Why I’ll Never Leave The Philippines

My beloved Philippines made quite big waves throughout the international media with a combination of negative and positive news. The positives ones were very inspiring but the negative ones may have made a lot of people cringe.

We have become far famous than we ever aimed for during the past decade with beauties and talents taking over almost every pageant and competitions all over the world. They may no longer be full-blooded Filipinos but we are very much happy to take them as our own in order to offset the huge and long history of corruption that suddenly came spilling out of our thresholds into the international scene like so much rotten things.

I have lost much of my faith in my fellow Filipinos, grown to disdain our public officials but, I knew that leaving the country is something I would not think of doing because there is still much to love about this land of sunshine and flowers. Here are my ten personal reasons.


  1. 10416609_10201619761456270_6284484240136339887_nPhilippines is still relatively peaceful. This may be because we are a country of religious people (no matter what the religion or sect). Even hardcore criminals here seem to observe special days of worship and occasions like Christmas, Lenten season and Ramadan. We do not have the conflicts that Middle East has and versions of serial killers and trigger-happy teens of US. There are cities and towns here where you can walk around during the wee hours of the morning alone without anything more exciting than barking dogs taking notice of you.


  2. 10402032_10201050210857861_1842087198601700501_nBeaches of different sands (and pebbles), baby. Yes, we have black, white, grey, beige, and even pink beaches. We also have limestone pebble and coral beaches right here in Minalabac, Camarines Sur. I had the privilege of visiting at least some of these beaches in Bicol through the years and I can attest to the fact that some of them have not yet been crisscrossed much by human footprints. Awesome were the peachy pink beaches of Matnog, 1493520_10200998953776466_4070089912502817859_oSorsogon and fine white sand of Calaguas Islands in Camarines Norte which is at par with the beauty of famous Boracay. By the way, we can enjoy these beaches ALL YEAR ROUND. Do I hear wintery lands gasping?


  3. Food. This undoubtedly occupies much of my pie chart. Pie? Yeah, we have this pie in the Philippines that we call ‘bibingka’ which tastes like solidified heaven. There are imitations of Filipino food all over the world but they do not taste the same if made with ingredients grown in foreign lands. Some of our food might be odd to the world, 270907_1593488337531_725103_neven a bit disgusting like the ‘balut’ (don’t google this if you have sensitive stomach) and ‘adidas’ (don’t google this, too), but we also find your food a bit unhealthy. All to his own, I guess.


  4. Filipinos are crazy, confident and crazy confident. That’s not a typo or a grammatical error. Filipinos are crazy and confident to be crazy. We are also confident in a badass crazy way. We are daredevils who go against the tide because we believe God will still love and protect us no matter what we do as long as we do it for the good of others. Perhaps it is this unshakeable faith or a long history of fighting for freedom under at least four conquering countries (USA among them) that made us badasses.


  5. Filipinos are resilient. Typhoons, earthquakes, tidal waves, storm 10342948_10201134842573601_3293940096582286455_nsurges and volcanic eruptions are yearly (or monthly) occurrences that we experience. We lose lives and properties to these monster calamities but, we have learned to adapt and build our lives around them. If we have any great foe, it is nature’s wrath. We also smile and laugh in the face of danger and loss while keeping the lessons of the past in mind for future reference. Truly badass!


  6. 10338684_10201087344346175_5641965062953765272_oTrees, greens and communities. Our tree cover, despite some abuses, is still considerably lush in areas where authorities are exerting extra effort to protect them. Philippines has a diverse flora and fauna that even scientists claim is still not fully explored. The country is home to hundreds of 10257163_10201087340506079_2744919180060693784_oanimal and plant species that are yet to be named and classified. I would like to still be around as the world learns to uncover these species one by one just to be able to point out that this critter and that crawler are common dwellers in our yard.


  7. The rebels vs military, militants and rights groups vs police. Well, this is not exactly a good thing but it is one of the things or issues that complete the Philippine political terrain and society. The seemingly unending battle between these groups, complete with cases of whodunits where one or the other blames the other of someone’s killing or physical injuries, will someday come to an end. We do not know yet what would become of the fight between the New People’s Ar10366087_10201134849733780_6186763106963759684_nmy and the Armed Forces of the Philippines but I do hope it would resolve into a peaceful future where we can all live in harmony and progress. Maybe in due time, they would both see that they are just working on the same goal and start working together.


  8. Urban areas that seem rural. There are several of these in the 1601433_10201818008532323_6269948874536278318_nPhilippines. They are cities that are already considered industrial and urbanized but still have a rural feel to its people and locations. Maybe this is because we are entirely an agricultural country that we still have water buffaloes and hor1924997_10201818009372344_179117615585541905_nses right in our cities. Our cities outside the National Capital Region have more agricultural areas than industrial centers. In cities and towns like Naga, Ligao in Albay, Tacloban and Ormoc in Leyte, Allen and Calbayog in Samar, people observe a slightly provincial lifestyle with pastimes that include drinking sprees with friends and family near the street and singing their hearts away on a videoke machine while the neighbors listen (sometimes unwillingly).


  9. Only have to prepare two sets of clothes for two kinds of seasons. We only have dry and wet seasons here so we only have to have clothes for sunny and rainy days. We save a lot on clothes compared to several countries wh1800315_10200671771797121_1649070900_nere there are three to four seasons to prepare for. Most of us also get to wear the current global rage of Korean fashion, in all its color and style, perfectly because we share the same range in sizes as well as weather systems.


  10. There is still much I (we) need to do. Our poverty index is still high. Corruption still needs to be uprooted because it is shamelessly practiced. The environment needs more protection. There is still a lot to be done. I want to give as much of myself to this country. I cannot do that if I leave this still salvageable ship. The Philippines needs all the help it could use from every citizen that She raised. To some, leaving and becoming the new heroes called Overseas Filipino Workers and contributing to the economy with their monthly remittances is the best way they know. For me, th10382371_10200998959256603_640265707554525012_oe best way is staying here and wallowing in the mud and flood during calamities and the muck of issues as a journalist while hoping that those little words I give to the world would be helpful in keeping my country afloat.

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