(Editor’s note: the following article is provided by a group of student community reporters from Tallmadge Middle School as part of the Akron International Friendship‘s Know Your World, Know Your Community project, which explores local and global diversity with area sixth-graders. On March 19, the students were visited by University of Akron Graduate student Leandro Venturia, an international student from the Philippines. While at the school he talked about life in the Philippines and shared facts about the country. After the presentation the TMS student reporters asked Leandro a few questions.)
If I were to visit the Philippines, what sites would I want to make sure not to miss?
Manila Bay, because it has what many say is the most beautiful and perfect sunset in the world. Also, I recommend the many beaches. There are white and black sand beaches and with over 7,000 separate islands that make up the Philippines, you have plenty of choices.
What do you miss about the Philippines?
I miss the warm tropical weather.
What is your favorite holiday? What kinds of things do you do on this holiday?
I love Christmas! We sing songs and share presents. But in the Philippines, our Christmas season begins in September so we have a lot of time for fun and family.
What’s different about the clothes there than here?
Well, we have traditional clothes that are made from pineapple and because it is always warm we don’t need separate winter and summer clothes.
How did your kids inspire you to do better?
They are my main priority in my life and my family is my inspiration. They are the reason I am here finishing my degree so I can provide a better life for them.
What are your favorite things to do in your spare time?
I like to read, play on the Internet, and look at Facebook and YouTube.
Is there anything that you would like to add?
I hope you get to visit the Philippines some day and that you like it!
Although endowed with many fine beaches and a growing tourism industry, much of the country is mountainous and prone to earthquakes and eruptions from around 20 active volcanoes. It is often buffeted by typhoons and other storms.
The Philippines, a Spanish colony for more than three centuries and named after a 16th century Spanish king, was taken over by the United States in the early 20th century after a protracted rebellion against rule from Madrid. Spanish and U..S influences remain strong, especially in terms of language, religion, and government.
Positioned on the western edge of the Pacific Ocean, along the Ring of Fire, the Philippines is the second-largest archipelago on the planet, with more than 7,100 individual islands counted within its borders.