BSB thus far …

So, it’s my eighth straight day hanging out with the Backstreet Boys … no jk, I’m not with the Backstreet Boys.

BUT, it has been eight days since I’ve been in Philippines. And our day at Magsaysay High School was cut REALLY short because we were kicked out! (seriously) So with that, I finally got some time to write a post for all of you to read. I was going to do a post about what we have been doing for each day, but that was too much since the wisest thing I should have done was slowly write something as each day passes and yeah, fail. So, I’m just gonna give an overview.

So first off, IT’S FREAKIN’ HOT!!!! I’ve been sweating perfusely like a monkey on the 8th of June, and its just insane!!! This trip has been mostly successful, except for the few days where we had to do some schedule rearrangement or getting kicked out of high schools. I barely move and I’m already sweating. It’s like, when I’m in a comfortable state, I really don’t want to move because I feel like I am gonna start sweating again! It’s ridics! I WANT IT TO RAIN!! Where is the damn rain anyways!??!?! It’s supposedly typhoon season in Philippines now and WHERE ARE THE RAINS!?!?!?

Anyways, the story:

I arrived in Manila on July 12, and met up with the BSB group July 13. I stayed with my aunt for the first night before heading out to Kamuning where the Kabataan Partylist HQ is located. Our BSB program didnt start until the 14th, and it started with a student walk-out at UP Diliman. It was a good event and I thought it was a good start to this program.

Other than the student integration, the only integration that I am able to do here is the Urban Poor. We were at the Urban Poor community in Muntinlupa City on July 15-17, and it was a great experience. I was honestly afraid of the Urban Poor mainly because of the stories that Carlo, Darah and Faye were telling me about their Urban Poor integration. But, in my opinion though, it was not that bad. We were able to meet the people in the community and live how they lived and ate what they ate. Yeah, it may seem to be a challenge to me, but it was a challenge that I was willing to take. I even spoke at my first rally!!! I guess all it took was just for me to step out of my comfort zone, and once I did, it felt like there was an unending light of opportunity. All in all, when I left, I said that I was going to miss the Urban Poor community, and the residents from Magdao were inviting me to come back to their homes. I might actually consider it one day, but who knows when. I just feel really bad for Jaye, because her foot began to swell up halfway through the integration.

On the 19th was the national student walkout at the University Belt (UST, FEU, UE) to the Mendiola Peace Arch. It was insane!! It was amazing that the students there were so into it with all the chants and their commitment to the walk-out. I tried to get some students to go to the walkout but it was like a fail for me, but whatevs. At the program at the Mendiola Peace Arch, Jaye was supposed to speak in front of the students, but since she could not come out to the walk out due to her foot, and Carlo asked me if I wanted to talk. I thought about it since the first time I spoke didn’t really seem that great.  I had to push and challenge myself a lot and I decided that I will be the one to speak in front of everyone! I was the one who spoke to the students, thus making that my SECOND speech in a rally! Two talks in a rally in less than one week! I’ve been commended by the group that they have seen a lot of growth in me ever since I joined LFS and already on BSB.

Now, I just want to bring what I learned from here back to the United States and help get organizers in the US to the level they are at here!! And to also encourage more people who come into LFS to go on the BSB. It doesn’t matter how much money you have to spend to get here or whatever insecurities that you have about being here. As a couple of us were discussing here, we all have our first world tendencies, but thats considered the little things, and you can overcome them, or at least try to. What matters the most is that you get the most out of this program, and in order to attain that, you really gotta get your hands dirty (believe) and spend the time here with the people and get to know them, who they are, and talk to them about their experiences. I’ve met so many people here, and even though I do not really know remember most of their names, I feel like in a sense that it doesn’t matter because we are all here together, united, and fighting for one cause.

It’s crazy to think that I only have one more week left with the group! I’m leaving BSB on July 29 while others will be continuing on with the program until August 8. Oh … sadness. It’s cool though. Until then, I just gotta enjoy the time I got with Darah, Carlo, Jaye and Lyle. Let’s just say we’re a group that likes to laugh about the craziest things.

Oh, to our LFSers, we have a few new inside jokes … like Papa Americano, ghosts, mobiles (pronounced with a British accent), and pizza.

AND one more thing … FUCK THE COCKROACHES!!! Fucking insect scared all of us half to death last night, shit.

That’s all for now. My next day to write a post will be the 27th, but please continue to follow my Twitter and Facebook updates, and follow us wherever we go! Uh yeah, that’s it!!

As for pictures, I’m gonna upload all of them at one time because I don’t like to have separate albums, so y’all gotta wait until my expo is over! =)

Arright, thats all for now. I’m gonna try to get a quick shut eye before I head out to UP Diliman. Bye y’alls! I miss everyone back home!!

– Rodel =)

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