Monday, May 28, 2007


Things are good, went to Donsol over the weekend which is 12 hours south of Manila. Left Friday around 6pm and got to Donsol around 8am on Saturday (another long bus ride). Looked for a place to stay and we got one right beside the beach. Wasn't the best beach but it was still a beach. Five of us went this time, four from the company and one local friend. After finding a place to crash we rented a boat for 2000 peso's for the day which was 400 peso's each which is about $10 CAD which was so cheap. The boat took us out and we went snorkeling for the afternoon and swimming in the warm water. Got back to shore around 5pm and we just hung out the rest of the night enjoying the heat. Got up Sunday morning early and rented another boat to go find the Whale-Sharks. They are Sharks but they don't eat humans and they are safe to be around. So we head out around 730am and we are out in the boat for a good four hours and we are almost ready to give up and just head in but then we spot one. All of us then jump in the water with fins and snorkeling gear and race towards the Whale-Shark. I'm swimming underneath the water and all of a sudden I see this 5 foot shark with like grey dots all over it. It was great. They move really fast so only got to see it for about a minute but it was great to swim with a shark. After that we stayed on the water for another hour or so then headed back to shore cause we have to get the bus back to Manila. Got home around 430 am on Monday more and headed to work after a couple of hours of sleep but I slept some on the bus so I made it through the day without being to tired.

It's Monday at 8pm right now and I'm working like crazy to get something done for tomorrow but I'm stop around 830 and just go home. I'll come back early in the morning to get my work done. It's funny I really don't mind working the long hours but I know if I was in Canada I would be completely exhausted. It's really funny how that is, maybe I'm still on a travellers high or something like that.

Well that is all for now. Going to be a busy week at work but a good one. I've put more pics on Facebook and I'll be adding more later on this week. Hope everyone is well and let me know if you guys have any questions or anything at all.

Amy - From the Philippines

Monday, May 21, 2007

Sagada and Much More

Each and everyday I fall more in love with this country. There is so much to do and see and what makes it even better is that it is cheap to do everything. Last weekend my roomies and I went to Sagada which is about 12 hours from Manila. The trip was awesome, we left friday night after work and took the bus to Banaue which is about 8 hours but I slept most of the trip so that was good. Arrived in Banaue around 7 am on Saturday, checked into the inn which was actually good quality for the Philippines and for the price we got it for. Then we rented a Jeepney and drove to the rice terraces on top of the Jeepney which are on the side of mountains. We rented a guide and started are long hike across the rice terraces. We walked an hour to the top of one mountain, then another hour to a small village in the middle of the rice terraces, and then another hour to the waterfall which was the most beautiful creation I have ever seen and swimming in the fresh water was such a great experience. But then we stopped swimming and we started back to the beginning so an hour to the village, another hour to the top, and then another hour to the Jeepney. Now sure easy no problem ... ya right so hard. In all we walk probably 7 hours give or take sometime but it was like straight walking. We walked down the mountain, up another, then down that one and across a valley. It had to be the most painfull and physical workout I have ever done, three hour swim practice with a run after would have been a piece of cake. Not that I am complaning cause I have never seen anything like it. It was so beautiful. So we got up around 6am on Sunday morning and we got another Jeepney to Sagada and then we spent the afternoon on another hike to another waterfall but this hike was only 1 hour each way. Then on Monday we got up at 5am and went caving. Not like lets walk into the cave and look around, we started at one cave and travelled through the cave to another cave. It took about 4 hours and it was crazy. We climbed through small rock holes, walked through neck high water, and saw lots of bats. So then after that we got a Jeepney to Bontoc and then got the bus from Bontoc to Manila which was about 12-13 hour bus ride however are bus got a flat on the way home and it took about 15 hours. It was the longest bus ride ever, I did sleep through most of it which again was great. Got back home around 5am and then another week of work.

Work is going great. I have so much responsibility it is amazing but I have to say I'm a little over my head but my manager and employees are great and I'm learning a lot. I would never get this experience or responsibility if I had stayed in Canada. Work goes fast, its so busy I don't even notice the hours go buy which is great cause we work from 9am-6pm and I"m usually in early or leave late but how many people can say they love their job.

This past weekend I just stayed in Manila. Saturday did some touring around to the city with AIESEC people and then celebrated a roomies birthday with a good old fashion house party. Sunday was shopping time, started around 230pm and did stop till around 8pm. I love shopping and when you have like 1000 stores to go to and the things are so cheap, shopping is the greatest thing ever. I bought 5 pairs of shoes yesterday and the average price was $10 CAD. Five pairs of shoes for $50 can't go wrong with those prices.

Well that is what I have been up to the last week and a half. Been keeping myself really busy, even with everything to do I still get a little lonely but that is expected. This weekend coming up roomies and I are planning another trip this weekend so I'll write more next week and I'll put pics up on Facebook. Hope everyone is well at home and please write stuff on my Facebook wall so that I still know whats going on at home.


Wednesday, May 9, 2007

In the Philippines

So I have been in the Philippines for about four days now and let me just say "culture shock".

I'll first start off with the flight which I must say went pretty smoothly except for a few bumbs along the road. Leaving Hali was a hard thing to do especially when you don't know if and when you will be back. Had a good flight to New York but I had about 8 hours before my next flight so got some supper and watch some movies on my computer which I'm so glad I brought. So its about an hour or so before my flight and I'm sitting there watch a show and then a mouse runs across the floor in the JFK airport, I was like wtf so anyways I don't like mice so I get my computer and my carry on's and I move to the other side of the sitting area and about 5 minutes later there is another mouse running around and these mice were not scared of humans like they were running under my feet and around people legs and can I mention again in the JFK airport. So I moved again and finally are flight was called and we got on and left the mice in New York, hopefully. My flight left out of New York at 11:30 pm which was great cause I got on the plan and pretty much slept the entire flight except for when the babies next to me cried which was pretty much every two hours or so. We had a quick stop over in Alaska which I thought was pretty cool since I have never been then but within an hour we were back on are way to Taiwan. Things went pretty smoothly from there except when the guy next to me try to get me to come to Vietnam and visit him which was very nice of him but there is no way I was going. So finally after about 24 hours or so I had finally arrived in Manila.

AIESEC people and the company was there to pick me up which was really nice and we went to my apartment. We get to the apartment and everyone is being so nice and we are getting along great and I'm learning lots but then we get to the apartment and man what a mess beer bottles, food, dirt, bugs, you name it and ya it was in the apartment. Anyways not much I can do so I drop my stuff and we go to eat which I can't seem to do cause of the heat and jetleg which has lasted about three days. I am finally starting to eat meals. After lunch cause I arrived in Manila at 10am AIESEC people took me to the Mall of ASIA which I now understand why Farah was not impressed with the West Edmonton Mall. WOW it was awesome stores, stores and more stores. We didn't shop too much cause I was tired and jetlegged but it was amazing. Finally, went back to the apartment and to my suprise a maid, yes a maid was cleaning the apartment she was there probably 6 hours but the apartment was so clean after which was great. haha a maid.

So that was Saturday, Sunday was a pretty slow day tried to get some sleep and went to Greenbelts which is a high end shopping mall. Again I understand why Farah was not impressed with WEM. GUCCI, LV, HUGO BOSS, LECOSTE, JLO, and so many other high end stores that I have never seen in Canada. My favorite was GUCCI and I so have my eye on a purse, I definitly have to get it before I leave. Also, found a starbucks which was nice to have a caffe late.

Monday was my first day of work and again was I ever surprised. My roomates and I and the other interns, six including me get two cabs and head to the office. It's about 30 min drive with traffic and it only cost about $5 CAD maybe. So the interns consist on two french guys, one chezc, one poland, and one netherlands and me the Canadian and the only girl but I don't mind representing. Plus they are all really nice. Work is great, it is exactly what I want to be doing and it is along the lines of what I studied. Also, the people I work for are so understanding and so open to any ideas and the company is so multicultural, its great. After work we headed to Gerry's a restaurant and had a welcome dinner for me which was so great AIESEC people were there and work people so it was great to meet everyone.

Tuesday and Wednesday have been pretty much getting sleep and going to work but this weekend I'm heading up north with the guys to a mountain which looks beautiful from the pictures I've seen.

So far things are going good, been a little sad being so far away from home and I miss everyone but I feel I'm adjusting well. I still need to get use to the traffic and the heat (which doesn't bother me that much) and I think I will have a great time here.

That is all for now from Manila. I've added some photos to facebook if anyone is interested. Also, if people want to send me emails about whats going on at home they would be great appreciated. Its great to get mail from family and friends all the way over here. So I'll write another blog next week after the weekend and I'll add some more photos. Hope everything is great in Canada and for all of you that went to NLDC hope you guys had a blast, I want stories and photos.

Cheers from Manila