Today we journeyed to Los Baños to visit the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the University of Philippines Los Baños. This day was filled with meeting K-Staters, connecting with administration and students and learning what “Payday Friday” means in the Manila metro area! Along the way we had some fabulous Filipino food and experienced another mindblowing transportation experience.
The power of purple pride. Through a K-State connection we were able to tour and learn about the research and sustainability that is happening around rice.
A map made out of rice.
In our visit we met two K-Staters and numerous others who worked with individuals who were proud K-Staters. We listened to stories about Throckmorton Hall, driving in the United States for the first time and the impact that faculty and research had on these individuals.
Chatting with a few K-Staters who were at K-State during the mid 1990s who now work for IRRI.
Private guided tour of the rice fields.
Visited the long term rice genebank that is kept at -20° C to keep the integrity of the rice properties.
Our next venture was the University of Philippines Los Baños.
We started our visit with a meeting the with the University Chancellor. I learned how the Philippines adopted the American higher eduction system and why the citizens speak English even though they were colonized by the Spanish.
Before our K-State presentation to prospective students and faculty we were treated to a traditional Filipino lunch with their dean of graduate studies and you guessed it MORE K-Staters!
The alumna on the left went to K-State from 1977-1978 and then obtained her Ph.D from 1980-1983. She is the dean of their economics department. The alumna on the right is a 1989 graduate and another trailblazer.
A K-State ID card that our alum has kept. You can’t tell me our alum don’t bleed purple all throughout this world.
A tradtional meal that was served was Kare Kare (an oxtail stew with a peanut sauce…how did they know I LOVE oxtails)
This goodness almost put me to sleep before our presentation (the struggle was so real)
Buko pie from the best place to have this pie (Los Baños) it is a young coconut pie. It has the texture of apple pie.
Ked and I gettin hit with jetlag….
So as our full day in Los Baños was coming to a close, we were talking with our friend and traveling host ,Amelia, and she mentioned it could take us up to 3 hours to get back to Manila because it is “Payday Friday”! Wait what is payday friday and how does this impact the already jampacked traffic.
This was the traffic when we were going to Los Baños at 6:45am.
This was our fearless NASCAR like driver who found every and any opportunity to get ahead in traffic (yes we are driving on the shoulder) in the Philippines driving rules are what we were told… suggestions. Don’t worry mom we wore our seat belts and prayed for God’s covering!
So seeing what the regular morning commute was it was unfathomable to comprehend what “Payday Friday” was going to be like. “Payday Friday” is when more than normal amounts of people are out on the town going to dinner, grocery shopping and going to the mall cause they just got paid. It is such a big deal that they were talking about it on the radio. When I say it took us 2 1/2 hours of gridlock traffic to get to the hotel and that was with an expert driver, it was crazy!
When we finally made it to the hotel what did we do…..EAT! We went to another bomb Filipino restaurant and learned more about the rich culture of the people.
Sinigang a sour soup with milk fish. This soup was made with guava instead of Tamarind and the guava flavor was divine.
Shrimp crackers and vinegar…its like the Filipino version of chips and salsa.
Paco fern salad with red egg…remember the red eggs from my first post? Well they color the eggs red to let people know they are salted eggs.
This dish was shrimp gambas, this was in a garlic sauce that you could drink!
Bicol express which is a veggie dish with long beans, okra and some more spicy yummyness. What I learned about Filipino food selection is you want to get flavors that are sweet, salty, sour and spicy!
This dish was fried pork belly with green papaya salad. These Filipinos know how to cook some chicharrõn.
For the drink I had a pineapple shake!
All in all, today was a great productive K-State day and we ended it with great food and wonderful friendships. Until next time…