Be a local, in the Philippines.

By Ann

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[When we first met each other]

On the way to Jagna, Beau said that there is a host family which is a little bit far away from others. And finally I found that, this is my host family 😉

There is a couple in the family, Rebecca and Lido. When we arrived at the basketball court, they were there to wait. To be honest, I was pretty moved since this makes me feel that what I am doing is coming back home rather than visiting a new place. And there is always someone waiting for me. At the basketball court, I also met Rebecca’s relatives, Nini and her daughter.

On that evening, we had a party on the beach to celebrate Rebecca’s dad’s birthday. This is the first time we have dinner with each other and we started to know more about each other. The night was amazing since we ate fish and looked at the ocean at the same time. It makes people feel so relaxed and free. Though I was a bit homesick at that time, but with Rebecca and Lido’s help, I recovered very soon.

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(We had a party on the beach~)

[Surroundings around the house]

Rebecca and her relatives build their house in the same place, the house faces each other and make it to be a courtyard. In the middle is a bamboo pavilion, people call it payag in Bisaya (the local language). And they always said that Beau lived here before. I like the bamboo pavilion very much since it is cool during the daytime and there is no mosquito during the night time. People always come here after dinner and spend the evening together. Sometimes people chat with each other, sometimes they sing and dance or play some games. We also celebreated Blessing’s birthday here. This payag is an important place for us and we have lot of beautiful memories here. This kind of building structure lets people can get along and communicate with each other very frequently so it’s always lively around our house.

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(Rebecca’s house)

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(The payag next to the house)

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(Blessing’s birthday party)

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(People have fun in payag)

Every time when we need to go to the city, we need to go downhill and take a tricycle. At the beginning, I was not used to walk on slippery and muddy hillside, I nearly fell down every time. So every day when I go out, I will stand on the mountain and pray for a safe morning. After getting used to it, I began to look at the views around when I am walking. I found that the hillside is very beautiful. Green grass, roosters, dogs, goats, birds and coconut trees, they all make the hillside alive and dynamic. Therefore, it is a romantic thing to live here; Every time I pass by, I always find something new and wonderful.

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(The environment around the hillside)

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(The muddy road on the hillside)

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(Cute puppy dogs live on the hillside)

[Rebecca and Lido]

Rebecca and Lido have married more than ten years, they love and take good care of each other. I can feel that they are a part of the other’s life and their love is so sweet. They don’t have child so they treat us as their own kids. Rebecca and Lido are both very nice and kind people, they try their best to help others even dogs and cats around the house. They are a bit shy so they always do things for us without talking.

Rebecca is a tough, smart, kind and diligent woman. She is the breadwinner in the family and also does many house holding things. Her family has nine children so she didn’t finish her college. But she is always willing to learn new things and get to know about the outside world. She works hard every day so it’s a usual thing to see she is pretty tired when I go back home. Once when we were making the carpets together, she said,

” It’s hard to make money, but if you want money, you must work very hard.”

The sentence is simple but full of meanings. She always believes that happiness comes from our hard-working and there is no shortcut. Lido is responsible for cooking in the family and he really cooks well. Every day he stays in home and prepares delicious food for us. Because of Lido, I eat lots of rice every day and look forward to every meal in life. Lido does not only good at cooking but also many other things such as haircut. He always wants to own his own restaurant or barbershop but they don’t have enough capital to start the business. I decide to persuade them to save money for the business rather than waiting for government fund, which costs long time to process and is very limited. Hope Lido can start his business in the near future!

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(Lido is doing the haircutting for Rebecca’s dad)

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(Rebecca is making the carpet, every small one made can help her earn 4p)

[Our daily life]

As for me, I set a regular schedule for myself. Every day I get up and have breakfast with our family. Finish eating and doing dishes, I go to work place to meet my business owner. Then find a plan sit down and deal with different things. Finally go back home at 5:30pm and we have dinner together. Normally we spend our time in the payag together before going to sleep. Life is simple but really full of warm and happiness. We also learn Bisaya from them, it helps us a lot in the dauly life 😉

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(Meals prepared by Lido)

[Beautiful stories]

∆ Make carpets together

Rebecca is very diligent. She maked carpets during evening to earn more money. Making it is very time consuming. I tried my best but only finished one during the whole evening. However, I only earned 4p for my family on that evening… Life is so tough, but everyone is trying their best to make it better. So there is no reason for me to be lazy or complain. I really appreciate Rebecca since she taught me many things.

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∆ We have beds now!

At the begining, our beds are folding beds. Rebecca and Lido worried that we were not comfortable. Rebecca asked her father to make beds for us. It surprised me that we even can make beds by ourselves! The bed is very stable and comfortable to sleep on. Maybe the life conditions here are not as good as those in Hong Kong, but I know that they really try their best to take care of us. Then this is enough and this would be the most comfortable bed in the world.

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∆ Go to church on Sunday

Although I am not a Christian, they still invite me to go to church and pray together. This is brand-new experience for me and I learned a lot about Christian. It’s great that people can have religion and have something to believe. And going to church is a good way for people to get along with each other and adds some ceremonial sense to life. Every Sunday, Rebecca and Lido will dress up very carefully and spend several hours taking bus to the church. They are really religious!

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(We went to church together on the first weekend)

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(Second weekend, we went to the church in Tagbilaran and went to a big supermarket~)

[The meaning we stay in host family]

Staying in a resort would be very comfortable but I do believe that the experience in our host family is unique. We can have a chance to live a local life, including knowing about their cultures and habits. It is precious that we can live in local place as well as live with local people. In this way, we can have a deeper insight of Philippines. This is not only expanding our field of vision, but also it helps a lot in our business since we can get to know about the life styles of local people. So we can adjust measures to local conditions and carry out suitable strategies for our business.

In one word, it is so lucky to have this chance to stay and spend time with our host family. They let us enjoy a local life in Philippines!

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