5 Things That Moving Overseas Taught Me

I knew I would love living in Asia. My job as Business Director of an Innovation Lab in Cambodia was a dream come true, and I had lived the majority of my childhood in Asia so developing countries were nothing new to me. I’ve had a long-running love affair with Philippines, so I wasn’t expecting any real culture shock — more a re-awakening of a…

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There’ll Be Change When There’s Change

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No Change? Yesterday I asked Sid to print ten copies of a flyer at the local ‘Xerox’ copy/print shop. He took a ₱1000 note with him. The total cost of the 10 copies was ₱150 and the shop couldn’t provide change. Last week I walked up to the local ‘sari sari’ (variety) store and wanted to purchase two cans of Coke Zero. I…

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Duterte is now President of Philippines

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The Philippines has a new President. Rodrigo Duterte was today sworn in as the 16th President of the Republic of the Philippines. And for once, it’s not just more of the same. Duterte is certainly a departure from the string of Presidents preceding him who have succeeded only in maintaining the status quo and making the rich richer while the poor continue to…

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Registering the Birth of My Son in Philippines

In the first post of this series, I shared the story of my son’s birth in Philippines. After his birth, the next steps were to register his birth, obtain a (valid) birth certificate, apply for a Philippines passport, acquire his Australian citizenship, and finally apply for his Australian passport. No big deal! On the day of his birth one of the midwives at…

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Fire Leaves Two Families Homeless

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It was just after 2PM when people started to notice the smoke over the rooftops. There were no sirens audible yet, but clearly a house was on fire — and around here, that means there’s a good chance the neighbours will lose their place too. In true citizen-journalist style, I grabbed my camera and headed down the street wearing only ‘slippers’ and shorts. I only…

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Giving Birth in Philippines — A Father’s Experience

I woke up just after 5am on Monday 17th August. My partner was already awake and standing up. She’d apparently been awake for a while, but I’m used to that — I don’t know how she always gets up so early every morning! Our 5 year old son starts school at 7am, and the Filipino habit of cooked rice meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner…

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A Swimming Trip to Lukang Cove

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My other half’s sister is back home in Philippines for a week and so we’ve been dreaming up outings and activities to make the most of the time together as a family. Yesterday, after some deliberation, we headed out in a van to visit Kuwebang Lampas (otherwise known as Lukang Cove) at Pagbilao Island, and spend an afternoon swimming and beaching it (if…

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Life on the Line

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Their smiles are broad and they seem to have nary a care in the world. The kids who live along the South Line in Lucena City, Quezon Province spend their days propelling push carts laden with a few passengers up and down the abandoned railway line that used to connect Manila via Lucena to Legazpi. They’re excited to see a big, strange, white…

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5 Factors Hindering Growth in Developing Countries

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I walked into the bathroom yesterday morning and, as per normal, there was no water in the pipe that hangs in through the bathroom window. For the first few waking hours of each day, there is no running water from any of the taps around the house. For the remainder of the day, the pipe into our bathroom is the most likely to…

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Is Poverty a State of Mind?

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Are Australians living in poverty just as much as Filipinos? Is it not about how much money you have? During my visit to Davao City last week, I had the opportunity for several great chats with my good friend Glen Biggs, from Global Impact. One of our evening discussions involved late night coffee at an excellent, relatively new, coffee establishment just down the…

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