I started off a strong Sunday, at Tito Mhon’s house for Father’s Day and a special house blessing. It was amazing to see how different cultures celebrate a new house, or in Tito’s case, remodeling. I loved his beautiful house and the wonderful merienda we ate.
I had my first day of work on June 17. I started a project with a Ph.D. student. Our project is to analyze the lipids in rice using Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC), High Performance Liquid Chromatograph (HPLC), and Gas Chromatography Mass Spect. (GC-MS). The Ph.D. student had already found ways to separate them using TLC. My job was to find ways to separate them using HPLC. I looked up research papers and started writing a methods section about what my project would be on. I did this every weekday except Wednesday because it was a holiday.
Wednesday was Saint’s birthday, so we had the day off. On Tuesday night my coworkers and I went to a resort for night swimming and dinner. The resort had a big pool with slides, a small jacuzzi, and small picnic areas with karaoke. We traditional Filipino that they cooked, we got to learn more about each other, and sang all night. I had a really fun time. What I noticed was the the pool water was abnormally very warm. They said all the water is warm and never cold because of the Makling Volcano. To keep it inactive they have to have outlets, which are the hot springs. They also get the water from underground so it is really hot and takes a while to cool down.
On Wednesday, The IRRI group slept in and made the day a relax day. we went to a spa and got massages. This was the first time I got a massage, and I was nervous. In the end it was amazing and we plan to go again. For the rest of the weekdays, we went back to work, but as an incentive, for dinner we had Mexican food. It was not the same as real Mexican food, but it was good.
To end the week, on Saturday we went to Cagbalete Island. This was a one day trip to a beach that a program at IRRI organized. It took 2.5 hours to drive to Batangas, and from Batangas we took a one hour boat ride to the island Cagbalete. The island was surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and had beautiful sand white beaches. When we got there, we went to a resort. The resort gave us food and offered programs for island hopping or snorkeling and a sand bar. The IRRI group first swam at the beach, went snorkeling, and then hung out at a sand bar for 4 hours. We has so much fun. It was the first time I saw the ocean and the first time I went snorkeling. It was the best day to end the week. So far my favorite activity yet.