Manila the nth time around.

img_8052We’ve been living abroad for over a decade now and we’ve been coming home every year to no fail. I know I’m lucky to have this opportunity but every year I go home with a semi heavy heart. Not because I hate going home, eating good Filipino food or spending time with family but it’s because I immediately think of the inconveniences that I’m going to have to encounter and endure while we stay in Manila for 3-4 weeks. The traffic, the constant fear of getting mugged (thankfully it’s never happened), getting into a car accident because people drive like crazy, and thanks to TV Patrol, Akyat-Bahay gang, Salisi gang, Martilyo gang, etc doesn’t exactly help calm my nerves. As soon as I land NAIA 1 (need I say more?) my anxiety level goes crazy. I’m lucky that the husband knows how to handle me and we survive every year because if I had to depend on myself to get calm we will never carry on 😉.

But this year I think some of his care free/go with the flow/just go with it attitude has rubbed a little on me because even as I write this, I can’t remember a single thing to complain about on our recent trip. Yes there was traffic, yes there was heat, yes there was rain but for some kind of miracle I took all these with stride and wasn’t even too bothered about the whole deal.

img_8084Some circumstances helped a little too. First, we landed at NAIA 3 which is already a BIG improvement from … (that place that shall not be named). Second, WAZE helped a lot  to bring down my anxiety with the traffic. I think knowing what time you were going to get to your destination and knowing that there was hope in any traffic situation helped me get through the notorious Manila traffic. Third, Family and friends is ❤️. The support, the help and even just getting the boys entertained and keeping them happy already made the trip worthwhile.

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I left Manila feeling like I always do, 1st that the trip was too short, 2nd that I’m very sad to go, and 3rd there goes another 10 pounds I’d have to lose. But this year there was something different, while in the past I’ve always thought that one year was enough time to get over the “Trauma in Manila” this year I wouldn’t mind coming back in less than that.

If there was one thing I’ve learned from this trip, it’s the art of letting go..no this is not a hugot line. But more of letting go of things that are out of my control like the traffic.  Planning ahead is a good thing but if things don’t go as planned I’d have to accept it and move on, more often than not moving on with other plans are always far better than my own. Over thinking, over planning, and being an all around drill sergeant never really helped anybody and I’m trying my best to be less of that for my sake and my boys.

I think the best way to deal with Manila or anything in life that brings you anxiety is best said with these words:

Serenity Prayer

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

 

Imagine all this enlightenment with only a trip to Manila? Think of how much enlightened I will be if we go on a trip to...Japan?? HINT HINT! #anybodyoutthere #subtlemoves

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