Where would I be if I had chosen to stay in Manila? Pondering on how life would have been if I was (still) there. I could be enjoying myself with the company of people I love. Hanging out at some place over crepes (at Breton) or beer perhaps. Sometimes I think of these things. What if I was a person who never wanted to leave my homeland? I would probably lead a comfortable life. And by comfortable, I mean emotionally comfortable. Knowing that day in, day out, in one phone call, a few minutes (or so) drive, I will be with people I want to be with, at that time. I would probably be blissfully satisfied with all those emotional cravings that my family and friends would offer. On the other hand, I would have a job that would not pay me well, and that which I would endlessly complain about (not much difference with here i guess!). I probably wont be able to afford to live on my own and fend for myself. I would most likely be dependent on my parents for financial support for a longer time. Part of me wants to put blame on the government for this, that so many people in Manila (and anywhere in the Phils) would like to leave the country to be able to achieve financial independence. Think about so many families divided because of this situation. But then again, this situation is present in other countries. A lot of the foreigners I have encountered here have the main motive of improving their economic status. Sometimes I wonder where I would be happier, here or there? Where is the right place for me? Where do I belong? There are so many endless questions that I could ask, and as much as I would like to make the best of what I have at present/at hand, it is very difficult. Especially when homesickness sets in. All the financial freedom, career goals, etc that I have seem to fade into a distant memory. There are moments when I would just like to pack my bags and head home. No questions asked, no future considerations, no consequences. But life is not meant to be lived that way. In everything I do, I would have to think twice, thrice and so many times about the implications it would bring on my future. My fiance's and mines for that matter. After all, I led him to this life.
My fiance and I often talk about life and so many things involved in it. Such as where to settle. Where to raise our kids, how to raise them, what our ideals in life are, and what our ideal life would be. Oftentimes we would have the same emotions involved, but sometimes totally different actual ideas. Life here would entail a lot of sacrifice. Especially when kids come into the scene, one of us (most likely me) would be a stay at home parent, taking care of kids and the family's needs. Raising a child here is not easy, as we cannot depend on relatives or helpers to give assistance in rearing them. Or, just to watch them for a few hours while I have my "ME" time. Unlike in Manila, relatives will be around to offer (if not request them to) take care of the kids for a while. Here, it could be very restraining. Having to watch them 24/7 for 365/year. It will mean being involved in the baby's life every step of the way. In some cases that I have encountered here, some of the Filo parents bring their child to the Phils and leave them there with the grandparents. This is sad. Parents not really being able to fulfill their role as one. But then again, life here is different and I understand where they are coming from. They have a choice, and their choice is to work hard to be able to give their child the best. It must be a very difficult decision to do that. I wish and pray I would never have to decide on that.
I am feeling a little bit better after writing my thoughts about being here now, and my what ifs if I were in Manila. Its not much, but I think in all this, there is a purpose of me being here. I need to learn about life. Initially I really came here to study about Tourism. I learned a lot more than the things I learned inside the classroom. I learned to live on my own. I learned to cope with homesickness (most of the time, but of course, i break down too). I learned to be strong, for myself, by myself. I learned that if I wanted something done, I had to do, and no one would do it for me. I learned that after sometime one gets used to the place they live in, but one never forgets where one came from. I learned that out in the world, there are real situations, real life events that are not always easy to handle. I learned that life is not always easy, and that after being spoonfed for 20 years, one must learn to look for their own spoon, look for their own food, scoop it, and learn how to eat by themselves.It was not a very smooth road, but one must appreciate that, at least, there is a road. I learned that there are a whole lot of different types of people alive. Not all of them are nice. Not all of them play fair. Not all of them want whats best for you. Not all of them can be your friend. But maybe, One of them may be there at the hardest time of your life. I learned and understood that life is about the journey, and that we should at least make it as pleasant as possible for oneself and for others. For all we know, it is harder for the other person across the road. ( I heard that quote somewhere, worded differently of course).