I grew up in the Philippines. I only moved in Dubai when I was 27 years old so few years from now, I will be spending more than 2 decades here in the Middle East. The last vacation we had in Manila was more of an eye opener to me. I found myself groping and disoriented. I’m not so sure why but it was really odd.

Things change and I guess I do too. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t expect to live in Dubai until my twilight years. We can never get naturalized here and we don’t mind. I think my heart will always yearn for home.

A lot of things have changed already. My recent vacation in Manila was like a culture shock to me. I had to find my way around town. I couldn’t go out alone because I don’t know how to commute anymore. I find myself reading and re-reading newspapers because there were too many ads that I didn’t understand.  For example, choosing a mobile plan for my daughter was such a feat! I didn’t get it. What was “value for my peso” mean and then a certain amount on the other side to depict the price of the plan?

Well, let’s talk about how people talk. Most of the young ones’ language is such a baffling experience to me. I know they are “gay speak” but I don’t know what they mean and why those words were coined in the first place. My favorite so far is the term “Loren Haggarda.” There’s a prominent political figure in the Philippines called Loren Legarda. And the young ones back home would refer to someone who looked very haggard as Loren Haggarda. It sounded funny and yes, I’m using it now. 🙂 What confuses me was, Loren Legarda does not even looked haggard. She’s even glamour, for Pete’s sake. Perhaps the sound of her last name rhymes with haggard?

It’s weird that I’m having a tough time coping with the way people live back home. I try to assimilate as much as possible but perhaps, age factor is one reason why I’m having a tough time catching up with the way of life back home. When I finally decide to come home for good, I guess I need to do a reintegration to Philippine society. I have to familiarize myself with how Filipinos talk now, what they do for pastime, the moods and manners of the Pinoys and also, getting used to the very weird implementation of laws back home (if there’s an implementation at all!).

Well, it’s still a long way. I still find myself working here for more years but it does not hurt to start early on, especially that my daughter is there now for her college studies. At least, someone will coach me. I’m pretty sure that she’s also adjusting until now.  However, with her daily exposure to Pinoys, I’m sure she’ll get the hang of it.

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