My return to the Philippines has been a rollercoaster ride, to say the least. Although I am very happy to see my friends and family, I also miss a lot of people and places in Spain.
Upon arriving in the Philippines, I was pleasantly surprised by two friends who dedicated a couple of webpages to me. First was luleta79 who uploaded this picture she took when I visited her in Barcelona last August. Gracias, maja, por la foto y por el halago que metiste en la página. Hasta la vista y que sepas que aquí te esperamos en Filipinas.
Then another friend, AlmaLeonor, made this very wonderful entry in her blog, a praise to friendship. It was a heartwarming piece from someone who saw me through two years of ups and downs in Valladolid and I am really happy, nay proud, to be called her friend. Mil gracias por esta maravillosa entrada que de verdad me tocó el corazón.
As I write this, I still am doing some restoration work in my house while looking for a job. The schedule in the Philippines is quite different. The paradox is this: while the routine here is decidedly more hectic than in Spain, the daily lethargy for things that should matter more is amazing and annoying at the same time. Everyone seems worried about his cellphone, his refrigerator and his cabinets upon cabinets of clothes, but no one seems worried about not having proper health care, basic social services, and a clean environment.
That's why shopping malls are so popular here, I reckon. When all places, big and small, are virtual garbage piles and people don't even have a clean bedroom for some R&R, malls are the best option to temporarily escape.
And oh, by the way, I recently came across this blog called aKUALAnd managed by Kuala. The story is that he was a Spaniard who's now back in Spain after spending a year in our neighboring Malaysia (he is my antithesis). He basically has the same difficulties in readjusting to a life he had always known. But, as he so eloquently pointed out toward the end of his entry, "To be back [in Spain] is not easy, to settle down is sometimes hard, but all in all, I do keep trying. I want my life to be like what it has been during this past year and I will do all efforts possible to make it happen."
This is why people *must* travel, I guess. Experiencing a different culture refines one's perspective in life and makes him realize that there's a world out there that awaits all those who dare. We touch lives in the same way that we allow ourselves to be touched, and that in itself is its best reward.