After clearing customs with my many bags of liquids and a number of quizzical looks I arrived in the Philippines in one piece after a 16 hour flight. This included 5 HOURS of turbulence. I relied heavily on the resilience training, chanting ” this is out of my circle of control and influence”. I eventually made friends with the lady sitting next to me.

As we landed, I took some pictures – although it was overcast and raining, I was amazed by this country I was visiting for the first time. I felt excited about arriving, but already couldn’t believe the overcrowded living conditions….and floods that were on their way.

068  069

The photos here don’t really do it justice. Driving from the airport to my apartment was not long but the difference between the two parts of the city was palpable – two extremes. Coming out of the airport you could see the slums and poverty…at a glance. I imagine it’s even more jaw dropping further in, but I could not see from where I was sitting. Driving through the city was a bit crazy but I felt completely at ease and safe in the car – the driver knew what he was doing – it reminded me a bit of the chaos of London driving…just get on with it and be bold!

Our apartment is in Makati – financial hub and a city like many others – large malls/coffee shops etc. It feels pretty safe – there is security on every door in most buildings and bag scanning at the entrances to the malls.  There seems to be everything you need here.

The apartment itself is very spacious and clean. I felt comfortable immediately and had unpacked everything within an hour or two. I slept well, although there were strange siren like noises – I did wonder if these might be ‘typhoon warnings’, but I woke up with the roof still intact and not afloat in my bed, so no, it wasn’t that.

The next day, after a glass of water and a bowl of cheerios, I went into town to explore and orientate myself…and get a few bits I needed. I found the biggest flip flop shop in the world, became disorientated and came home with an iron. Tomorrow I will buy food and a SIM card.

Next stop…My first day/week at Save. Speak soon, Alli 🙂

P.S. Toby, the umbrella is a godsend…thank you!


  1. Well done. Nice to know you’ve arrived safely. I am glad your first impressions are good, it will give strength and courage. You will be fine.

  2. I think seeing extremes of rich and poor in urban settings is particularly disorienting because they are quite literally side-by-side. A slum and a giant flip-flop shop. It’s hard to make sense of that. But this is the world we live in. Plenty to be done. But as with the 5 hours of turbulence (unbelievable!) you’ll find your ‘circle of control and influence’. You’re going to do great things Ali and have (a challenging) but awesome time. Keep us updated!

  3. Allison. glad you arrived OK and enjoyed reading your first impressions of where you will be based, Hope the shopping disorientation soon wears off! Keep us all posted….
    Peter x

  4. Hi Alli sounds like the flight itself was an adventure. Glad you are safe and well

    Enjoy this fab opportunity to help people in need.


  5. I am so proud of you for coping with the turbulence, hope your chanting was performed in a quiet manner ! Let the adventure (and flip-flop shopping ) begin. You will be an asset to them x

  6. Glad to hear you made it through the customs, with all of your supplies! Enjoy every moment…
    Be safe and keep us posted. Dee xx

  7. So glad you arrived to our apartment safely. You are also a Cheerios fan. No worries. I’m bringing back five more boxes. There are not any Cheerios in Philippines:) See you soon!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s