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VOLUNTEERING IN THE PHILIPPINES

 12th September 2014- 6th December 2014

 

In 2014 I worked in the Philippines for 3 months as a VSO-ICS volunteers. Read on to find out more about the culture, volunteering and my crazy, once in a lifetime adventures!

December 6, 2014

One of my highlights from the last 3 months was when I reached the summit of Mount Arayat. Arayat is an extinct stratovolcano rising to the height of 1,026 metres. Due to its location in the flat agricultural region of Nueva Ecija, it can be seen for miles around, loom...

December 2, 2014

I think Elton John got it wrong when he penned the lyrics "sorry seems to be the hardest word", because "goodbye" is so much harder.

I've been living, working and partying in Cabiao for the past 10 weeks. 74 days to be precise. But it only takes 66 days to form a habi...

December 1, 2014

Dear The Messina Family,

 

I cannot find the right words to express how grateful I am for the kindness and accommodation I received from all of you over the past 3 months. You have just offered me a house- but a home- and you have welcomed to me into your family with ope...

November 30, 2014

As part of my duties for the media team, I have been required to write a terminal report about the team's progress in the community. I decided to put it on here so that you could all see the 'big picture' about what I've been doing in Cabiao for 3 months. Sorry for the...

November 27, 2014

Nueva Ecija may not be by the sea, but it still has its fair share of natural beauties. One of these is in Minalungao. After a two hour jeepney ride out of Cabiao we found ourselves looking at a secluded river, set against the backdrop of a limestone valley. Now I know...

November 25, 2014

As part of our DRRM awareness raising activities we were expected to run a youth camp. Straight-forward right? Except the kids of Cabiao are quite trendy. To put it bluntly: life jacket-making isn't cool and as a result, the team have hosted a few not-so-successful eve...

November 23, 2014

One of the downsides of volunteering in a close-knit community is that everyone knows your business. Cabiao always seems so much smaller that it actually is because everyone really does know everyone. For example, the lady who runs the coffee shop I go to, is the siste...

November 20, 2014

Do you remember me writing about being asked to be a beauty queen for the Santa Isabel fiesta? Well the role became a reality last weekend and I rode around the barangay on a carabao, awkwardly waving at the locals.

 

If I'm honest, I had completely forgotten about the e...

November 15, 2014

Do you treat travelling as an adventure or a chore? Is it an opportunity to see the world or a pointless waste time?...

 

I am one of those annoying people who loves the journey and even a short train ride into London has me bouncing about! (Of course my sustained excite...

November 13, 2014

For all of you who don't know, Sir Alan sugar is a famous entrepreneur who worked his way up to the very top of British business. He started out selling rubber ducks on a market stall. I am trading in t-shirts. In hindsight, perhaps I shouldn't have been so saintly whe...

November 10, 2014

With Filipino Time in play, there is no point worrying about the hour on the clock. Instead, I notice the passing of time by the amount of meals I have eaten (NB. This refers to meals that include rice. Anything served without rice, for example spaghetti, is considered...

November 9, 2014

I have always been fascinated by cities. They are busy, overpowering and constantly in motion- working around the clock to keep up with the demands of the people. Metro Manila is another 'city that never sleeps' and the pace of life was in sharp contrast to the calm qu...

November 5, 2014

I never thought I'd say this but after 8 weeks, the Philippines is starting to feel familiar.

On Tuesday morning I had an 'OMG I'm in the Philippines' moment, where I really realised where I was in the world. The street I was strolling down looked nothing like my home...

November 3, 2014

Alternatively titled 'Walking to Walter Mart'...

As I've previously mentioned, Sophia and I love to walk - and the community think we're a bit crazy for "walking 1km?!? To town!?!" But we've taken the hobby a bit further, hiking way beyond the boundary of Cabiao (and...

November 2, 2014

November 1st is a very important date in the Filipino calendar. Yet until very recently I was completely unaware of the occasion. I was an All Saint's Day virgin. The first time I heard about it was when Kuya Teddy invited me to a picnic at the cemetery. (NB. It's 'bro...

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