Living in the USA for too long can really have a bad influence on you. I find that I suddenly want more and more things. There is also constant comparison of class here. Yesterday at my family’s house was the perfect example.

While living in Taiwan and traveling through the Philippines- I never felt this way. I never had the classic American syndrome of wanting more. Including mode of transportation. I drove a rusty-beat up Suzuki carryall. It’s a Micky Mouse car. But it was hands down my favorite car to drive. If you drove a car like that in the USA.. oh Kuya. Living abroad you become somewhat of societal anomaly. The locals don’t have a way to make as many comparisons about you. Just some white dude, or another wai guo ren. I guess this is common for all people, wherever you go outside of your country.

Philippines Graffiti

“The main difference is how happy the Filipinos are, despite SOMETIMES having less material possessions.”

For example an experience I had in Palawan:

After spending a few days in Port Barton, Palawan- I packed my things and began the journey back to Roxas. If I remember correctly, it’s a 20-30 minute ride down a dirt road. There are almost no houses, and little to no other traffic. It was a pleasant journey until my moto stopped brr-ing. Brrrrr. I remember the sound my tires made as they slowly rolled across the damp- dirt road to a complete stop (youuu suckkkk brooooooo). I was out of gas, but I didn’t panic. This wasn’t the first time I was in need of rescue in the Philippines. I got my bearings and took a look around for any life signs. I noticed in a distance, a little shack with someone casually swinging on a hammock. The woman had already spotted me and waved me over. I headed down the beaten path and was greeted warmly by this woman, Anne. After a short dialogue, she offered me a cup of coffee (in a cl. Sanders mug no less). Anne introduced me to her parents, elder brother (kuya), and daughter. Her daughter was young, maybe 10-12 by years.. but she stopped growing at 7 and her legs were disabled. Anne brought her daughter out of the hut like an ultra-happy-sitting-buddha.

This family did not have much, yet they were the happiest people I have ever met. I think 75% of Americans are truly miserable. Anne instructed her elder brother (HoyKuya!!!) to get petrol petrol for me. We sat together for a little longer then I was back on the road. I plan to go back next time in Palawan.

This is a really happy memory for me.. the smiling hearts of the Filipino people. Get out there an experience it yourself. Cheers

Happy Filipino Kids

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