Yukiko Kishimoto, our Japanese intern, joined Nomadic Hands in the Philippines in August 2013, and helped in various activities including conducting evaluations for the Connect Create Conserve project. Here is Yukiko’s photo blog!
A lovely homemade lunch on the first day in Bacolod! My favourite dish was the milkfish called Bangus, which are commonly eaten in the Philippines with Calamansi juice (a small, green, sour, citrus fruit).
Jeepneys! – Probably the most popular means of transportation in the Philippines. As Passengers pay fare, money can pass to numerous other people before reaching the driver. I liked how there is a circle of trust amongst passengers, no matter how packed the jeepney can get!
We visited an organic market in Bacolod, where we got some vegetables for the dinner. Everything there looked so fresh.
Trikes are another common means of transportation in the Philippines, along with Tricycles that use bicycles instead of motorcycles.
This is a marketplace in the central area in Bacolod. The mango shakes were amazing!
We had an international dinner with Karen (our host, local guide and friend). She made us a Philippines dish, Simone an Australian dish, and I made a Japanese dish.
Our long journey from Bacolod to Boracay commenced with an unexpected incident during the jeepney ride… a flat tire!
In Iloilo, we had a meeting with a local church to discuss plans for an environmental workshop day for the children.
We were lucky to receive a lift to Caticlan… and another flat tire on the way!
After taking a boat from Caticlan, we finally made it to Boracay Island. There was a lovely view of the ocean, but we also witnessed the rapid resort development that is harming the environment: bars and hotels have been fighting for space closer to the ocean, destroying the natural beauty of the beach.
We interviewed the Vice Mayor of Malay, Mr. Wilbec M. Gelito, on film, about the environmental problems caused by rapid resort development. He stated that measures against the pollution will be launched in 2016. I sincerely hope that major steps will be taken before it’s too late. We cannot bring back the environment once it is lost.
May the beauty of the island safely be passed down to the future generations to come…
This was my first experience of eating the egg called Balut. It is a boiled developing duck embryo that is commonly found as a street food. It was a whole new cultural experience for me!
We visited the indigenous Ati community in Boracay. However, any interview or documentation was not allowed due to a heart-breaking incident:
“Twenty-six year-old Dexter Condez, a spokesperson for the Boracay Ati Tribal Organization (BATO), was shot by an unidentified gunmen on his way home to Brgy. Manoc-manoc, after attending a meeting in sitio Parabog, on February 22, 2013.
At 9:50 in the evening, Dexter was declared ‘dead on arrival’ at the Seriaco Tirol Hospital. Dexter Condez was actively campaigning for the rights of the Atis on their 2.1-hectare ancestral domain in the island of Boracay.”
This is just one example of the huge human rights and environmental problems that exist all throughout the Philippines. It’s sad that being an activist can mean taking huge risks.
This is where the polluted water goes… directly into the ocean! There is no sewage treatment whatsoever! It scares me how much flows into the beautiful blue waters.
Simone was not feeling well one morning. We later found out that she had Dengue Fever. I had a chance to see both public and private hospitals in Bacolod, where I witnessed disparity between them. The public hospital is cheaper, but its hygiene management is shocking.
Moreover, the doctor in the public hospital misdiagnosed Simone and prescribed her the wrong medication, which luckily she decided not to take. After she received a second opinion from a private hospital, and was diagnosed correctly, she researched that the juice of papaya leaves and Tawa-tawa helps cure Dengue Fever. It really worked! It is wonderful how we can find a solution from natural plants in gardens just outside!
Together with Bantay Bata volunteers, we did a workshop for the Connect, Create, Conserve project with the Bukidnon Community. The theme was ‘Motivation and taking actions’. It was very fascinating to see how close they get to each other throughout the activities. I was especially encouraged through hearing people telling me how they want to develop their community and their social business skills, and how this project is helping them to achieve that.
Throughout my internship with Simone, I had such a wonderful experience learning about social entrepreneurship and the culture of the Philippines. I cannot thank Simone enough for providing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, filled with great fun! She is definitely an inspirational person and friend for life. I remember her telling me that Nomadic Hands is a way of life for her. I believe the world will be a better place when her spirit is spread across the world.
Photo Blog by Yukiko Kishimoto