2015 Highlights – March

All my highlights for this month are travel-related! And it makes me happy that only half of that travel was for work, and the other half was with family and friends.

Davao Social NetWorth youth forum and workshop
This was quite a hectic two weeks! With the Mulat Pinoy-Kabataan News Network project due to end in June, we had to cram our visits to the bureaus within the remaining time. Because of the schools’ availability, we had to schedule events in Davao and Laoag–far south and then far north in the Philippines–within ten days of each other.

Oh, it was exhausting! Unfortunately I really had no choice in the matter. In all the youth forums, I gave two separate talks, on social media and on the 2013 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Survey. In the workshops, I helped Hanna with the lectures and facilitating the output produced by the youth reporters. I was also the one coordinating with the school, for the venues, food arrangements, and so on. And Dante was our tech support.

Still, Social NetWorth at the University of Mindanao was fun. My college friend Julia dropped by, and we managed to chat for a bit. The reporters proposed interesting stories. And we were united with Maduh Damsani of the Commission on Population, an enthusiastic supporter of our work. Our stay was brief, but productive.

Laoag Social NetWorth youth forum and workshop

After Davao, we had half a week to gather our wits before going north. Hanna and I prepared our presentations, and I confirmed all the arrangements with Northwestern University. But this time, instead of Dante, Nancy went with us.

We took a bus from Cubao, and expected to arrive at lunch time. We hoped to explore Laoag a little bit, before the youth forum the next day. Instead, we arrived at 6 am! We had time for a whole day of sightseeing!

It felt like a holiday with a little work thrown in. After the youth forum and the workshop, we went to Vigan for a bit more wandering before heading back to Manila.

Surprise party for Tita Teres
Tita Teres is my mom’s youngest sister. She lives in Tarlac with her husband and her two younger sons. Her eldest lives in Marikina and studies in UP Diliman.

Because she lives in Tarlac, we only see her once or twice a year: at Christmas and if we visit them for my cousin Gabo or Miggy’s birthday.

This year, her family planned a surprise party for her fiftieth birthday. Her husband, Tito Dabs, said it wouldn’t be complete if her brothers and sisters weren’t there. So we drove north and joined the surprise. She was really happy to see everyone!

Lubao Balloon Fiesta

Darth Vader balloon! From Belgium! Joined by the Yoda Balloon! Epic trooping was epic.

And that’s just the first quarter of the year!

Check out the rest of the recap:

January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December

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