Wish you were here: Angkor Wat
The picture was taken during my semestral break during my last year of university (October 30, 2009) in Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia. I and six of my friends wanted to go around our neighboring countries in Southeast Asia. We thought that as Southeast Asians (Filipinos) ourselves, we had never set foot on our own sister nations, and decided to take a trip around Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand.
I arrived at Siem Reap by way of boat (up the Mekong River) from Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital. It took around six to eight hours. We had to take a tuktuk from the dock to our hostel, and from the hostel you can take a 15-30 minute tuktuk ride to the main temples of Angkor Wat.
The trip was so significant for so many reasons. We felt like we are so alienated from our own neighbors because of (over)exposure to Western culture. That includes religion. The seven of us, all raised Catholic due to Spanish colonization, learned to appreciate Buddhism and Hinduism especially because of our visit to Angkor Wat. We were educated on the belief systems of our fellow Southeast Asians, and while we were realizing how different we are, we were also surprised to discover how much we have in common.
The picture on the other hand, I feel, exhibits the spirit of “adventurism” the group had throughout the trip. We felt so young and spirited, and ready to take on the world with what skills we had, that the Mortal Kombat pose expresses the dynamic of it.
About the author: Julienne Raboca, or Yeni, is a fresh graduate from her home city Manila. She is still at a crossroads in her life, so it might not be advisable to peg an occupation on her at this point. Otherwise, she finished business communications as her undergrad, and is a voracious reader, traveler, fashion follower, and history fanatic. She has tried her hand at debating, newscasting, writing, DJ-ing and possibly lawyer-ing in the future. Who knows?