Surviving on coffee and laughters

Friday, October 1, 2010

God, I Miss the Philippines!

STOCKHOLM, Sweden - It's 10:30 PM here in Stockholm and the outdoor thermometer reads 2 degrees Celsius. Back home, the fridge won't even register that temperature. Around me, everyone is sleeping. When the sun sets, Stockholm sleeps. Although there may be a couple of choices for nightlife, it would be too far from the city to visit. Besides, wearing high heels and mini skirts in this weather is not the smartest thing you can do, is it?

After what seems to be the longest one month of my life, I can't help but think about how much I miss the Philippines. The heat may be intolerable at times but at least we've got airconditioner to keep us cool. When you're walking outside here in Stockholm, the weather literally bites. It's not even winter yet.

My country sure has its quirks but nothing beats home-cooked meals in a plate of warm rice on a sweltering summer night. Sure, we cook Filipino dishes here but it does not have the same heart as the ones back home.

I miss how accessible transportation is in the Philippines and how I need not wait for a bus that comes every thirty minutes, enough time to make me freeze.
I miss how I can wear a pair of shorts and a shirt instead of three layers of clothing.
I miss how I hang out with my friends every weekend talking about endless sensible and nonsense stuff.
I miss having Chase and Missy with me, patiently wagging their tails in anticipation.
I miss how I could walk around and see familiar  faces, the same black hair, brown eyes, and Asian skin.
I miss understanding what people are talking about and actually enjoy conversing in my native tongue.
I miss the polluted, littered streets of Manila and the fish ball carts and dirty ice cream.
I miss my family.
I miss my boyfriend.

Sure, Stockholm is definitely ten levels higher from my motherland in terms of development and how people are more disciplined and successful, but success is not everything in this world. There is also happiness. No wonder Sweden is in the top 20 of the world's most suicidal countries, and the Philippines ranks near 100.

God, I miss the Philippines!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Non-Travel: Saving a Life is Not That Hard

Not a lot of people actually know this (or notice) but I have had debates with suicide more than once in my life. No, not once did it occur to me to take my own life because of heart problems; I'm tougher than that. Ha! But through all those times, what saved me were encouraging words from the people dearest to me, those who actually took time to find out if I am feeling all right, braving Signal No. 3 storms to drive for an hour and have beer with me.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

7107 Islands: Bagnet, Pakbet, and Sudden Death

When someone asks me what I want to do for the weekend, I only have one thing to answer: EAT! Street food, hole-in-the-wall diners, posh restaurants, whatever! As long as it is good food, I am game! So when we scored good airfare from Manila to Laoag via Cebu Pacific, you already know what I am thinking of. Yuuuuuuuuuum.
When we arrived in Vigan at 10:00 PM, we were devastated to find out that NO restaurants were open at that time. Even the restaurant of our hotel was about to close. However, sensing the extreme hunger we were feeling, the hospitable staff of Grandpa's Inn opened their kitchen to us.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

7107 Islands: Vigan

If you have lived in the Philippines long enough and have been interested in local history, then you have probably heard about Vigan. A province in the northern part of the Philippines, Vigan mirrors civilization from years ago, when the Spaniards decided that it would be nifty cool to colonize the Filipinos.
Calle Crisologo, Vigan

Cobble stones, Spanish-designed houses, and horse-draw carriages are abundant in Vigan. But what will really draw you in... is the food.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Travel Memories from Years Ago

Copenhagen, Denmark

I have been places.

Not a lot, that's  for sure but I have turned the pages of my book and has been able to write down a city here and there. Now, I am not rich at all and I would not think twice about trading everything to go and see the world. But, I don't have all that much. Thanks to rich relatives, I was able to see some parts of the world without spending a dime.

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