Written by Kevin Bautista
I was already white-washed being born in California. But I moved to the Philippines when I was 5. I had to learn Tagalog and the other Filipino ways to survive Manila – or else watch people’s noses bleed each time I talked to them.
Fast forward to 19 years later, it’s 2015 and I’ve already been accustomed with the country my roots come from. However, last June, I made the bold move of going back to the States.
So from being white-washed then brown-washed, I had to be white-washed all over again.
This had the makings of some rejected version of a Disney-Pixar movie. And if ever the voices in my head could talk, they would have a lot to say about me being here in the US again.
Fear and Anger probably would have the strongest opinions. They’d tell me about how going around the city isn’t a major problem anymore: how I don’t have to squeeze in jeepneys, tricycles, and LRTs, which their drivers insist – even if the current loads of people already look like sardines cans; how I can actually get full respect as a bike rider or pedestrian; and how the road rules are respected in general.
Disgust and Joy are finally contented that I actually get my money’s worth. Do not get them started on how small a food serving can get back in the Philippines. They’re also happy about things here like recording TV series and the government seeming much less corrupt.
Compared to countries like here in the USA, the Philippines definitely can improve in many ways. However, Sadness keeps on tugging me and making me realize what I miss back home.
That Filipino food, though sometimes few, is still one of the best your palette will ever taste.
That most of the Filipino people, if not all, are some of the kindest people you’ll ever come across.
That the Filipino roads, though a still long way to development, lead to most of my family.
Because my head may be in a million places, but my heart goes out to both countries I lived in – yes, even that little archipelago called the Philippines.
(The post was written for Ramjo Tejada’s Little Brown Trooper. Kevin is one of the brains behind CityImprint.com.)