Allison's Book Bag

Wrap-Up on the Philippines

Posted on: June 23, 2014

When my step-mom returned to her home country of the Philippines for a visit, she took my siblings with her. To wrap up my two weeks of features related to the Philippines, I thought it would be fun to interview my brother about his experience.

Although the visit happened a few years ago and so he didn’t remember a lot, he still offered some details. The statement he made which most stuck with me involved what he missed. He said that before the Philippines, he took family and things in Canada for granted.

a resort in the Philippines

a resort in the Philippines

ALLISON: What did you like about your trip to the Philippines?

ROBERT: What the Philippines looks like. The food. Getting to meet cousins. I enjoyed pretty much everything.

ALLISON: What did you dislike about the Philippines?

ROBERT: The heat. I’m not a fan of hot weather.

ALLISON: What did you find most different?

ROBERT: The climate.

Yard of Leonora's childhood home

Yard of Leonora’s childhood home

There were lots of gravel roads. The main roads or highways were paved.

They didn’t have soft couches. The hard chairs weren’t comfortable.

People walked barefoot in the house.

There wasn’t good internet. You had to pay for access. It was just a few cents, but here you can use the library or the college to get free service.

The Philippines isn’t the richest. They don’t have as much as Canada. But stuff was cheaper here.

ALLISON: Did you find any similarities?

Rice served on bamboo leaves

Rice served on bamboo leaves

ROBERT: They eat rice there too. Actually, there they eat it there pretty much every meal.

ALLISON: What were your favorite foods?

ROBERT: I don’t have favorites; I just eat. They had some fruits we don’t have here. There weren’t many desserts.

ALLISON: What were your favorite activities?

ROBERT: Games. We ran around and played sports.

ALLISON: What did you miss most about Canada?

ROBERT: Dad didn’t go because of the heat. I missed him and our pets.

ALLISON: Would you go again? Why?

ROBERT: I don’t know. It’s expensive. If I did, I’d like to see my cousins again.

Robert at Pagadian City

Robert at Pagadian City

I also thought it would be fun to ask my step-mom to compare her life in the Philippines where she grew up to her life in Canada which is now her home. The statement she made which most stuck with me is: “I liked my life there and I like my life here. I’m happy with my life.” Sounds like a good philosophy to live by!

ALLISON: What did you find most difficult about adjusting to Canada?

LEONORA: The cold weather! How fast people speak English.

ALLISON: What do you most like about living in the Canada?

Leonora and her siblings at a store

Leonora and her siblings at a store

LEONORA: People are friendly here. There are things we share too. When I worked in home care, people would talk to me about when they grew up here in Newfoundland. Some of it resembled my life in the Philippines: there weren’t paved roads and people didn’t have a lot of conveniences.

ALLISON: What are some things that are different?

LEONORA: The Philippines has bumpy roads. We use pumps for baths. There’s no snow, but there are floods and landslides. We eat rice every day. Foods are cooked by a fire and they taste better than meats here. There isn’t any television; just radio.

It’s slipperier and colder here in the winter. We go to the store for everything instead of making it. There are more conveniences such as microwaves. Newfoundland doesn’t have snakes!

ALLISON: What foods would you like to make here?

Getting a ride on a motorcycle

Getting a ride on a motorcycle

LEONORA: If I could cook anything I wanted to, I’d make all Filipino food. Whenever I get homesick or don’t feel good, I make adobo chicken. I prepare recipes by how my mom taught me; not from a cookbook. I can’t make stuff that needs sticky rice, because it isn’t locally available.

ALLISON: What do you miss most about the Philippines besides family?

LEONORA: The warm weather! I liked not having to wear a coat. Here, we have to bundle up in layers.

ALLISON: How has the Philippines changed since you lived there?

LEONORA: My family now have their own TV, DVD, and cell phones. They use their own motorcycle for transportation. The roads are better and there is bridge instead of a river to our house. The government has improved some of the area.



10 Responses to "Wrap-Up on the Philippines"

I’ve never been anywhere like the Philippines- I’m sure it would be quite a culture shock, but an amazing experience nonetheless.

One day perhaps my husband and I will also be able to visit the Philippines. It seems like a beautiful albeit hot country.

What a lovely piece this week – the interviews added so much more to the photos 🙂

Thank you for the compliment! I’m glad you enjoyed the compiled post.

I enjoyed your photos of the Philippines and the interviews with your brother and step-mom. Very interesting. What a transition her move to Canada must have been! Thank you for sharing.
Here’s the link to my Saturday Snapshot post.

My step-mom was an inspiration to me in my own decision years ago to relocate from Canada to the United States. The culture shock was much less significant, but it’s still been enough of a change.

Thanks for sharing this experience and these lovely photos. Here’s MY SATURDAY SNAPSHOT POST

Thanks for your visit and sharing your post.

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