Afterglow

Its funny just how different a day could be. Just yesterday I was flying a jet over Mt Pinatubo, and today I’m back in the daily grind, churning out final investment proposals and case analysis papers. That breeze, that brilliant sunlight, the gorgeous views all seem so so far away and so so long ago.

The Philippines were amazing. I am still soaking in the afterglow of our glorious adventure. Many people were confused why I would choose Clark over established places like Manilla or Cebu, but there is way more to it than what meets the eye. I’m in love with the culture, the people, the food (lumpia, sisig, dirty ice cream…mmmm!), the beautiful natural scenery, and the vibe. When we were there, I forgot all about my hurried footsteps and constant rushing around in Hong Kong. Everything was so mellow, sunny, and bright.

I found myself fascinated by the extreme paradoxes that seemed to exist everywhere around Clark. Rundown ghetto airport with one terminal, but amazing air-conditioned and wifi-enabled shopping mall. Crowded rundown jeepneys charging 9 pesos a ride blasting Jessie J’s Price Tag. Tribal Aetas men who have never left the Philippines but speak perfect English. Tricycles and scooters alongside jeepneys, jaywalkers, and ‘taxis’ aka cars looking to make a little extra. Extremely underrated and underpromoted amazing adventures like Puning Hot Springs and drag racing. Clark is far from fully developed or metropolitan and there are definitely many things the city needs to make improvements on, but my two days there made me realize that there is so much we can learn from cultures or areas we deem less sophisticated or developed.

Tricyle Terminal on Don Juico

Jeepney

View of Clark from our first hotel

Me on a tricycle!

Riding the Jeepney to SM Mall

Aetas kids. They ran alongside our 4X4 and waved hello.

Lone child on the bank.

SM Mall Clark

Thank you for reminding me to take a step back, think, appreciate, and breathe.

M

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