Carinderias, and Meriendahans, and Turo-Turos, Oh My!

In terms of the work week, the NAMD unit mainly attended training for the pilot survey, which is the survey we conduct while we’re out in the field. We were introduced to a variety of questionnaires such as “Household Membership and Demographic Information,” “Biochemical Indices for all members [of the family],” “Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices of Children, 0-71 months old,” “Smoking and Alcohol Consumption of 10 years old and above,” and so on. In addition to reviewing the questionnaires, we were also taught how to take anthropometric measurements like height, weight, blood pressure, and pulse. We took pre-quizzes with the NAMD workers, which we failed miserably. Overall, it was a long week, but it was much needed if we were to have a better idea of what we’re doing once we’re in the field. Here are a few things I learned during pilot survey orientation:

There are many food establishments, and if I’m going to be conducting these surveys, I need to learn how to distinguish between them: carinderia, meriendahan, turo-turo, streetfood, mobile, specialty store, fast food, casual dining, eat-all-you-can, canteen, bars, internet cafes, etc. While I won’t go into detail about each one, I will say that a few establishments like the carinderia, meriendahan, and turo-turo have quite a few similarities, so I have to go back to review them a few times.

The Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) or Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) is a program run by the government that provides grants to the homeless, Indigenous Peoples (IPs), and households in geographically isolated and disadvantage areas (GIDAS) in order to improve the well-being and education of children and pregnant mothers.

It is common for work facilities to offer their employees allotted time and facilities for exercise. This explains FNRI’s Zumba classes every Friday morning.

This weekend, a few of us went to Singapore! During our time there, we tried to visit as many city attractions as we could. We visited the Marina Bay Sands Mall and its light show, the Science and Art Museum, the Supertrees, Cloud Forest, Little India, Chinatown, and so many food stalls and restaurants. The Marina Gardens is a great attraction because not only is an amazing visual, but it’s also self-sustainable. The Supertrees convert sunlight into electricity, which powers the gardens, Supertree lights, and computers in the Garden Office. Singapore is culturally influenced by its neighboring countries, so there’s a variety of incredible food. Some of the items I ate were Kaya (coconut) toast, Hainanese curry rice, chili crab baos, roti prata with dhal, biryani, prawn fried rice, chicken skewers, carrot omelet, and a few different noodle dishes.  A lot of the items I ate were at Hawker centres, which are open-air complexes with many inexpensive food stalls. They were created as a sanitary alternative to street-side food or mobile food carts. Overall, this past week was both exhausting and rewarding, and I’m excited for what’s to come!

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