Finding Love and Family in the Philippines

IMG_20160630_131222_HDRShe cried. I hugged her. I wiped away her tears and told her to be happy—to Janelle

What if they don’t like me? What if they already have their own circle of friends? What if they’re all snobs?

The above questions occupied my thoughts as I left home to travel to the airport. It was the day I was going to meet the rest of my IB classmates whom I was going to spend the next 2 years with. In the end, I decided to just be myself (always the best choice) and hope that I would be able to make new friends.

I might seem like a pretty extroverted person but in reality I believe myself to be an introvert. I love spending time with myself and my books. Plus, books don’t judge unlike people 😛

(This article describes me very well: “10 Everyday Things Only Extroverted Introverts Will Understand“)

Anyways, there I was at the airport together with my parents—making small talk with the other IB students and their parents. It sometimes amazes me how adults can spend so much time on small talk. It’s like they mastered the art after 20 years of experience.

What struck me the most then was the number of 16 year-old students in the group and the ratio of girls to boys. I felt so old saying that I was 18 but thankfully I met some other 18 year-old students too (Annabel from Sabah being the first one. Thanks for making me feel better Annabel 🙂 ). Oh, and the ratio of girls to boys (including Marc and Miko whom we met in the Philippines) in our group was 16:9. Yes, that ratio is the best one for televisions but for a group of people? I guess the boys in the group just have to step up and make our presence felt over the course of the next 2 years 😀

We soon left the company of our parents and flew off to the Philippines. Thankfully, everyone seemed to be very friendly and ready to make friends. I’m thankful for that. They helped me feel welcomed and accepted in the group. Spending time talking with Wey Han and Angeline in the plane also helped a whole lot.

Over the course of the next two weeks of activities and sessions, the group just grew closer and closer. It was almost a miracle how quickly and how strongly we bonded with each other. I guess that’s the magic when you have a small group of students and you send them overseas and out of their comfort zones. We had to accept each other (despite our flaws and annoying habits), trust each other (remember the trust fall?) and work together as a team. A Lasalian team. An IB family.

Here, credit must be given to the organizers and volunteers from De La Salle Phiippines. The programs and activities they scheduled for us though hectic at times has helped each and everyone of us in so many ways. Life-changing, eye-opening, and amazing are just some of the adjectives that were used to describe our 2 weeks there. So, thank you organizers and volunteers. We will never forget the energy levels, happiness and joy you showed us. Not forgetting the love and care you showered upon us. We were truly well fed in the Philippines (5-6 meals a day)!!!

The Filipino students we met also played a big part in making the trip such a memorable one. I’m not sure why everyone in the Philippines generally seems happier than people in Malaysia, but the students we met showed us that it doesn’t take much to be happy or to put a smile on someone else’s face. You just have to be yourself and do what makes you happy be it singing or dancing or cracking lame jokes. So, thank you students of La Salle Green Hills, Zobel and of course Zobel Night High School.

We spent 2 unforgettable days with the night high school students and they treated us like family. They taught us new words and phrases, shared their stories and we had so much fun together. On the night we parted ways, there were tears. Don’t worry we’ll remember all of you Magagandang babae (beautiful girls) and gwapo lalake (handsome boys)  from DLSZ Night High School. I hope we’ll see each other again soon.

Thank you to each and everyone of you for making the two weeks (which felt like two months) in the Philippines such a memorable trip. I’m looking forward to two years of IB with all of you.IMG-20160708-WA0030.jpg


  1. IB: The Next Dot by Da Ruey
  2. 10 Everyday Things Only Extroverted Introverts Will Understand by Thought Catalog
  3. RAUDEY, the part of me you never see by Da Ruey


4 thoughts on “Finding Love and Family in the Philippines

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