Archive for January, 2009

Why I Love the Philippines

After a good few years of living in the Philippines and even more of calling it home (since I define home as where my parents live), the journey will come to an end this June/July. My parents are heading back to Jakarta-side, so I guess that’ll be my “home” from then on.

Like they say, you never know what you’ve got till it’s gone. And I don’t think I took full advantage of living in this beautiful country. I don’t even know how to speak tagalog after all these years, apart from the few words that I drop in so that they give me the “local” and not “tourist” price.

While I say my good bye in what could be my last visit “home”, I thought I’ll do another list like what I did for Indonesia. It’s not as well-researched (I’m stealing time on the library computer), but it’s no less heartfelt. Maybe someday, when I’ve left and truly realized how much it means to me, I can write a better-composed one.

1. English-speaking: makes getting around so much easier. But that means I lose the drive to learn Tagalog. Darn.

2. Friendly and happy people: I find the pinoys (the local term for Filipinos) in general have a happier outlook in life than, say, the general Indonesian or Singaporean eventhough financially they are as or less well off. A very laidback and outgoing, takes-life-as-it-comes nature. I like getting service from people who are happy giving it.

3. Weather: being somewhat above the equator, the Philippines have its hot months as well as its cooler months. Hot months are crap, but the cooler ones are just nice. You can walk around without getting sweaty and sunburnt, which means Manila has a lot of open-air parks and recreation spaces next to its oversized malls (which are, in contrast, perfect for summer).

4. Nightlife: officially, I know nothing about the Manila nightlife. unofficially, I know quite a bit 😀 and it’s goood. Cheap & fun; a lot of music, and even more drinks. And no ID checks 😉

5. My dad’s office: It’s like a one-stop convenience center. Free internet (which is where I am posting from), big big library, cheap international food, a commissary (where I can buy lots of imported goods and charge directly to my dad’s paycheck hahaha), a post office, a laundry service, banks, atms, water/electricity/DHL service.

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Update

Now that I’m done with Uni, I’ve been doing a lot of travelling and even more general lounging.

My parents came to Brisbane to attend my graduation (Dec 15), and my birthday (Dec 16). We didn’t get to go to New Zealand as planned, so I turned 25 without a 25th-country-I-have-visited tale to tell.

But I still got to cross off one of my things-to-do-before-I’m-too-old/broke list: diving in the Great Barrier Reef! We (me mom & dad) went to Cairns, where I dove, dad snorkeled, and mom sudoku-ed.

After many visits to my parents’ friends’ houses in Brisbane, those from 20 years ago and more recent ones, we flew off to Manila on Dec 31st.

They spent New Year’s in Manila, me in Singapore, and my sister in London. Then on Dec 2nd, after 2 years of here there and everywhere, the whole family was reunited back in Manila. Yay!

Jan 3rd-4th: went to Anilao, where me & sis dove, dad snorkeled, and mom Sudoku-ed.

Jan 10th-11th: see above (but in future tense)

The honeymoon will end when my sis leaves (Jan 15th), then me (Jan 19th), then mom (Jan 20th), leaving my dad back to his Indomie-for-dinner routine.

In between all of that, I am doing my job applications *wish me luck*

Belated happy new year to you all, and my best wishes always!