Carolina: Cruising Past 70: Becoming an American, Helping the Philippines WOW

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Becoming an American, Helping the Philippines WOW

Citizen Carol
Valentine's Day 2011 was extra special! 54 of us from 26 countries took an oath of allegiance to the country who welcomes 'your tired, your poor, your huddled masses' and 'crowns thy good with brotherhood' thereby fostering the American Dream.  It is a ceremony that is repeated every day in many US CIS offices around these United States of America! I became an American that LOVE-ly day!

So finally, we have booked our long-delayed trip to the Philippines! We leave on February 22 for San Francisco, the following day we fly to Hong Kong, and we arrive in Manila at midnight of February 24! Things are now moving quite fast! We shall now be able to take care of pressing concerns there, visit dear ‘old’ friends and family, and show Bill more of the beauty of the Philippines! But before anything else, I have a request!

I have not forgotten my dream to help my country. So I asked Bill to enter a contest whose prize money is to seed a BIG (Breakthrough Innovation Grant) idea. I reprint here his request (and the link to his entry for GEM-Go and Experience Manila) and ask you, my dear friends, to help him help my motherland. The deadline is March 15 and I would like to thank you so very much for you help! This is one idea whose time has come for travelers to Manila

Since I retired, I have had a desire to do something as part of my “payback”.  Carol’s plan had always been to somehow help the Philippines. She asked me to join this BIG contest sponsored by Seven Fund. We entered this project: GEM, a substantial website to attract tourism dollars. The ultimate goal is to create jobs and alleviate poverty in the megalopolis. Please paste the following link to your browser, click the “like” button at the top and make a comment.  Quality inputs/promotional reach are in the criteria for selecting the idea that would get the $20,000 seed money. We would appreciate your help!

@ Camping World
Now the RV is in Camping World, that large chain of RV superstores, for roof repair and then it will be stored at the house of the Thompsons, Bill’s old-time friends in Sumner, Washington. So we will travel sans RV for about three months, with a significant change of weather! It is now 42 degrees Fahrenheit in Seattle and…..77 in Manila! That 25 degree difference will be a welcome change!

Mines View Park, Baguio City
Despedida (farewell) parties are on until we come back in May for the bienvenida (welcome) parties. Between these two party rounds are the trips around the Philippines’ 7,107 islands. We were so busy the last time we went that we were only able to go to Baguio, the cool summer capital up in the Cordillera Mountains, Tagaytay, the smallest volcano in the world within another volcano, Anilao, a famous dive spot, and Subic Bay and Clark, the former US military bases converted into fine resorts.  

the volcano within a volcano
This time we will see another top-ranked diving spot (Tubbataha Reef) in Palawan, the famous pink powder beach of Boracay, the Chocolate Hills of Bohol (also home of the world’s smallest monkey, the tarsier), Corregidor Island, a last American stand in WWII, and a road trip to Pagudpod, the northernmost tip of the big island, Luzon, where the Marcos crypt stands, only a stone’s throw away from Hong Kong!

3rd largest mall in the world, Mall of Asia
I may have turned a page by becoming an American citizen but my heart still longs for my birth place and my husband has heeded my request to find ways to help. Join us in our next posts about the contest’s outcome and our sizzling travels around the Philippines!
at Sonya's Garden in Tagaytay