Wow, I can’t believe that it’s been almost a month since I came to Philippines. It was such a spontaneous decision, I was about to go to Laos but in the last minute I’ve changed my mind, took a chance and decided to go for a diving course to the country I honestly knew nothing about. For some reason I assumed that the life here will be similar to the life in Thailand and Cambodia – well, I can say that I was slightly wrong about that, it’s really different in here.
First of all it’s not as touristic as the other SE Asian countries I’ve been. Of course there are places like Boracay or Malapascua that are well known touristic destinations but in the place where I am right now there are really not so many foreigners (and I love that!). Although I live in a diving resort that is run by westerns it is full of locals. They are all super nice and friendly and every day I get to know (and like them) more and more. What’s more, I deal with locals every time I take a public transportation (more on that later) or go to the local market. It’s always a lot of fun.
I live close to the small town called Dauin that has not too much too offer but is populated by really friendly people. Most of them speaks at least basic English which makes my life so much easier – I don’t have any problem buying stuff (not that there is much variety of things to buy 😉 ), asking for directions or anything else. As I said, Philippinos are super nice and I really like talking to them. Yesterday I had a good laugh in a store with some old lady that was apologizing that she doesn’t have a shower gel on the stock and tried to convince me to buy cookies instead. I don’t know why would she think that I could replace a shower gel with cookies but maybe she could see in my eyes that I’m a cookie monster so she gave it a try (and of course she sold them, who would say no to cookies?! 😉 )
You have to know that basic products that westerns are used to are not easily accessible in rural Philippines. Of course If you go to a bigger city and hit a shopping mall (yeah, weird thing but they have huge and super modern shopping malls) you can get mostly anything BUT most of those products are very expensive and for sure out of the reach for local people. This is one thing (not the only one but later on that) that I miss about Thailand – their stores were very well supplied and you could get almost anything you wanted without spending a fortune. Here the situation is a bit different and it bothered me in the beginning but I kind of let it go and decided to see how is it to live and use stuff that locals do. Surprisingly, it’s not so bad and I do not miss certain European products as much as I did in the beginning. I’m getting sucked into Philippino lifestyle.
Since I started to travel I’m learning to live with less and less. I use only things that I can carry on my back, I don’t buy new things unless I really need them (small hole in my leggings won’t be a reason to buy a new ones) and I enjoy the simplicity of things. It’s surprising how good it feels to let all those worries and expectations go; how good it is to just enjoy the little things and accept the circumstances and conditions the way they are. Philippines are giving me a perfect opportunity to learn and to grow – I have one more month left in here but I can already say that the decision of coming here was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
For now, I gotta run diving again (I’ve started my Divemaster Internship already!) but I hope to find some free time soon to share more stories. Forgive me the low quality or (better said) lack of pictures – it is impossible to upload anything with my current internet connection!
Peace and love 🙂