I’m sitting at a Deus Ex Machina in the Harajuku neighborhood in Tokyo… I’m literally freezing. It was snowing when I arrived in Tokyo two days ago and the frigidness hasn’t relented. It’s hard not to recall the 80 degree weather in the Philippines. But it also allows me to reflect on the country of (half) of my origins.
I definitely had my ups and downs in my visit there. Basic infrastructure we take for granted in the US is overtly lacking. Inadequate intersection traffic lights causing massive car bottlenecks. Inconsistent wifi signals preventing basic work tasks. Air pollution that literally chokes and asphyxiates your chances of a morning run.
It’s The Kindness of the People
But what the country lacks in 1st world comforts it more than makes up for in its greatest resource… people. You would be hardpressed to find a more giving and selfless culture. In only a month, I had a lifetimes worth of free meals and beds. I witnessed daily acts of caring for the less fortunate, especially from those who had little to give to begin with. And a respect for family values we’re drastically lacking stateside. Given this rich resource, you see it exported around the world. Nurses, nanny’s, caretakers… kindness is inherent in the Filipino people and they aren’t shy to make sure the rest of the world knows. Oh, and I would be doing a great disservice if I didn’t mention that Filipino’s are the greatest karaoke singers in the world. And it’s not even close.
I am proud that I come from a tribe of such amazing and giving people. I’m looking forward to my visit back..