Archives For The Philippines 2015

Although it was a short period of time, I’ve been staying at a NGO volunteer group, so I could go around various districts for volunteer work rather than just going through language study, listening to various people’s story, made me think about various things. As this was the country that I visited alone, the experience that I got back there is still my foundation.

What I felt most in the Philippines is the disparity of rich and poor. Right in front of the houses where the houses which collapsed in a dreadful streak is lined up,there are rich houses surrounded by magnificent walls gathers up. When I saw it, I could not help feeling that this was a picture that tells the disparity of rich and poor.

I have not seen much street children in Iloilo city, but bunch of street children I saw when I visited Cebu. After all I saw it, I just insisted that this was reality I could not say I could not think of anything. When I visited the Philippines well I heard that it is important to go through even if a beggar comes that is what I was told before I actually go there. Maybe that sounds sad. But that is not wrong. Behind the meaning that passing by and gives nothing, the tourists are a kind of people who do have money give things and money to begging people who think they could get money from foreigners. Which makes it irrevocable I got it. As I’ve hard, whites are often gentle with kindness, to give money to beggars, but that is a mistake. Then that situation will be worse and nothing will be resolved. Some people said If people give money, people have to teach beggars  how to make a living, not begging. I was convinced by listening to it. Beggars have to learn Give and Take. However, the second generation of beggars born from beggar parents have never had education at all and do not know the way of living, they know only as a beggar. It is not easy for people to change the country where such people are overflowing.

Further digging down, the state that made the current situation is developed countries (I hate the names of developed and developing countries, but I will describe it here this time. )When thinking that the Philippines is suitable for doing business, foreign enterprises advanced into business city, built a factories. They don’t have any responsibility there at all. Because they are only interested in money. Also the Philippine government that depends to the overseas enterprises is also not good. The word that I often heard from businessmen and others in the field is that in the Philippines many foreign companies relocate to different countries, because overseas enterprises have advanced too much and money can not be earned much anymore. It is said that the Philippines is used for good from overseas enterprises and is truncated. People who made poor people. And people say that is capitalism. It is a fault those people who do not make money.

The Philippines has given me a lot of experience and gave me a lot of thought opportunities. The Philippines is really wide. I’d like to visit the Philippines again in the near future and I want to meet again the children I met and I’d like to know more about the Philippines to go around different places. And someday, I’d like to do something for the children in the Philippines.



そして僕の主に滞在したイロイロシティーではほとんど見ることがなかったが、セブを訪れた時に見たストリートチルドレンの多さ。やはり僕はそれを見て、ただこれが現実だときっぱり言い張り何も考えないということはできなかった。よくフィリピンに行った時には物乞いが来てもスルーするのが大事だ、と聞くが、実際に僕がフィリピンに行く前にもそうアドバイスをもらったのだが、それは間違いではない。そのスルーして何も与えないという意味の裏には、観光客が物乞いの人たちに物、金を与えるから金がない人たちは外国人から金をもらえると覚えてしまい、取り返しがつかなくなってしまった。僕が聞いた話だと、白人は優しさのあまり金を与える人が多いがそれは間違いだと。それではその現状は悪くなるだけで何も解決にはならない。ただ与えるのではなくて、どういった形で生活を立てるのかを教えてあげなくては物乞いは一生物乞いのままだと。僕はそれを聞いて納得した。彼らはGive and Takeを学ばなくてはいけないと。ただ物乞いの親から生まれた物乞いの2世は全く教育を受けたことがなく、物乞いという術しか生きる道を知らない。そんな人たちが溢れている国を、人々を変えるのは容易ではない。





July 21, 2017 — Leave a comment

When my friend came to Cebu through other volunteer groups, I visited Cebu for about a week.

Cebu is the second largest city in the Philippines. I saw a very different Philippines from Iloilo City where I stayed.
Iloilo City is said to be the third city, but it is quite a countryside compared to Cebu and Manila. Since the tourism industry is not well developed, there are few incidents aimed at foreigners, people are gentle and able to talk with people on the roadside easily. The beggar is in front of a big shopping mall, but I did not see much beggars.

There are so many foreigners who came to learn English (most of them are Japanese and Koreans), Cebu was considerably urbanized with the development of tourism industry. As the urbanization progresses, there were people who begged many things. There were a lot of children living on the street who don’t have a home.They are called as a Street Children. It was the opportunity to think deeply about the urbanization problem among me that I was able to see the quite urbanized city and the unurbanized city in the same country. Frankly speaking, what I felt is that Cebu is a famous tourist destination and often hears that the sea is beautiful, but if you actually see a beautiful ocean you have to go to a place far away from the centre of Cebu. The air is not good, the first is that the citizen’s disparity problem is really severe. I thought that I could not live there.

The incident that I remained the most impressive in Cebu was when I was going to eat dinner where some restaurants gathered on foot about 15 minutes. Me and my friend headed off to there. In Cebu, after the sun rose and it got dark, mostly I’ve used a taxi even though I go to the nearby places. But that night, we decided to walk in the neighbourhood. Two young guy beggars from the front comes closer to us when halfway to the destination.  As the guys came from the front and they begged for some money. As usual I say no, no and can get through with nothing happen. But this time when I said no against begging, suddenly one of the guys run  towards me and the other guy towards my friend. Those guys tackled and kept pushing us. We were pushed to the car running. I was nearly hit by a car but got a way desperately from pushing and I run with my  friend and run and run. At that time I was pretty impatient. I had heard of the incident that some visitors got killed if they did not give anything to thieves, but it was innovative that they tried to hit us a car by extrusion.






My daily schedule in weekdays was from 9am to 3pm studying English (1 hour lunch break from 12 to 1pm), from 3:30pm to 6pm joining child-minding.

The reason why I chose to study in the Philippines was one to one class for 5 hours, and the tuition was quite cheap compare with prices in Japan.

As I wrote on another post, when I got there, I couldn’t speak English at all. I barely could greet, but I couldn’t understand people greet back to me though. I just could speak by myself. Speaking my experience, when you start to learn a new language, it is easier to speak out what you want to say than listening to what people saying. In my case.

Honestly the English lesson 5 hours everyday was hard. Most of students focus on improving speaking skills, so most of time conversation, speak and speak and speak. I was too. I was speaking English at least 5 hours a day.

The good thing of one to one lesson was, of cause you can speak a lot with a teacher. Because of that, after only 3 months of study my English skills were quite improved. At the end, I could say what I want to tell to people in English.

The negative thing was, it’s really up to teachers you can have really good time for improving your English skills for 5 hours.

In my case, I had a really strict teacher once. He tried to correct my Japanese pronunciation. He put a mirror right in front of me, and I had to speak with looking at my mouth in the mirror. Even If I make little mistake of pronunciation, I had to try again from the beginning until I can pronounce correctly. One day, when I made a same mistake twice, he said “If you do that again, I will kill you.” I hope he doesn’t kill by just a practice of pronunciation. But I still remember that word clearly. I couldn’t speak much for those strict guidance in the first week from his lesson started. But because of him, I could learn correct pronunciation.










There ware a lot of valuable experience that I learned through staying in the Philippines. Organizational structure is one of the biggest valuable experience at there.

The NGO organization that I was staying is a small-scale organization group. Basically that is  focusing on one area where is around the smokey mountain. But weekdays, they visit another area to provide some food, education of hygiene such as why brushing teeth is important for us? or something like that. Mostly to focus on one topic for one visiting.

About their activity, for adults who live around the smokey mountain, the organization established business to make things such as pen cases, wallets, accessories and so on by using recycle materials such as juice packs. They provide a job to make the recycle things for people and those people work and can get pay instead of working as a waste picker (People pick up recycle garbage and exchange that to money). They sell the recycle goods in Japan.  For kids, they support children to be able to go to a school and study until high school. In addition to that, after school they provide childminding in weekdays to provide an opportunity to learn different culture and people mostly from Japan, instead of children go to play at parents’ workplace where is the smokey mountain.

Speaking of management of administration, most of income are earned from people who come from japan. They established the business that I described above, but it is not still enough for their activity. So they are relying to be donated.

The NGO organization provides the childminding which is to provide taking care of children whose family lives around the smokey mountain,  after school to until their parents finish work, the opportunity of meeting people form different culture background, education. The biggest reason that I concerned is, the time after school to until parents finish their work, 2 to 3 hours, if there is not the childminding children would go to the place where parents working, most of case at the smokey mountain. So that just 2 to 3 hours, children could have many opportunity instead of going to parent’s work place. That is really great effort.

For students who are coming from Japan to study English, they can decide to join the childminding or not. Most of students was joining everyday including me.

The first day when I went to the childminding and meet kids, my thought about children was changed. I was moved by their smile which was totally different as smiles from Japanese ones. The smile was beautiful such as they are having happiness, they know what is happiness even they don’t have much money, games, iPad, expensive brand clothes, there is nothing to enrich them, but they are happy. Honestly before I go to the Philippines, I was having prejudice which is those people who lives around the smokey mountain and get support, are poor and lack of happiness. But It wasn’t. They were happy. Poor people are me and us. People live in a capitalist country. Everyday work and work and seek money instead of spending time with children, family, they say love is the most important, but they think money is more important than time and family.

When I was joining the childminding, I never had studied about education. I made so many mistake, and sometimes I had tough time how to communicate and make a friendship with kids. That made me to study education. But after all, I got so many incredible and precious experience because of spending time with kids.

Children are the most valuable, precious and essential in this world, anywhere. All children must have rights to have education, healthy food for live,  live in a roof.




The NGO organization that I was staying provide job, health, and education for people and kids who live around the smokey mountain. The organization also provide share rooms, english school, and study tours for basically Japanese students.

Some people might be familiar with Smokey mountain. You also could say is as garbage mountain. That is severe problem in the Philippines. According to the story that I was told, in the Philippines people cannot burn garbage under low. So all garbage are just piled up on one place and getting bigger and bigger. That never stop. Because for our live, we will have garbage everyday. If you are interested in the problem, please check it out.

As total counted , I have visited the smokey mountain for few times.

For the first time when I visited there, I had no words in my mind to look up the incredibly huge garbage mountain. It is literally huge garbage mountain. I think I never see that plenty of garbage in the rest of my life.

So the problem is people live around the mountain, and pick up garbage. It is their job. To pick up garbage such as cans, glass, and so on, and exchange those garbage to money. There are called a waste picker.

There  are 2 points why it is a problem, (including my personal consideration). First one is income of a waste picker is quite cheap and many parents cannot afford to let their children go to school. And their children help their parents to pick up garbage instead of study at a school. The second point is health. Can you imagine children works in incredibly plenty of garbage to work everyday? That is absolutely unsanitary!

The most shocking scene was one boy who looked about 3 years was playing with his friends at there. And he passed by me and I saw he stepped on a fragment of glass without shoes or even sandals. I almost said “Watch out!”. But he did not even look down and just kept running. I was shocked and just thought how tough his foot is.

The season of this problem is coming from lack of jobs in the whole country. People can’t find a job or sometimes even have a job, but being a garbage picker could have more income and shift to this job. For to help those people, first, we have to solve the problem of low income and lack of jobs.

After the day I arrived in Iloilo city, I went to stay with my homestay family who lives in a bamboo house.

I was a totally city boy, I’ve never slept outside even without comfy bed, I’ve never slept surrounding trees, because I’ve never been to a camp so.

Most of home stay family members couldn’t speak English except one young woman who is working at the biggest department store which is SM mall in the city. So she is educated English.

When I went to the Philippines, I  seriously couldn’t speak English at all. At all. I just could say “Hello.” “How are you?” “Good, bad.”

Home say family had just 2 rooms. One is for living room and in night time, it is for sleep area. The other one is for the young woman. So they provided the young woman’s room for only me.

There were so many mosquitos, other kinds of bugs. I just got one thin bed mat. Banana in a soup for lunch and dinner. They kill alive chicken and cook. Every morning, exactly 5am, all cheaken crowed in the village, and I was woke up. For the first few days, I couldn’t talk to the family, because that time I didn’t know how to communicate to people without oral language.

So honestly I’ve been home sick for the first 3 days of my homestay. I missed comfy bed, tough roof and walls, sticky rice made by a rice cooker, clean water….

But after 3 days, my homestay brother who stayed with me, taught how to get a school, translated, kind of babysitter during homestay term. He told me, “You need to communicate the family more.” After I was told that, I tried to be flexible and active, ’cause I thought it’s up to me whether these just 7 days will be precious and valuable for me or not.

And I tried to have chat to them and look around. Not to think negatively. And I realized. Even homestay mother cannot speak English, she always smile at me. Her cooking is so delicious. Every morning, when I woke up, she prepared a cup of coffee and let me try different traditional breakfast. The homestay father tried to talk to me after his long shift of work. Because of the chickens, I can awake same time every morning and can feel the beautiful moment of early morning.

The last day of staying in a bamboo house with the warm-hearted people, I was sad to leave the family and back to the share house for the organization.

As for the stay in the Philippines, because of the huge gap of the culture shock and homesick changed me. I still feel it clearly. After the Philippines, I have no fear to go anywhere.

When you put yourself to totally different environment, you could feel something different. And you might be able to change. Only you need is a bit of courage for challenge.




正直に、僕がフィリピンに行った時は、本当に全く英語を話せなかった。話せて”Hello.” “How are you?” “Good, bad.”程度。











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