Davao = Durian. It's just wrong to skip it.

Davao = Durian. It’s just wrong to skip it.


I always feared Durian. The stories of it’s horid smell, the cringes that followed it’s name; it definitely has a reputation.

BUT every now and then I find myself in situations where I just have to shut up and open up to new experiences–Durian included.

The first Durian I ever ate.

It was a few years back and I was in Davao City for the first time, it was for a volunteer project with some of my teachers from Manila and one night we had dinner out with our hosts–the usual Davao fare of Tuna was on the table

for dinner and well, Durian was pre-planned for dessert.

It goes without saying that when you’re out with your hosts, you should try your best to appreciate the culture and customs. Yup! Durian still included.

They took us to Magsaysay Park, a strip of Durian stores that served nothing but the most potent Durian in the land.

Pre-Durian squirm

I hesistated quite a bit, squirmed and whined about having to do it but I put myself in check and just gave in, for the sake of being polite and boy was I pleasantly surprised!!

Not bad…

Durian wasn’t as terrible as I thought it would be. Smelly, definitely but once you get past that initial nostril burn and sink your teeth into a creamy chunk–hehe–it’s actually pretty darn good!

Who would have thought.

The meat of it isn’t like any other fruit, it’s not firm like a mango or crispy like an apple or pulpy like an orange. It’s kinda fluffy and smooth and creamy. Depending on the variety though, it can be sweet and creamy or just kick you in the face—some people love that kick in the face.

I personally prefer the Native/Malagkit variety. It’s pretty mild compared to the Arancillo and I’m guessing it has the tamest flavor of all. I will eat the other varieties if they’re served though. I appreciate Durian now but I choose when to eat it cause the burps post-Durian are pretty horrid.

Durian Shake

Durian is also pretty refreshing in shake form and if you want some without getting your hands too dirty, the shake is the way to go!

So come on, don’t be afraid! Try it! You might just end up with a fondness for it or at least you can say you’ve tried once and NEVER WILL AGAIN! …but at least you’d have given it a chance. 😛


Museum Volunteer

In the beginning.

In the beginning.

There are many ways to volunteer and support organizations you believe in and I like exploring new opportunities so this year I started helping make the GASFI Children’s corner of Museo Marino in Malate.

Painting is pretty messy

Painting is pretty messy

It’s an awesome opportunity to express myself creatively and make new friends but it’s also been a journey of self-discovery. I had never volunteered for a museum before so this is a pretty big first; I’ve never had my work on exhibit like this before either so that’s another first; and I’ve never worked on my art in public with people watching me before so that’s another huge first.

They’re all firsts that I really enjoyed though (and continue to enjoy since the project doesn’t end, we just keep adding). I like creating things but I usually do that in the privacy of my room and I usually give my art as gifts to people important to me so they usually get displayed in private places that aren’t accessible to the general public.

The interesting thing about this project for me is really that I’m trying to present the concept of a Union –the biggest union in the country at that– to children. How do you tell kids what the union does for their families in a way that children can appreciate? Well, it took a lot of brainstorming and the guidance of a brilliant Museum Curator, Ms. Lilibeth Cordova – La’O to present it in a manner that kids will appreciate. I’m really happy with what we’ve achieved so far.

It's still a work in progress

It’s still a work in progress

You can visit Museo Marino from 9am-5pm, Monday to Saturday at J. Nakpil corner Pilar Hidalgo-Lim, Malate, Manila.

Volunteer wherever you can, whenever you’re available for whatever you think you can do. It’s an excellent way to show the world what you are capable of and it’s always going to be an incredible learning experience.

Soft launching with some friends

Soft launching with some friends

I’ve volunteered a lot in different capacities and I often get asked why I’d be willing to do things without financial compensation and for me it’s simple: I can. If I can help then I will; if I have the time and the skill, I’ll do it because I was blessed with the capability to do so. What’s the use of being able to do things if you’ll be greedy with your skills?

I usually don’t put price tags on my work but that doesn’t mean I don’t eventually get compensated. Sometimes I get wined and dined, sometimes I get cool new toys, sometimes I get to travel, sometimes I get life lessons, but I think it’s most fulfilling when I get SMILES.

Smiles–now those inspire me. 🙂


I have a Psychology degree.
What is that supposed to mean?

DLSU says that:

This course introduces the students to the scientific study of human behavior and mental processes through the different psychological perspectives, theories, concepts, and the methods by which psychologists study, explain, and predict psychological phenomena. Students will be trained to develop a psychological orientation to understanding human behavior through empirical observation of psychological phenomena and the discussion of issues relevant to the topics covered. The course is taught using the transformative learning format.

I think that’s about right but no one ever warned us that in this process we were also going to discover the deep dark secrets within ourselves —- or maybe they did but I didn’t hear them.

Anyway! The upside of starting off with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology is that we understand ourselves a little better and know our limits, issues, disorders, strengths; we know things that most people have to wait sometime to discover about themselves because we go through an intensive process of looking in.

We need to understand ourselves and know our limits to understand and help others.

There are probably a million things wrong with me but the difference is I’m aware and able to control myself (most of the time. hey! I’m human.) a little better than before I entered the Psychology program.

So if you’re going through this blog because you’re wondering what to take in college, I highly recommend Psychology. You can use it in almost any field that involves interacting with humans— a lot of us get into careers in this place called the Human Resource Department (industrial psychology) but we can also do other things like Social Work (developmental psychology), Advertising (consumer Psychology), Teaching (educational psychology), and that list goes on and on.

That’s my 2cents.

Tao Te Ching 17

When the Master governs, the people.
are hardly aware that he exists.
Next best is a leader who is loved.
Next, one who is feared.
The worst is one who is despised.

If you don’t trust the people,
you make them untrustworthy.

The Master doesn’t talk, he acts.
When his work is done,
the people say, “Amazing:
we did it, all by ourselves!”

Chinese proverb

I saw this quote in a video today and it’s very powerful mantra to live by.

I was pretty young when I started learning the ropes; I was in 7th grade when I first helped organize an event, it was a Halloween fundraiser that benefitted the urban poor. The year after, I was the one in charge and we made about 100,000 in ticket sales–it was a huge boost for my self-confidence and I really felt that I had achieved that on my own but I didn’t, I was guided by a true leader.

I remember how she guided us and taught us everything from what to write, who to write to, who to talk to, what to say, what to do, how to do it, she even sent us on crash courses for accounting and other required skills that we didn’t yet have.

I’m not an expert at accounting and numbers still intimidate me but at least I know the basics simply because I was lead by someone who knew how to lead.

When my time comes, and it’s my responsibility to lead (or follow), I want to be able to do the same. I want to build people up and make them feel that they’re doing things for themselves because at the end of the day, I only want to be there to help them realize their own potential so that they can keep moving forward.


Stepping Stones

I started looking for a job a few days ago. I’ve networked quite a bit in my college years so the first order of business was e-mailing friends from the development sector to see if they were aware of any openings and informing them that I was on the market. I got a lot of encouragement and good leads out of that but of course I still had to go through the process of looking beyond what I was already familiar with.

My first stop was the google.com homepage;

Search: Non-profit careers.

The results can get quite overwhelming and I soon realized that there are so many classifications and terms for the different sub-sectors of this interesting world that I want to enter.

I spent the first few hours of my job search scouring through websites for jobs in non-profits and realized that I was looking for the wrong thing and using the wrong keywords; what I want is a job in an International Aid Agency or Development Work.

I narrowed my search down to International Aid Work, and found the following sites to be the most comprehensive:

www.devex.com and www.reliefweb.int for a lot of posts from all over the world of International Aid. They save you so much time since you don’t have to wrack your brains for the names of the different agencies you know, google them and find the careers sections of their respective sites. I also noticed that devex and reliefnet are more updated than the actual agency websites, in terms of career postings.

www.inspira.un.org is for all those United Nations jobs that I really really want but realized I have so much more experience to gain for. I learned a lot from reading through job descriptions and requirements though; I think knowing what they look for and what credentials can help you land that dream job are very very very VERY important.

www.idealist.org is also an interesting site, it’s presented really well but they didn’t really have what I was looking for–a job in the Philippines.

All those websites have sign-up pages where you can make profiles and upload your CVs and apply for various positions in the different agencies you fancy so make sure your resume is ready, and you have a good mugshot you can upload. It’s kinda like LinkedIn but more tailored to development work and international aid.

A lot of the other sites I explored were really interesting but most of them just catered to Americans and Europeans. I wish someone made a hub that features opportunities for the developing world too and a hub that featured opportunities for the inexperienced to get experience. Stepping stones maybe?

The ADVENTURE begins!


Hello! My name is Pauline de Lange, I’m 22 years old and I just graduated college— I’ve waited so long to finally say that!

I’m setting this blog up as my outlet for all things related to my journey into the world of NON-PROFITS and International Aid work.

My dream is simple, I want to help make the world a better place. I have a few ideas how and I think I also know why but I’m young and quite unstable so this journey should be pretty interesting.