This was my element, my body and spirit was designed for this. I thrived within the culture, although i did not speak Tagalog, my Kapampangan was enough to get me by in Pampanga but not as well in other parts. My English proved worthy as I would often introduce myself as a Filipino born American. I fell in love each day, with the food, people, and culture. There was nothing I despised except for when I got tired and needed sleep, to which I barely slept because I was too excited for my next adventure each day. Needless to say, I thrived in the Philippines, I felt right at home, I felt like I belonged there. My short time in the islands was not enough. As my days came to a close I told myself that I have to come back as soon as possible and I immediately began to look for opportunities to work in the Philippines so that I can explore more and become one with who I am as a Filipino once again.
Being a Filipino American visiting the Philippines is a surreal but enlightening experience, i immediately fell in love with everything, to the bugs and mosquito bites that plagued me throughout my trip, to the unreal white beaches and clear waters of Palawan
Filipinos do not need much to be happy, after all, we are islanders, the fact that we have immediate access to beaches and food, shelter and amazing company is enough to keep us content with life, however, western culture always finds a way to creep in make us feel like we do not have enough, therefore over consumption and material goods, advertisements for a “better” life is constantly bombarding us and we love to eat it all up. but in the end it is okay, because people like me easily find the good in the little things, to the time spent on a hammock on the beaches of Palawan to the uneven roads of Baguio, to the village people of Pampanga, to the crowded streets of Manila, I am proud to be Pinoy.
As I fly back home, every second makes me miss the relationships that I have created back on the islands. through the natural interactions of people I have met to the advance algorithms of tinder and bumble that brought me to have met amazing and unforgettable women, I am forever in debt to their hospitality that I wish that one day I will see them again sooner than later, however I wish nothing but the best for them as they live their lives on the beautiful islands which shaped their lives to meet someone like me. I have met unforgettable people, people who have not been out of the islands and people who have but never visited the states. I hope they live their lives to the fullest and pursue their ideal lives. It was a truly amazing experience with them and I will never forget them.
Life in the Philippines is simple, easy, although, the structure of education is not set in stone and can be hard to do, as a foreigner, life for me would be easy too easy, I hold an American passport and bring with me a university education that carries a sense of pride and worthiness of what it means to be an American.