Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Philippines, Oh My Philippines!

A vow to roam the country...

Yes, your PinoyTraveler (that's me) is not at all religious but just the same made a "solemn" vow to roam the Philippines as much as I can and as long as I ever live (whichever ends first - as if they don't go together hehe)! This vow was "solemnized" by the fact that this occurred during a Sunday mass!

I was a young 20 year old then. Way back then, really!

The Scene
The 9:30AM mass, the last row (pew) St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida - as homily was in progress

The Dialogue
American Guy: (smiling and with great enthusiasm noticeably inched to get nearer to me and whispered)... "you a Filipino? a Pinoy?"

PinoyTraveler: (also whispering and wondering why the urgency of the question) "yes sir, I am, why?"

AG: It has been like ages since I saw a Filipino. I love Filipinos, the Philippines. In fact I married one! You see my wife there in the front pews? You will recognize her, she is the only Filipina there. Very religious like you! Even leaves me behind so she won't be late for the service!

PT: I see, well I'm happy you like the Philippines.

AG: So how is the Philippines? Is everyone okay? Are the politicians really that bad? Have the prices really gone sky-high? Are you here just to visit or are you TNT? Will you be going back soon? How is Cebu? Is it true the city is booming? How about Bohol? Have you seen the dolphins and the whales?

PT: (stunned at the barrage of questions that came in just one breath) I have not been to Cebu nor Bohol yet sir...

AG: (before PT could even finish his sentence).. it is such a shame you have not been to Cebu! And what are you doing here?

PT: just visiting friends... to tour the area. Am going back to Manila on Wednesday...

AG: Again it is such a shame! What is there to see here? Everything is artificial! We even have a lot of fake grass all over this godforsaken place! You should not be wasting your time and money here. You should see your whole country first before you set out. You know, if you do that you will realize there is so much beauty and culture and nature in the Philippines than anywhere here in the states...

PT: Yes sir, I will do that! It sounds interesting!

AG: (now hissing with a fiery look in his eyes)... The hell you will! Its not just interesting, its life! Its the best place where you could ever live! Promise me you will explore your country first, then come out to the world and brag about it! I envy Filipinos, I envy the Philippines! If I could only marry the whole country, I will. If lightning can strike me now and I wake up a Filipino, I will be the happiest man on earth!

PT: okay...

and so on and on... until the mass was over and we were out of the church and the couple invited me for lunch and so on... WOW!

Whatever fervor or whatever resolve was that burning in his heart, I was so intrigued that in my mind I said: oh ok, let me roam my country and see why this big white man seems to be ready to kill to be in it!

Little by little, I am discovering that yes, indeed, my Philippines is it! Really!


  1. great story! see you at the crossroads.. happy travelin'!

  2. So very true; there's so much beauty here in the Philippines and pretty much everyone takes it for granted. Kudos to you and your blog!

  3. hi..good read..just checking boat for villaba to bogo..alternative route for visa extension cebu..made me laugh and interesting

  4. ahahaha... i hope i can travel as much as you have already... :)

  5. @fetus, you are getting there! and thanks for dropping by, got something new to read *your blog* and I specially like your polls hehe!

  6. I am so inspired with your blog posts. I just have launched my website http://www.islandlife.me and figured myself as still needing tons of rice before I can go to an nth of the places you have had gone. But your blogs had inspired me much. Candidly, a fire is burning within myself to go into full-time travel article writing.

  7. oy thanks a lot! i don't have much to offer yet as i haven't done extensive traveling and blogging. hahahaha...

  8. @edsan, am so thrilled my blogs has inspired at least a single Filipino soul. Kasi, come to think of it, most of the people who read my stories are from outside of our country. Keep that fire burning as I do mine! Comments like these actually push me to writing more!

    @fetus (and edsan), i am sure no sooner you'd be roaming the islands too! as they say, where there's a will...

  9. Hi,

    I had linked your site to my site http://www.islandvacations.me. Actually, i intend to get your permission first but I failed to see your email address at your site.At any rate, my link has no strings attached. It's just my own little way of saying thanks for being the first travel blog site that provided 2 links to my site.

  10. @edsan, no permissions needed from folks like you (and fellow maroon at that) also promoting the best of what this country has!

    am sorry to have heard the news that both Surigao Norte and Sur are enundated these days. let's hope everything will be fine soonest. stay safe all of you there.

    and hey, you are on my reading list too!

  11. Natouch naman ako sa conversation na to, kahit hindi sya Pilipino, sobra ang paghanga at pagmamahal nya sa bansa natin, sana dumami pa ang kagaya nya at mas marami pang PIlipino ang mabigyan din ng chance makita ang buong Pilipinas :)

  12. [sent an email to you but decided to post here publicly so your readers will know]

    "I'm an avid reader of your stories keeping a constant watch for each new article. You are a fantastic storyteller! I am a writer myself, though in a different genre, and I wonder why you do not submit your works to publishers with yourself as author.

    I think its time you progress from being 'just a ghost writer' to a 'real author'. I can proudly claim that I already know your style, tone and personality through your stories. And I can name at least 7 stories published by various airline magazines that I am sure you were the writer of! Bet?

    Most of your stories are 'fresh from the heart' and unedited without being proofread. Yet they are excellent. That is a tough act to follow! But you convey them as if you were personally talking to us. Its quite entertaining. Many times, you even accidentally advertise businesses and corporations who, I think should pay you!

    Though I'm on the other side of the globe, I can help you with getting your works published in print. Please see details in my email."

    Hope to meet up with you when I visit the Philippines. You are a writer who is truly one of a kind.

    More power!

  13. nice! we super agree to the American guy you've met. and thanks to him you've come to realize how beautiful our country is.

    hope to see you in one of our travels! ;)

  14. hey mr and mrs! thanks for dropping by!

  15. Hello,

    I've nominated you for the 7 Links Project organized by Tripbase. Here are the details:


    To unite bloggers (from all sectors) in a joint endeavor to share lessons learned and create a bank of long but not forgotten blog posts that deserve to see the light of day again.


    1) Blogger is nominated to take part
    2) Blogger publishes his/her 7 links on his/her blog – 1 link for each category.

    This shouldn’t take you long to do – don’t over-think it!

    - Your most beautiful post
    – Your most popular post
    – Your most controversial post
    – Your most helpful post
    – A post whose success surprised you
    – A post you feel didn’t get the attention it deserved
    – The post that you are most proud of

    3) Blogger nominates up to 5 more bloggers to take part.

    Please let me know if you're interested.

    For more info, head over to the Tripbase site. http://www.tripbase.com/blog/my-7-links-the-rules
    Here's my post - http://www.islandvacations.me/blogs/my-journey/my-7-links-project

    Good luck!


  16. Loving the site so far. Added to my RSS feed. Thanks!

  17. @PinoyTraveler - I've also added you to my Links page here >> http://www.seemyphilippines.com/links/

  18. ^^ Hi Allen,
    Thanks! I am honored! Your blog is now also on my list (below) and I started reading about Torre Venezia. I frequent BK (buger king) when in the area, and last I looked that tall building was still under construction :) It looks like a fine hotel now. Thanks for the info!


  19. hi! i have been reading so many articles form your blogs and they somehow give the drive to travel anywhere... may i know your email address, i actually want you to visit pampanga on a holy week and taste some of our religious cookies made only by mexicanos. if i can be of help during your tour, im just a message away.. =)

  20. Hello ^^^, I am flattered you take time to read my lengthy stories! Hmm, those cookies gets me curious. Yeah and I have never been to the Mexico side. It should be on my list of where to go next. Thanks.

    Am not sure though I still have the heart to witness Cutud again. I was there in 2008 and i felt bad after. Not for the faint-hearted (like me) hehe.

    My email btw is pinoytraveler@gmail.com or you can send me messages via fb or twitter (upper right corner). Salamat!

  21. Hi PT, just want to tell you that you are one of my inspirations in doing my blog. I enjoy reading your stories and hope you continue to share them here. It inspires other people to roam the country too.

    My travel and adventure blog is at http://www/jaymieann.com