This page was last updated on: November 16, 2011
Magandang araw sa inyong lahat! (In Tagalog, Good day to you all!) Hello, my name is Meg Hall and I am a Peace Corps volunteer serving in the Philippines. Originally from Machias, Maine in the United States, I arrived here in the Philippines in April 1999.
My first 2 months in the Philippines were spent on the island of Panay in the Visayas, in a city called Iloilo. During our training, we had 3 major components; technical, language, and cultural. Through our technical training, we learned about the biodiversity of the Philippines, as well as how to plan community and school based events. We were fortunate enough to travel to the sites of current volunteers in Palawan and Sibuyan islands to see their work in progress. We also had the opportunity to gain practical experience by sponsoring a community based environmental cleanup, a teacher training workshop, and an environmental day camp.
A large portion of our training consisted of learning our respective languages. Because I am assigned to the province of Cavite on the island of Luzon, I leaned Tagalog, the national language of the Philippines. Finally, as part of our cultural training, we lived with wonderful host families in Iloilo. Through them, we were introduced to Filipino foods, customs, and ways of life.
For those of you who do not know much about the geography of the Philippines, here's some quick background. The Philippines consists of 7107 islands and is very diverse ecologically. We have many coastal communities, beaches, and coral reefs, but we also have mountain provinces and the rice terraces, the eighth wonder of the world. There are 4 major island groupings; Luzon, Mindanao, the Visayas, and Palawan.
Peace Corps...The Toughest Job You'll Ever Love