We met a lot of really great people during our travels thus far, but the genuine warmth and welcoming nature from the people of the Philippines really stands out.
Young children were constantly running up to greet us and ask, “What’s your name?” A little girl that spoke virtually no English, walked with us and showed us her family’s farm. Wandering down the streets, each person we passed smiled and said, “Hello.” It actually seemed strange at first – honestly, we just weren’t used to people being that friendly. Generally, it’s perfectly normal to look down and pass a stranger in silence; but not here. We visited some extremely rural, undeveloped villages. Many homes were little more than huts, running water was a rarity, and oxen were used to plow through fields of rice. Young or old, man or woman, all people shared a common thread; with so few modern conveniences or luxuries, they are so happy and optimistic. It seemed only fitting to dedicate a post to their charm and character, and to share some great photos and memories they gave us.
We arrived in the Philippines just a few days after the devastation of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) hit the southern shores. The US sent over 13,000 troops to help in the relief, and although the country lost more than 6,200 neighbors, friends, and family members, the final words from one of our hosts was, “Tell the American people we say, ‘Thank You.'”