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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Waseda chapter.

This summer, I made a trip to the Philippines. Specifically, I went to Mactan Island, which is part of Cebu. It was one of the most beautiful places with great beaches, nice weather, and friendly people. Cebu is also known for having many resort hotels with relaxing spas, cool bars, and pool parks. As exciting as that sounds, I am not here to talk about that. Although I visited the Philippines to have a getaway from reality, I ended reflecting more than I had planned. Going there made me think a lot about social structure of the Philippines and other developing countries. Just as I stepped right outside from the hotel, there was a road that had completely different atmosphere. I am aware that I am sometimes too naïve and clueless, but it shocked to me see how different our lives are. Small children were out in the streets at noon, which means they do not go to school. There were almost no lights at night. Also, there were so many stray dogs walking around. However, what surprised me the most was that they seem just fine. In fact, they seem happy. I am not saying that they should not be, but I felt uneasiness. It seemed unfair that those children do not have the opportunities to attend school. It seemed difficult to function without lights at night. It seemed cruel that those poor animals do not have a shelter or food. These are just my speculations. But I am sure I am not the only one who came across these thoughts when visiting there. I guess what typically happens after this would be to do some volunteer work. At the same time, I know from my own experience that volunteering for a day or two does not exactly help. More often, it just boosts up complacency and unfortunately, that is the end of it. I am not against volunteering. I think it is a nice gesture and a great way to help people. But it is sometimes difficult to really know whether if it helped them. So, what can we do to help? One interesting thing that I saw in the Philippines was that a lot of the locals had cellphones, smartphones, and even tablets. So, there is a possibility that they may know that some things are quite different from them. Knowing that is a big step. Wanting it is a bigger step. Just like so, maybe things will change. So, I guess that is what I am doing right now. Writing my silly thoughts on Her Campus Story, hoping someone in the Philippines would read it some day.