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Philippines Preparation and a Must-Watch List

Now that school is over and my summer has begun, I've spent my free time preparing for the journey ahead! Preparation has manifested in various ways, from learning to work out at home--I'm still figuring that part out--to reading and watching youtube videos about Filipino culture, food, and travel spots. I'm beginning to orient myself among the country's 7,000 islands, catching the common names of traditional snack foods and fast food joints, vacation destinations, and modes of transportation, among other things.

In learning about the country that I will spend 10 months, I'm getting really, REALLY excited! There are things I want to try--purple yam and cheese ice cream on a hamburger bun?! There are whale sharks and sea turtles I need to meet! Perhaps most importantly, all the videos I've watched have described Filipino people to be the happiest and kindest in the world. Certainly, there are lessons to be learned from a people who are consistently portrayed as …

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