There were not really many significant challenges that I faced during the program. However, there were some worths to share so maybe if you also want to apply to this program or to go to the Philippines, I hope you can better anticipate. I believe challenges were inevitable. It's normal and natural in life. I am really thankful that I could overcome several challenges during the program during my stay in Manila, Philippines.

The first challenge was actually of course about the food. Philippines cuisine tends to contain pig. I'm a Muslim and I should avoid this as best as I could. In my religion, it is prohibited to eat non-halal food. In terms of the taste, in here, the food are so sour. The food contain vinegar. It's unique. However, it does not suit my taste bud. In Indonesia, the food are more spicy and diverse. So, the solution is to do not forget to bring the sambal, rendang or chili paste.   

Until now, I feel again very thankful for the proper courtesy call. So when we had our courtesy call in the first week, we met with the associate director of the University of Santo Tomas Office of International Relations and Programs, Prof. Karen Santiago. Prof Karen shared with us also about her experience when studying abroad, she said that crisis actually makes us become more creative. Through crisis, problems, we actually will also become stronger. We will also manage to hone our problem-solving skills. Another crisis in the program was about the stove in the dorm. The dorm used to provide a stove in the sharing kitchen. However, due to some reasons that we do not know, it was gone when we were staying there. My friends, Jeany, who already stayed in the dorm a month before us said that there was a stove 2 weeks ago before we came. And we became creative by utilizing the microwave and rice cooker to cook our food, to heat the food, and to cook the veg. 

Another problem came tho, the microwave then also broke in the middle of the month. Then, we could only depend on the rice cooker. This thing passed already. But, I became creative, and to be honest this was my first experience cooking my dish with the rice cooker. 

When in the practicum, we were supposed to have buddies to accompany us, to do the cultural exchange, and to help us explore the city and the country. However, they were busy, they were still sophomores. Sadly, we only met them in the opening ceremony, and the farewell party. But, we understand, they are volunteers, they are not getting paid. This made us become more creative again, we studied the names of the streets of our surroundings. We asked the local people we met outside the dorm, for example, asking how to get to the mosque. We asked the local people asking how to get to the market to buy our daily needs.

In terms of teaching in the school, I was actually expecting to at least hold one or two classes. However, the system was different. The three student teachers were getting two classes which are 7 Responsibility and 7 Piety. Since English was only a subject with 4 hours per week duration. I was actually expecting to teach at least every school day every week, so my skills can become stronger. Nevertheless, I only got the chance to teach once or twice a week, because we must take a turn and divide the job desk to my other two friends.