Some of the interns here in Davao work at the local woman’s jail. Its not really a jail – it is where woman are held until they are convicted of tried for a crime – since this is the Philippines- some of these woman have been there for 6 years without being convicted of everything! What a terrible thing. But all these woman are very nice people filled with hope and determined to do good when they get out – they must spend a lot of each day praying. So it makes sense.
But! Since the interns are soon to be leaving – they decided to host a talent show with the woman in the prison. All of the AIESEC interns here in Davao, about 40 of us, all went to the jail, to watch the woman sing, dance, and act. It was a jolly time.
Afterwards we had options to get massages, manicures, pedicures, or hair cuts – since these were the professions of the woman prior to being put in the jail. I got a full body massage…and I am a happy person! 🙂
I went to the mall afterwords and bought lots and lots of dvds for 60P ($1.25) each – I spent $15 Canadian and bought – How I Met Your Mother Season 1-5, House Season 1-5, Rome Season 1, true Blood Season 1-2, and 4 movies; Inception, PS I Love You, The Notebook, and The Hangover! WOWZERS!! I love the affordability of Asia! 🙂
So I am now working in Davao City, Philippines. It is on Mindanao Island, the most southern part of the Philippines. Davao City is a very large city but it does not feel that way. There are no tall buildings and not a lot to do here. It is a quiet place to be living and working. I live in “My Studio”, an apartment building with about 30 other interns working here. I have two Chinese room mates- One speaks great English and the other speaks very minimally.
So what am I doing here? Well I am doing a 2 month CEED for an organization called AIESEC. CEED stands for Cultural Envoy for Exchange Development. I am working with the local AIESEC here in Philippines. My intended job was to be a market consultant and contact companies and raise management/business related internships here in Davao. Since arriving my job as developed more into a marketing consultant for the local members since I will be taking time to train the members on HOW to market to companies since currently the AIESEC has only raised un-paid development internships. Am I ok with this change – yes – it is good practice for me – does this take more time to get started – yes – the locals plan everything which means it goes on Filipino time and not my time. Thats alright! Cultural adjustments! 🙂
Since I had that little fiasco in the Jakarta Airport with the requirement of having a booked onward ticket OUT of the Philippines….I booked a ticket home for September 2nd. But I am now feeling I should go home earlier so that I can spend more time with friends and family and have more time to relax at home prior to returning to Ottawa for a busy semester of University. We’ll see if I can make these changes.
So far, 2.5 weeks in, I have gone out for dinner ALOT….and Filipino food is very un-vegetarian friendly…..there are Minimal vegetables here? Atleast that I’ve found. Feel bad for this poor Vegetarian. haha So there is basically ONLY bbq dinners….EVERYNIGHT! but hey….atleast its still cheap….about $2-$3 a meal. But all I crave is a greek salad! Because of this lack of vegetarian options I have now adopted Chicken into my diet – MAN CHICKEN IS DELICIOUS AFTER SO MANY YEARS NOT EATING IT!!
I’ve also been wakeboarding and on an island hopping tour. Both were great fun except on the overnight of the island hopping where the roof above ONLY my bed leaked and I got soaking wet and thus the slight cold I had turned into a full on sickness after spending the night sleeping on wet blankets. Ugh.
So I stopped over in Manila Philippines to visit some friends I met in Taiwan! It was a nice relaxing week filled with old city charm and laughter. But getting out of Jakarta was TERRRRRIBLE!
SO I get to the airport in jakarta for my flight and there are these 9 American highschool boys infront of me who are more interested in playing stupid games than actually checking themselves in….it took 50 minutes! 50 MINUTES! to get them checked in…..so I only had about 30 minutes left until boarding….so Its me next I hand over my passport and put my luggage on…..and then the check-in clerk asks “Do you have a visa or on-ward travel plans out of Philippines?”…I reply ” No, I don’t need a visa I get a free tourist stamp, and I havent booked my ticket home yet, Im staying for for 2 months”….his reply “You may not get on this flight without one or the other of those things please step out of line”….me “WTF ARE YOU JOKING ME?!?!?!?!?” I only have 25 minutes now!! So I ask where there is internet to book myself a flight home to Canada – which is about 1KM away….so I put my ;luggage behind their counter and RUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN to the hotel that has internet! I am in no shape to be doing this! I Get there and their internet is closed, so i VERY quickly explain my situation and they let me on – but my visa doesnt work when swiped so I had to run out and get money from an ATM first then come back and pay them I got on and the internet was sooo slowww….I was almost in tears I was so panicked!!! But I finally booked a ticket home off Expedia, printed it, and RANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN that 1KM back to the desk with only 5 minutes to spare and they GLANCE, like SLIGHT SLIGHT SLIGHT GLANCE, at my ticket, and say ok have a good flight. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!??!?!??! And when I arrived in Philippines they NEVERRRRRRR checked or asked for anything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW. Hating Jakarta and CEBU airlines for scaring me almost outta my flight!!!! but I arrived PHEW!!
So its 5:30Am, I get off my flight….and nobody is around….hmm??? haha So I find a bistro and try to talk to everybody online but nobody is online cause its 5:30am….so I call Gabe, who is the only one whos number I actually have, but he is in the South oh Philippines in Davao, but he works his magic for me and everybody sorts it out and I meet them on their University campus, De La Salle, which is near the Airport. Woot. And my week was happily ever after. I stayed with an AIESECer in his HUGE mansion of a house in a gated community and just relaxed. Francis took me to Intramurous which is the old walled city and we saw beautiful churches, and I met lots of AIESECers and just hung around Manila 🙂
Now I flew to Davao and life is good. I am in a hostel for a few days before moving into an apartment with other Interns! Just exploring Davao City. 🙂