Week 7 – Babalik ako sa “bahay” ko

Hello readers,


This week I continued with my two projects: isolating Paramecium and Acanthamoeba. Thankfully, after several days of trying to get the paramecium to multiply in a test tube, it worked! I started with one paramecium that I got from water in the laguna inside the University of the Philippines, and I was able to get five to six parameciums at the end! I was unable to complete the final step of the project as I was out of time; however, I would have done a DNA extraction/PCR in order to determine if the microbe was in fact a paramecium. I was also able to isolate Acanthamoeba from the air conditioning filters. I found an isolated cyst (dormant state of Acanthamoeba) within the gel and I flame-sterilized a scalpel to cut the cyst out and place it onto another plate with E. coli. After letting it incubate for a day, I checked the plates and I found that there was an Acanthamoeba present within the plate! I also helped the salmonella team perform their Vitek operations during my final week. 

I also continued with sitting in the Microbiology lab class in UPD. I became really fond of my labmates because they treated me with kindness and made me feel so welcome in the student. During my last week in class, we just prepared culture media and plates to use for cultures the next class. I was excited to help out with this activity because I was already taught in my internship how to prepare culture and autoclave plates. I acted like a TA while in the lab and helped anyone who needed help. My final day in class each group took swabs from a certain object in the Institute of Biology building. One of my group members took a swab from the library keys, another from the water fountain, and I swabbed the toilet. 

Leaving the Philippines could very well be the same day I arrived here. I am headed to the airport instead of coming from it, the rain falling steadily against the van I am riding in. It is crazy to think that my month and a half spent in the Philippines has already come to an end. It feels surreal. I remember my first day at the internship, sobrang nahihiya ako at natakot ako. However, my Ates in the lab made me feel so so welcome and I can say that they are now my closest friends now, all of them. I won’t forget our merienda trips to Kuya Beh to get fish ball and squid ball. Waking up early to go to NSTW and spend a day with highschoolers in the Philippines. Going to IB “perform” experiments there. Lunch at Nismid and CS building. And of course, food at Frankie’s and our Bamboo nights. I love you guys and my trip would not have been amazing if it weren’t for you all. I would not trade this experience for anything in the world. I hope I can continue to make a difference for the Philippines because it will forever be my home. Mahal kita!

It’s already the last week, and I want to thank everyone who has been reading my blogs! Until next time Philippines. 


Maraming salamat sa pagbabasa ng aking blog! (Thank you so much for reading my blog!)


Luigi Almirante


Word of the Week: kanin → rice

Food of the Week: pandesal

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