Sawasdee krap!

I haven't updated m blog for quite a while because so many things have happened in my life that I lost count how many days I'm away from where I came from. Cebu is already thousands of miles away and I'm in Bangkok, although enjoying the sights and sounds, still has this melancholic yearning of going back home. Yet despite all the pros and cons of leaving home in search for that proverbial "greener pasture" like thousands of Filipinos every year leaving the country for better life elsewhere, I am still hoping to see a wonderful future back in our homeland.

Some self-serving politicians are trying to curtail all forms of online expression and a president who tries to unite the country by allowing a marginalized minority to rule their land as they see fit may have clouded but prospects but I still believe that doing something for the better may be the only way to fulfill everyone's dream of peace and stability. Call me an idealistic dreamer but I do! I am an idealistic dreamer...

I am quite amazed by Thais and how they worked together to make their country great. Although there are always social problems and inequalities that disrupts progress, at least I can see that Thailand has already left us in the dust bin. They are a proud people and they show it. We can only be proud if Manny Pacquiao wins his never-ending fights against Juan Manuel Marquez or some obscure Fil-Am who make it big time in the American pop culture scene. Let's take their example and learn how to make our country great again.

Brain drain has already deprived our country with the best people who can make progress a reality. Why not we start from scratch and pick up the pieces? Why do we have to keep on fighting against each other? Why do politics take center stage over real reforms? So many questions, so little answers.

I'm just surprised that I found enlightenment about our country's plight in a country that seem to look similar than ours but look different in some aspects. We always take pride of our English proficiency but many of us love the idea of working for others (I am one, I hate to admit!). Thais may have this communication barrier when dealing with foreigners like me but many of them are really efficient in what they do. It took me almost a month to complete my employment requirements back home yet it only took 1 day to get my work permit. Most of our government employees tend to take extended siesta time but Thai civil service don't have noon break. These are just small things that we can learn. At the end of the day, it's all about efficiency.

Bangkok may sometimes look like the typical overcrowded cities of Manila, Cebu, or Davao but they boast impressive infrastructure and communications systems that more than I have imagined. Why can't we follow their blueprint to success? Perhaps, lack of decisiveness and political will. It can be attributed to our "bahala na" culture.

Thais have always put the emphasis of appearance and how people perceive them so you would see their women trying to look good. Even tuktuk drivers would dress to impress, I mean they would be wearing long-sleeved shirt as compared to the typical "barumbado" look of some of our crazed jeepney and pedicab drivers. They are obsessed with looking good that I can't count the number of derma and skin care clinics in the area where I'm living. I will always see photo whores, from kawaii-loving teen girls to hot celebrities, on Instagram with their distinguishable Thai characters.

I always have the usual experience of being mistaken as Thai wherever I go. Perhaps they don't know I'm Filipino. Some even wondered why I speak good English when I'm not a farang (typically Caucasian foreigner). It is really a challenge to explain what you want and know what they say. Gestures can sometimes do the trick even in the most simple conversations that you can encounter. And oh, they are not crazy with 7-Eleven anymore. In fact, there are so many of these convenience stores at every corner.

I hope next time I go home, things would have change for the better.

I have recently transplanted myself away from Cebu and I'm now living in Bangkok, Thailand as I'm already working here. Hurray! Last time I've checked, people have been lining up in droves in the first few 7-Eleven branches that opened in Cebu City but when I arrived in Thailand, everything seems to be normal like any convenience store should. No one is lining up for the slurpee like there is no tomorrow.

No one is taking picture of their microwaveable goodies like a kid in a candy shop although I was like the only one taking picture of the ready-to-eat "Japanese" meal I bought. The thing is, there are so many food to choose from 7-Eleven Bangkok-style! It has replaced the sari-sari store that I used to. Of course, if I do get bored with the same flavor and goodies, I can always drop by at any TESCO Lotus stores. Perhaps, I can head to that favorite street vendor who sell phad Thai and other stuff that I barely know of.

Check out how Thais take 7-Eleven as a normal store.

Have you noticed the difference?

Anyway, I just heard about the recent brouhaha over the Cybercrime Law back home. I just hope no one would make a big deal out of this. By the way, they are getting crazy with Krispy Kreme!

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{picture#} JP Canonigo is a historian, professional blogger and copywriter, online content specialist, copywriter, video game junkie, sports fanatic and jack-of-all trades. {facebook#} {twitter#} {google#}
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