Google Is Not Everything…

An Early Summer

Jhanessty Vaye Bautista | Maui High School, Class of 2024

Almost every other year up until COVID-19, I would enjoy being with my family and exploring all the different provinces during the summer. While I was out of school for two months, many cousins were starting their next school year. Saddened by that fact, I wanted to make the best use of our minimal time together.

Upon our arrival, it was a routine that would take my siblings and I one to two weeks to warm up to our cousins. With the language barrier, catching them up to date on the details of the past year was challenging. We often found ourselves walking on eggshells, watching the adults party like there was no tomorrow.

During my last visit, I luckily recorded the entire trip to recall. As I rewatch the footage of me and my cousins sword fighting with a pool noodle, searching for our newly adopted dog as he got lost under cardboard, and seeing a river form from the immense amount of rainfall, I can’t help but appreciate the Philippines and hope to travel back before I go off to college.

Bernadette Acaso

Bernadette Acaso‘s excitement continues to grow in these last few months of school as she expects to travel to the Philippines. “Summer is the best time of the year,” she declares. Her favorite summer activity is having a salo-salo, a gathering with friends and family. Bernadette and her family usually set up a big pot-luck-style dinner table. While watching the sunset, they share stories and play card games such as Paning and Unggoy-unggoyan.

Our summer is in June and July; however, for the Philippines, this is their rainy season. It still reaches scorching temperatures this season, so sometimes you need a snack to cool off. Bernadette explains, “When it gets really hot outside, the first thing that comes to mind is Halo-halo, my favorite summer food.”

Summer in the Philippines is from March through May, and the experience is like ours. Bernadette explains how she spent her childhood summers in the Philippines: “When summer comes, the hottest temperature drops. Hence, it becomes the perfect time for the best street vendors in my hometown to sell their best-selling street foods. Just like in Hawai‘i, there are also a lot of people who drive to the beach to go for a swim to cool off. The malls and restaurants are crowded with busy buyers, and people tend to be more outgoing, so they usually sing karaoke or host a gathering in their place.”

Aleizay Rose Angel

It sounds like summer is just as lively as it would be here. Taking some similarities back to the islands, Aleizay Angel explains how one of her favorite foods is taho, a Filipino street food made of tofu, arnibal, and sago pearls. “Taho is one of the many comfort foods in the Philippines and it has the perfect sweetness for anyone with a sweet tooth,” she says.

While she has not been to the Philippines during the summer, she often travels to other places in the world during this time. “Last summer, I went to Washington state and explored Seattle, and I was also able to take a campus tour of the University of Washington, which was a fantastic opportunity. Two summers ago, we visited Ontario, Canada, to visit family and do activities such as visiting Niagara Falls and fishing. It’s an excellent way to spend time with my parents, as I am usually busy throughout the school year and can barely spend quality time with them. I sincerely enjoy seeing the world and what it has to offer!”

This summer, Aleizay will be taking a break from those travels and looking forward to spending quality time with herself, “I am looking forward to spending more time with friends and family and pursuing activities that I haven’t had the time to do during the school year, such as learning how to drive or playing tennis.”

Gianna Magbual
Ginger Hill

Gianna Magbual and Ginger Hill have yet to go to the Philippines but their summers are just as lively. Ginger loves to paddle board and surf and is “looking forward to joining youth programs and seeing my family!” On the other hand, Gianna is looking forward to picnics on the beach with her friends and family and “getting some time in the sun.”

As I will forever continue to rewatch the memories in the Philippines, I am excited for the new possibilities and memories I will get to record as I embark on college. I hope that even after entering college, my memories in the Philippines will not come to a close and I will have the chance to revisit my family. While summer for us is not yet here, the Philippines will be starting theirs. Here’s an oath to them!

Google® Is Not Everything is a monthly column authored by high school students. The title of the column emphasizes education is more than just googling a topic. Google® is a registered trademark. This month’s guest columnist is Jhanessty Vaye Bautista, a Senior at Maui High School. She is a President of Maui High’s Key Club, vice president of Maui High’s Filipino Cultural Club, Executive Secretary of Maui High’s Student Government, and a member of the National Honor Society and Creative Media Club. Jhanessty is in the ACOM Pathway at Maui High, focusing on graphic design and entrepreneurship. In her free time, she reads books of all genres, sketches outlines for her new graphics project, sings karaoke alone or with a group of her close family and friends, and loves anything involving the popular video game Minecraft Bee. She is the daughter of Vanessa and Jhon Boy Bautista.