Journal Entry #2

So in the course of my backpacking trip in Costa Rica a couple of months ago, I met several Europeans who came up to me excitedly when they found out I’m Filipino, and said that they enjoyed their trip to Asia but that they loved one particular county because of its natural beauty and the warmth and kindness of its people: the Philippines, of course.

Another common observation by them? That they didn’t find the food in the Philippines as good as other Asian countries, and they always mention Thailand, India, China, and Japan as some of the places whose cuisine just blew them away.

I always tell them that Filipino food is comfort food: it’s simple, homey, and it fills you up. For Filipinos, the simplicity is what makes it good; for example, I can eat a simple soup like nilarang or tinolang isda every day and not tire of it unlike, say, a more complex (and flavorful, what with all the spices mixed in) tom yum from Thailand (which I love too, don’t get me wrong).

But it’s the instances like this that makes backpacking, for me, the best way to travel. I remember in particular that time several years ago when I was also on a backpacking trip in Tulum, Mexico, and I just got back to the hostel, buzzed from a night out in one of the nearby bars with some dormmates, when a German guy came up to me to show me his only tattoo that he got from Apo Whang-od. He added, with a grin, that he missed his Filipino friends, his Filipino family that he made in the course of his trip, and that he missed Red Horse beer and Tanduay rum in particular. He said he just missed the Philippines in general.

That makes two of us, buddy.

 
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I just got off the phone with my boss, from one of my English-writing jobs here in Mexico. She called to condole with me for the impending landslide win of Bongbong Marcos as next president of the Philippines, and added that if I didn’t... Continue →