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“How Was the Philippines?”

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A worker toils along a line of bananas at a banana plantation packing plant in Compostella, Compostella Valley, Mindanao, Philippines (photo by Jack Stephens).

A current member of my former organization, League of Filipino Students-San Francisco State University Chapter, captures perfectly the experience of organizing, and going to, an exposure trip to the Philippines.  I myself went on an exposure trip with Karapatan-Southern Mindanao Region (Karapatan is a human rights organization) and with the labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno while Lyle describes his trip with the student and youth organization League of Filipino Students:

The process of processing the trip takes a long time. That’s one thing I’ve learned from my past experience. If we created the program well enough, the exposurists will carry on the lessons and memories from the trip long after they exit LFS. And you will have at least one day where you cry uncontrollably.

I did. It was in the airplane bathroom on the ride back to the states. Not anything about the bathroom induced this, but everything I experienced finally hit me and I realized how much I was going to miss the feeling I had when I was in the Philippines (*cue Boston- More Than A Feeling).

It just happened to hit me when I was 30,000 feet in the air next to a metallic toilet that could suck me right out of the airplane.

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