MISSING HOME SWEET HOME?
10 Ways to Live the Filipino Lifestyle Even If You’re Abroad by MJ Mendoza
for The Philippines Magazine International’s
PH MAG ON-Line[Sponsored]
Anywhere around the world, you can find Filipinos proudly working to earn their keep and support their families back at home. In all industries today, Filipinos are widely known to be hardworking employees, so much so, it has become a stereotype (really). In the form of balikbayan boxes or cash padala, we as OFWs give out everything just so we could provide a better life for our relatives back at home in the Philippines.
For Filipinos, wherever we may be, no matter how advanced, awe-inspiring, or modern the country, we always find our way back home. We find it, in the form of food, music, tradition and in maintain our hospitable culture. We Filipinos form a strong bond to our bayang sinilangan. The slightest smell of alcamphor, sampaguita, barbecuing isaw, etc. and we get nostalgic and homesick. So, if you are abroad, here are 10 Ways to live the Filipino lifestyle–even if you’re abroad:
Cook Your Own Traditional Filipino Food Favorites
The best thing about being Filipino is our love for good food. If you are working or immigrating overseas, the best thing right next to getting a plane ticket homebound is the food. Adobo, sinigang, isaw, caldereta, sisig, dinuguan, mango float, puto, suman, and various other Filipino favorites will always have a place in our hearts and stomachs. No problem for those who know their way around the kitchen but for those who do not, you really should learn how. Unless you have your family or another Filipino housemate to cook for you, you should learn to at least make gisa.
Grab Some Filipino Snacks -if you can.
Again, we Filipinos love food, particularly snacks. From chichirya such as Oishi, Chippy, Piattos, Nova, Happy Nuts, Boy Bawang, Ding Dong, etc., to our favorite afternoon munchies such as Nilagangsaging, chicharon, fish cracker, hotcake, and balot, your mouth can’t help but water whenever you pass by the Filipino store overseas (if there’s any). While they are significantly more expensive when you buy them overseas, these snacks will definitely bring you a little bit closer to home. Grab some if you have some extra cash.
Listen To OPM
OPM or Original Pinoy Music is our own brand of music which we consider as a genre on its own. Actually, it doesn’t have to be OPM, remember when your mom or dad listens to their old school tunes every Sunday? That would make you remember those happy days at home when you’re just chilling with the electric fan facing you while you lay on the sofa or the veranda. Listen to your own genre; no need to bash. If you love OPM, regardless of whether it’s Daniel Padilla or Parokyani Edgar, if you’re missing home just pop your headphones on and turn up the volume.
Otherwise known as videoke or even magic sing by others, karaoke is a form of entertainment for Filipinos in which we sing along with the lyrics on a screen with hot babes, skateboard bails, or scenery on the background. It’s a form of stress relief considering the fact that you basically shouted your vocal chords out to Luhafrom Aegis and My Heart Will Go On from Celine Dion. Plus, it’s a great way to hang with your friends, Filipino or not.
Livestream News or Senate Hearings
It’s great to be up-to-date with whatever is happening in the Philippines politically. These livestreams are probably the largest congregation of Filipinos online. You can feel at home, communicate, and be in the know about what’s happening in the Philippines.
Keep Yourself Updated
While politics seems to take over most of the country, we’re not all about that. Keep yourself updated with what’s happening in the country using social media. Facebook has done so much good for OFWs abroad. Aside from sharing a piece of your life or showing off your new sneakers with #FeelingBlessed and travelling to a different part of the world with #TravelpaMore and #Wanderlust, social media has bridged the gap and brought us closer to home as if we never left. You couldn’t even imagine how hard it was for OFWs from 15 or 30 years ago to communicate with their loved ones – snail mail? Messenger doves? Telegraph? We’re just glad the Internet is here.
Keep in Touch with Friends and Family
Speaking of the Internet and social media, never forget to communicate with your friends or family. They miss you as much as you miss them, especially your parents. Take the time to chat, call or video chat with your family at home to let them know how you are doing abroad. Compared to more than a decade ago, you can easily communicate with your loved ones in the Philippines so make a habit to get in touch with them through Facebook Messenger, Skype, Whatsapp, Viber, etc.
Practice Filipino Customs and Traditions
What makes us truly Filipino is our customs and traditions. Though not as bold as doing the “manopo” gesture or saying “po at opo” to your older mates, try to incorporate our Filipino customs unto your daily life. With as simple as inviting your colleagues to eat when you’re eating – even if you only have enough for yourself, taking off your shoes when you enter a home, greeting the homeowner, cleaning up after your mess, being hospitable to guests and a whole lot more, you can make a difference abroad by solely being Filipino.
Get Together with other Filipinos Abroad
Whether with your housemates, officemates, neighbors, or the Filipino community in general, take the time to hang out if you miss home. It doesn’t matter if you want to go out on a Karaoke bar or simply chill at home and cook some Filipino food. If you live alone, you would surely miss home, especially speaking our native language. It feels good that you have kababayans abroad who share the same food and traditions with you. Plus, it’s a great time to gather some take aways! If you know that there’s going to be food – knowing Filipinos can cook a lot, be sure to bring your trusty tupperware with you.
Keep the Faith Alive
Filipinos are religious in nature. Whether you are Catholic, Protestant, or Islam, never let your faith falter even if you are abroad. There may be some countries which restrict your faith but it pays to keep it alive.
Being an OFW can be hard. You are on an unfamiliar land with people who speak a language you don’t understand, and thousands of miles away from the comforts of your own home. Not all heroes wear capes, such as in the case for OFWs like you. In the end, your efforts are all worth it. Not only will you be able to support your family, you would also be able to spread your wings, broaden your career, and become more independent.
[Sponsored] This article was written by MJ Mendoza from iPrice Group.
Marjorie Mae Mendoza is a Filipino-freelance writer currently based in Kuala Lumpur and have been writing professionally since 2010. On top of her superb writing skills, her great command of the English language paved way to enrich her career in radio broadcasting, working with some of the biggest names in radio. To enhance her skills, Marjorie is continuously working as a creative writer who constantly improves and develops her own style. She is currently a content writer for iPrice Group.