Introduction: Our privilege to share and dream
One of the greatest gifts us millennials have been blessed with is the combination of social media and the ability to travel. Who better knows this than bloggers, those who share their stories on their own platforms and spread them out organically. Even as ordinary citizens of the world we have empowered ourselves with the ability to inspire others to join us in our journeys usually digitally and sometimes on the road. It’s an incredible wonder that we can be in almost any location in the world and share, Tweet, Facebook or Instagram our inspirations and special experiences. This has created a profound shift in how we share our dreams.
We (365traveldates) have been blessed enough to have an audience, any person that’s willing to listen to us. They not only listen, they engage with us mainly privately about their own aspirations dreams and it is an amazing feeling to hear strangers tell us their intimate desires to travel or to live out of the norm. Most of time they simply need to vocalize these dreams, to let them manifest. It also helps when someone is there to tell you that your dream is not out of reach and that you can have more than you desire.
One question that’s been on our minds is about the Filipino traveler’s dream for the Philippines after seeing the world outside of the Philippines. Camille and I have now been to a combined 34 countries some of them places we’ve lived include Singapore, Shanghai and even Panama. We’ve seen both wonderful commonalities and wonderful differences when comparing them to the Philippines. This isn’t about comparing what countries are or aren’t better it’s simply a collaboration of thoughts and a shared vision for something great in the Philippines through the dreams we have. We asked our travel friends What is your dream for the Philippines after your experience abroad?
Here’s what they (and we) came up with.
“No, I’m from the Philippines.” I said, correcting a person who had mistaken me for another nationality. On several occasions during my travels, I have been mistaken as a local from other countries in Southeast Asia, Japan, New Zealand and recently, some countries in Latin America. After travelling in 28 countries, I noticed that my sense of national identity has strengthened. I have grown to develop a stronger affiliation to my beloved country since I left 4 years ago. Being away from the Philippines gave me the opportunity to further appreciate its culture, its people and its beauty.
As I walked along the streets of Mexico City, I recalled the busy streets of Manila. When we cruised along Koh Phi Phi Lei in Thailand, I remembered how much I adored the pristine islands of El Nido. On our trip to Spain, I thought of how I miss the similar flavours in Filipino food. The world is a marvelous place and there are many things different among the countries we’ve been to, nevertheless there are also things that seem very familiar.
Stunning beaches, diverse wildlife, and remarkable landscapes – the Philippines is a natural charmer. I have yet to see most of the archipelago but I have seen just enough to know that it’s a treasure to behold. I have seen many stunning places, experienced different cultures and met wonderful people but in the end, my heart will always belong to the Philippines. After this world trip, I will definitely make time to travel around the Philippines and later on give back to the country I call home.
I love the Philippines and there is nothing more I hope for my country than to see it prosper in the coming years. As a developing country, the Philippines needs time to grow and my only dream is to see the country realize its full potential. Better transportation system and development of infrastructure will provide better access across the different islands of the archipelago. More local jobs will mean a decrease in the Filipino diaspora and decline in poverty. Improvement in the government will minimize the country’s bad political reputation. The Philippines is a place that can truly stand out, with the care that it needs, it can truly flourish and receive the recognition it deserves from the rest of the world.
Follow Gia on Facebook
I have been lucky enough to travel around both the Philippines and abroad. Traveling around the world made me realize that the Filipino culture is alive, no matter where you are in the world. We remain hospitable, but most importantly, we are proud of our roots and where we come from. Whether it was the extra scoop of ice-cream from the Filipino guy working in a gelato store in Italy, or the Filipina who gave me directions on the bus in Spain, or the waiter in a Thailand who excitedly spoke to me for 30 minutes straight because he missed speaking in Tagalog, wherever we are, we will always be proud of our roots and heritage. I backpacked all over Europe and proudly took photos with my small Philippine flag patch.
Everywhere I went, I met Filipinos that were always more than willing to help me out. There are so many of our “kababayans” who work endlessly as OFW’s who immediately get excited to speak to a Filipino while abroad because to them, it was a little slice of home. I met a lovely lady who was working as a housekeeper in Italy. She and I were chatting while on the bus and she said she hasn’t been home in the Philippines for more than 10 years. She said she would give anything just to see her family again but had no choice because she was scared to leave her current job and the opportunity given to her. She said as soon as her eldest child finishes college, she would book a ticket straight home! This broke my heart because I realized that so many of our fellow Filipinos sacrifice so much just because there isn’t enough opportunities back home.
My dream for our country is that we begin to raise our economy, improve basic wages and working conditions within the Philippines so that people don’t have to leave and work outside of the Philippines out of necessity.
Follow Anna on Facebook
Personally, being Filipina, I feel that although we are very proud of our own country and culture, many Filipinos compare themselves to foreigners in a negative way, as if they can’t do the same things that they can, or can’t earn the same money to be able to travel like they do. One recurrent theme is the perceived limitations of the Filipino passport; people always seem to focus on the number of countries that Filipinos can enter visa free or with visa on arrival. What I have learned during my two years of continuous travel is that there are very few places that are actually difficult for us to travel to in terms of visas; UK, Europe, USA are the obvious ones. Through our blog, I hope to share my own experiences with other Filipinos and demonstrate to them that travel is just as possible for us as it is for any other nationality. I want to show others how to live a successful and sustainable life of travel by building skills that can be used all over the world.
For the Philippines itself, I hope that the government will focus on raising living standards for all Filipinos and create opportunities for everyone to learn, grow and pursue their dreams. It’s amazing that our beautiful country is attracting so many foreign travelers, but I would like to see more effort spent on encouraging Filipinos to travel, particularly within our own country, so that we can all experience the wonders that the Philippines has to offer. Travel is something that we can all enjoy and learn from, be it to other countries, or simply to the next province.
Follow Kach on Facebook
One of my dreams for the Philippines is a change in attitude. For sure, there are a lot of areas that we need to improve on, but what I particularly want to focus, first and foremost, is in reforming the Filipino’s attitude towards progress.
The way I see it, we have come to wholly ‘settle’ on the idea that the country will no longer go anywhere given the dire situation that the nation is already in. Due to this sentiment, a lot of us have resorted to selfishness wherein we give little care to no attention at all to the betterment of the country nor anyone else for that matter, because we just look after ourselves and the few people that matter to us. It’s like a case of “Every man for himself…” — a dangerous and negative mentality that is already a rampant practice among many of us in the Philippines, thereby leading the country to further ruin.
Be that as it may, I still believe that there’s hope in putting a halt to it. Besides, I believe that every developed country has gone through such a phase and they have managed to defeat it. Today, because of my traveling lifestyle, I have come to stay in these developed countries, and though there is still that tinge of selfishness in everyone (it’s human nature anyway) there will still and always be that bigger sense of responsibility and unity among the citizens as they try to work together in making their community functional and sustainable… It is truly admirable and I really wish we could be the same.
Surely, our political scene contributes a lot to the mountain of problems that the country already has; but at the very core, we are contributing as well if we continue to be this way. So overall, I just simply and firmly believe that if we, the people, can change our outlook, we can bring forth a revolution. As a first step, we should really try to understand and live out the roles that each and everyone of us should play and then work altogether in unity. These may seem like flowery words but there is huge strength in harmony; partner that with a positive view towards progress and we can absolutely advance.
Follow Aileen on Facebook
I love the Philippines with all my heart and the more I travel the more my heart grows closer and closer to my country. I really wish for everyone to see their self-worth and how beautiful we are as Filipinos. When I was living in the Philippines I didn’t realize that there was a problem with how people see themselves because it seemed like the norm, to feel insecure about the color of their skin, the way they talk and how they were brought up. When I started living overseas and saw the country from an outside looking in, I saw so much insecurity. What’s sad about it is that the media has convinced everyone how to be. White is beautiful, having branded clothes means you’re rich, being famous is everyone’s goal, status is everything. I wish everyone in our country would see how beautiful we truly are, as we are. Embracing our natural attributes and accepting who we are and where we come from is how we can truly thrive.
Conclusion: Dare to dream?
Do we share the same dream? Have you been abroad and come back with a new perspective on your hopes for our great nation? Even if you haven’t been abroad we’d still love to hear from you.
If you’re an OFW what’s your thoughts?
This post is about sharing and in the upcoming year we’d love to share these anecdotes with presidential candidates to let them know our own hopes. We should all have a say in the dream of the Philippines future.