer breeze, mixed with a little bit of dust, blew gently on my cheek as the jeepney ran. Perhaps another equally adventurous experience in my 19 years of life would be standing at the side of a running train in India. On the top of the jeepney, my mind was peaceful, reflecting on the three weeks of living and working in the Philippines.
Undoubtedly, the past three weeks in the distinctive Filipino culture has been a remarkable one. One of the best things was to interact and befriend with the warm local Filipino host family. Getting up early in the morning and a kind granny greeting you in Spanish and Ilongo, singing karaoke with the host mum who is an amateur band singer, drawing funny pictures to “tease” the naughty 8-year-old of my host, chilling and sharing jokes with the 6 youthful daughters in a narrow living room… After going back to fast-paced living style of Hong Kong, I am definitely going to miss these moments, which I may never experience the second time in the future.
The daughters of my host like to take playful selfies on my phone.
For my working experience, I am so glad and thankful that I was assigned to serve a cashew nuts and local snacks manufacturer. I like the special local colors of Merly’s business, especially the mango piaya, which I always compare with the sweet melon pastries of Hong Kong! I would never forget how the generous Merly and her son always treated Peggy and me with the greatest taste of Guimaras like Chicken Adobo and freshly baked piayas. Working on the account of the Guimaran business hand in hand, step by step with Peggy and the aspiring Merly was also a fruitful and unforgettable experience.
We never left Merly’s factory with empty tummies.
Having roughly a month spent with a local family and a local business in a developing state, I got to know about the history, the culture and the society of the Philippines. On the contrary to the nice and innocent people here, I witnessed the dark side – poverty. Poverty is the greatest sin among all in the capitalism 21st century. It is to be accompanied with all sorts of problems including the lack of education, the lack of mobility, inequality, and hygiene problems. The little girl beggar in a corner of Iloilo, who powerlessly held the hands of Sebastien’s and mine’s with little shadows of dusts on her face, has been impressive. The thankful faces of the school kids, and the urgent hands of the poor in the wharf when we were delivering the soaps, have left deeply memorable pictures in my mind as well.
Doing international business as my first major and international relations as my second, I always wish to equip myself with a global perspective, to see the world as one, to help with the so-called “third world” countries. Despite growing up in an incomplete family, I consider myself as a fortunate one. I have the chance to grow up in a modern metropolis, enjoying the well-developed education and the luxurious entertainment. Yet I always remind myself the identity of a global citizen, I see a responsibility of bridging myself to the less fortunate ones in the world.
As what I wrote for the application of IBGM allowance, I came to this course to gain a first hand understanding of the developing world because I would like to build a career in developing countries with more opportunities and take up my responsibility to help. A politically ideal person like me, would love to see an undivided world, like the scenes depicted in my favourite CantoPop music “even if the world has no fairy tales” – the innocent eyes of humans forming the most beautiful picture in the world, all humankinds sharing the dinners with the others.