My travel experience to the Philippines was the best vacation I have ever had. The reason why my family and I went there was because my dad was getting married. In the Philippines everything was really different than in the United States.
Once I arrived there at the airport and left the building I immediately received a dose of cultural shock. The very first thing I noticed was that it was very hard to breathe there because the air is so thick. Once we left the airport we had to ride in a van for four hours to get to my soon-to-be stepmother’s house.
Along the way to my stepmother’s house, I noticed the houses were not like the houses in America. Every single house there was either built from thatch, hollow block, or bamboo. The next thought in my mind was, “What is Rose’s house going to look like?”
When we arrived at her house, the first few things I saw were: banana tress, mango tress, a pepper tree, chickens, a few houses, and volcanic ash (from when Mt. Pinatubo erupted).
My stepmother, Rose, lives in a little neighborhood with most of her family. Once I walked in the house I noticed a few things that were the same in America: a television, a fan, a refrigerator, a big stereo, bed rooms, running water, a gas powered stove, and a bath room.
We arrived there at about 6 in the morning and her family was already up and her 2 of 3 kids were heading for school. The first task of their daily routine was to make and eat breakfast. After that job was completed the next task was to do their laundry.
However, doing laundry there is much different than done in America. In order to do laundry you must first gather all the clothes and then wash them by hand in a big bowl full of soap; second, rinse the soap and water out; third, hang them out to dry. Everything done in the Philippines is done by manual labor because it is such a poor country.
However, if you can afford some type of farm equipment, it is still not the best tool in the world. I could tell that Rose was getting worried wondering what my sister and me were thinking of this so far. Even though everything was done differently, I still enjoyed their way of life.
When it came to getting your source of food you had to walk or ride a motorcycle for a certain price, to the closet market, which was only fifteen minutes away. We had to go to the market every other day to get food. However, there was a Cindy’s (which is like a Wendy’s) and even a McDonald’s too; which I did eat at because it was like home.
Once you brought the food home the only two ways to cook it was: open fire or the gas powered stove. Therefore, the food did take a lot longer to cook, but it really did taste delicious.
One thing that I thought was odd was the fact that cock fighting existed in the Philippines. I was glad that I got to see one of those because I will probably never see one again. At a cock fight there is a big arena with glass around it, so the chickens do not fly out at the audience. My stepsisters told me to look ahead and keep my hands in my pocket because you do not want to accidentally bet with someone and you do not even know our language either, which is tagalong. These chickens fight with little curved blades attached to their feet, they just fly up and try to kick each other. The chicken that is left standing wins. Needless to say that was an experience of my life.
Overall I really enjoyed my trip to the Philippines. I also like my new family who now lives with us in America. The travel experience that I encountered is one I will never forget.
After that trip I realized that I do take what I have for granted and that I should remember the Philippines and what they do not have compared to me. However, they seemed to still enjoy their way of life.
Rose’s family said, “We would never change our way of life.” The four hour ride from the airport to Rose’s house was worth the wait!
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