SebastianPearey's Travel Journals

SebastianPearey Sebastian Pearey

What do you want to do the next time you travel abroad?

volunteer in a needy community, work with the environment, experience a new culture through volunteering, spend a holiday abroad, make some money

  • 24 years old
  • From United Kingdom
  • Currently in Tacloban City, Philippines

Phillipines 2013

My Trip

Its been a long and busy time! Finally slowed down to write my first post :)

Philippines Tacloban City, Philippines  |  May 13, 2013
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So here we go! First entry and about 3 months late as I am already half way through my trip! Time has gone unbelievably quickly, it’s hard for me to think that i have been here for 3 months already!!! Now where to begin…

Thinking back to my arrival it was just after midday when i arrived as my flight from Manila was delayed by 4 hours so i had a long wait in internal flight terminal with almost no services so by the times i arrived to my destination i was absolutely shattered, although thanks to my nocturnal lifestyle at home i had no jetlag at all which was pleasant. Walking through the dirty streets that is Bliss gave me a real sense of being in a poor area however everyone here is always smiling and grateful for what they have.

After only a few days in this ridiculous heat i soon learned that lunch time and time after placement was generally spent in the VFV center or in the local mall just down the road called Robinsons because there is air-conditioning which means you get to spend time in a chill 20 degree environment... i soon met all the volunteers all of them had their own unique story and it was a real eye opener find out about everyone’s pasts and how they came to be who they were, and i feel lucky to have met suck wonderful people. But as with everything all good things have to come to an end, and 1 by 1 all of the few volunteers i met and formed close bonds with in the off season have left. I now find myself with lots of new volunteers that are also nice but i feel sort of out of the group since i have been here for so long where other volunteers stay for only a few weeks, but this is not a problem because i have met many amazing friends from the Philippines who i talk to in my awful Waray Waray.... i have been learning the local language of Waray Waray and can just about hold a conversation with the locals so i have achieved something, i was told by the staff here i was possibly the fastest learner in Waray they have seen, but i shall continue learning as i have plans to come back in the future..

I finally have a new volunteer living in my homestay, Callie arrived a week ago or so and is lovely, she has just been travelling for 8 months and has lots of great stories to tell when we eat dinner in the evening, after 3 months on my own its very nice to have someone else here... However it was not boring at all before, my homestay nanay is very nice and is a brilliant cook, no meal has disappointed so far. The house its self was a massive surprise to me, in this grubby place once walking into the house it was all clean, the room far beat my expectations with a relatively comfy mattress and a very good fan that, when on max setting feels like a hurricane going off in my room :)

Placement has been fun, the first month i was here or so i was travelling around to various places and building comfort rooms (bathrooms in England), for the families of sponsored children so i met a lot of very nice families in rural areas that tried their best to make me feel welcome and they exceeded expectations, offering of lunch just couldn’t be refused on the last day of the job the meal was fantastic! The first place was in Mohoyne just outside Tanauwan which took about 20-30 mins on a jeepney and i always had trouble stopping the jeepney in the right place leading to me always having to walk 200meters back to my placement. The next part was in the same village as my current project and thankfully, there was a group of Canadian high school students that came for their spring break so i got to get a lift to work and back for 2 weeks!

The current project i am on is the building of a community center which has occupied my last 2 months, and it’s almost hard to imagine the place without the huge concrete structure in it now. This community center will also be a flood shelter when the flood comes so it is a massive 3 meters off the ground, with over 500 bags of cement mixed to this day, mixing that by hand has kept me really busy... only last week we poured the floor which all had to be done in 1 go, it was a 8am-2am slog, with lots of coffee and as many people as we could find helping. In the daytime we had the sponsored kids who live in bliss because they are on their summer holiday, and in the evening a lot of men turned up once they were done in the rice fields. Thankfully we also go 2 cement mixed from the local government, the good thing was it was nearly election time and they couldn’t really refuse to help :)

The weekend time is a sort of dead time, not much going on and everyone is too lazy to do anything because of the heat, however on some occasions we have gathered the volunteers and made plans to go to small beach islands like Kalangaman or some other time to Cebu and Bohol to explore other places of the Philippines… currently there is nothing on but as election day draws near people are lining the streets trying to receive free stuff or bribes from the parties running for seats, a friend of mine even got 2000 pesos!

Well that’s about all that I can think of at the moment, the local elections are coming up in a few days as well as several fiestas so I will do another entry then! 

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  • Its been a long and busy time! Finally slowed down to write my first post :)

    May 13, 2013
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