Upon my arrival to Manila International Airport from Tokyo I realized right away I had underestimated two things about the Philippines: how hot it is and how much it rains. I found out that on this trip I would be baptized by rain instead of baptized by fire but either way I would take this cultural shock in stride and do my best to adjust to my new life as seamlessly as possible. My first four days in the Philippines was spent at University of the Philippines Los Banos where the whole group of interns underwent our orientation. Our orientation taught us some key phrases in Filipino (which I promptly forgot) as well as how to navigate our way around our specific internship sites and the general “do’s and don’ts” of life in this country. In addition to the general orientation we took a day trip as a group to a plantation turned museum in the mountains of the Philippines, called Villa Escudero which you can see in the attached photos. After the orientation I was dropped off at my apartment in Santa Rosa and after being showed around the surrounding area for a while was left completely on my own. Getting used to being alone has been tough at times but I have begun holding full conversations with myself in my apartment to keep my sanity (kidding I am not going crazy…yet). At my work I have spent the first week and a half analyzing the financial reports of the company for the past 5 and have thus charted the growth trends of the company moving forward into the future. My first weekend here was spent in Santa Rosa familiarizing myself with my surroundings and the general Laguna province. I have my first travel plans set for the upcoming weekend but I will save those experiences for my next post.