Hardest Pills to Swallow

Posted on May 9, 20202 Comments

안녕하세요, family and friends. Today, we’re going to talk about the hardest pills to swallow, not literal pills, but the difference in the culture I faced when moving to the Philippines.

More specifically, the differences that made it hard for me to really get the grips with at first.

If you have been following this blog for awhile or maybe you know me personally, then you may know I moved to the Philippines nearly 2 years ago from the UK.

Now, at first glance, you’d already see that there would be a lot of distinctions between these two countries. Namely, one is in Europe (UK) and the other in Asia (Philippines). But I am here to enlighten you on the more day-to-day differences between living in these two countries.

1. Hardest thing to swallow is the weather

This is probably the most obvious one but I would like to hammer on about it anyway. The UK for the past few years have been really hitting new records when it comes to heat before I left so in my mind I was prepared for some hot weather. The Philippines didn’t think so, though.

(I arrived at NAIA* Airport around midnight, so the hot air wasn’t all that bad. However, that morning when I woke up I could barely move. It felt the same as being out sunbathing for far too long and you were kinda stuck in whatever position you were in. And I felt like what SpongeBob and Patrick look like in that photo I attached below. I had to crawl to get wet wipes from my handbag which was, thankfully, right by my bed. That was the closest I had to water.)

I was this dehydrated… Mostly my fault for not having water by my side before I slept😆 (lesson learned)

2. The pollution

It’s a little disheartening but there are jeepneys that emit black smoke driving around the city I live in. There is trash all over the sidewalks and other open areas. It’s also pretty disconcerting seeing people throwing trash in places that clearly says “Bawal magtapon dito” (loosely translated to ‘You can’t throw your trash here’). It’s like they don’t even care for any type of rules. The many times I’ve seen men on the sides of building peeing as well is a little bit too much.

Perhaps, you can already tell these types of things aren’t a thing in the UK. Firstly, if your car or any type of vehicle emit black smoke, you’ll most likely stop on the side of the road and call the AA or something. This rarely happens though because if you’re a car owner in the UK, you’d understand the importance of car maintenance.

In terms of trash everywhere, this is also prevented by the number of bins around and the scheduled cleaners that brush the street. (I’ll attach a couple of pictures below, although they won’t be my own pictures) dang, I should’ve been taking pictures of these things whenever I see one. But since, I don’t have any yet. These will have to do

3. The people

Oh this.. I mean Filipinos have a lot of great qualities, like generosity and being family-oriented, but they also have a lot of toxic ones. I was shocked actually, I’ve seen people on Facebook talk about all the “toxic Filipino traits” and I’ve laughed and related to them but not to the extent I do now.

It’s crazy but I feel like I will need a whole different blog post just for this. It’s also a topic that I’m still learning a lot from. So, I’ll hold off on going ham with writing this point.

4. The traffic

It’s alright, really, up until you’re stuck in rush hour. Then my already long (45minutes) commute to or from school become more or less 2 hours.

See, in the UK the traffic is cut down because if you’re commuting each bus or train have their own timed schedule. Here, in the Philippines, we don’t, I mean there are some organisations that do but it’s mostly for long-journey ones. For the province/city only journeys though, it’s a whole different story.

There are jeepney stations or bus stations but stops like these?

They’re not so much a thing because you can basically get dropped off anywhere, as long as it’s within the route that the jeep, van or bus is on. This is somewhat helpful, especially if you bought a lot of things with you and your house is on the main roads. You can get dropped off right in front of your house. However, if you’re in a rush to go somewhere and the jeep driver likes to get his time’s worth. It can get pretty stressful.

5. Being 11,198 miles away from everything I knew and be by myself most of the time.

I moved back to the Philippines on my own. My family still lives in the UK and I’m living with a couple of relatives I didn’t really know. So, most days I’m by myself and I’m usually fine with that. I prefer it actually as I can entertain myself by watching Netflix, reading, writing, playing around with the guitar and singing. I mean there’s a lot a girl can do and I don’t have to bother anyone.

On the other hand, there are times when I wake up and wish there was my brother’s non-stop singing and playing the guitar. Or my baby sister’s “Kuya, can you shut up!”. Followed by my dad’s voice “ano na naman yan?” (What’s going on?)

Overall, it is a world away being in the Philippines. There are a lot more hard pills to swallow, that I probably haven’t touched on or barely talked about but I will most likely make another blog post similar to this so please stay tuned for that if you found this interesting.


What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

To say thank you to my readers for taking the time to read. Keep safe and keep praying.

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2 Thoughts on “Hardest Pills to Swallow

  1. Great post! It’s interesting how often you overlook things that are going to be different. The heat was a shock to me when moving from the UK to the US! I can only imagine how big of a shock it was for you!

    1. It really was! I thought our UK heatwaves during the summer prior to my move would’ve at least prepared me for it, but it didn’t. Were there any other things about the US that shocked you when you moved?

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