Tara and I have spent the last 2.5 months in the Philippines. To say it was an amazing experience would be an understatement. It was an unexpected trip but one that has given us the chance to validate our decision to make the move!
To recap our journey here…
Tara was invited to participate in the Philippine Women’s National Soccer Team Camp in preparation for the 2nd round of Olympic Qualifiers. She of course accepted! We were en route to Manila two weeks later.
A big thank you to our Aunty Emy who opened up her condo in BGC for us to stay at. Tara ended up boarding with her teammates in Rizal giving me plenty time to reflect, plan and prepare for an overseas move.
Tara trained for the entire month of March then we were off to Qatar for 10 days for the tournament. It was a good run for the girls, they played hard, with heart and represented our country with Pride. Though the road to Tokyo has ended they still have plenty opportunity for future tournaments.
And here we are, spending our last couple days relaxing and preparing our trip back to Seattle.
I’m going back with a bigger appreciation of what we have and not so much of what we don’t. Granted we have lived in the BGC bubble the last couple months but have also seen what life is like in the “real” parts of the Philippines. No matter how rich or poor, people in general are pretty happy and pretty content of where they are today. I’ve met people from all walks of life and having conversations centered around family, Filipino culture and country pride.
Pride and Proud. I want to touch on this real quick. There’s something to be said about how much Filipino’s love their country and to lend support when called upon! We saw this in Qatar. Terence had reached out to all the local Filipino businesses, radio stations and the Philippine Embassy in Qatar, sharing the news of the team playing in the tournament and asking to spread the news and for all to come cheer the ladies on. The first game was primarily attended by friends and family…after word got out, we had triple the amount of people attending the 2nd and last game with the radio station in attendance! People came with the PI flag and cheered the girls on. It was amazing to see so many people come out to watch with zero connection to the players. The connection here was the representation of their country and being part of something special. No matter how many goals we scored or got scored on, the pride and proudness could be felt in the stadium. ❤️
The day to day. There are definitely things that are significantly different compared to what I’m used to.
Traffic. If you think traffic where your at is bad, you have yet to experience what it’s like to go 5km. Sometimes 30 minutes, sometimes an hour. But you get used to it and plan accordingly.
Pace. While we live in a world of instant and now, I’ve grown accustom to waiting, lines and it will happen eventually. It’s a much slower pace and with that I’ve been able to practice patience and being present…key word if practice. It’s tough sometimes but what can you do other than have another glass of wine and enjoy life, right?
Crosswalks. Pedestrian’s usually have the right of way but what I have learned is first come, first walk. It was a shit-show at first, afraid of being ran over by a car and dying but I noticed if you simple walk (still being mindful of moving vehicles) and politely gesturing you are crossing, cars will stop eventually and let you cross, mind you, a foot or so from you!
Life. It good living in the Philippines. A constant 80+ degrees here. If you don’t mind the humidity, it’s LOVELY. Not to mention the sunshine.
Cost of living. It’s generally less expensive to live here…when you are spending USD. With our move happening quickly, I’ve adapted to look at things from a piso standpoint. It’s shocking at how things become more expensive when you look at it that way. With the typical average salary being 500P/day, spending 2000P+ on dinner and drinks would be a splurge. Home cooked meals for sure.
Overall, it’s been a great trip.
Teren got to visit his future school, meet his classmates and teachers, and get a little taste of what’s to come in June.
Next 2 months will be a bit nutty with preparing for our move, Tara’s graduation, family coming to town and focusing on my training for my half Ironman in June!
Life is good for the Shelton-Borromeo clan. Vanlife kickstarted our adventure and look forward to the rest of 2019!