I love the smell of Pollution in the morning!

Posted on December 5, 2009. Filed under: Stories from the Philippines! | Tags: , , , , , |


I cannot explain the way you feel when you get off of an airplane after you have travelled for 30 hours. I do know how I felt the last time I visited the Philippines. Standing in line at 4 different international airports, being hassled from the time you arrive at your first to when you get to your destination! Then you realize, “Hey I paid good money for this!”

This was my second trip. When you are beyond tired sometimes I believe you find yourself in a different state of consciousness. The feeling I had after I knew all the security checks were over, baggage collected and customs had cleared us was one of relief and expectation! We were to meet a friend of ours, a first time face to face with a woman we had met online (another story for another day!) Ninoy Aquino, the Philippines largest airport. We were about to make our exit.
We made our toward the doors leading out with luggage in tow. Leaving the comfort of the airport we felt the first blast of our new uniquely Filipino environment!
The smell of the city hit us like an unfortunate fall, the kind that happens so fast by the time that you are on the ground you have to ask yourself “What just happened?”. The realization quickened our minds and senses to the reality that we were finally back in the Philippines! We labored down the ramp through the hoping to see the woman that was to meet us. This time when I breathed my first of the Philippine air I knew I was once again home in a strange country that I have learned to love! We gazed for a few moments across the road where all the people gathered to welcome visitors and family members. We searched for the new friend we were about to meet, at once she appeared from the crowd in typical filipina fashion, with a big smile and a welcoming wave! This was the beginning of my second adventure to this strange but fascinating homeland of my wife.
Why did I post this? I’m not even quite sure at the moment. The title suggests a silly premise. The point is not the smell of an emerging nation but memory that it invoked. I guess what I am trying to convey is that all that is known, learned, and experienced by a person is not the sum total of reality. Whoever you are, wherever you are, however your grew up shaped the person you became. Your environment, your parents, your peers, shaped how you view the world and what you consider to be the truth about the world you live in.
My greatest desire is to help people. Truth is one of life’s greatest gifts. Look around at your very familiar surroundings. I want to enable folks just like you to uncover the fact that your personal reality, your personal flavor of the truth is not the final authority. There is a vast sea of humanity located in different countries, cities and neighborhoods. They wake up everyday just like you and have hope for a better existence just like you. Beautiful cultures with different points of view and experiences that have the right to not only exist but to thrive just as we do!
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7 Responses to “I love the smell of Pollution in the morning!”

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I like this blog. I like it because it is a true first hand knowledge of a culture.

Isn't writing great? It helps us pinpoint things about ourselves we never knew before. I am definitely dying to go to the Philippines. Travel is a constant source of amazement to me. Here's my true confession of horrid smells I love:1. Chicken shit (too long a story to go into here!)2. Rotting fruit – reminds me of tropical holidays and especially Lamu Island in Kenya:)

Yes, driving behind a diesel truck in America reminds me of the Philippines. I have to admit I sometimes roll down the window just to take it in! That's so weird! Remember the first time you went to a wet market? The smell is so intense the first time. Mine was in Singapore. Durian fruit? Owe! that is nasty! It is all part of the experience.I welcome the smell of the wet market now because I know I am close to my new home. Living in places others only dream about! Thanks for the great comment. Randall

you know i do really miss the philippines my wife is from bohol and its funny when i go back i feel its more home to me then chicago

I know what you mean. It is amazing that you can go to a strange land and experience so many things. Once you have to leave, you are always homesick to go back to a new home that you didn’t even know you had.

Thanks for the great comment! I would love to visit Bohol someday. Maybe we can plan a trip and go together.

you know cebu is nice but bohol oh my god what a place, yes it has many sites and things to do but what i miss the most is the people, very friendly people very charming place

I will definatly have to go there next time. We are planning a trip in January and will do some traveling this time instead of just visiting family.

I’m glad you mentioned the people. If you are from America, you won’t really understand what you are talking about. There is something so welcoming about the people! There is a warmth that only can be experienced. There is no way to explain it. It is most of the reason I am always homesick to go back..

Thanks for the comment!


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