multi-colored pastures

whenever friends or family made the decision to leave the philippines to work and/or live abroad, i would have mixed feelings about it.

a part of me would be excited about the great, new adventure that would be waiting for them, another part would be a little envious because while they would be exploring and tasting and seeing, i would still be stuck in manila. stuck in my same, old, boring life whose novelty has worn off a long, long, *long* time ago.

while i sometimes (okay, who are we kidding? *oftentimes*) wish that i could swap lives with other, more exciting, ones though, i knew deep in my heart of hearts that i loved living in the philippines and would really rather not permanently live anywhere else.

don’t get me wrong, i would never decline a free ticket to any other country (or city or province. seriously, i’m not picky) but that ticket would have to be round-trip.

i like that we filipinos can laugh our way through any crisis – natural or man-made. i like knowing that if i needed to ask for help from strangers on the street, there’s a 90% chance they wouldn’t brush me off like i was a madwoman. and although i would prefer for them to not be as many and their hands to not be clutching plastic bags containing rugby, i like seeing the simple happiness on the faces of playing street children.

there are also practical things, like that i don’t have to have seasonal clothes.  that i can run to a mall at 8pm and know that it would still be open. that each and every bottled product has some sort of tingi counterpart.

even when things went from bad (erap was president) to worse (gloria was president), i’ve always believed that i can laugh through it and emerge victorious. or at least reasonably unscathed.

recently though, i’ve begun to have a change of heart.

the rh bill, the ‘kulo’ exhibit.

these issues have brought out the ugly sides of people. ugly sides i’d really rather i didn’t see. until now it baffles me why people must resort to name-calling and insults and lies, and cannot just find it in themselves to understand that if they strongly believe that their views and beliefs are valid, then chances are the other person’s are, too.

there must be enough space in this beautiful country for everyone’s, and their expressions of their, beliefs.

this, on top of the usual, exasperating, infuriating, obnoxious goings-on in the sitcom we call the government, has gotten me thinking that maybe leaving the philippines might not be such a bad idea after all.


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