East Asia Adventures
BY CAMERON TEANEY ON SEPTEMBER 20, 2013
Visiting extended family usually involves some sort of adventure (whether or not it is a pleasant adventure is a different question), especially if your family lives on the other side of the world. Students like seniors Michelle Magsino and Alexis Millan, as well as junior Kabir Mohammed, have had the opportunity to spend some of their summers visiting their families while also experiencing the culture of Southeast Asia.
Magsino grew up in the Philippines and lived there until she was 11 and she moved to America.
“I grew up in the capital Manila so I was surrounded by city and most of the Philippines is Catholic so I grew up in a Catholic high school,” Magsino said. “It’s good because in two hours I’m at the beach in different parts of the Philippines and the different cultures [are good] because different parts of the Philippines speak different languages so that’s pretty cool.”
Magsino recently went back to the Philippines to see her family and revisit old memories. While she was there, she also got the chance to go to new places.
“[My favorite part of going back was] seeing my grandmother and my cousins,” Magsino said. “Also, when I went back I went to a different part of the Philippines so I got to see that; I got to see the smallest primate in the world, a tarsheer.”
Millan also recently visited her family in the Philippines. She has been on several occasions and aside from seeing family, enjoyed some vacation time.
“There’s this really nice beach there so we flew down there and there’s a resort so we did that,” Millan said. “We went to the city Manila which is the biggest city there, so there are a lot of malls so we went shopping.”
Filipino fashion is similar to that in America, but Millan said that she likes the larger and more diverse variety of clothes found in the Philippines.
“Since they’re in the middle they have United States’ brands and European brands,” Millan said. “The malls are really big there and there are several of them in one place.”
Magsino said that she enjoys the differences between Filipino and American culture, particularly those pertaining to holidays.
“In the Philippines, once it’s September everyone’s preparing for Christmas,” Magsino said. “All different stores have Christmas lights already and we have countdowns; such as here we set our trees up right before Christmas.”
Mohammed has been to Malaysia many times to visit his extended family and while there, enjoyed other parts of Asia as well.
“Last time I went there I went to Singapore,” Mohammed said. “One time I went to Moncaui, which is like the Hawaii of Malaysia; I’ve been to Genting Islands a couple of times, which is like the Disney World of Malaysia.”
Magsino, Millan and Mohammed agree that food is another great aspect of Asian culture. Traditional Filipino cuisine consists of rice, some sort of meat, sauce and maybe vegetables, but there is a variety of dishes made with these ingredients.
“My favorite is kare kare; it’s beef boiled in a peanut based sauce with vegetables usually like eggplant and bochoi,” Magsino said. “Also there is a favorite fast food called Jolly B.”
Malaysian dishes tend to have more of an Indian influence.
“[One of my favorite Malaysian foods is] roti canai, which is a bread pancake thing with curry,” Muhammed said. “[I also like] roti bom, which is the sweet version of roti canai.”
Magsino, Millan and Mohammed said that they love getting the opportunity to visit their families in lands an ocean away from their current homes and look forward to going back to Asia.