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)  

4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. @Leah: Hey, welcome back too! Ok pa rin umuwi di ba, sarap kumain. Funny thing is, even though we felt like we’ve been eating all the time we’ve stayed there, we even lost a few pounds. 😀 Must be the all-round sweatfest (Can’t believe how hot and humid it was!)

    Hay naku, yang Shittybank na yan! I swear I’ll close my acct with them nxt time I get back home. [-(

  2. Hi Raquel!

    welcome back! 🙂 Naku, we have the same sentiments. Even if I have been in Oz for almost a year pa lang, i can see the very BIG difference. By the way, we also had our share of ‘shittybank’ moments. the service was terrible and it took us 2 wks before we got our money!

    on the other hand, it was good to catch up with family and friends, especially with a baby on the way. and yes, the food! sarap talaga kumain sa Pinas! 😀

  3. @Rick: Yeah, looks like they have a standard tour for most tourists and unless you specifically ask to be taken elsewhere, they’d just show you the usual spots. Our favourite bit of the tour was the river cruise as well, which was a nice surprise, we didn’t think it’ll be anything special.

    Pity our photos of the tarsiers weren’t much to look at, they move so fast when they put their minds to it! Would be great to catch up and swap stories once our schedule gets to more manageable pace. Soon, I hope! Cheers!

  4. Sounds like you went on the same Bohol tour we went on! Wasn’t the river cruise amazing? I couldn’t decide if we were on the set of Lost or Anaconda! The Tarsiers were amazing and I took dozens of photos.

    As to the service, I was pleasantly surprised this time. It took 2 weeks before we had our first Taxi refuse to use the meter! Most of our hotel rooms were on the dodgy side despite the money we were paying (which would be cheap here, though not there)

    We’ll have to catch up sometime soon and compare notes!

    Rick Measham

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