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10 Things I Miss About Pinas Now

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From life’s simple stuff to grandiose pleasures, bring it on!

After more than a year away, I am going home to the Philippines for vacation. Although there are pretty, new things I have been enjoying in the place I’m living now, like anybody else, I cannot take away the pleasures and the goodies I enjoy in the place I now call home. Boy oh boy, I still miss a lot of things Pinoy!

10. Videoke

Singing on top of your lungs, as if like there’s no tomorrow. Because the louder you are, the closer you get perfect 100. Neighbors screeching in the wee hours of the night, doing it their way. Perhaps, we might also do the same. So to my fellow neighbors, you’ve been forewarned. I’ll sing a series of Bon Jovi, Guns N Roses, Bryan Adams, and fine, a bit of Carpenters too.

Read the article entitled, Sinatra Song Often Strikes Deadly Chord, from the New York Times. Click on the image here.
9. Manila Road Experience

It’s a jungle out there in Manila! And somehow, I’m missing it. Different modes of road transportation – jeepneys, cars, buses, vans, trucks, bicycles, trikes, de padyak, kalesa – swarm the heavily-complicated city roads. Add to that the reckless drivers, clueless passengers, nosy bystanders, well-focused snatchers, pestering vendors…I’m now pampered by the efficiency and promptness of Swiss transport that it can be either overwhelming or exciting for me to get back to the streets of our metro. But then again, I think I can (still) survive. I ♥ Manila!

8. The Tropical Heat

Today’s temperature in Manila is equivalent to the summer’s temperature in Geneva. Now it’s winter and we’re at 8 degrees Celsius; what a significant difference! While people here find the ways and means to get some heat (and come summertime, they’re sun worshipers I tell you), it’s relatively easy to sweat out and get tanned in Pinas. Sans the monsoon rains, I still prefer our tropical weather.

7. San Mig Light

I’ll forget the wines in the meantime. San Miguel is OUR drink, and I prefer the light one (as always).

Mahaba-habang inuman with San Mig Light.
6. Nightlife

I’m about to feel like I just got out of the monastery when I’m going to revisit and check out the nightplaces in the city. I’d now say that I’m a bit more comfortable having fun dancing and enjoying the night away while I’m in Pinas. Sad to say, there’s not much option around Switzerland and most are even overpriced, overrated. It is close to having no life after dark here, which can be equally good at times (oh yes, I’m getting old).

So, Manila, Quezon City, Makati, Taguig, what have I missed? Food. Drinks. Sing. Dance. Play. Talks. Camaraderie. It’s gonna be a smorgasbord of good, clean fun eh?

Ooooh I love the nightlife. I got to boogie on the disco ’round, oh yea.
5. Happy Pinoys

In the midst of dirty political crisis and typhoon situation, we Filipinos never fail to joke around with anything. We are generally a happy and contented people.

“Around the world, people are searching for happiness. For Filipinos, happiness isn’t a goal: it’s a tool for survival.”

Click on the image to read the article, “Viewpoint: Filipinos tend to be happy” by Alan C. Robles
4. Shopping Experience

We have more options in the Philippines, with more shopping stores you can find almost everywhere! Mind you, these stores are even open in longer hours, 7 days a week! During holidays or great sales, big malls like SM would even be opened until midnight. At flea markets (oh Divisoria, Greenhills how I miss you!), you can find the best bargains and haggle the best way you possibly can (speaking like Chinese is apparently a good strategy). No offense, but in this case, Pinas still has the advantage over Switzerland afterall. Yes.


By Deborah Yao, Associated Press Writer
MANILA — The Philippines is known for many things: beautiful beaches, overseas workers and the multitude of shoes owned by former first lady Imelda Marcos.

But less known to the West is that the archipelago is a shoppers’ dream, the home of three of the world’s 10 largest malls. That’s remarkable, given that the Philippines is about the size of Arizona.

Shopping, along with eating and basketball, is an important national pasttime. Filipinos take their malling so seriously that it’s practically their only destination every weekend. Many of the malls in the metro Manila area are mini-cities, with department stores, supermarkets, theaters, spas and even an Olympic-size skating rink. Christian and Muslim religious services also are held at the malls.

Air-conditioned malls are a welcome escape from the tropical heat and humidity. Families and friends frequently spend entire days hanging out at one mall. Read more

3. Pinoy Food

I’m fairly lucky that I still enjoy the Filipino cuisines being served at my home in Switzerland, but of course, nothing beats the eating/dining experience in Pinas. Eat meals using fork and spoon, or the better, with bare hands. Eat meals placed in banana leaf or cooked in ceramic brown pots. For a communal feeling, go out to the streets and make “tusok-tusok” the fishballs, kwek-kwek, isaw, betamax, adidas, calamari and make “chika” with chismoso’t chismosas.

Yet what I miss the most, of course, is my mom’s home cooking, especially her Ilonggo/Visayan dishes, namit gid!

Ironically, I can’t wait to have some Japanese ramen, too (in Pinas, of all the places)!

Oh dear, I’m salivating already. I’m very excited, obviously.

“The lechon is the most invited party guest in the Philippines.”

From adobo to turon — the best bites to be savored around the archipelago50 foods that define the Philippines

By Maida Pineda, Candice Lopez-Quimpo

Filipino food may not be as famous as that of its Thai and Vietnamese neighbors. But with more than 7,000 islands and a colorful history, this archipelago has some delicious dishes of its own.

Blessed with an abundance of seafood, tropical fruits and creative cooks, there’s more to Filipino dishes than the mind-boggling balut (duck embryo).

You just have to know where to find them and how to eat them.

Read more, click here.

2. Beaches

I absolutely miss the beach that I really made sure I will spend more vacation days in the paradise. I’ll be in Bohol. My first time to visit it and I made it, at last! Then I’ll stay overnight in Cebu, a tour for me to rediscover this city. I’m looking forward to this vacation of mine.

Basking under the sun in Alona beachfront in Panglao Island, Bohol.
1. Family & Friends

There’s really no place like home. It’s where your family and friends are. I miss my calm, collected, generous dad; my fiesty, versatile, street-smart mom; my silently thoughtful brother; and my (sarcastically) witty, fun-loving, ever-busy friends.

Yet I can truly say that I’m fortunate I’ve met the best people in Switzerland who’ve made me feel that home is not that far, far away.

Oh Pinas, here I come!

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