Monday, October 12, 2015

Manila Diary | Week Five | Progress in Pasig and the Trip to Cebu

It's been well over a month since I moved here to Pasig. I figured now would be a good time as ever to finally bust out my camera and start snapping some memories. My father, being a huge videography and photography buff, did a lot of research with me before this internship even started to see what kind of camera I wanted to take with me. We worked out a deal, ordered it right away and soon enough it was finally in my possession! But what good is it if I keep it locked away in my apartment? I knew it was time to bring it along with me to show you what an average day in Pasig really looks like...

After a month of attending different meetings and becoming acquainted with multiple groups, we were set free to make our own schedule and choose whom we feel we could help the most. Some of us have paired up on certain days to teach different groups, so we've almost got our schedule down. 

The groups are all very different from each other, which makes lesson planning a bit harder. We all want to create a lesson effective enough to really help these women with their businesses. It's not always just about the lesson either, it's more or less getting to know them on a more personal level, and being able to connect and show genuine care for them. Why wouldn't I want to do that?  I talked a little bit with one woman who sells rugs. She asked me if I wanted to see one and scurried down the dirt path. She showed me how she hand stitched the rugs and used the material out of old shirts. I was so impressed! I think establishing a little trust with these women and start building a relationship is going to be very important over the next 2 months.

This week was also the week where Blake started up his new class. We call them 'C.A.B' classes, an acronym for "Chat About Business." It's open to all business owners around Pasig that want to learn more about financial planning, customer service, marketing, and much more. We handed out flyers and told people about the class and where to go. The day came for the first lesson and we were nervous that no one would show up. Just as we were about to pack up, there was one sweet small lady that was bold enough to come by herself. Her name is Theresa and she just barely started up her own printing/copying business. We were excited to see her and teach her. She was very responsive and already had a good business mindset! I jotted down her information so we could let her know about the next class. One is better than none, and this is only the beginning!

After spending so much time in Manila, some of us decided that it was time for an adventure and do a little island hopping. We found a good deal for a flight to Cebu! We packed our backpacks and groggily got out of bed around 3 o'clock in the morning on Saturday morning, but we made our flight and we were on our way!

Our first destination was the Taoist Temple. A beautiful temple for the religion/philosophy of Taoism. What I found most interesting was that it teaches you to learn "the Tao" or "the way." But you set your own terms on "the Tao." The thing is, it is not concrete, It's indefinable. It is completely up to you and your way of thinking. It's trusting yourself, understanding yourself as a person and creating your own path and way of living.

We reached the red and gold staircase up to the main temple. We were advised to not speak, to open up our mind and be peaceful. We climbed the stairs and began to poke around at the different temples and walkways. I meandered into a place where you could smell incense burning, small stools for prayer and beautifully crafted murals covering the ceiling and pillars. A old man came up to me and taught me how to use the incense as a sort of prayer. He showed me how and I thanked him for helping me. It felt different yet very beautiful, almost poetic.

Magellan's cross was another destination we had heard would be a great place to stop. When we reached the landmark, women dressed in blue and white (photo above) handing us candles to offer up as a prayer. The colors meant different things; red was love, yellow was health, pink was happiness, green was success, and blue was for Mother Mary. Can you guess which one I picked?

We explored more around the gorgeous city. The beautiful architecture of the churches made me want to wander inside to see more. We went into places we didn't know and did everything on a whim. Around lunch time, we drove back to our hotel and decided to make our way to the beach! We wanted to find something within our budget, so we found a resort that does go out to the ocean, but it wasn't exactly what we hopped for. The resort was bigger than the strip of beach they had, but that's okay. We could still get in and see tiny schools of fish and tiny little crabs walking along the sea floor.

The resort felt like Spring Break in Cancun. People everywhere celebrating, laughing and having a real good time. Filipinos were hitting on Madi left and right, and she handled it all very well :) We lounged under palm trees, soaked up a little sun and had a chance to catch our breath. We couldn't stay very long, our flight was leaving around 7:00 and we needed time to get to the airport. We changed our clothes and grabbed a taxi to the airport. Even the flight home had some excitement; there was a lightning storm in the sky which made it a little more turbulent but all the more beautiful. Lightning cracked every few seconds which lit up the dark clouds. We were stunned!

Cebu was beautiful, clean and colorful; a very fun place to visit.
Now it's back to Manila and back to work!

Thanks for Reading!
Love, Nick

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