Tag Archives: philippines

Clutter of Thoughts

I have been thinking of the amazing ability of humans to hold so much information – sights, memories, thoughts, facts, etc. To be honest, sometimes I wish I have an eidetic memory so it’s innate in my brain to remember stuff, and probably, just probably, it’ll be much easier for me to order my thoughts.

Anyway, what news… I’ve moved back to my country and have started looking for a job. It is depressing because it seems as if the companies here do not value talent or potential. It’s as if they want robots with no ambitions. It’s sad. Sometimes I don’t feel like telling interviewers what I want for the future. Maybe they get scared I’ll get their jobs within five years. LOL *I’mjustbeingsarcasticandbitterdon’tmindme*

I have also noticed that almost all the basic goods here like food, have already increased prices *inflation* however, salaries have not. I have been to an interview which proposed that I only get a base salary of Php 11,000-14,000. A salary loads lower than my first job. Things like these are disheartening. Harsh truth is, companies here are exploiting people to do work at such low rate. Filipinos do a very good job but they become complacent because with shitty salaries for years, what will drive them to succeed?

Even more, I am infuriated because almost the higher salaries for people like me are in the government – and I don’t want to go back in the government. From my experience, government employees are not even being paid for their skills. It’s like they just put their foot down and grew roots in their positions – doesn’t matter if they cannot do their job well as long as they have the CSC to protect their asses from being fired. I’m ranting again.

Moving on, I should really stop procrastinating and arrange my cluttered thoughts.

Home Sweet Home (?)

continued from “What’s up, ketchup”

  • On February 20, 2014, I boarded a flight to the Philippines. I will be arriving February 22. I was afraid that many things would have changed since I left even though I’ve only been gone for a year and a half.
  • I arrived. I was excited to see my family. As I exited the airport with the cart full of my luggage, I strained my neck and squinted my eyes searching for them. I ended up waiting in one place for about ten minutes, messaging them using an internet website as I do not have a local mobile number. I went to the other waiting place looking for them. One guard approached me and lent me his cellphone so I can call my parents. I was able to contact my dad and lo and behold, they were at my previous location. They came to meet me. I thanked the guard for his kindness and half-walked half-ran towards my dad when I saw him. I was kinda pissed (I know I shouldn’t have been). Apparently, they left the house ten minutes before I landed. :/
  • On the way home, my dad bought pan de sal. Oh how I missed it. Even though it was not warm, I just wanted it badly. I was also looking for taho. Until today, I haven’t had it. I noticed not much has changed. Same old substandard roads. Still has ongoing constructions. Man, those roads must have undergone a gazillion constructions because there’s always one every year.
  • We reached home. I missed home. I missed my room. The first thing my sister did was take a photo of me and post it on FB with the captions, “SHE’S BACK… and she’s fat!!” Of course, my friends loved it.
  • My friends were messaging me. I felt missed. It’s like that during the hype of the moment. Today, 5 days after I arrived, not many notice the difference.
  • The first two days, I felt time was so slow. Maybe I’m just getting used again to the pace of life here. In the US, everything came so fast. Probably because everything was much more convenient and electronically-ridden? By that I mean, internet’s fast that you get lost in it. Netflix and Hulu are there so hours tick by. I even felt I was growing older much more rapidly. Scary.
  • Monday came and I went to the LTO to renew my license. At least they don’t require drug test now. I find that just an additional hassle. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve never taken illegal drugs (of course when I imply legal drugs, I mean the meds!). It’s just that it takes additional time and it’s annoying. Anyway, I renewed my license. Lucky senior citizens – they didn’t need to fall in line. The application form and medical processes were fast. The photo and signature process was also fast. When it came to the payment and releasing, I don’t know what in the world the cashier was doing – playing solitaire, updating whatnot records, or whatever but she just stopped taking payments for twenty five minutes. People were piling up inside the small A/C-less space and the employees in the payment and releasing seem to not care. This is aside from the fact that they arrived at 9:40 am when the office should be open at 9:00 am. My point is, everything could be done much more efficiently. What’s the point of prolonging it? And why can’t the government update the computer systems so the employees need not use ancient conking ones? Yeah, I should know the answer, I’ve worked there.
  • I just found it ironic and funny that I was so scared that everything would have changed when I’m back. I was expecting that I would not recognize the places. Many things have changed, yes. Few things have also changed. I guess this is why Asians seem ageless? Institutions seem to be also stuck in time. It’s the same old, same old Philippines that I remember. Not much has changed.

Of Love, Loss and Disasters

I actually do not know how to begin writing this blog post as it involves a devastating event. We know about the Haiti earthquake, the Japan tsunami, Hurricane Sandy’s effect on the East Coast, and other disasters. Around Thursday (PST)/ Friday, last week, Super Typhoon Haiyan (locally named, “Yolanda”) struck several big provinces in the Philippines. I’m from the Philippines and this event which devastated my country pains me.

It was true that when my mom called from the Philippines telling me a really strong storm is coming, I was like, “OK, you guys take care and stay at home,” not really concerned as I know it won’t hit Manila. Little did I know that the super typhoon will do so much damage that it scared the wits out of me, and depressed my spirit. Storms and typhoons have been a common event in a tropical country like ours. Philippines experiences many low pressure areas, and at least nine storms a year – sometimes exhausting all the alphabets (we name our typhoons alphabetically). Yolanda, as can be deduced, is the 25th storm to hit the country this year. Amazingly, we even have the typhoon Zoraida raining on another part of the country. Even more disturbing and baffling is the fact that it’s already November and yet, the country is still being struck by typhoons when it should all be okay and sunny beginning October.

On Friday (PST), my mom called to say that she kept waking up at 3 in the morning because the winds were so strong. A few hours later, news reports and videos were uploaded and streaming. The super typhoon ravaged cities and towns as if they’re mere dust on the ground. A day after the typhoon stopped, it was reported that more than 350,000 people were displaced, and suspected that more than 10,000 people are dead or more. It was one of the strongest super typhoons ever recorded in history, and this super typhoon is also the most destructive that struck the Philippines – more than the typhoon Ondoy which devastated Manila a year ago. It came with a 235-mph wind and left with a 7 meter deep of flood in Tacloban City. As of today, CBS reports that more than 4 million people were affected by the typhoon. Some areas are still incommunicable as they are in remote areas of the provinces affected. No electricity, no communication, and not even enough helicopters or rescue vehicles were dispatched to help the affected people, or even to check if there are any survivors. Houses were destroyed, people died, families mourned.

To add salt to the wound, it was reported (Citi Research) that the super typhoon “destroyed 80% of the structures in its path and resulted in more than $69 million in damages.” Several organizations have already organized donation channels to help the country.  If you can, please help out. The following are only some of those I found:

The above are just channels for donation. You can help too by spreading the word and praying for the families. Donation of goods and clothes are also helpful. I think what they need most right now are the vehicles to reach those devastated areas. It’s sad, heartbreaking, and in Filipino, kalunos-lunos.

Here are some videos of the super typhoon –

Please spread the word.


Places to Go Back To

There are very few places in the Philippines that I would like to go back to, and I want to visit them before I leave the country for Master’s. It’s just that even though I’ll be gone for only a year, I would really miss the country.

I’m planning on resigning from work effective July 31st (and I can only be too excited about it), so that will give me the month of August to go to some places around the country.

Out of all the places I have been to (and they’re not that many), there are very few I would want to go back to –

  1. Bacolod – The food – cheap and delicious – and the laidback atmosphere of the city is enough to make you want to go back. It felt almost surreal. It’s like how I would imagine living in a country. I definitely would keep coming back. Of course, I think I should give some of the credit to Telex, a friend who was gracious enough to take us around.
  2. Coron, Palawan – The place is awesome, what more can I say? I actually plan on doing the Puerto Princesa – El Nido – Coron route, depending on what the budget will allow. Palawan is one of the few provinces in the Philippines with pristine waters and green mountains. It’s a haven for any environmentalist, nature traveler, and probably just any tourist.  In other words, it’s a paradise.
  3. Sagada – I haven’t seen Sagada’s caves yet. I just roamed around the area and looked for some places to go to. We managed to trek up a hill. There’s just a different feel to this town. Peace. That would be the word.

Philippine Travel

I have this really big passion for traveling. It’s even bigger than my photography, but of course they come hand in hand. I have only been to few places outside the country – around 4 countries and 2 states in US. However, given that the Philippines has 7,107 islands (only 7,106 now because the one island already sunk – climate change effect), I am so overwhelmed with my desire to go to different places in the country. The difficulty in going around the Philippines is the transportation. Most of the time you would have to transfer from bus to jeepney to tricycle to boat etc. especially if you’re going to the farther places.

So I saw this online – it shows how many places you’ve already been to in the Philippines. I’m somewhat disappointed with myself as I haven’t been to many places in the country, but I guess this is not bad at all.

My Lakbayan grade is C+!

How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!

Created by Eugene Villar.

For my fellow Filipinos, and foreigners who travel the Philippines, I’d love to know how many places you’ve been to in my country. Let me know 😉