Jul 30, 2013

CAD Success!

Community Action Day (CAD) is one of the highlights of the VSO ICS programme. For the past weeks, we have been planning our CAD, been busy giving the letters, meeting youth groups, scouting for participants for Carood Got Talent, and making sessions for the workshop. When the day before the event came, everyone has been occupied with printing sessions, schedules and posters; making backdrops; preparing the venue; finalizing contestants, and making last minute calls to youth groups and transportation. You can't see anyone not doing anything since all have been working onto something and been going back and forth from here to there.
This was us making ourselves busy the day before the CAD
I'm happy enough to be given tasks that I can handle. Especially riding shotgun on a dump truck despite the heavy rain. Nevertheless, have I been expecting that youth groups will still feel ecstatic with the bad weather. But they kept the fire burning for me and as one of the organizer that means a lot. My session together with a British volunteer might not sound that interesting but we were happy enough to see their happy faces. I also found that evaluation forms are the most entertaining thing to read when you are tired. (funny comments are a must read!)

Participants of our session- doing an activity!

I faciliated a session during the CAD too which is the "Recruitment and Retention of Members". Which is an added point for myself----- still have a long way to go for self development. :D

Our Youths from Mabini- posing before going home :D

So beside entertaining everyone with our Gentleman Dance, ( yeah, completely making fool out of ourselves which was really fun BTW) we ended the CAD well. We have made a day for everyone to remember.

Jul 23, 2013

We did a great job

It was weeks of preparation and making sure that everything is in place. That was my MPR committee experience. I have been to planning and organizing events before but this one was probably the most systematic and smooth event that I have ever organized due to the fact that little changes have been made.

At first I honestly felt that I have chosen a wrong committee for myself but it turned out that it gave me a lot of things to learn and improve-from haggling to being really keen in terms of services and needs. Personality wise, my thriftiness have contributed much to achieve everything within our budget. So much credit for my negotiation skills by doing a lot of haggling to people just so to have cheaper costs. :D For being keen to detail, Maybe I'm the person who accepts whatever offer people have for me. That's the downside of being kind and nice to people I guess since I can no longer distinguish when will things go wrong. Or maybe I just hate complaints. But being with people who are really OC with every detail, I have seen that the things I thought would be fine aren't that perfect at all. They have shown me that there are far more things I need to consider which I failed to do so.

MPR Committee

The end of the MPR was the time I realized that my contribution have made a great impact to our committee's success. Although it is not completely perfect, positive feedback from our co-volunteers gave us more reason to acknowledge our effort in making things organized and fun for them.  

Jul 16, 2013

My Co-volunteer's Birthday

This is my first time celebrating a birthday cross-culturally and it was not largely different than what we Filipinos are used to. Well, different or not I had fun anyway. :D
I was just glad that everybody was really into Karaoke. We actually had a chance to listen to our Brits volunteer's voices. Though most of them were not used to it, they'd actually participated actively to get along with us.

I had been to thinking that what a typical foreign teenager do is far different from what we Filipino do. But now that I have experienced living and working with them regardless of industrialization and innovation, in some ways  we do, think, act, laugh, and sing in common. That was the better part of it, beyond differences there is unison in each one of us. :D 

Favorite Blogger Confession

Maybe it is good to mention this right now. I've been active on blogging since last year and my blog always make  me look forward to the things that I can write and blog about. I've been meaning to focus my attention to blogging cause it gives me the freedom to everything (without hurting someone else's feelings I hope). Through this people might be able to recognize what I love doing and the things of my favorite. I would really be happy seeing my blog flooding with comments from the people who thinks I've been meaningful and making sense to them.

Being a blogger goes with reading other blogs too to get ideas from them. I've been looking at three different blogs right now for a start. But the blog of my favorite is jamieliew.com. Discovering this blog was a coincidence cause originally I'm checking on a korean-related blog which I read in sparkling magazine. When I visited this blog, the author made some lists of the blogs she's been reading often. Jamie Liew's blog was listed and from then on I've been reading her blog a lot. Jamie's studying in korea and her immersion to korean culture, school and living has made her blog interesting for korean-fascinated reader. (Which is why I'm enticed of course). But it is not just that, maybe everyone can check out her blog for trip tips to Korea and foods that are gastronomically good ranging from a cheaper budget to expensive ones.

I wanna make mine a more personal and relatable to people by sharing my travels and experiences. I wanna be me in my blog. No intruders, I'm the boss. 

Jul 14, 2013

Volunteers on the Beach Yeah!

Did I say that I hate beach? Well I might not have said it but I'm not totally a beach- hater it is just that I'm not a beach buddy that you can hang out with. I am a bit boring when it comes to that so I woudn't probably sell out myself to people who are craving for the beach.

BTW, We've been to Anda beach resort weeks ago and I had fun with everyone. 

Photo Credit: vsobohol2013.tumblr.com
Well, this is everyone of us including the Supervisors posing before going home. :D

Jul 13, 2013

Volunteer journey: The start of it

The opportunity of being a part of a volunteering programme came as a surprise. The moment I sent my application, I never expected to get an immediate reply from them. Deep in my heart, I have always wanted to be part of the program not just to practice what I have learned from my degree but also to deal with the things I'm scared of within my self.

So the assessment came and I'm grateful that I got selected. I processed the requirements and days went by for the In-Country Orientation. British counterparts came, and we got to meet them. But one thing that I was really greatful about is meeting co-batchmates in college whom I can talk to most of the time. Unfortunately, they need to leave after serving as Returned Volunteers (RVs). Their journey just ended and I am just about to start with mine. 

And now, I'm currently working with my new friends. I have been adjusting and acquiring a lot of new knowledge from them. :D More stories about my volunteering will be posted soon. (Well, I have posted already about the MPR so..it goes on and on)

This is where we stayed for one week training and orientation. Had a great time and fun together with the other volunteers as we are still on the stage of getting to-know-each-other.

Originally, this was the room where girls are supposed to stay. I was the first one to arrive in Crab House and happened to stay for a while in this room before being transferred to the Dorm type. (Strictly no bed-sharing policy)

The pathway that goes to the room I mentioned above. Used to stay here on the couch (which is not shown in the picture) to access the wifi. :D 

Just taking a picture upon arrival. This is when all the Returned Volunteers were out of the room. Lucky enough not to be caught by them. hahahahaha

So, this was the dorm type I was talking about. Got transferred here after all Filipino Volunteers arrived. Thankful enough that it was so cozy. 

Our picture while eating. Managed to take a picture together with co-volunteers through a waiter's kindness. :D

Jul 11, 2013

MPR on site visit

As part of the MPR committee, I visited the venues that I canvassed in Panglao. I wasn't alone I had the whole committee with me that was Aprille and James together with Piso, our supervisor.

It was considered as an official business which means we had no time to visit some beautiful sites, buy some stuff and have fun. That was what I thought at least for the first few hours. :D

We are suppose to commute, which I had decided actually since it is cheaper, however due to time constraints we ended up hiring a taxi anyway. It was a bit of fuss though when the driver made as pay for the fare when we hadn't even gone to the place we are suppose to go.  Just to settle everything we paid the fare , which is 8.00 Php for each one of us by the way.

First stop. Bohol Coco Farm, Libaong Panglao Bohol. This was the cheapest bargain that I had due to the help of a friend of mine. He helped me a lot in negotiating. It was even lowered down after they happen to see the rest of the canvass I did ( which I'm not meant showing). But it served us a good deal. Rooms were not really extravagant but appropriate enough for two nights stay. All food are organic and we were even accommodated with a lemon grass juice to quench our thirst. It was a bit of a "nah" cause we have expected to see more of the place but everything was provided though, and it was a good place for MPR considering all other matters excluding the room.

We managed to take a look into their coconut-made menu. Kinda creative.

Bohol Coco Farm Menu
 So this is where we gonna have the MPR sessions. Really spacious and comfortable provided with a sound system.
 Coconut made products for display. Basicallly the farm promotes the use of coconut. And this one, is just one of the examples of it.
Coconut Decor. They have a specialized coconut puncher to make those holes.

The viewdeck. This is my favorite area of the farm.  Probably, because eating will be here. :D

View deck
Tried the coco sky walk. Which was really fun.
The bridge was shaking but the owner said it was safe and can hold at least 10 people. Glad I tried


 Second stop. Chiisai Natsu Resort, Brgy. Tawala, Panglao, Bohol. This was a really nice resort to begin with after having seen its pictures online.  It is a Japanese inspired resort which I really liked. A swimming pool is surrounded by the rooms. But the downside of it is- not ideal for our MPR. Vegetarian food option is not available and the activity area won't accommodate us all. Hmmmpf, next time maybe!

Nice CR.

Swimming pool in the middle is really enticing!!!

Better check the rules before plunging in.

Single Beds.

We came by for lunch at Oasis Resort at Alona Beach. Food was really expensive and I was lucky enough to get a free lunch. Who said that we are only on official business?? We actually had a really nice lunch, a good chit-chat and a walk on the sand. All of these with pictures of course. Cannot leave my camera in times like this. Better prepared than not. All things were caught in action. :D

This is what I ate. It was kind of a chicken-burger, but honestly there was a lot of adjective on it that I only remembered those two words. :D I don't know the names of the rest of the food except for Greek Salad. :D

My company ordered the greek salad and tried the olives (green and black ones) for the first time. That was the weirdest taste I've ever had. But I'm glad that I tried it, at least I'm no longer ignorant with it. :D
Greek Salad

Well back to business. After our "really" heavy lunch we made our last stop for our on site visit at Villa del Pueblo. This was the same with Chiisai Natsu only that it is bigger and spacious to conduct our activity in. But basic things were not provided for the activity area plus no catering for lunch, dinner and snacks. This resort was crossed.

I never expected a whole day of risk assessing the venues. We are too exhausted to get off the car in front of ICM. But for the sum up, it was a fun official business with our supervisor, being not fully official. :D

Jul 10, 2013

Emma did a braid on me

After work, is the most relieving part. We hadn't done anything productive for the day so I went straight home.
Emma has been practicing her weaving skills in making bracelets which is really fascinating. She made me choose some colors the other night so she can make one for me.  (But I guess I need to wait before it is done, since it takes time to make one). Well, for the meantime she tried to do a braid with my hair using yarn. I had misunderstood what she meant by braid though. She has done like a strand of hair covered with yarn. We don't actually do it here, but Emma said that they usually do it during holidays.

This is how it looked like.
 Still had it the morning after. :D
Braid in the Philippines is actually the criss-cross kind of hair weaving. But in UK this kind of hair weaving is called French Plait. That's a good knowledge, at least now, I know the difference. :D

One thing I have known. Smiling always in UK will make them think you are crazy. It is funny though cause we Filipinos tend to smile to strangers without meaning to. It's a kind of acknowledging your presence and being friendly to other people. Or in some cases, a sign of greeting instead of saying something. 

Jul 9, 2013


Being out place isn't necessarily a choice. You couldn't just say that a person's out of place because he chose to be. The other factors that a person might be talking is because he doesn't know the topic in the conversation. As much as he try to get in he can’t cause he has no knowledge about it. Trying it might get him into embarrassment or be labelled as "know-it-all" or "feeler". In terms of being conversational, I think we are meant to choose a topic that is not generic to other people so everyone could talk back to every topic you throw at. Atleast I know where to exclude and include people in the conversation. If you don't maybe you are being rude.

 Sometimes being idealistic goes out of the line. I still prefer manner than intelligence wherever I may put it. Idealism leads to hypocrisy when always practiced. 

Jul 5, 2013

Real vs Pretend

I could say that I am living the simple life in simple ways. I couldn't fathom why some people are very well associated with other culture than their own. It doesn't make sense to me how they claim that that this is what Filipinos are when they are not completely living through it or experiencing it in the real sense.
Some Filipinos are pretentious and full of pride. Couldn't we just lower down ourselves a bit? I have to say that I am more comfortable going out with foreign people for at least they are true and exhibits their own original ways. I don't really bother if some Filipinos are influenced by other culture as long as they will never pretend just to fit in. Or maybe some rich Filipino people are more likely to be westernized, which I can't argue with, but I  don't get them volunteering cross-culturally if they can relate to other cultures too much. 

So I'm posing this question, Am I going to real Filipinos or the great pretenders? Worse answer could be the latter.