“Humanity owes the child the best it has to give.” – Eglantyne Jebb. This is what triggered Eglantyne started her journey to establish the Save The Children in United Kingdom, in 1909, going through almost 100 years of history.
What will be my Pulse journey?
Time is passing so quickly! This is my 2nd month in Manila; I still remember when I almost missed my plane in Singapore! The gate number had changed without prior announcement. Luckily, although the gate indicated the right flight number and destination, I noticed an unusual quietness at the gate. I breathlessly ran at the speed of light to catch the flight at the opposite end of the terminal. When I arrived at the right gate, the fight was delayed and I have to wait for an additional hour.
Finally, I boarded my 3.5 hours flight with a tiny bit of turbulence experiences and landed safely at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Manila! This is my first time stepped into Philippines, a place where I am going to start my 6 months journey. What a thrilling start to my Pulse journey.
It was a pleasant 60 minutes car ride without much traffic (it is Sunday!) to Quezon City. The sky was bright blue after the storm, and the skyline at financial district at Makati City is very similar to Singapore with the high rise buildings. I spotted the iconic public transport vehicles that are unique to Philippines, i.e. jeepney and tricycle. The children looked so happy, enjoying their basketball game with friends on the roadside. I guess basketball is a big thing in Manila.
I stayed in the hotel for the first week while looking for a 6 months accommodation. There were fewer offerings for accommodation in Quezon City compared to Makati City. I contacted different agents for different units before finding a suitable place. I am glad to find a place I called ‘home’ for the next 6 months.
I reported to Save the Children (SAVE) at Luzon Program office on 27Jun17. The first thing you see when you stepped into the Save the Children office is their mission and vision. It is very aligned with my own values and GSK mission, “to help people to do more, feel better and live longer! Save the Children is an international non-governmental organization that promotes children’s rights, provide relief and helps support children. I am extremely excited to be part of the team as children are very vulnerable in the community. It is my dream to help them to create future lives, where they can continue to grow and go on to pursue their dreams like we do.
SAVE is like a big, kind and friendly family; they welcomed me with open arms and shared with me some of the great history that formal GSK Volunteers have contributed in the past. They also introduced me to their language, i.e. Tagalog, and their Filipino cuisines and cultures. I am adapting well in Manila. You can find almost everything here, and they have more restaurants and fast food chains that I could imagine. If I miss home-cooked food, it is not difficult to find the ingredients to do your own cooking.
One thing I am trying to get used to is the traffic jams – no wonder even locals are joking that Manila has the worst traffic jam in the world! It could easily take 2 hours for a 10km journey. Once, I was stuck for an hour in a 2km journey. I could probably walk a little faster, if the walking paths were established. Well, I can always use the time to do reflection, planning ahead or just look at the road scene and the beautiful skies.
That’s all for now! Don’t need to worry about me and I will share more about my PULSE journey including my field trips in my next blog. Enjoy the video 🙂