My mother and I departed from Vegas to the Philippines on July 28, 2010 for personal business matters and vacation. When I got to my aunt's house, alot of my relatives still looked the same excluding the growth in height and haircuts. It was nice finally seeing them again especially my grandma.
For the first few days it was difficult for me to adjust to the climate and environment. Things here were different from Vegas: getting bit by mosquitos or some sort of insect which led me a trip to the dermatologist to treat the approximate 40 bites all over my body, taking a shower using a “tabo” (similar to the form of a bucket for bathing), not using any of my heating tools (the volts in my tools are 200V and the volts there was 110V meaning if I were to plug and use them it’ll be destroyed), riding in the “FX” jeepney, LRT, tricycle, and speaking in Tagalog everyday. The meals are less than $2.00! Also their versions of what America also has (ex. McDonalds) is WAY cheaper! The traffic is so hectic that it’s so risky to jay walk. The streets are filled lunatic drivers who do not know the meaning of “right of way” or using signals when turning without looking at their mirrors before switching lanes!
â–º quarter Finalist 2011 Teen Travel Writing Scholarship
During my stay I observed the daily lives of my kind and the environment. It’s hard to make the enough amount of money due to it being difficult to get a job there. They become desperate to the point where they have to steal from others and stores and sell them in return for money to feed their family. If you were to compare me to the people around my age you could tell I was bigger and healthier than most. Where they reside in arn’t even enough to withstand the harsh weather because some don’t even have a roof to shelter themselves with. My country is in need of a radical change, the people are in dying need and the environment is plain terrible.
One of my favorite places we went to was Tagaytay. We were able to go eat out for lunch where our view was Taal Lake and Volcano, go to Tagaytay Highlands, People’s Park in the Sky and Picnic Grove. Everywhere you look, you'll see nature at its most beautiful form. You'd also see some exotic animals and taste some of the most delicious food at a low price. You're also able to look at the whole city itself at Tagaytay Highlands and you'll be amazed just how the place looks. It would be absolutely impossible to forget about my stay in Tagaytay.
This trip was a worthwhile experience in not only learning lessons but in discovering my roots for the better and improving for the sake of myself. Not only that but I realized how much of an importance my family is to me. As I was boarding on the plane, the thought of leaving the country damaged me inside as I tried hard to fight back the tears. I know someday and soon I’ll be able to visit Home once again. Until then, I must continue my studies here in order to someday help out my family, the people and the islands and to stabilize my being emotionally, mentally and physically using the lessons I’ve learned and the remarkable discoveries. I may be born and live in Las Vegas but my heart lives in the Philippines.
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