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 ๐Ÿ˜€ and it’s goood. Cheap & fun; a lot of music, and even more drinks. And no ID checks ๐Ÿ˜‰

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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5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by yonna on January 9, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    waahh you envy me already. you’ve visited 20 something countries. you are my favorite traveller (beside Mbak Trinity – Naked Traveller and Mulia Nurhasan) from now on ๐Ÿ™‚

    yes about the point no. 1….most of Pinay/Pinoy are English speaker. this is what i want from Indonesian especially Jakartan. not mean to be snobby but English is a must language. to make it as daily language will improve our fluency each day ๐Ÿ™‚

    enjoy your stay in Manila (isn’t it?!). forget about learning Tagalog, the Pinay themselves speak English, aren’t they ๐Ÿ˜†

    Reply

  2. kewl blog!
    thanks for loving my country even though it’s not perfect ๐Ÿ™‚ And if someday you miss it, you are more than welcome to visit your “home” anytime… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    nad

    Reply

  3. Posted by asti on January 21, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    @yonna: yes, English is important but the local language is equally so. Sayang juga kalo imagine berapa banyaknya languages yang mulai disappear karena “language globalisation.” Plus it would have been cool to speak another language like Tagalog.. like a secret language for my family when we are in Indonesia or Malaysia.. biar bebas ngomongin orang-orang hahaha

    @metalpig: Thanks for visiting! Your country is beautiful, and I miss it so.. and remember, no country is perfect ๐Ÿ˜‰ Come visit Indonesia too!

    Reply

  4. Hi Asti…
    How’s is in Indonesia? Where you work now?
    Btw, my Controller from Philippines hates her country so much to the point that she said there is no place to enjoy but that one resort. Note, it’s a resort, not just a beach or a nature escape. She described how the toilet at the nat’l airport had no cover, and used a piece of wood to cover it and how she had to bring her own toilet paper everywhere haha…

    Man, I was like “Sigh… I thought I was gonna blame how sucks things in Indo are”, but thanks for the moral lift LOL…

    Got facebook?

    Reply

    • Posted by asti on May 16, 2010 at 2:03 pm

      Hi Ian! Long time no hear! I’m well, thanks.. Jakarta has been a rollercoaster ride for me, but the overall Indonesia has just been awesome. What about you? You back in Indo yet?

      Which resort does your friend refer to? Sorry to hear that she doesn’t enjoy the Philippines, but I’ve had great holidays across its archipelago… And I’ve never actually used the toilet at their NAIA, but yeah, toilet paper seems to go missing quite often in the public toilets there ๐Ÿ˜ฎ but I believe the Soekarno-Hatta toilets are just as bad ๐Ÿ˜€

      And what is a Controller? That’s what the “finance” department in my company is called.. so don’t tell me we now work in the same company ๐Ÿ˜€

      Oh, on facebook, you can just search for this blog’s address and my name should come up ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply

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