Author Archives: Lucas Sakalem

February 06

Finding Neverland

It’s here – I reached my last week in the Philippines. I can’t believe it was only 6 months ago that I arrived in Manila. Feels almost like a century ago… Time can be funny sometimes, eh? When I submitted my PULSE application, I wrote that, amongst other reasons, I wanted to do this to […]

January 17

Spirited Away

(Before you start reading this post, I invite you to open this video and leave the music on the background. Trust me, it’s a beautiful song from one of Japan’s best animations, “Spirited Away”, created by master Hayao Miyazaki.) After five months working as a GSK PULSE volunteer in the Philippines, I decided to take […]

November 30

There and Back Again

I’m writing this blog as I wait for an Uber to pick me up in Brooklyn and drive me to JFK Airport. Midway through my assignment, I came back home and re-encountered some of the people that make life matters the most – work colleagues and friends, all around the amazing and lovely Thanksgiving vibe of […]

November 16

Live Together, Die Alone

Not everything in the Philippines is about beautiful beaches, singing to karaoke, or breathtaking diving sites. About 3 years ago, this country faced the fury of two heavily damaging disasters: a 7.2 earthquake and Typhoon Hayan. I’ve been here for almost 3 months now, working with the Humanitarian Leadership Academy to help local communities better prepare […]

October 11


We live in a world where the words “evolution” and “development” are constantly making it to the headlines. A world where connectivity is a given, accessibility is almost omnipresent, and where technology has enabled us to surround ourselves with a (literal) social network, linking us to multiple worlds, diverse realities. It’s very beautiful, eh? Yeah, […]

September 26

A Day without Rain

It’s been a little over a month since I arrived in the Philippines. Sometimes it feels like I’ve been here forever; other times I get really surprised by how fast it’s going. Some days are long and filled by gloomy clouds, like a tempest ready to storm your senses away; most often, though, the experiences […]

September 07

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

You arrive. You sit. You listen. You observe. You process. You leave. Repeat. You arrive. You sit. You listen. You observe. You process. You leave. Repeat. Patience is a gift, one that many of us take for granted. I know I do. I’m always restless, eager for tomorrow, making plans for things that are only […]

July 31

A Tale of Two Cities

In Portuguese, there is a word that cannot be translated to English: “Saudade”, which is the feeling of missing something that has already happened or someone you love. According to the dictionary, saudade is the “recollection of exciting feelings, experiences, places or events. It brings sad and happy feelings altogether, sadness for missing and happiness for […]

April 27

Through the Looking Glass

A few weeks ago, my colleagues and I traveled to the UK to get together with the other half of my team for a 2-week meeting. Over the weekend, we went out to explore a hipster area in London – Brick Lane, and visited a few thrift stores. We bumped into a vintage hat shop and were approached by the […]