One of the best things about living in the Philippines, is being removed from the political climate of any given US presidential election. However, we do still have US "news" channels that, for better or for worse, broadcast all the latest political events. The more I watch, the more it becomes apparent that the US "news" channels rarely report any happy stories - only hours of repeated headlines and opinions that lead to heated arguments. It’s as if Chicken Little is crying 'The sky is falling!' and 23 minutes later, someone else says the same thing again. It's enough to make me want to cancel my cable subscription.
This bizarre phenomenon occurs every four years. And every four years people threaten that they will be moving to the Philippines if their candidate doesn't win. I’m not sure why they use this as a threat. Rarely do people threaten to visit the Philippines. In fact, the people coming off the airplane aren’t threatening at all. They are the most excited people you’ll ever meet.
It's my observation that when people are removed from a political season, people tend to spend more time on the happier side of life. Not that politics should be ignored, it’s just that when it starts consuming someone’s entire existence, they end up becoming that person yelling so loud that spittle comes out the sides of his or her mouth. And if you are that person, it’s okay. I think the Filipino Board of Tourism can help. Especially if you’re the one threatening to move to the Philippines if--insert political candidate—wins.
You will be welcome here in the Philippines. The Filipinos and expats are some of the friendliest people I meet, but they’ll be somewhat confused by your political spittle. In fact, I rarely see a Filipino spittle; it’s as rare as seeing the ferry boat or airlines running on time.
Instead what we see here is a slower pace of life. This slower pace of life, combined with an insatiable need to enjoy oneself, makes it easier to see through the foggy lens of a heated political debate. It’s understandable that you need to be heard. Take the Filipino Rooster, the loudest land animal in our neighborhood. You hear them in the morning, howling away across the orchards like they’re contesting a city council race. They need to be heard and acknowledged as well, but even they know when to give it a rest by taking a siesta the rest of the day, coming alive again by late afternoon. Balance seems to be what makes nature tick, and we are wired the same way.
The animals that really have it all figured out are the tarsiers. Rarely a peep out of them during the day.
A tarsier sleeps 14 hours a day in dark hollows close to the ground, and they only go out to urinate or defecate at night. This provides them plenty more time to do what they love… which is more sleeping. It’s an admirable trait. Maybe people should limit their news to what they can gather off their cell phones while urinating and defecating. Just enough time to get the facts because let’s face it, most of these political opinions belong in the crapper anyway.
Soon the election will all come to an end, and we will move on with our lives. Until then, I’ll try to stay on the happier side of life and not obsess about the things I just can’t control. I’ll smile at the teller after learning I can’t withdraw any money from the bank. I’ll buy the port authority workers a buko juice when when the boats and planes show up three hours late. I’ll even try not to gripe at my daughter while watching her take seven hours to unload the dishwasher.
I’ve learned that the quality of my life is directly proportional to how grateful I am. In fact, there is much to be grateful for as long as you are pointed in the right direction. This has not been an easy transformation for me. I’m the person who once mistook a monkey for a burglar. Before I moved here, my natural tendency is to think the sky is falling.
I think moving here is Like Winning The Lottery. For example... today the horizon is full of fluffy clouds, yellow parrots, and a single white egret. Perhaps the news channels should broadcast a little more of this every day, and there might be a little less spittle in the world and a lot more smiles.
Vote your conscience... and enjoy the Happy Photo below :-)
Enjoy the Hilarious Adventures of my Move to the Philippines
See More ->> HERE