I have to admit that like most Pinoys, I’ve toyed with the idea of leaving this seemingly godforsaken country. But the desperation is not so great as to make me make the Big Move yet. My friends argue that you could work day and night and not own a house in RP whereas you could easily own a car and other comforts in a country like America. However, I think there are things here which I wouldn’t exchange for any other nirvana in the world. For instance, I wouldn’t trade our glorious weather and the infectious laughter of our people for any of those high-tech appliances in the First World. In the long run, it’s not all about money. To me, it’s all about belonging to a place where the faces and footprints are at once true and familiar to you. I’ve asked myself what is home to me and it is Manila (for now ~ I could answer Cagayan or Tawi-tawi later). Manila which may signify all the crap and trash for some but which I view as oozing with more than the soul and character I can muster.
I just spent a most wonderful weekend in Palawan and have come home with a few realizations. One is that Filipinos must give their country a chance. How many of us would actually want to take the next plane out, extract oneself out of one’s roots without seeing the beauty of the islands we’ve been abundantly blessed with? How many of us are now planning our next vacation to Koh Samui or Langkawi without really knowing that our Philippine beaches have more to offer? In fact, shame on us for not even doing our part in helping the country’s tourism and helping our countrymen in dire need of livelihood. In four days of travelling, I have learned that other countries like Singapore may be more industrialized but they don’t have our majestic mountains and our sun-kissed beaches.
Again, it’s not all about money. I think it is only the middle class which fret about their bills and their financial future. For the most part, there is so much to be admired from the modesty and simplicity of people in the countryside who know what it is to admire life’s most elemental joys, who have not been corrupted by the crass materialism of those in the city. I truly believe that the virtue of poverty is the ability to view things with grace and gratitude.
And having said all these, am truly lucky to have gone to Palawan for the second time again which is the most beautiful of all the places in the Philippines that I’ve been to. This is one province where a sense of discipline and great concern for the environment has been instilled in the people. You make an attempt to litter the place and it could land you as much as 60 days in jail (for the third offense). Conservation efforts are a continuing process which makes Palawan’s land and its adjoining seas as lush and as unspoiled as it should be. The way they’re running Palawan makes us hope that perhaps, there is a future for this country. Pics coming soon..
Hi Ajay –
I say Amen, Amen to what you’ve just said. Seen a lot of places in this world but for me, nothing beats the awe-inspiring sights within our country. Sad but true, I haven’t much really been around our archipelago but from what I’ve seen in Bohol, Cebu, Bicol (where I grew up) and northern Luzon would easily fill up one Conde Nast special issue. We are so blessed with innumerably superb places that it seems almost downright criminal that we haven’t exploited/developed them for everyone’s enjoyment. Not to worry, once I pull up stakes here and settle down home for good, I will have all the time to go on a trekker’s paradise ’round our country. But for now, look forward to the pix!
Way back in 1987, I turned down the immigration papers offered by my sisters in the USA. I still believe our country is the best place to live. There are days I wished I didn’t turn it down. But what are those material things ? After what I have gone through, I know I have a better mission here in our country.
i have yet to see Palawan. But first I have to find the time to do so. Amen to what you’ve written here girl. very well said 🙂
Glad to know you still feel that way when you’re already abroad and have seen the world, Al. Hope you can really tour your country for what it’s worth someday:smile:
Indeed, not many people make that choice Noemi. The impression of other races about Filipinos is that we’re all dying to get out and we have… but certainly not everybody. Though sometimes I do wonder if it pays to be patriotic with everything that’s happening:cry:
Thanks Hana. When you go to Palawan, it would be nice to avail of a package where they arrange all the activities/itinerary for you. Email me about it when you eed to inquire:wink:
Pwede na ba tumira don? Kung may report card ang mga cities natin na parang sa school eh bagsak ang Manila sa discipline at conduct.
Hi Ajay, I definitely agree with you. Most of the pinoys always put down our country pero sa totoo lang mas masarap tumira dyan kesa dito sa America. Yes you can easily buy everything that you like but you can’t buy happiness. Mas masaya dyan sa atin kahit hirap ang buhay. Speaking of Palawan that’s the best place I’ve ever been to and I hope I can go back the second time around.
Amen! Exactly the reasons why we are busy setting everything up for us. We are moving back in 2009. I will be dragging my German husband (who sees the good side of living there!) and my mongrel son to live there for good.
In 3 years, we will hie it off to Germany yearly for a vacation instead of hieing it off to Manila every year. Manila will be home again!!!
I think it takes political will and will power among the people to follow the Palawan example. But then again, if they can do it, there’s no reason why Manila can’t??
That’s an eye-opener Shirley, considering that you’re already living in America, the land of milk and honey for most of us here. Sana kita tayo classmate when you go vacationing here:smile:
That’s certainly laudable of you and your family AnP. And you’re lucky to have a husband who shares the same opinion as you. European winters are most terrible isn’t it? We gotta start believing again in this country or we’ll go to dust …
Maybe you should try living in the Godforsaken city of Birmingham for a while.
It’s getting better now as most of the gangsters have been locked up, yes we have them here, and for a time parts of the city were almost ‘no go’ areas except for those like me who refuse to concede to the violent minority.
Didn’t know you had that in Birmingham Lawrence. Well I’ve never been to Birmingham:cool: Regards
Hi Lawrence –
I didn’t know Birmingham was the pits as you seem to put it! We spent 2 enjoyable days there almost 2 years ago and loved it. Maybe it’s because we were just downtown and enjoyed most of the shopping malls in the Bullring – specially Selfridges where I had a hard time dragging the wife out of there!
Best regards though.
i might be there with my son this coming July…email me your phone so i can contact you…it would be nice to see you again after a long time, high school pa ata yung huling kita natin 🙂
I grew up in the Philippines but soon left after college, forced out by the ever worsening economic condition there. I’ve resided on at least 5 diffferent countries because of my line of work, but I’ve always found myself returning back to ‘Pinas year after year (sometimes every 6 months) because nothing’s like home.
I also tried putting up a business a few times, hoping I can one day reach the level of financial security to come home. But as always, and I am sure I am not alone, one false victim to our system of government’s bad side.
It’s frustrating but I continue to hope that one day I can fulfill my dream of coming back. Baliktad diba? yung iba they dream of going abroad.
Filipinos are a good bunch, I see a lot of talented “Kabayans” everywhere, which sometimes prods me to think – Imagine if it is/was the Philippines that is benifiting from these pool of talented men and women?
Hello Ogie. Working away from home is a choice but I’ve always believed that it doesn’t make you less nationalistic. There are unsung heroes among our Pinoy expats who still try to make a difference for their country even if they’re abroad. And yes, I agree that other countries are benefitting too much from the skills and talents of the Pinoys and they’re getting all the credit for it. You can always choose to retire in the land of your birth, who knows. Regards and all the best to you….
I am curently on my mid 30’s, which I think is still young, but I have made it my goal not to retire (or grow old) abroad.
I pretty much fear the image of myself on rocking chair with a bunch of other oldies living inside a compound for the aged.
It is a lot nicer to retire in the Philippines, (simple apartment in the city, newspaper and coffee in the morning, cinemas, mall, reliable 4WD for the rainy season and occassional trip to the province to see relatives, friends at the local bowling alley etc) – if I can muster the financial stability and physical health to do so.
And hey enjoy HK, nice place, just be careful of the knock offs when you shop 🙂