From Los Baños to Metro Manila

Welcome to my blog.

I am currently sitting in the office of FNRI NAMD division in Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines. It is 32 degree Celsius outside, which makes me feel like a sticky puddle of melted rum ice cream when we were walking from our condo to work.

We arrived at Philippines last Friday and spent the first week in UPLB, Los Baños for orientation. We spent the first day learning about Filipino culture and language with faculties at UPLB. The support staff were incredibly kind and responsible and they took us out for dinner at a restaurant that floats on bamboo rafts. Filipino food are very delicious with some influences of countries around the world. During dinner, we were serenaded by a trio of guitar players. It was a very tranquil moment with the moon light spilled into the lake and Hotel California played in the background with the delicious food on our plates.

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The next day we visited Villa Escudero Waterfalls where I was just taken away by the beautiful scenery. We visited an eccentric museum painted completely pink on the outside before we got to the waterfall. The museum’s taxidermy exhibition on the ground floor, was in my opinion, appealingly appalling. After the museum some of us went to rafting while the others sit back on the shore enjoying the summer breeze. We had our lunch under the waterfall with our feet in the water.

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On Monday, which was the Independence Day for Philippines, we did not have any particular activities planned except for getting a massage and having a buco pie. Buco pie is made from young coconuts and it has a refreshing inner texture and an appealing sweet flavor.

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On Tuesday we left Los Baños for Taguig City in the morning. Taguig is a highly urbanized city located in Metro Manila. Our internship officially starts once we arrived at FNRI, Food Nutrition Research Institute. FNRI is under Philippines’ Department of Science and Technology. We were given an orientation of the site and introduced to the staff. I was assigned to NAMD, Nutritional Assessment and Monitoring Division, where field surveys are conducted in Filipino households to monitor their dietary conditions all over the country and reported it to the government.

By the means of walking (BMW), we march along the crowded traffic everyday from the condo to FNRI. The walk from the condo to work is approximately 25 minutes and it is an interesting way to start the day, experiencing the daily commute. In comparison, Los Baños is seemingly more arcadian than Taguig. The rice paddies and crop fields of Laguna offer a enjoyable tranquility, on the other hand, the noisy and highly populated Taguig City gives us a peek of a bustling metropolitan.

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To conclude, I want to thank Dr. Amoloza’s family and the FNRI staff for the warm hospitality and accommodation. We are having a great time in the Philippines.

Photo credit to: myself

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