Illness is a problem when you're living in the Philippines. If you're ill or sick, and you need to see a doctor, you have to pay - no matter how sick you are. My grandmother of my family has problems with her leg, and I always tell her to see a doctor.
"But you have to pay. 500 pesos. I don't to want to."
I started asking about whether there were any hospitals that were free.
"There is one - disgusting. Long queues and doctors don't do anything."
I asked if a person was so ill, they were dying, and they can't afford it - what happens?
I'm so grateful for the national health services - even though we complain about them all the time; their slow services and maybe lack of interpreters - we shouldn't. Here, they have nothing.
My Filipino counterpart's mother got sent to hospital last night - she's very sick and weak at the moment. But their attitudes are so positive - I could see that she was upset, totally drained on the inside, but she said to me she will stay positive. I really admire her strength.
Crime in the Philippines is absolutely shocking. I see bizarre things happen everyday but I wouldn't think once that it would happen to me, at least never in the UK.
I was on the jeepney with friends; both Filipinos and British. The jeepney stopped to let people on, and all of a sudden, a man sneaked behind me (I don't have eyes at the back of my head), and grabbed my necklace from behind. He tried to steal it, but the necklace wasn't breaking and he was strangling me with my necklace. I was speechless. At that point, I was shocked - I don't fully remember what happened, but it was quite a while before I grabbed hold of my broken necklace and turned around. The man disappeared. My friends saw, some halfway through and they saw the man run away.
It took a while for me to realise what actually happened. I was in shock for a long time. I didn't need this. I came here to help the community, and at the moment I feel like I'm being robbed. My purse, then 1000 pesos, and now my broken necklace. It makes me realise how desperate people are - they'd mug people in public daylight - a busy street.
Because of this, I decided to research crime rates and compare the statistics to London. London scored higher in everything. From rape and theft to safety walking alone at night and racism.
This really isn't true. Crime here doesn't get reported. That's why most crimes aren't included in the statistics. Also, Cebu isn't a multicultural city - therefore foreigners are easily targeted.
Statistics also show that crime levels have increased by 22% in the last year in Cebu. Is that because crime has increased or incidents are finally being reported?
I never feel safe here. I'm too scared to get a jeepney alone to work now, so I'm getting taxis. But even taxis are unsafe because of the high levels of corruption here; I'm sharing taxis with my counterpart so she can travel from my work to her work when the taxi drops me off.
But nearly all of this crime is down to poverty. People are living below the poverty line, therefore they would do anything to survive, maybe even one day longer.