Ugh, stolen Mondays!
That was my usual mantra for quite some time because I would rather have wasted my Mondays sleeping some more or finishing my academic requirements for the week. I didn’t want to drag myself to another afternoon in school because I had gotten so used to the 4 day school day thing. That was until my NGO internship with WomanHealth Philippines.
Okay, to be honest, I wasn’t all over my internship because I still couldn’t wrap my head around my “stolen Mondays”. But on our first official meeting with our facilitator, we were treated to ROC for lunch in Bahay ng Alumni. ROC!!!! FOR LUNCH!!!!! It was there that I found our NGO promising already (not only because of the food we ate but because of our conversation with our facilitator, May-i.)
May-i was a cool girl. She works for the NGO, helps pass bills for women empowerment and other wordly issues related to women and gender. She was also very liberated. From the beginning I admired her for her open mind and how she let us share our ideas, whatever they were. Nothing seemed absurd to her even though we still had a lot to learn about the world, hence our sometimes naive inquiries. She would tell us about her travels, her experiences, her encounters with other people, and how it has influenced her greatly. She would tell us about her daughter and teenage life, which we enjoyed.
Our task with May-i was a progressive one. We had a lot of heated discussions, and we often disappointed her for not pulling through or being on time. At first, our goals weren’t aligned so we encountered a lot of complications understanding each other and making sure everyone delivered. But one fine day during our coffee shop meeting at CBTL (yes, CBTL for CWTS), we were able to present a comprehensive research, analysis, and data of our assigned topic. It was then that we got a clearer view of how we wanted our CWTS output to look like so we decided to focus on GENDER & SEXUALITY. Apparently all of us were very much interested to focus and learn more about these topics.
May-i patiently answered our series of never ending questions. It was a give and take relationship as we would learn from her at the same time she would learn from our perspective. We decided to come up with an output that would help WomanHealth jumpstart a research or plan of action regarding sexuality and how it has affected the youth of today.
I personally enjoyed my internship with WomanHealth because it has helped me learn a lot. I had so many questions at first that I didn’t know who to talk to apart from my friends, so to me, this experience was really helpful. In the future, I plan to help WomanHealth further improve the information we have gotten so far because learning about different perspectives and viewpoints on love, relationships, gender, sexuality, virginity, and sex is not only interesting but eye opening as well. I want people my age to experience what I, Jus, Lyon, Dea, and Christine have experienced, being able to ask questions and getting firsthand information about things that are relevant to us, freely and openly. WomanHealth Philippines was able to provide me with information and answers and I am grateful for that.
So no longer will I ever regret waking up on Mondays to head to UP. To me, it was a great learning experience: from sitting under a tree in front of the UPFI, to our coffee shop discussions, to our eager selves waiting to present our CWTS output last March 17 – it was all worth it.