Week 3: Making Progress

The Work Week

There was much to do. I wrote through the edits on last week’s assignments, a few more press release blurbs, an introduction for a PR video, and rewrote two info-heavy product webpages. Besides all that, plus a few tidbits, I also offered edits and my opinion on three press releases that are still in progress. What I didn’t know until a Friday afternoon meeting is that the editing on those press releases was actually preparation for writing new ones from scratch. It may be another half a week or so before I get to take a shot at them, but it’s a pretty exciting thought. The final sign-off on them will be from a higher-up, of course, but it seems possible to glean that if my boss thought I couldn’t do it, she’d save herself the headache and give me some busy-work instead. Certainly, the work is coming along.

And on a more social note, sharing an environment with my officemates has gone quite well. They’ve been very helpful in their advice for both work and travel here, and seem always ready to share more about Filipino culture. When possible, I’ve returned the favor by lending a hand here or there and being a sport about things like backup dancing for a colleague who sang karaoke at a company event. You won’t, by the way, be seeing photos or video of the event here. Would you believe me if I told you the footage was lost?

Here’s the section of office I work in. Few people have regular desks, which adds just a bit of color to each day.

Travel

A trip to Metro Manila packed the weekend from 5:00pm Friday to when I returned to base in Paseo Sunday evening. There were so many cool, odd, adventuresome things that came out of it, I’m at a loss thinking how I might choose what experiences to pluck out and share in this medium. While that bigger picture has more time to develop in my mind, here are a few snapshots:

An example of the remaining Spanish influence on the architecture of Intramuros – seen from the muro itself.

The Lightning Round

Beggar children here are quite tenacious. They will follow you for several blocks, ask you your name, and sometimes take your hand and put it to their foreheads, an old sign of deep respect reserved for one’s elders. I have now seen skin bleaching, and it looks terrible – besides being only questionably “safe.” If you’re going to be walking around in monsoon season all day, you should really – in the words of Lieutenant Dan, “change your socks.” Otherwise, you might find yourself with some regrettably large blisters. Many security guards carry holsters but no guns, and even some of those have no bullets. In the Philippines, even the ants are particularly tiny. The great income disparity here often has people with pretty fundamentally different lifestyles living in close proximity; the only place I’ve not seen any sign of the poorer citizens of this country is in Makati, among high rises that glisten at heights you’d expect to find in a big American city.

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