From SSTEd students
1. Do you have a special someone? Nonelyn L. (MAPHE)
I have a lot of special people in my life—my friends, my family, etc.
2. What is your favorite Filipino food? Wenalyn L. (Music Ed.)
My favorite FIlipino food is banana shoots. I also really enjoyed the different fruits there, a lot of which I had not encountered until the Philippines. And, of course, the mangoes are the best I’ve ever had. As most of you know, I am a vegetarian and therefore don’t eat meat or fish. That kept me from eating a lot of Filipino food as both of those are staples of the Filipino diet.
3. Why don’t you eat rice?)Bryan L. (Music Ed.)
I do eat rice. I just don’t eat it with every meal. It’s not customary to eat rice three times a day in the United States like it is in the Philippines, so I never got in the habit of doing it once I lived on my own.
4. What’s your ideal man? Cristine J. (MAPHE)
I don’t think one should create an ideal of what his or her partner should be like. I think it’s important to keep an open mind whenever meeting a potential partner, because if you already have these expectations of what you want you may miss out of someone great because they didn’t fit you “ideals”.
On that same note, some traits that are important to me are: kindness, respectfulness and a sense of humor.
5. When are you coming back to the Philippines? Lorabel V. (TLE)
I am not sure when I coming back to the Philippines. I would love to come back, but there are many places in the world I’d like to visit. At the same, after living there for the last two years I’ve realized there are still a lot of places in the U.S. that I need to visit first.
6. How was your homecoming to Las Vegas? Carlo T. (Math)
It has been great to return home, but it’s been bitter sweet. I wasn’t ready to leave the Philippines nor was I ready to return home. Considering the circumstances that I returned home under, it wasn’t the big, glorious reunion I had anticipated for which was supposed to happen in December. I am also still not well, so I haven’t had a chance to partake in all the things I missed about home. With that said, I am happy to be with my family.
7. How did it feel teaching at MSC? Renalyn S. (TLE)
Teaching tends to feel the same wherever you are. Being on the other side of the world and teaching really furthered that sentiment for me. Students are usually looking to improve their lives and expand their minds with knowledge. However, culturally, it was pretty different. Students don’t traditionally greet their teachers in the U.S. like they do in the Philippines, if at all. I will definitely miss “Good morning, Ma’am” from all the students at MSC, especially because I won’t be called ”ma’am” in the U.S. until probably another fifteen or twenty years. It’s just “miss” here because of my age.
8. What was your most unforgettable moment in Marinduque? Mark P. (Math)
There are too many moments to recall, but I enjoyed the day-today life most. It may seem mundane to some, but really it wasn’t about the events or big activities—it was about sharing simple moments.
9. What is the secret behind your good figure? Can you share any tips? Hazel M. (Bio. Sci.)
First, thank you for saying I have a good figure, although it makes me laugh. All I can say is eat healthy, exercise and think positively.
10. What is your favorite attribute of the Philippine culture? Lloyd M. (Soc. Sci.)
My favorite attribute is the closeness of the family. I think family is important and I appreciate that about Filipino culture.
11. Do you know any Tagalog songs? Do you have any favorites? Ella V. (Soc. Sci.)
I know some songs, but I can’t recall any of the names. I was able to learn many from the endless hours of hearing people sing videoke.
1. Why did you leave without saying goodbye?
As many of my students know, I had not been well since the end of the summer. I was misdiagnosed multiple times and put on unnecessary medicine during my last few months there. It started to take a toll on my body physically as well as weighing down my spirit emotionally. The last time I was in Manila, I ended getting incredibly sick and started having a lot of neurological problems. I thought I could at least return to Marinduque to say goodbye and pack up my things, but when I got back late one night I found myself unthinkably ill and had to return to Mania the very next morning. At that point, Peace Corps decided they did not have they means necessary to care for me and that they needed to send home on what is known as a medical separation. As difficult as it was to leave under those circumstances, my doctors here found a potentially life-threatening bacterial infection on my throat. We treated it, but still two months later I’m still having difficult-to-deal-with side-effects. Looking back, I’m fortunate I got sent home or something much more serious could have happened.
2. What were some of the most important lessons from your stay in the Philippines?
I learned more than I could ever share, both personally and professionally, but one thing I will take into other facets of my work is community involvement.
3. If you could take back something or someone from Marinduque who or what would it be?
There are too many people I would want to bring back, so it would have to be some thing. I would bring back a jeepney or a tricycle. We don’t have either here and I think it would be fun to ride around in the only one in the U.S.
4. What was the highlight of your Peace Corps mission here in Marinduque?
I won’t highlight any one thing, because my service there was about the journey—not any one particular moment. I’m forever grateful for my time there and learned more than I could ever put down in a questionnaire.
5. How is your Tagalog? During your first interview you said you hoped to be able to strike up a conversation in Tagalog before returning to America. How would you rate your proficiency?
My Tagalog is worse than when I arrived in Marinduque! I trained in Bataan and used the language daily. When I got to Boac, people didn’t seem to want to talk to me in Tagalog (except for the faculty in SIT and the guards). Besides using it with some people in the community and at the market I didn’t use it enough to be at the level I wanted to be at when I left. Sayang! I still understand it for the most part and got to use a little bit of it with a nurse recently.
6. Were any of your convictions ever challenged during your stay?
I never did anything in the Philippines I wasn’t comfortable with. I was challenged in my way of thinking, though, specifically about development work.
7. The Filipino cuisine cannot do without any meat, have you ever been tempted to taste a Filipino dish with meat? If yes, what dish was it?
Sorry, but I can’t say I was. I have a lot of disdain for meat and the thought of eating it makes me sick to my stomach.
8. What will you miss about Marinduque?
The people, the market, walking home from MSC, the jeepney/tricycle rides, all the towns, holy week, the peanut-butter from Boac hotel, MSC, being so close to the sea, the quaintness of Boac, all the parties, the welcoming nature of the Marinduquenos, etc. …
9. What can you advice to the students of SSTEd to improve their English speaking skills?
I don’t think any advice I can give would help. Learning a language needs to be desired. If you don’t truly want to learn it, you’re most likely not going to put in the time and effort needed to learn a language. Many Filipinos spend their entire schooling studying English, yet, can’t communicate in English. Why do you think that is? There are a lot of factors that contribute, yes, but those with the desire and will ultimately learn it despite outside factors.
A few suggestions to improve English: watch movies/shows you are familiar with in English with the subtitles on in English; read English books, magazines, online websites; learn the correct words of English songs, try to figure out the words you don’t know by context, try to think about what the song means; talk in English with your friends, especially at school; don’t be afraid of making mistakes, that’s the best way to learn.
10. Finally, what is your message for all the people who love you in SSTEd? In Tagalog please.
Maraming salamat po sa inyo,para sa lahat. Mamimiss ko kayong lahat.