I woke up to a hot, humid room and had a shower before playing some chess. Breakfast was ready, and surprisingly, just for this once, there wasn't any rice. There was some ham, cheese and sausages (didn't taste like sausages at all, but yeah), and by far the best omelette I've tasted!
I decided to step outside to get some fresh air, and little did I know, there were Filipinos staring at me, cars slowing down to take a look. I was told I would get a lot of attention but I didn't expect THAT much.
We all set off, ready for the British embassy. I didn't really know what to expect, but the security there was very high, as I was told there has been quite a few terrorism attacks. We met the ambassador, and he was really friendly. We shook hands, and everyone proceeded to sit down. He stated quite a few facts, that 25% of Filipinos live below the poverty line, and some of them have never even heard of doctors. He explained how corrupt the government is right now, and was thankful that we were there to help. We asked quite a few questions, mainly focusing on disability. We learnt that the government really do not do anything at all to help the disabled, and just hide them away to avoid 'embarrassment'.
And then we asked, so do you think we will be able to achieve equality - that the disabled will be able to vote, work just like everyone else? He insisted that we must. That's what we are here for. And that we are not just representing British VSO volunteers, to everyone, we are representing the UK.
We then got a photo taken with him, as he stated the importance of social media - the Philippines is one of the top 5 countries that uses Facebook the most. He wanted to publish the photo to show what we are here for.
We then set off to the airport. We all were given 120 pesos each, and that couldn't buy us lunch, so we just spent time stumbling around the airport, thinking what to buy to fill us up as we were quite hungry.
The flight was rough, as it was pouring down with rain and I fell asleep. Little did I know, we had finally reached our last destination, the place I was going to live in for the next 3 months, Cebu.
A taxi drove us to the nunnery, where we are going to stay for the next 4 nights.
And now the whole team is together - 10 UK volunteers along with the 10 Filipino volunteers we had been so eager to meet. We got allocated into rooms - one UK volunteer with a Filipino, so that everyone was able to mix. Communication is a hurdle that we still need to jump over, we spent the night teaching each other BSL and FSL. Gradually, we were learning the differences, our cultures became more and more differentiated.
I'm still pretty jetlagged, I tried to sleep at 11, but ended up waking up at 2:30am. But now, it's time for the beach!