Fellows Blog Posts by Nasha Virata

Jan 12, 2010 PH Philippines

When I was in grade school, we would start every year of Pilipino class with a lesson on what the Filipino traits were. The ones I particularly remember are: bahala na, pakikisama, hiya, mañana habit, and utang na loob. These five values inform every Kiva Fellow’s experience in the Philippines but also explain why many of the micro-entrepreneurs I’ve spoken to become borrowers in the first place. Literally translated, these words sometimes seem pejorative in English yet without understanding them, one would be hard-pressed to understand how...

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Dec 30, 2009 PH Philippines

Recently I attended a centre meeting with one of PMPC’s loan officers. I sat down beside a woman who smiled broadly but did not want to give me her name or have her picture taken since she hadn’t prepared for it, which, in the heat and humidity of the Philippines, I could certainly understand. I asked her if she was a borrower and she said no, she wasn’t. She was a member of the centre, which meant that she was a PMPC-client but only had a savings account. She re-paid her last business loan but decided not to take another one out. When I asked her why not, she told me, laughing “Pagod...

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Dec 26, 2009 PH Philippines

I promise that not all my blogs will be about food. This will be a pretty hard promise to keep- especially when my very first post breaks that promise right from the start.

I’m the newest Kiva Fellow at Paglaum Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Northwestern Mindanao, Philippines. I’m also a native Filipino who was born and raised in Manila but just happened to spend the last ten-odd years of my life living and working in other parts of the world. This means that every time I do go home, I eat an inordinate amount of Filipino food. Filipino food has got a bad rap from critics...

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