Went out with my friends the other night. Me, Nadine, Trina and Momi Shena shared a few drinks and pica at Aruba in Metrowalk 'til the wee hours of the morning. I forgot to bring my cam so no pics... :( We talked about a lot of things that made me think about a lot of things as well.
Momi Shena just came from Europe (how incredibly sosyal!) and shared with us stories of her trip. She was so ecstatic about everything - the endless wondrous sights, the people, the food, the cobblestones! We have plans of going to Europe in 2010. Naunahan na niya kami. Now her stories made us more excited to go. We tried to estimate how much money we need to save in 3 years. Half a million pesos each! Wow! That's a gigantic amount of money. I asked - kaya be natin makaipon ng half a million in 3 years? Nadine and Shena confidently answered - kaya yan!
We came up with Plan B, just in case one of us wouldn't have half a million in 2010. So Shena said - Egypt or New York? I'd love to go to New York and walk the busy streets in a "Devil Wears Prada" look. Ooh lala..to flaunt expensive clothes, a slim figure and a natural tan! But I think it's better to go to Egypt. Magpaka-culture naman daw kami sabi ni Nadine. Onganaman. Anyway, I go wherever my friends go. I know it's going to be fun!
Momi Shena met a friend of hers somewhere in Europe (i forgot where). And this girl told her about her incredible sacrifices just to stay in the country and earn money. Her entire family is in the Philippines. She earns big time. But she is not happy. Ibang klase daw talaga ang lungkot when you're there, away from the people you love. That's why meron silang ibang asawa when they are out there. Or ibang kina-kasama. Because you can't fight the loneliness. It eats you up alive unless you do something about it. The loneliness will make you yearn for a companion - not to intentionally hurt your real family back home, but just to have someone to hold, to talk to, to distract you from the sadness.
And that srengthens my belief that long distance relationships do not work. You cannot be away from your spouse for a very long time and NOT be incredibly lonely and be tempted to find solace in someone else's arms.
3. Iba talaga ang Pinas!
Momi Shena said that after a week in Europe, she got restless and na-miss na niya ang Pinas. I know that feeling! When I was in Hong Kong three years ago, three days pa lang gusto ko na umuwi. I missed my family. I missed my boyfriend. I missed my friends. I missed my work. I missed my bed! Iba talaga ang Pilipinas. Because this is my HOME. This is where I grew up. This is where my entire life is. Hahanap-hanapin ng systema mo talaga. Unless you already grew up in another country, syempre yun na ang kinalakihan mo. But if you grew up here, and stay in a different country for a long time, grabe pala. Gugustuhin mo talaga umuwi.
Hence the song - Manila, Manila, I keep coming back to Manila...Simply no place like Manila!
4. We don't need to leave!
Many filipinos really feel the need to leave the country to search for greener pastures. And yes, some do find them. But the sacrifice they have to make is tremendous. Malungkot, mahirap, isang kayod isang tuka.
Momi Shena, Nadine and I all agree - we don't need to leave. Because we're lucky. We have god jobs here. We're well compensated. We live comfortable lives. We have enough to pay the bills, and a little extra to indulge.
A far cry from what we were back in college - wala pang pera, mumurahin lang ang mga gamit, sa bulaluhan lang kumakain at share-share pa sa food.
We're happy here. And that is something to be very, very thankful for.
5. The joys of independence
Nadine plans to go live with her mom in Australia (oh dear...I can't remember if it's Australia or Canada...had too much to drink.) But anyway, she's thinking of leaving the country to go live with her mom before it's too late. Syempre dalawa na lang daw sila, so naisip niya na dapat magkasama na lang sila. The only thing that stops her from doing so is her love of freedom. And Momi Shena nods in agreement, and shares her sentiment.
Freedom. Independence. You do whatever you want with yur life. Go home whenever you want. Eat whatever and whenever. Shop like there's no tomorrow without anyone breathing down your neck. The joys of being single, of being free as a bird.
If Nadine decides to go, then she loses all this. If Shena decides to live with her mom in the US, her independence and freedom will be lost. Or curtailed.
Iba talaga pag single. Lalo na sila. They live on their own. I enjoy my freedom too, but not as much as them because I live with my parents. But I'm single. And in a way I am also free as a bird.
And the very thought of losing that independence is terrifying. It's a big sacrifice. It requires serious thinking and consideration. So good luck, Nadine, whatever you decide. Basta we all meet up in 2010 - nasaan man tayo by that time.
Nadine turns 28 on June 10! Happy birthday lola! Cheers to long life, a thriving sex life and endless money for shopping and travel!