Well, I just put up a video on Youtube entitled “Mistakes I Have Made in the Philippines” and coming back to put up the video embedded above, it made me think about one of the good decisions I made since being in the Philippines.
Shortly after arriving in Dumaguete, I was having a coffee at MacDo (just as I do about every morning). It is acceptable here to ask another foreigner to sit with them (the MacDo is usually busy, and it’s just nice to talk to another Westerner to catch up on news and local gossip), so I asked a gentleman there if that was OK. He said sure, and we started talking about this and that and every little thing under the sun. He was originally from Georgia and was telling me about his time in the Philippines, his wife, and his newborn son. At the end of the conversation, he added “Hey, we have a little pot luck down on the beach in Dauin every week. Feel free to stop by if you want.” He also gave me rough directions to where it was at, and bid me a good day.
Phew, am I glad I got that invitation.
I stopped by the beach pot luck the following week. The expats and their wives or girlfriends each brought something they either made or purchased for the little picnic. The location was at a simple resort a stone’s throw from the sea that rented out nipa cabanas for the day. The food was delicious (I brought bbq chicken since I couldn’t cook) and the Filipinas in particular had whipped up some scrumptious victuals. (We now have a Canadian expat who is pretty much a chef who can also bring it!). It was sooooo nice being able to relax in the cool breeze by the ocean, eat good food, take in the gorgeous views, snorkel/swim, and engage in good conversation. And when I say good conversation, I mean that there was absolutely no talk of US politics – a subject which it talked about far too much here and which ultimately becomes nauseous and divisive.
Months later, we still meet up every week for our little potluck. It’s something that I look forward to, and the folks there have become, over time, friends. Most of the crew is in the video noted above; the footage that I shot was a birthday lunch/get together at their home near the little town of Dauin.
Thus, the Philippines has become more than just a place of lush, tropical beauty, waterfalls, and turquoise seas. It is becoming over time – with friends like this – our home.
Take care, ya’all. And keep dreaming. 🙂