DAY 1May 04 2019
I went to the airport with Gab, it was nice not being alone during 2 hours.
I arrived in Manila at Julia’s place at 5:45pm in Tondo. The taxi driver wasn’t really comfortable going to this area and he wanted to wait for Julia to come before letting me out of the cab.
We had some beers and crisps on the roof before going to Manila. First, we had diner at The Social and had an amazing pizza with mojito. Then, we headed to the Poblacion street. Has we were a day prior to Cinque de Mayo, cars were not allowed and there were little gigs in the street. We stayed a bit at the Ruins and then went to dance on Latino music at Pura Vida.
We took back our bags from the Hostel and went to a nightclub called 20/20 with three stages but we stayed in front of the techno one.
At 5am we went straight to the bus station.
DAY 2May 05 2019
We arrived at La Union at 10am and went straight to grab breakfast at Surf Shack. We checked in in our guesthouse called the Circle Hostel. Our room was a dormitory under the roof on bamboos. It was a great experience.
We chilled on the beach, went to grab drinks and dinner. Really heavy rain started and we needed to take shelter in a free bungalow but a woman kicked us. We walked for a long time before finding a bar.
DAY 3May 06 2019
We woke up early to do surfing but actually it was still raining and no waves 🌊
We had breakfast at Gefseis Greek grill and decided to come back with the others to Manila. Before leaving we had lunch again at Surf Shack and start waited for buses to pass on the road to grab us. We did find one but paid P100 more than the round trip and we were sitting during 5 hours on the floor... we did manage to get a Space during 2h and I finally watched one Marvel : Black Panther.
We arrived at the end of the afternoon, did a Mc Donals drive thru and went to bed.
DAY 4May 07 2019
We woke up with a huge cockroache on the door. We manage to block it under a box so it’s still in the bedroom.
First day at LP4Y, I met the girls of Aurora ‘s program that are sewing as a main task.
Beginning of morning: briefing + they are starting the workshop. Now they are producing along with the other team Bloum little pouches for the wedding of two former volunteers.
End of morning: we went to visit Permanent slum and especially 2 girls from the program. It is a slum in old big buildings.
Afternoon: girls have a presentation of themselves and their goal tomorrow so they needed to practice. With Julia we have them advices and it was a nice way to get to know them.
Night: Augustin brought some smoked salmon and cheese and we did a French apéro on the rooftop.
DAY 5May 08 2019
Time to rehears the Life Project Plan Présentation + workshop, I prepared my English learning for the next day
LPP presentation in front of the country coordinator Thaïs.
Talk about team dynamic
Went to have a massage at Mont Albo in Malate neigh borough
Grab a drink and have diner in Fred’s Revolucion cocktail
Heavy rain, no Grab Car after 25 minutes trying, we wanted to go by Tricycle but quite impossible to find one.
We managed to find one, get our laundry 🧺 and come back with water until our ankles.
DAY 6May 09 2019
While girls were doing workshop, we went to Happyland slum area with Hanna leading the way. With the heavy rain of last night, it was even more striking : houses on piles of garbage and water in the middle of the « streets ». However, people were smiling and friendly with us.
We met Jemalie’s family and her girlfriend’s grand mother that they were living with.
In the afternoon, I did my own English class for the advanced. Girls were really nice and participated a lot. We were working on the basic questions during an interview.
1/ They needed to read a text but it was all blurry so I had to show it on my computer which was not ideal.
2/ They worked on how to respond to the train main questions : tell me more about yourself - why this company and why this job - what are your strengths and your weaknesses.
3/ We did some games trying to learn more strengths and weaknesses vocabulary.
In the evening, we went to intra-muros at night, saw the cathedral and had dinner at 9-Spoons. Having truffle pasta was such à please 🍝
We enjoyed a bit the view at the Skybar and went back home.
DAY 7May 10 2019
In the morning, we had workshops so we let the girls work while we were chilling in the room. In the afternoon, I stayed in Julia’s room as she had individual talk and watched Game of Thrones.
We did a big dinner in the rooftop and went really early to sleep because we have a bus at 4am the day after.
DAY 8May 11 2019
We arrived at the bus station at 3am but there were already no place in the only bus.... We decided to spend the 4 hours (which turned to become 6 hours) on the floor of the bus.
After taking a tricycle and a passenger boat 🚣 we arrived at Cagbalete Island where another boat took us to our resort, Aguyoh playa. Our cottage was made of bamboo with thin mattress on the floor and that’s it, really roots.
We chilled and the beach and tried to find another resort for the day after for 8 people. After 5 visits, we finally found one so we went back to our resort and grab some beers for the apero time.
As we took the meal package, the grandmother cooked us our dinner. It was delicious : chicken, fish, rice, fruits...
We went to bed after watching half of Call me by your name but got disturbed starting 4am by Filipinos already starting to eat and drink right next to our cottage...
DAY 9May 12 2019
We did a boat tour at 8am. The first stop was the sand bar but as water was high, it wasn’t really a sand bar. After, we went to two different snorkeling areas. The water was beautiful and transparent but unfortunately, corals are quite dead and there weren’t that many fishes.
We came back for lunch and met the others at Dona Choleng Camping Resort. We enjoyed the beach and with Julia got a massage on the beach, it was one of the beach I got until then.
We saw a fire show in the beach and partied after a bit of karaoke. We met a group of Filipinos they stayed with us.
DAY 10May 13 2019
We woke up with the heat at 9am, as electricity is only working from 6pm to 6am, a bit hangover. We waited 1h30 to get only 6 pancakes so we quit waiting for the other and went chilling on the beach.
We left at 3pm with the mini van to go first to the Green Village. It is another LP4Y site where everything is made out of bamboos and it is beautiful. We then stopped to Mc Donald’s before taking the bus to Buen Dia station in Manila. Short night ahead as I have my plane for Malaysia at 8:30am.