July 8, 2013 | 4:17 P.M. (USA) | Somewhere Across the Pacific Ocean
As I near my destination of Manila, Philippines, I cannot help but be filled with eagerness and excitement for what’s to come on this journey I am partaking on. What will I do? Who will I see? What feelings/emotions will I be overcome with when it finally hits me– that I’ll be living I’m the Philippines for the next six weeks? It has been a long time since I last visited you, Manila, and I am so anxious to see what you’ve become– how you’ve changed since our last encounter when I was just 15 years old. Now a young woman at 21 years– with her own set of ideas and views on the world– I know this visit will be much different than our last. In what ways exactly? I cannot foresee… but knowing I will be around relatives assures me that no matter what, I have family to fall back on. Do not get me wrong– I don’t plan on falling at any time on this trip (perhaps a minor trippy-trip here and there). I have a goal this time. I will be doing meaningful work out there and my visit should revolve around that; though I am definitely excited to immerse myself in my Philippine culture and heritage (something I have been feeling disconnected to the more distant I have become with the Pilipin@ community back home). I have faith that this journey will bear great fruit– fruits of knowledge, understanding, experience, and appreciation for the people and places of the Philippines. I have love for all people that believe in a greater good– in the potential for a more respectable and more dignified humanity. In all my travels, I will remember these ideas of faith and love; and I will carry my cross in all that I do.