When people think of the Philippines they inevitably think of Islands, Beaches, Palm Trees, and Paradise. For me, it wasn’t so. I was living in Davao City, the furthest large city in the southern most island in the Philippines; Mindanao. There wasn’t much to do, there wasn’t much to see. And the add to that it was monsoon season. Life went by and I wondered were it went. Until I started taking boats to some of the small southern islands. Then I found the Paradise side of the Philippines.
While living in Davao City, Philippines I was often finding myself wondering “what to do?”. Sure I was living with a group of highly entertaining individuals who could make me cry with laughter and keep me entertained in a conversational sense of the word. But I like to “do” things – be doing things. So what did Davao city have to offer? Wakeboarding.
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.
I'm Chrystal McKay, a 24 year old Canadian who travels the world seeking knowledge. I am a World Citizen, Globe Trotter, and Continuous Learner. A Lover of Ancient Ruins, Castles, Churches, and all things Old and Beautiful. Follow me as I learn my way around the world.
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