Okay I am scared. I am writing this because it’s important to me… Love Hurts Me In The Philippines.
It is a crazy feeling, “love”. I don’t know if I have fully understood it, or ever will. But I do know one thing – I have been in love. In fact I am in love right now as I type this.
Love is everywhere here. You watch it on TV, you read about it in the news, you see it on billboards, you listen to it in songs, you see it as you walk around… but it isn’t like any other place I have ever experienced. Love goes incredibly deep here in the Philippines. Love is celebrated, Love is beautiful, Love… well Love is important. It is life. Love is life here in the Philippines.
It makes me happy. This country is amazing at “spreading the love”.
But y es… Love has also hurt me in the Philippines.
But not being in Love with someone else. It is the expectations this society and culture has inspired me to put on myself. Actually, I shouldn’t say that, because at the end of the day we place expectations on ourselves, and act on those. But I guess what I am saying is that sometimes I’ve allowed the celebration of love here in the Philippines to affect me in a negative way.
I said earlier I am in Love here. Well, that love is sharing positive things that inspire me in the Philippines. I have dedicated my life to that Love. But everyday… I am challenged. I am challenged by this culture’s expectations of Love and excitement over “being kilig.” You know, almost everyday I get questioned:
“When are you going to find a girlfriend?”
“Will you marry a Filipina soon?”
“How can you possibly spend this much time in the Philippines and not be with a Filipina? You must be gay then?”
Day in and day out… there just seems to be this pressure.
But I get it. This culture Loves… Love. And like I said before, I truly think that is beautiful. It inspires me to appreciate that side of life. But at the same time… it hurts me. It hurts me because I feel these expectations… expectations that maybe I can’t truly find happiness unless I find love too? Or that it is a bad thing to not be actively searching for it? That if I am staying here, I must be here for love? That is the vibe I truly get sometimes here in the Philippines.
Sometimes I think all the exposure to “Love”… it actually challenges some of my happiness. Especially in the ways it becomes dominant in so many conversations. I’ll give you an example:
When I first decided to move to Cagayan de Oro for good. I would tell my friends how much I loved the city and was inspired by the area. That was why I was going to move there. But most people would respond… “It must be for a girl”, “You are just going for love”, “Oh you like the city… cough cough… there is a girl”.
I don’t know, maybe I am just weird. But that kind of stuff just hits my happiness a bit. I guess as well, because my life has been all over social media and is making the jump into the world of TV, this side of the culture seems to come up more and more.
If I look at my #BecomingFilipino Facebook Page any time I have posted anything to do with “kilig” or Love the posts will get almost double the attention compared to anything else:
It is such a passionate topic for people here in the Philippines, and people know that. Sometimes I think that importance can have a negative effect. I remember the first day I ever had meetings about possibly creating a TV show here based on happiness, adventure, inspiration and real Love for what I was experiencing here in the Philippines. You know what came up within hours? “Kilig”. Can we have a co-host so you can have kilig moments with her for a TV audience?
I don’t know. But a mixture of this expectation and drive for Love here in the Philippines and the overwhelming sensationalizing of Love that we feel and see in all forms of media…
I guess I let it hurt me sometimes. Because it is such a passionate topic here and my passions are different. Romantic Love just isn’t a priority in my life right now but when you are in the Philippines it is talked about in abundance.
I probably sound bitter, but it isn’t like that. I have just always been overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by the intensity that Filipinos seem to appreciate love and how it seems to correlate with happiness here… not just happiness… Life. I guess this was written just to highlight:
There is a lot of Love in the Philippines. Expect to experience it.
I have found over this “BecomingFilipino Journey” that I really am quite an emotional person and it seems like Filipinos tend to be so as well… I guess it made me comfortable sharing this with you. Thank You for just reading and listening to some of my really “emo” thoughts
Thank You Philippines. Thank You for making me think more about this topic