A few days before I headed back home, I was still busy finalizing some documents. I had been talking to some of my OFW (overseas Filipino worker) friends asking if I needed to prepare or be aware of anything when going back to the Philippines/coming back here and I got mixed responses. Some told me that I needed to have an OEC (overseas exit clearance) while others said that I didn’t need it since I was a direct hire anyway. I didn’t want to risk it, so I did my research and found conflicting responses as well. To be sure, I decided to just head to our labor office here in Taipei. Long story short (and after a lot of interesting encounters with different people), I got my OEC. It was also around that time that I went back to the immigration agency to claim my new ARC (alien resident certificate) – one that was tied to my work visa. I am officially an OFW!
Aside from running document errands, I was also in the process of moving out of my relatives’ house. I’d been staying there for almost 3 years and I felt that it was time for me to go so that I wouldn’t be a burden/keep imposing myself on them anymore (not that they ever made me feel like so). Through the course of my packing, I realized that I have accumulated a TON of stuff over the past years. Eek. The bulk of my stuff are clothes and beauty products, so I have to use up the products before buying new ones.
Moving on… I’d like to keep this short since I don’t really have much to say except that what I mainly did in the Philippines was to meet up with friends, eat and eat and eat, and watch television. We have cable TV and it had been a long time since I watched TV (since I don’t really do that in Taiwan), so it was nice to just watch shows such as Masterchef Australia and Canada, FRIENDS reruns, Unforgettable, MTV, Cupcake Wars, etc.
Most of my plans with friends were for dinner, since most (if not all) of my friends are already working and they didn’t have time to meet me for breakfast/lunch. I do still have some friends that are transitioning from one job to another, or who work in their own companies, so we met up for breakfast/brunch/lunch. Below is a list of the new restaurants that I tried (new in the sense that I’ve never been there before) and a list of revisited restaurants.
- New restaurants: Kettle, Lucky Rainbow, 1521, Greeka Kouzina, Ramen Nagi, Nine Spoons, Apartment 1B, Cafe Shibuya, The Fat Hen, Clubhouse, Rub Ribs & BBQ, Makan Makan, Wildflour Cafe and Bakery, Kuppa, Casa Verde, Gaucho, Romulo Cafe
- Revisited restaurants: CBTL, Breakfast and Pies, Mom and Tina’s, Sizzling Pepper Steak, Yellow Cab, J.Co, Jollibee, Aristocrat, Ilustrado, Starbucks, Yabu, Borough, UCC, Vikings, Cibo, Bo’s Coffee
I was in the Philippines for around 3 weeks, and we were supposed to go to Hundred Islands, Tagaytay, and Antipolo on the weekends that I was there, but there was always a typhoon over the weekend so I wasn’t able to go anywhere outside of Manila. Oh well. I was able to visit a new place though, which was the Metropolitan Museum of Manila. My friends and I decided that instead of going to Hundred Islands where we would end up spending more, we would just go to a local museum and not spend so much. This decision was eventually the right one since it was on that weekend that a typhoon hit Pangasinan, where Hundred Islands is located (correct me if I’m wrong). There were some pieces in the museum that I found interesting, but there weren’t a lot of things to see inside because they were still under renovation. Such timing. After the museum, we also walked around Intramuros because it was nearby.
Photos are still uploading to Google+ Photos so I’ll post some of them here once they’re ready. This pretty much summarizes my trip to the Philippines and how I spent my September. Three weeks is such a short time and just like that, it was over. I’m glad that I was still able to go home even for just a little while and that I was able to spend time with my family and my friends, and that I got to have new experiences. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized how important it is to really spend time with your loved ones even if you’re not doing anything special. You can all just be at home watching TV or eating and talking to each other and it’d be perfect. I’ve also realized that we don’t really need so much friends but rather, we need good/true ones. I’ll probably write more on this in another blog post. I’m slowly just easing my way back into writing but I will really try hard to continue posting/blogging because I like to remind myself of the things I’ve done and experienced.