My Year in the Philippines: Reflections On Starting Up and Development

Miarayon, Bukidnon, Philippines
Miarayon, Bukidnon, Philippines

I’ve been in the Philippines for almost exactly a year now.

Oh, what an incredible ride it has been so far. Within the year, I’ve had so many different experiences from starting things up with JGL to a brief stint at co.lab to being part of the launch of Ashoka Philippines.  Life has been unpredictable. I’ve been exposed to so many new and different ideas. So many different people. I’ve gained a sense of belonging in a country that has opened my eyes to the world.

The year has really been such a gift and a strong driving force of change for me.

I remember the days when I only had one peso in my pocket. I remember the days when I was so desperate for blog content that I would write about playing board games with my nephew. I remember the days when I’d use the term social enterprise at least once a day. I remember the days when everything seemed so new and fresh…when every opportunity that presented itself seemed like a great one. I remember the days, as if it were a distant past and as if I were a different person.

Why do I feel like I’ve changed so much within the last year?

I guess it’s the feeling of being challenged because of people. For example, a two-hour conversation with a passionate and well-informed changemaker would turn my world upside down. From learning about problems in our healthcare system to peace conflicts to education reform, I felt as if I were learning something new everyday from individuals who were really immersed in the world.

I don’t know which direction these reflections are taking me…but I guess that’s how development works. One starts something, learns from it in an ever-changing environment, and works towards progress.

I am developing in my work and my thoughts, as a young person and would-be entrepreneur. I urge young people to soak in everything that the world is willing to teach them.

Never be afraid to speak your mind in hopes of understanding your life and the world that you live in. It is a helpful exercise that will help you get to that aha moment.

Thanks JGL for giving me a platform to start and grow. Cheers to a full year in the Philippines!

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