I’ve lived in Australia for eight years now, and I’ve got used to the daily grind. However, there are still moments when I’m reminded of what I’m missing for emigrating to the Land Down Under. Here are my top 5 things I miss about the Philippines apart, of course, from my dear family and friends.
Top 1: Cheap and relatively good quality clothes and shoes
Many people who go to the Philippines say that the price of branded items is as high in other countries. Well, yeah, but who said you should buy them there? The Philippines has its local brands, and a good number of them are good buys — not just because they’re much cheaper, but because the quality you get for that affordable price is surprisingly good.
Top 2: Distinctly Filipino food
I miss our stinky, salty, sweet and fatty food. I also miss the street food that I remember setting aside money for. Picture these: manggang hilaw with alamang o asin (green mango with shrimp paste or salt), fish balls and squid balls with its tasty but most likely dirty dip, banana cue (deep fried bananas coated in caramelised brown sugar), chicharon (pork crackling), dirty ice cream (It’s not dirty, or is it?) and many more.
Top 3: Overstaffed shopping malls
Whenever I go to Myer and David Jones, I find myself missing the swarms of staff in The Landmark and SM Malls. Tills are not always manned in these big Aussie department stores as the staff also assist customers around. It’s not rare that I had to ask a sales assistant far from the cashier to help me process a purchase.
Top 4: Malls open during my shopping hours
Australia is quite odd as its mall hours are very similar to the common 9 to 5 employee’s work hours. This means that on those rare occasions I had time to do some shopping, I was greeted with the announcement that the store’s about to close in 15 minutes. I don’t understand this! Shopping on weekdays is an impossibility for people like me. Weekends are better for shopping, but the stores still close at 5 or 6.
Top 5: The word ‘po’
I miss hearing ‘po’ in conversations. The word ‘po’ is used to show people older than you respect. The word makes me proud to be Filipino. In this fast-paced and constantly changing world, it’s good to know that Filipinos still recognise respect to be an important value to have.
If you’re a Filipino living overseas, I invite you to share your top 5 things you miss about the Philippines.
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