One of our late American friends made a comment about me and another good American friend, Bob from Texas, several years ago. We have both lived in the Bacolod area for 7 years. Our late friend said, “those 2 guys are so laid back, they have to lean forward to walk!”
That is one of the keys to our success and happiness in our area of the Philippines. No, we do not see 3rd World where we live, either!
While others are banging their heads against a wall and crying out for other expats to get on their soap box, we are enjoying life in the Philippines. Bob and I are also still alive. Stress kills. Too many expats put life sapping stress on themselves. Over trivial things. Over nit picking things and about things which do not amount to a hill of beans. Yet, they make it out to be a life ending crisis. There may be inconveniences but nothing life threatening.
Don’t Change A Thing
Some of the same people who complain about immigrants going to the USA and trying to change the very fabric of American Culture fit the same mold here in the Philippines.They want to teach Filipinos how to do things correctly! Some foreigners say they feel like strangers in their own country due to the influx of refugees or other immigrants and their way of doing things differently from the American way, or the UK way or the Australian way, etc. Then, why come to the Philippines and try to make Filipinos feel like strangers in their own country?
I agree 100% with my best foreign friend in the Philippines, Don. He has lived here 25 years. “Learn how to learn from your hosts, not teach them.”
Keep On Rollin’ With The Flow
Despite the current advice we often give nowadays, I did not have any real experience or quality time in the Philippines before I moved here for one year in 1986. There was no internet in the those days, no Yahoo Groups or Forums about the Philippines. I left my American logic back in the States and I enjoyed my new life in the Philippines very well. I was not looking to find Monday Night Football, Budweiser, Louisiana Hot Sauce, Krystal Hamburgers, Waffle House or the other things commonly found in the USA. I had that much figured out before I arrived. I was not going to find it and I had already accepted that aspect of life in the Philippines. I was not even looking for those things, as I was on a new adventure in life. I enjoyed every second of it!
In 2016, it is a great bonus that I can buy Louisiana Hot Sauce, Heinz Chili Sauce, Horseradish and many other food products that I enjoy in Bacolod. However, I lived here and enjoyed life very much before any of those were available. I was still happy in the Philippines. Of course, I am happy that I can buy things in our area of the Philippines that I enjoyed in the States but my happiness is not based upon that. My happiness does not revolve around trying to find America in the Philippines.
In the land of the blind, even a one eyed man is King. An old saying. Well, I have 2 eyes and I can see clearly. It seems there are some in the expat community in the Philippines who are blind. They haven’t actually seen and fully realized where they are. They are now in the Philippines. I do not think anyone put a gun to their heads and made them move here, di ba?
I hope to see you one day, somewhere…all around Bacolod.
~ Gary ~
PS I still plan to post the article soon about Day 2 in Sipalay City.