Sunday, May 11, 2014

Staying happy in Manila

The Foreign Service blogger at SubjectVerbObject is trying to re-start her blog, and is getting others to join. She’s giving out lists of blog prompts (suggestions accepted, and encouraged) on Sunday and will post the participating blogs on her blog on Thursday. Since I’ve felt like my own blog has been a bit boring lately I thought I’d join in when I have time. Tonight, I was sitting down, reading when I saw the prompts. I practically jumped up to blog – something I haven’t done in a while. The prompt for this week that I’m going to concentrate on is taying happy where you are. There are two other prompts, I probably won’t make it to them, but maybe I will.

For me, staying happy in Manila is fairly easy.

For me to be happy, I need to be around people, and I need to be able to pamper myself. Manila is so easy to do/have both of those things.

Sure, the greater Manila area has over 12 million people. For someone who’s looking for friendships, this is a good place to do it. Filipinos are friendly people who love Americans. There are also over 300 direct hires at the Embassy. There’s no shortage of Americans who you can shoot the breeze with at lunch, befriend at the Marine’s happy hour, or experience the Philippines with on a CLO trip (let’s be honest, it’s easy to avoid the ones you want to avoid with such a large pool of people to choose from).  

I’m an extrovert. The stereotypical kind that requires friendships for emotional survival. The kind who asks friends over to play games on her wedding anniversary, or who thinks that the only thing that could have made today (Mother’s Day) better is friends coming over for the wonderful Tea Party that my husband threw me (seriously, it was awesome and deserves a blog post of its own).

I’ve made some amazing friends here. Life-long friends, that I would travel to Canada to see. Like the ones I’m traveling to Canada to see this summer. They are what I’ll miss most about the Philippines. It’s the same about Costa Rica, and will be the same about every where we go, unless everyone at Post is horrible, and I hope that never happens.

It’s so easy to pamper oneself in Manila! This is a large metro area made of multiple cities, each one having a skyline that would rival some of the bigger mid-size cities in the US. Driving into the area on the Skyway from the south you can see them all lined up and the way they’re going, pretty soon you won’t be able to see where one ends and the next one begins.

The separate cities are chock full of restaurants, malls, cinemas, and beauty spas…so many of each of those, that one would have a very hard time (possibly impossible time) trying them all in two years.

Malling is a very popular past-time in Manila and the Roy family has picked up a love for it as well. Even in Costa Rica we’d go to the one mall near us almost every weekend to eat and let the kids play.

I spend a lot of my time at Greenbelt. I go not-infrequently to Nail Tropics and get manis and pedis for prices that would make an American salon blush. One of my favorite things to do, thanks to an introduction by Carla at Carla Runs the World is going to tea. She introduced me to High Tea at the Penninsula. While I love High Tea, I love going to TWG more. This is an international restaurant chain and I wish it was in the States and Jamaica. Alas, it’s not and soon I’ll have to leave it behind.

Though I do get to take a bit of TWG with me because for Mother’s Day the kids (read: John) got me one of their tea pots, their sugar, their tea jelly, their Earl Grey, and another tea. The name of it escapes me and that’s too bad because it’s amazing. It has the word “blue” in it, I think.

I’ve not been short of movies, eating out, spa appointments, or friends in Manila. It’s so easy to stay happy here.

You should try it if you get a chance.


Theresa said...

Ahhh, you make Manilia sound amazing! It's great that you're finding so much that makes you happy. Even at a post that big, it can be tough. I admire you for your immensely positive outlook!

Roaen said...

haha, malling! that'a such a filipino term. I think i laughed out loud when my cousin first used it on me. :-)