A Day of Island Hopping with the iCommittee

My name is Hannah and I have been interning here at iComm for the past few months. This past October, I moved here to Cebu from New York for 6 months. I had recently graduated from college with degrees in Political Science and Philosophy with dreams of learning about the world and helping people and communities grow in whatever ways I can.

I wasn’t quite sure exactly what I wanted my path to be but, luckily, I had some family living in Cebu who generously offered to let me come out and stay with them for a few months while I got to see and experience a whole new side of the world. I had no idea what to expect but I knew that this was an incredible, once in a lifetime opportunity, so I bought my ticket, said goodbye to my parents, and went on my way.

When I first got to the Philippines and to iComm, I was nervous, excited, and very jetlagged. I was welcomed with open arms and banana-cue. Don’t get me wrong, I love New York but it’s true what people say about New Yorkers not being the most friendly people, so I was totally caught off guard by how kind and friendly everyone was and has been. The ladies of HR taught me so much about Cebu, Cebuano culture, and, of course, the food here. 

I was also lucky enough to be brought on to the iCommittee, an awesome group of people who have also taught me so much about Cebu and pulled me out of my comfort zone time and time again. It has been such a blast getting to know everyone and I feel so lucky to have gotten to be a part of iComm, even just for the short time that I’ve been here.

A few weeks ago the iCommittee planned an Island Hopping trip! The beaches in the Philippines are recognized all over the world as simply the best, so I was very excited to be a part of this trip.

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Although it was a very early start to the day, we got to see a bright red sunrise when we got to the docks, which definitely made the early wake up worth it.

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Once the whole iCommittee had arrived, our group boarded the outrigger boat, something that I had never seen before, and we sailed to Pandanon where we enjoyed some delicious food, explored the beach, and took lots of pictures.

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Being from New York and having never been to Asia or in any tropical part of the world, I had never seen water so blue or white sand beaches. The only beaches I had ever seen before are on the Atlantic, where the water is dark and cold and the beaches are mostly rocky, so to be on an island like Pandanon was like walking into a postcard or a movie. Truly unbelievable!

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Then of course there was the food; between lechon, lato salads, and puso, it was classic Cebuano cuisine and I think that all of us could agree that it was beyond delicious and the perfect food for the day. 
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After a couple of impromptu photoshoots, we left Pandanon and we sailed around stopping to swim, dive, snorkel, and keep eating at many different islands along the way. At every stop we were welcomed by sunshine and crystal blue water beyond anything I could have imagined.

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At some spots we were able to snorkel, a first for me, and got to see an underwater world of sea urchins, starfish, corals, and fish. At other locations the group got adventurous- jumping and diving off the boat and swim around. No matter where the sea took us we enjoyed good weather, good company, and good food!

The whole day was far beyond anything I could have imagined, and it was probably one of my favorite days in the Philippines so far. I am so grateful to the iCommittee for being such a great group of people who have made my time here so awesome, I am so glad that we could all enjoy the day together.

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We, the iCommitee, had an amazing day island hopping. It’s one of those memorable days that we won’t soon forget!

All efforts to try to get the best jumpshot photo ended, well, like this. :)

All efforts to try to get the best jumpshot photo ended, well, like this. :)