As I come to the end of my trip to the Philippines, I thought I'd take this opportunity to jot down five things I want to remind myself from this trip as my Friday Five:
1. There are a lot of fantastic people working in different communities in the Philippines. Regardless of the struggles they face, they are determined to make a difference in the lives of the Filipino people. They need all the support that they can get. Hopefully, a number of people around the world can find ways to offer some help.
2. I do what I do at work partly because of these very people who work in similar communities, wherever they might be in the world. That's why meeting the very people we serve is so important and special. It's great to be a part of this.
3. No matter how challenging some of the aspects of this country (traffic, pollution, chaos, disasters, etc), there is SO MUCH beauty in this country. And, even though I was born here and spent most of my growing up years here, I haven't seen it all. That's why I'm now hoping to see more. Preferably, with my family.
4. What I do and accomplish can be so much more for other people. I don't completely comprehend it, but for some reason, the work I've done and am doing seem to make other people happy. During this trip, I have been approached by some people about how excited/happy/proud they are of me/my work. They shook my hands. They thanked me. They asked to take photos with me. These are strangers who have only heard of me on the day. And, I am completely amazed and humbled by it all.
5. Although I do consider Australia home, and I love my new home country dearly, I know that the Philippines will always be a part of me and who I am. Yes, even when I also receive funny comments about my accent - of how 'foreign' I sound, etc. Or how I make people smile by calling "trash cans" as "rubbish bins" and such. 🙂 Besides, I know that I will always crave for Jollibee, green mangoes & bagoong, inasal, sinigang, and all the other local food. Plus the shopping. Of course. 🙂
Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children's book. A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list. Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.