I’ved lived here in New Zealand for few years now and although I’ve started to like living here, I’m very much yearning to come back home to the Philippines for a visit. Here are just a few of the many things I miss:
The sweet taste of pure and natural coconut water that you simply cannot get from a can or bottle. The fleshy and juicy coconut meat that can be easily filling if everything inside the young coconut is consumed. I’ve tried having one coconut for lunch when my friends and I stayed at a resort, and I can’t believe my tummy felt full.
The coconut vendor in the city where you can get your daily fix of coconut water and meat. This is surely much better than coffee, donuts, and other usual sweet treats. Really cheap too!
The unmistakable aroma and the juicy, succulent taste of yellow Cebuano mangoes that I cannot even dare buy and eat the NZ mango here. I have already eaten way too much of the dried variety that I don’t think it’s safe anymore and am now yearning for the real deal. (More info about the benefits of eating mangoes is found on this link http://phwow.com/blog/2012/11/24/facts-about-mangoes/.)
The most awesome beaches in the world where the water temperature is warm all year round, I can simply visit and swim almost anytime of the year really.
Those yummy Filipino desserts that sometimes I just need to have a taste of it back home, such as bibingka, maja blanca, sans rival, mango float, halo halo, and so many others.
My favorite mall to visit in Cebu is Ayala Center.
Boracay Island. Yes, I’ve stayed there for a few months in my 20s, and I loved the vibe. I bet there are many changes since I left but I wouldn’t mind going there again.Although I have visited Manila before, and am aware of the various dangers I would love to stay there for longer simply to explore.
I miss my family, despite all the challenges growing up. My mother has six siblings, and so that side of the family are very close and see each other whenever possible. Family gatherings are always fun, whether it’s held at one of my aunt’s house or my mom’s house.
In spite of the devastation caused by typhoon Haiyan and the alleged corruption and misuse of public funds by some government officials for God knows how long, what I’m most proud of is the friendliness of my fellow Filipinos. Most of them understand basic English and are willing to help out and ensure you feel safe and welcome, especially in the provinces where everyone knows everyone. Filipinos don’t mind if you talk to them in English, but if you do speak the native language, they will be super impressed. People love to sing and dance. Almost every household has a karaoke CD and a microphone so that during parties, people have a chance to sing and have fun. The very reasonable prices of food and services so you get more value for your money. The very good customer service you can experience everywhere you go. Also, the fact that many people are working in the services industry and you are sure to find one who can help you.
Despite these many things I missed, there are so many things I have yet to learn and explore. There are many dishes I haven’t tried simply because each region has its own specialty. There are so many more places I’d like to see and public events I’d like to attend and participate in.
I can’t wait to visit again, hopefully soon.