I'm feeling quite sick today and didn't feel inspired to come up with a particularly fabulous outfit. Instead, I thought I'd do a different sort of post reflecting on a trip I took last summer.
So in case you did not know, I am half Filipino.
My mom occasionally goes back to visit family and if I'm lucky, I'm able to tag along. I've gone to the Philippines four times now, and this last trip was one of the best!
First, know this. We do not stay in a hotel like tourists. Since so much of our family is there, we just stay with my Auntie Hilda who has an extra bedroom.
I got to experience and live like the average Filipino does for two months. And let me tell you what I learned.
We Americans are incredibly spoiled.
The Philippines is a third world country, so while rich in beauty, most of it's people live in poverty.
|A boy hunting for tiny fish called kaling in a river.|
|My cousins told me when they go down these steps when it's raining (which believe me, it does a LOT of that in the Philippines), they call it the Steps To Hell. Ha, there were thousands of steps to climb!|
|This is how they transport their vegetables to the market. Haha, pretty nifty huh? The mountains are so rugged, this is the easiest way to send their chaote to the market.|
|My little cousin John Art was more brave than me. Here we are looking down on the city of La Trinidad.|
I don't know why it didn't hit me until this last trip, but I'm so glad it opened my eyes!
Instead of John Deere tractors, I saw wooden plows pulled by caribous. Instead of flashy shirts and mini skirts, I saw worn out, second-hand clothes. And instead of a complaining attitude, I saw smiles and genuine happiness.
I know this doesn't apply to every Filipino there, but many live incredibly simple lives. And get this. They are happy.
|I got to hang out with my penpal Roan at her school for a day! Now that was fun :)|
|My adorable younger cousins, from left to right: Junior and John Art|
|Haha, so Junior doesn't look very happy in this one. The older boy is my dear cousin, Makoy, and to the right, my other cousin, Mylene.|
|Finally. These two boys give me so much grief when I try to get them to smile for the camera. As you can see, Jayvee (on the far left) was still struggling to maintain a tough composure. Yeah, didn't work too well ;)|
|Once again, the smiliest and sweetest cousin, John Art. That boy is just too adorable. He liked to walk with me whenever I went out and I called him my little bodyguard.|
So often I find myself thinking how unfair it is that so-and-so has their own car, or how others in my school are so lucky to have a bottomless credit card.
But then I stop and think back to Baguio and the lessons I learned there, and I realize what a spoiled brat I am. Harsh words, but it's true. I always want something more than what I have, most of which is totally unnecessary.
However, I am slowly learning to appreciate what I do have and make the best of it. My trip to the Philippines has definitely affected my perspective for the better!
I cannot wait to visit again!
So, to end this post, here are some more pictures I took while I was there. Hope you enjoyed this one.
|Mmmm, I absolutely loved eating all the Filipino foods available! Babinka is one of my favorite, and they have so many different kinds.|
|The traditional Igorot clothing they used to wear. Igorots are a tribe in the mountain province that my mom is a part of. So that makes me an Igorot too!|
|Walking around the market|
|I welcome you to the bathroom I had to endure with for two months. On more than one occasion did a cockroach sneak up on me while I was in here too. Horrible memories...|
PS: Thank you to all my new followers! I'm so grateful for the growing feedback on my blog. You all make it so much more fun blogging!