Week 2 (FNRI, Malls, and Movies)

June 12, 2023

June 12 is Independence Day here in the Philippines. It is celebrated every year to celebrate the Philippines independence from Spain in 1898. So there was no work on this day due to it being a National holiday.

Me and Chrishana started our day off with breakfast at the pancake house again
A collage I made of Chrishana and I at the Venice Grand Canal Mall

Then we decided to visit the Venice Grand Canal Mall. It was very pretty and there were many places to take pictures. There were lots of people in costumes. There were boxes out so you could pay them after taking pictures with them. We explored the mall a bit then fought a movie theater and decided to watch Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. It was so so good. 10/10 recommend. Then we went to eat and went back to the apartment.

June 13, 2023

Stated the day with doing lots of reading for one of my internship task. I was reading up on how to read food labels, proper food storage, food cleanliness, and food planning.
At lunch I tried a turon for the first time and I think it’s my new favorite snack!
After eating lunch we went to the bazaar which is a marketplace. This was in celebration of DOST 65th anniversary.
A picture of me walking through what I call a little forest to leave DOST-FNRI after my internship.
Lastly we finished our day with some fresh prawn dumpling noodles in soup and fried fresh prawn dumplings from North Park Noodles. It was pretty good.

June 14, 2023

One of the slides from the slideshow

Today all of the FNRI interns went an orientation for the 2023 national nutrition survey. I couldn’t understand much of what was being said because it was in Tagalog but I was able to read some of the slides from the slideshow.

June 15, 2023

A slide about asthma
Everyone evacuating
Me safely at the evacuation point

These are pictures I took when the office was evacuated because there was a earthquake nearby. We didn’t feel anything but we were evacuated just in case to keep us all safe. 🙂

Ended the day with dinner at the pancake house because it’s lovely there!

June 16, 2023

Had a Friday cool down at the movies after our internship to see Elemental.

Second weekend in the Philippines!

June 17, 2023

A collage of Chrishana and I at the SM Aura Premier Mall

Me and Chrishana went to the SM Aura Premier Mall. One of my advisors from my internship Ms.Lhea told us that this mall is one of the most aesthetically pleasing and I 100% agree with her.

Thanks for reading and looking my cute little collages. Stay tuned for week 3 I’ll be going to La Union!

~ Semaj Young 🙂

Week 1 (Travel and Orientations)

Hello everyone. This week’s blog will mostly be about my travel adventure to the Philippines.

It all started in New Orleans, Louisiana where I’m from on June 4, 2023. I had to wake up at 3:00 AM to get to my flight at MSY for 5:48 AM. I made it to the airport at around 4:30 AM and bordered my flight at 5:30 AM with Chrishana.

My first flight from New Orleans, Louisiana to Tampa, Florida

Once we landed in Tampa, Florida we only had a 40-minute layover so we rushed to find our next gate but to my surprise, it was right next to the gate we just exited from. So it was an easy and quick layover! We bored our next flight and headed to Chicago’s O’hare International Airport!

When I landed in the ORD airport I went on a mission to see how to retrieve my luggage from Southwest Airlines and transfer them to Etihad Airways. This was a very stressful process because Southwest told Etihad that my luggage could not be located so I ended up having to leave my luggage in Chicago, Illinois so I wouldn’t miss my international flight. But the journey must continue!

Jessica and I on our flight to Abu Dhabi before we took off
I thought the welcome message was cute because it included our seat numbers
My first meal on the plane was a delicious vegetable Alfredo pasta! The drink to the right was mango juice.
The second meal was a sandwich. My drink of choice was Apple juice this time!
The touchscreen had lots of different options like music, movies, and live summary of where we were and the time in both the place we just left and the place we were traveling to.
The third meal was vegan rice and mango juice again because it was really good the first time!
Me and Jessica getting ready to get off our flight in Abu Dhabi!
Front to back: Me Chrishana and Julia
We were leaving the Abu Dhabi airport
A cute collage I made of us at the Aloft Hotel in Abu Dhabi

Bottom left (left to right): Jessica Navarro, Jessica Isaac, and me

Top right of collage (left to right): Jessica Isaac, Chrishana Simon, and Jessica Navarro

Our layover in Abu Dhabi was about 16 hours so when we got to the hotel we decided to explore it and found the pool area where we attempted to take the jump picture above in the collage at the bottom left.

We also discover a rooftop restaurant but it was closed so we took some pictures like the one with me and the curved building in the background and the picture in the top right of the college.

A collage of us at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

While others were taking a nap like all of us should have done. Some of us decided to go to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. It was pretty easy to get there by cab and it wasn’t far from the hotel. When we got dropped off at the Mosque we were confused because the entrance was so far from the Mosque. To our surprise, we entered and went down an escalator that took us underground where there were lots of clothing shops and food. We bought the appropriate garments to enter the Mosque and it was a long journey with lots of flat escalator platforms to help us get closer to the Mosque quicker. I thought it was pretty cool that we had to travel underground to get to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Once we arrived I was in shock by how beautiful the Mosque looked at night. There we lots of lights, pathways, and photo-stopping points. The glasswork in the big windows was something that continue to catch my eye as we journey through the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

Boarding my 9-hour flight from Abu Dhabi to Manila, Philippines at 2:50 AM June 5, 2023.
After safely landing in Manila, Philippines on June 5, 2023
I got a brown sugar milk tea with boba around 6:00 PM
After that me and some of the other interns were looking for something to eat and decided to try Jolly Bee for the first one. I got a crispy chicken sandwich and fries. It was great!

June 6, 2023

We had the morning to recover from our jet lag and when I did get up me and my roommates at the hotel went to go eat right next to the hotel. I got shrimp alfredo pasta and mango juice. I loved them both.
In our language crash course, I learned how to introduce myself which is “Ako po ay si Semaj”. We received lots of papers to help us with our Tagalog as we explore the Philippines.
A script my group and I made for a game where we had to make up a scenario and perform it all in Tagalog.
After our orientation, Tito Mon who is Dr.Amoloza’s brother booked us our first Jeepney to Kamayan at Palaisdaan floating restaurant.
I tried tuna belly for the first time and it was delicious!
Halo-halo dessert
The restaurant at night

June 7, 2023

The 7 pictures above are all from my first day at DOST-FNRI for our welcoming program

June 9, 2023

In the office, it was a team-building day where we did introductions and played lots of games. It was full of lots of laughter and many smiles. I also retried my luggage this day so I was very happy!

First Weekend in the Philippines

June 10, 2023

The following pictures were taken on Saturday as me and Chrishana explored SM City Bicutan became it’s only a 5-minute walk from our apartment.

Started Saturday with breakfast at the Pancake House it was really good!
Then we found a movie theater and decided to watch Transformers Rise of the Beast it was great!
The two pictures above are from when we played Dance Central at one of the 3 game rooms in the SM City Bicutan Mall
A picture of me in what I think is a SM Sun

That’s all for week one in the Philippines! See you all for week two!!

Semaj’s 2023 IWU Freeman Asia Introduction Post!

Hello, my name is Semaj Young and this is my first blog post! I’m a double major in Environmental Studies and Theater Arts. This summer I will attend Illinois Wesleyan University’s Freeman Asia internship at the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) in the Philippines! I will be in the Philippines interning at FNRI for the full months of both June and July. I will do a weekly blog post to record the amazing things I will learn and experience during this internship. I can’t wait to see what this journey will hold and I’m even more excited to share it!

See you in the Philippines!