The Great Escape

Rediscovering life in Palawan Philippines

The Land Where I Was Born 019

Random photos and thoughts about the Philippines

Our environment, our experiences, and the people we choose to surround us shapes us into who we are. In this series I search the web for thought-provoking images about the Philippines, the country I was born in and which I am now rediscovering.

Filipino-American grocery

New Home

The year was 2008. I was 24 years old when I left the Philippines for the United States to marry the man of my dreams, who left the country right out of college. When I arrived in the States, I had nothing but two suitcases and the clothes I was wearing. Everything else—my family, my friends, my job, my home, everything that defined me, everything that I knew, everything that I loved—was left behind. Most people who move from one country to another only have one reason for moving: the pursuit of the good life. ~ The truth about chasing the American dream, Manila Bulletin, July 6, 2014


Sweet, Sour, Salty

At Maharlika, a number of foreign condiments await use on the table before diners: bright yellow and red bottles of patis, a fish sauce, suka, a coconut-sugarcane vinegar, banana ketchup, a blend of bananas, sugar and vinegar, and Maggi calamansi seasoning, a citrus based liquid. Bright sour, sweet, and salty flavors jump out of traditional dishes like crispy, sizzling pork sisig, oxtail kare kare with peanut butter, and fried chicken slathered with macapuno syrup. Head-on prawns decorate a number of dishes and fried chicken skin is offered as a pre-meal snack. ~ Filipino Fare for American Palates, Huffington Post,  October 16, 2014


The Whiter the Better

My attitude was a bit different before, because I was socialized as a young child to think that I’d be prettier if I was light-skinned. I actually have trauma about it. At a preschool Christmas pageant most kids were cast as angels or elves, and I couldn’t help but notice that all the light-skinned girls were angels. I was just like, “But I want to be an angel… I’m an angel!” In a lot of places it’s still more common to think of light-skinned as being pretty. Actually, the last few times I visited the Philippines I couldn’t even find sunscreen – just skin lightening products. ~ How to Be Pretty in The Philippines


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6 thoughts on “The Land Where I Was Born 019

  1. Especially young women are worrying about their look and so many insecure because they are too short, too tall, too…. Thank you for sharing your story. 🙂

  2. Isn’t it interesting that most people are considered to be either too tall, too short, too heavy, too slender, too light, too dark or whatever the issue is but the reality is that we should be accepted for being our unique selves. 🙂

  3. that traveling nurse on said:

    ah the ever popular likas papaya soap or the glutathione concoction, whatever! it amuses me so that most pinoys are so self conscious of the natural color of their skin and that most everyone thinks the lighter your skin color is the more gwapo or gwapa you are! 🙂

    • I didn’t even know about this sort of thing until I was in the Philippines 4 years ago. My aunt’s driver came in one day and he looked a little strange. I looked a little closer and his face seemed a little chalky white. He admitted to us he had put cream on to lighten his skin. I was kind of amazed at that. Here, we try and get a little tan so we don’t look so sickly white!

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