SCOLA Travel Journal: Week One

Week One:

My international journey through SCOLA On the Street Videos has begun! If you read my last post you know that I recently signed up for a SCOLA subscription, which allows me to travel to foreign countries…right from the comfort of my own home! My first stop: the Philippines!

I arrived in the Philippines on Sunday and stayed for one week. While in the Philippines I was able to experience Filipino culture, expand my knowledge of Filipino languages, and so much more!

My first adventure in the Philippines was to meet some of the locals and gain insight into Filipino culture. I met two sisters and, after telling them about my plans for my international travels, participated in a discussion about social issues in the Philippines and other countries around the world. One sister told of her experiences of bigotry and discrimination in a foreign country. The other sister recounted her own observations of bigotry and discrimination that happen locally. Through my conversation with the two women I was able to discover how local people treat and perceive foreign nationals who stay or travel in their country. This was especially helpful as a beginner traveler!

After my long and insightful discussion with the women I was ready for some fun! While exploring the streets of the Philippines I met up with some local youth that were skateboarding. I had never skateboarded before, but I was in a new country and was up for trying new things so I thought why not! Skateboarding is a lot harder than it looks and it is safe to say I am going to need a lot more practice, but I did learn a lot about the sport. I interviewed a skateboard shop owner and learned some special tips and techniques for beginners!

Skateboarding was a lot of work and I quickly became hungry. I headed back to the two women I had met earlier, hoping they could point me in the right direction for a restaurant offering traditional Filipino food. I was beyond delighted when they offered to teach me a traditional Filipino recipe for Berenghi! My mouth watered as we started preparing the dish, which is a local version of a Spanish paella that mainly consists of sticky rice, chicken, and chorizo. I was able to easily follow along and quickly ate the dish as soon as it was finished!

It was a long, but successful first day in the Philippines. I went to bed tired and anxious to see what else this beautiful country had to bring!

The rest of my week in the Philippines was just as exciting. One day I was able to tag along with different street vendors to see what work was like in their daily lives. The first person I tagged along with was an employee of a local poultry store. I discovered his everyday routines and learned about the different products and services his store provides. The employee even gave me some tips on how to manage quail egg production, and ways to invest in the business and earn profits. I ventured off to tag along with the next person feeling very lucky…where else besides scola.org would I be able to experience a day in the life of a poultry store employee?

Looks like it was time for dessert! The next employee I tagged along with was a local ice cream vendor! “Dirty ice cream” as they call it in the Philippines, is a regular fixture in the streets of this tropical and hot country. Again, I learned helpful tips on how to invest in this type of business.

While in the Philippines I also met local street vendors, discovered what life was like for newlyweds, and got a first look at construction being done on a pharmaceutical company and a hotel in Quezon City!

My last day exploring the Philippines happened to be my favorite. I spent the entire day discovering local folklore, myths, and legends of the Philippines! I was able to explore four tales with a Filipino native: the first tale was the myth of the creation of the Philippine islands, the second tale was a myth about the creation of the first man and woman, the third and fourth stories were about mountain nymphs and their romantic and playful relationships with human beings. The stories were all captivating and left me even more intrigued on this beautiful country, it’s history, and culture.

Although I was sad my journey in the Philippines had come to an end, I was pleased knowing I could return at any time.

Stay tuned to learn where I will travel on my next adventure!

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