Going/coming back

It has been said time and again that travel changes a person and his perspective on life, but I never thought that it would still ring true even if my destination is the place I used to call home. Our trip back to the Philippines had us evaluating a lot of things – relationships (with friends and families), finances, lifestyles and opportunities/options among other things.

A definite highlight of our trip was our short stay in Bohol. There, we enjoyed the area’s sights (tarsiers, chocolate hills and Loboc river cruise), the friendliness and trusting nature of the locals and got a taste of the simple life. Manila, as always, was noisy and full of people everywhere. We had fun with trips of shopping (Mall of Asia mall rats here), going down to the local cinema, meeting up with old friends, going on a day trip to Villa Escudero, spending some time with our respective families, stuffing our faces with local food and native delicacies and revisiting old haunts.

We’ve also ranted against the crazy traffic and driving (Hey, stop! That jeepney’s only a couple of inches away from us!), waiting and queueing everywhere, which started in the airport’s immigration counter upon arriving then continued to banks, shops, cinemas, restaurants, transport, dermatologist’s office (I waited for nearly an hour even if I’ve booked in the time several days in advance) and continued on until we got back to the airport for our flight back. Also, there was the heat and humidity (we were constantly sweating during our first few days there). Then there’s the shoddy service at the bank (they weren’t dubbed Shittybank for nothing), with some confusion over a seemingly insignificant form I had to sign.

Could it be that living overseas had made snobs out of us? To me, the answer is no. I’ve already been complaining about the culture of misplaced patience towards bad and slow service, bureaucracy and the prevalence of crime in certain areas even before I left the country. Pagpasensyahan mo na, ganon talaga (Just let it be, that’s the just the way it is) shouldn’t be our mantra, we should learn to rage against it to improve things. Going back has shown me that sadly, nothing has changed. However, not everything was bad as I truly enjoyed my time in Bohol (and to a smaller extent, Villa Escudero) and time spent with my family.

Going back was good, but coming back to Melbourne was better.

Published in: on January 19, 2007 at 1:01 pm  Comments (4)