This summer, we asked our CAMP summer interns to share their experiences on our blog. Here’s Chiawen Chiang’s second post:
In the past few weeks, I’ve experienced and encountered so much with my co-interns and office-mates that it almost feels like I worked with them for years. I’ve come to love the little details about the Senate—the way paintings are displayed on the hallway in the first floor, how the offices of each senator is differently furnished and decorated, the way the last few stairs to the 5th floor tilt slightly downward, and how our office, room 510, always seems to smell funny in the morning.
The first time I walked into that Senate building as an intern, I never would have guessed the people I would meet, the ideas that would unfold before my eyes, or even the crazy road trips I would have with some of the most headstrong and ambitious Filipinos of our generation. Our latest road trip brought us to Tarlac, the ancestral home of Senator Aquino for his birthday celebration. I have to admit, it was the most memorable birthday party I have ever attended. Upon entering his ancestral home, I saw the rich history that it held within its old wooden frames. More than that, I saw senators and barangay captains enjoying themselves to a traditional Filipino past time—Karaoke. I saw our leaders rock out to Bon Jovi while enjoying lechon after celebrating Holy Mass. I even had the chance to sit in the registration table where governors and congressmen checked their attendance, albeit for a little while. With a hearty meal and dirty ice cream in the buffet, even the mid-summer rain shower did nothing to dampen the spirits of the guests and the senatorial staff.
On the other hand, our first road trip was more business related. For almost five hours, we were on our way to Nueva Ecija to interview farmers and see how partnering with Jollibee was changing their lives. More than that, I discovered people whose lives are completely different from those I was used to. These farmers took their livelihood very seriously; they were passionate about how it could support their family, and were extremely proud when their children followed their footsteps. There was nothing more encouraging than seeing people who were willing to sweat in the summer heat for a cause they believed in, and even more so when you see big chain companies like Jollibee and Chow King who are willing to reach out to farmers to give them a bigger chance at stability.
What I probably loved the most out of this internship however, isn’t an event, a bill, or even a person, but rather, a feeling. Most of my time in the office was spent researching, encoding, editing, and even a little drafting. I knew that these were little things, things that probably aren’t very important when it comes to the bigger picture. However, just the fact that I did something that contributed or even at the very least helped in the making of something bigger than myself was more than I could ever ask for. Researching for information that would later on be used in the session was an incredible honor, as well as editing bills that would later on be submitted to the senator. I never truly realized that I was helping make this nation a better one, in even a small way, until now. And I have to say, it is an incredible feeling.
Chiawen Chiang is a student at PAREF-Woodrose School.
The CAMP summer internship program is designed to provide high school students with professional work experience before attending university. Read more about the program here.
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