One of the great things about living and working here in Manila is that there is a strong relationship between the Filipinos and the Americans. It shows in all aspects of life, from music and pop culture to careers and education. This past week I have been able to enjoy more time with Filipinos in several avenues.
First I was able to address a large group of Political Science and International Studies majors at one of the large universities in Manila. It was fun to do that because I have an educational background in both of those areas. The students were lively and interested. I tried to make the topic “Voting and Democracy in the United States” also lively and interesting. I was surprised how detailed their education was when it came to United States politics. They were very thorough…they knew answers to tough questions that some American students may not know. It was fun to joke and laugh with them as we discussed the topic at hand. Of course they threw a few curve ball questions at me but luckily here humor goes a long way.
|I think I was putting them to sleep...hahaha|
|They could not get the light to go off!|
|THis is a photo with the Chancellor, the Dean and some of the Faculty...I had to laugh when the Chancellor standing next to me suggested that we do a "jump shot" HAHA|
It was weird to be there and be the person that is treated like a VIP. I was met at the car by a senior Political Science student and the security staff and they walked me to my meeting with the University President (who is an Ohio State grad). As we walked I was not allowed to carry my own bags and I found out that the student was one of five seniors that had planned this event as a senior project. I realized then that I am more used to being on HER end of the situation. Not the person that is treated like a VIP, but the person that has stressed over this event for months and is putting out fires by the minute hoping the whole thing turns out without a hitch. I tried to make sure to be warm and cheerful to help her realize that I appreciated all that they were doing. (It was a bit awkward to have people carry my bag and if I picked it up, they acted as if I committed a grievous error…not sure I could get used to that).
It was also surprising to see that they had a HUGE banner made that said “Welcome Dustin Bradshaw” in the middle of the University Courtyard…I had to take a photo with it and the two guest students that spoke with me about their year of high school in the States. Lady Hiva asked if I asked if I could have the sign…haha.
The next day I was at the radio station talking about similar things—in Tagalog. Now, explaining the Electoral College is HARD in ENGLISH…imagine what that is like in TAGALOG!! HA! And on live national radio…no pressure, RIGHT!?! It was fun though. Being in the radio booth and seeing how much movement and action is happening to make the program run smoothly is interesting. It was fun to see all the comments come in about me speaking Tagalog. Thankfully Filipinos are forgiving of my “white guy” accent and are just happy to hear me speak the language.
Tuesday found me on the radio again. This time the Radio Personality was female and it was fun again to interact with them. The station is streamed online all over the world so that was interesting too. I was watching the screen that showed what they were filming and again was amazed at how all the guys behind the window pushing buttons on a table full of controls keep the show running and professional looking. I did find if funny to see that we were in the basement of a building but there was a large photo of Makati city hanging in the background so it looked like we were in a high rise office talking…haha. Off to the side of us, just off camera was another photo just taken at night; there were hooks at the top so they can replace the photos during the night shows…Who knows tricks like that work?! Media can spin everything!
It is really fun. I enjoy it. The Filipinos are fun loving and generous people so it makes nerve wracking experiences like being on live national media in a foreign language seems alright. Good times…