Every year we take a trip to San Francisco in April/May. The trip has three purposes: 1) file US taxes & check on properties, 2) my grandma's birthday, and 3) GET OUT OF THE HEAT OF MANILA. April and May are the hottest months here and although we just got back a few days ago, I am already dying. It is a hot summer. Right now at 6:30 am, I can already feel a little trickle of sweat behind my knees.
San Francisco is always fantastic for me. I love, love, love seeing my family and friends yet somehow we always fall way short of doing even half of what we want to. We also spend two weeks in a tiny Texas town where Ado impulse bought a property about five years ago. I realized on this trip there, I have more culture shock in small town Texas then I did when moving to Manila. Despite Manila being in a foreign country, it is way more similar to SF than small town Texas. I guess I will always feel more comfortable in a major metropolitan than I will in a country town.
My best friend from college who is in SF has still not been out here to see me yet. I finally pinned him down and determined that his coworkers have told him such horrific stories about the Philippines that he is hesitant to come. Although I have heard the theory that people do not come to the Philippines because of the news stories (it is true, most of the news that makes it worldwide makes it sound like one will get killed walking out of their home), I think it could have more to do with Pinoys in the US that left here 20+ years ago. Even some of my dad's neighbors who left the Philippines a billion years ago were questioning me about my safety here. Was the Philippines a really scary place 20 years ago? I doubt that it is random luck that after close to four years here, I have yet to be robbed, kidnapped, murdered, burglarized, or involved in a jeepney holdup.