There were a lot of big activities going on at my work this week. This week was the 70th anniversary of FNRI, so of course there had to be a large celebration. This commenced with an Employee and Alumni Fun Day on Thursday as well as a fancy dinner (black tie and long dresses required) on Friday night. Before we could enjoy these fun activities, everyone at FNRI attended the FNRI Seminar Series (FSS) from Monday to Wednesday at a hotel in Quezon City. Some of us were helping run the event, some were presenting, and some of us were just participants. On Thursday of this week, we had the official opening of the Edible Garden located on the FNRI property.
The FNRI Seminar Series is FNRI’s biggest event of the year, where they present the results of their Nutritional Survey and research conducted. Participants in the Seminar Series included nutritional professionals, scientists from all over the Philippines, members from FNRI, students, nutritional entrepreneurs/businesses and even some regular people who just wanted to learn more about nutrition. I was able to learn about a lot of the research outcomes that have been discovered through the work FNRI has done. The division that I work in, the Business Development Unit, mainly works with promoting products and the transfer of technologies. It was very interesting to see the research behind some of the products that we work and some products that may be available for transfer in the future. A lot of the research that is done in the Philippines dramatically differs from the research that is done in the United States due to the differing nutritional issues facing the Philippines and the raw ingredients that they have available.
The real highlight of my week came with the opening of the edible garden on Thursday. The Edible Garden is a joint project between FNRI and the East-West Seed Company called “Oh My Gulay.” The main outcome of this project is to increase the amount of vegetables eaten by Filipinos due to the decrease in recent years. I have been buying small amounts of vegetables from this garden since I started here and they are masarap (delicious). I quickly became best friends with the representatives from EW Seed Co., as shown from the picture above. I have also discovered my love of Kang Kong since being in the Philippines, with my new nickname being Kang Kong Q(K)ween.
Checkout this news story that was shot about the Edible Garden. This has aired on Philippines National Television multiple times. Peep me awkwardly cutting some talong (eggplant). (LOL I’m basically famous in the Philippines)
This weekend all of the FNRI interns took a pretty much spur-of-the-moment trip to Boracay. This did have some of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen, but at times that was overshadowed by the amount of tourists present. At this point I’m starting to feel a lot less like a tourist and more like I belong here. People have started to treat me differently now that I know more Tagalog and am better able to blend in. I can’t believe I will already be coming home in three weeks!