Here is my Top 10 list for reasons why I love living in the US. And the Top 10 reasons why I’d go back to live in the Philippines (with my husband of course) if given the choice:
US – I’ll list the expected thing and put my husband, Tom. If not for him I won’t last in the US for 6 months.
Philippines – family and friends. Nothing like being surrounded by the people who know us inside and out and still love us unconditionally.
US– low humidity. No sweating when walking the streets or worse sitting in an aircondition-less room. It’s great not having to carry hanky or facial tissue for the sole purpose of wiping away the sweat off our face.
Philippines – All year sunshine. The weather does influence our mood. Nothing is as depressing as going to the office in the dark and going home in the dark. 4pm here nowadays look like 6:30 in the evening there.
US – food labels on almost all packaged food products. This is heavensent for a fitness-conscious individual like me. So convenient, no need to rack our brains for the calorie counter we tried memorizing long time ago.
Philippines – small (reasonable) servings on fastfood or restos. No guilt-ridden moments for not cleaning up our plates of a serving that’s good for 3-5 pax and putting perfectly good food to waste.
US– respect for privacy and tact. I seldom have to deal with questions on how I met my husband or how I arrived here in the US. Nor do I have to answer impertinent questions on how old my husband is or how old I am. No casual remarks like “parang tumataba ka ngayon” (you seem to be gaining weight) in the hallway by officemates as I did back in the Philippines.
Philippines – openness, lack of PC. On the other hand I miss getting candid feedback, some might be tactless but mostly said without malice. Too much politeness can be grating and fake.
US– Respect for space. Lots of it! Grocery aisle is wide enough for 2 shopping carts and thats how it should be. In the Philippines even customers holding grocery baskets have to squeeze against each other just to pass through. It’s refreshing to get on the bus and have a seat readily available. More often than not, the same can be said for trains.
Philippines – close proximity to everywhere. The beach, picnic outing can be done at the spur of the moment. Friends, we don’t need to have a month’s appointment beforehand in order to drop by and see them. Malling and movie can be done on a weekday after work and be home before 9pm.
US – wide variety and oh-so-fresh agricultural produce. Eating healthy and tasty salads (romaine lettuce, all kinds of mushrooms, giant red bell peppers, broccolli) have never been so within reach.
Philippines – seafood. Need I say more? They don’t even have to be the fancy stuff. Their $15-$25 seafood special here can’t hold a candle to the fish soup (like my maternal lola’s cosido) of just kalamansi (philippine lemon), salt and onion springs as seasoning/spices there. The former still taste like wet newspaper to me.
US – dozens and dozens of fairs (arts and crafts, jazz etc.) in the summer.
Philippines – Christmas. Nothing beats Philippine Christmas season. Period.
US – library. see past entry.
Philippines – enjoying uncomplicated fun stuff like eating barbeque, pineapple and drinking a litro of coke at the park, singing videoke al fresco in an eatery near the pier. Life was simple and inexpensive but never dull.
US – Window shopping. The Magnificent Mile and other shopping malls here are a designers paradise. Good quality, well crafted, great ideas and design. However, I stop at window shopping.
Philippines – Cheap shopping. A $10 shirt/top here, I can get better deal (in terms of style and quality) at $6 in the Philippines. In fact, I still get compliments from my officemates for my 2 year old striped, corduroy pants I bought for $6 in PI. Bet it only cost less than $4 in Divisoria.
US – convenience of everything (electrical/household appliances, internet shopping, customer service). A lot of things can be accomplished with a push of the button, touching “enter” on the keyboard or through the phone.
Philippines – laidback pace. It may not have the abovementioned things, but at the end of the day and on weekends we can put up our feet and relax.
US – restrooms with toilet paper readily available, clean environment, lotsa trees, flowers, drivers courteous to pedestians, no inspection of bags in malls, absence of bugs (ants, flies, mosquitoes, roaches), self-checkout counters (no cashiers).
Philippines – nightlife, live bands that sing songs I know, fiestas, less car accidents,Sunburst fried chicken, fruits (cebu mangoes, camiguin lanzones, santol, jackfruit, mangosteen), cheap movie tickets.
First posted on my Tabulas blog 11/16/05