Cracking My Shell Open

CrackedI’ve been back in Manila from Mindanao for a few weeks now. I was forced into a shell even after I got back because of circumstances, but now my egg is hatching. Disheartening episodes continued and became worse than what I told you about in Bubble Bursting.

Eventually, a tiny bit of financial relief came along, enough to get myself up and running with a computer and got back online. I had really missed writing. I had tried continuing in an internet café on my return, but I couldn’t focus with ten screaming youths around me and keypads where I have to punch the space bar to make it work. I’m not complaining though, it’s damned cheap!

Injury Time

Then, to further compound my writing return, I was beset with illness. My poor health was a hangover from an injury I got in a tomato field. Don’t ask but in short, a nylon rope had cut into my leg, a fly had a nibble on the injury when I wasn’t looking which resulted in a very yucky pus-ridden swollen and infected lower leg which made my last few weeks in Mindanao very uncomfortable. I returned to the capital and fully recovered, or so I thought. Apparently not, my leg decided to start rotting from the inside out. It swelled like an elephant’s leg and was so painful, I struggled to walk. I had serious fever for a few days and a course of antibiotics later; now, I am in recovery mode.

All these enthusiasm-dampening events have made it difficult to continue where I left off. I’ve hardly written a thing since December. It wasn’t losing the will; it was more about the means. I had many months away without a computer or internet connection.

Well, I now have the tools (computer and connection), I just need to wake up the brain and get some energy. It really is difficult picking up something you started after putting it down for such a long while. I had the desire, but the lack of means really did throw me off course.

In Bubble Bursting, I played with footballer analogies. The reason for that is because mentally I do feel rusty. No money and illness has left me feeling that I really need to ease myself back into writing. So as I’m still in football analogy mode, I will describe it as not feeling match fit. I need a few warm up games in the reserves. I guess this article could be such described as my warm up game.

I went well overboard with the football analogies in my last piece so it best ends here.

Losing Touch

Being away from a computer and internet meant I hadn’t had much to do with social media. I would visit a café a couple of times a month and keeping up with events wasn’t a priority. I did feel cut off from knowing what was going on but it wasn’t exactly a hardship.

I would make a point of checking on the fate of my beloved Blues spend 30 minutes realizing I was bored with Facebook and then log out to go back to a simple existence all of which I’m due to tell you about. I learnt a lot on my travels. I lost touch with the world and it was fine.

Something for Everyone

My absence from writing gave me the time to think about the future direction for this blog. I still have no idea exactly where I’m going with it though.

I’ve been spending my time since getting back online familiarizing myself with events, news and observing the usual Facebook chatter in an attempt to get the old brain working again. I’m hardly Mr. Metro so I don’t go out and find out much first hand. On occasions I have ventured out, I have had some great nights out, seen some excellent local bands and discovered many places which have gone a little under the radar. One thing I know is whether you like Facebook or not, social media and the internet in general really make it easy to find out what’s going on and where.

This blog is for those that can afford a good night but not forgetting those that can’t. Having less cash may be limiting in some ways, but the other side of not having a lot of money on your stay here means your limitations make you more informed and more adventurous. Lack of cash takes you into situations which other visitors seldom see. Your condo or hotel can be a little too safe. I love those that can step out of their comfort zones and explore the real Philippines and real Filipinos.

I’ve spoken of it before but there are many different ways of being accommodated if you’re coming on a visit. If you’re coming with a view to settle here, you need to know even more. You can save yourself a lot of time and money by simply educating yourself and taking guidance from someone that knows what may take you years to find out for yourself.

Metro Manila or tourist spots will always be more expensive when it comes to everyday living and accommodation. In short, these lessons are something you could really do with being fully aware of before you come with a vague plan. The actuality would mean having to rethink whatever you intended. Wouldn’t it be better to educate yourself long before you even got here?

It’s never easy, but this country has endless possibilities if you’re prepared to grasp them. I’m aware that for good reasons, people want to stay in their comfort zone. You’re not in your own country; you play it safe, very wise. Not everyone wants to be intrepid but the reality is if you only see a country from the safety of a hotel room, you are going to go home having learnt little about the real Philippines.

However, you don’t need a hotel to live comfortably. There are apartelles, motels, home-stays or rented condos and houses or a simple unfurnished or furnished room. With many of the options, you can get the same services you get in a hotel for a lot less cost. If you’re prepared to move away from the standard you’re possibly used to, then you can live amazingly cheaply. I will try and guide you enabling you to hold on to your cash and therefore prolonging your time here safely.

Everyone has different needs from the next. Whatever you want from the Philippines, it’s here. I’m hoping I can help tailor your stay within your budget. It’s most likely a vacation so you may want a little comfort. It really depends on you. Whatever you want, it’s doable; it’s the Philippines.

In future articles, I shall be offering you the guidance you need. You simply need to ask yourself a few questions as to what it is you want to achieve. If you’re visiting only, what is it that you want to do here? Do you want to sit in your room and only relax around the pool or do you want to see everything, do everything, and taste everything whilst you are here? To do that you need to plan. I’m more than happy to help you make that plan.

OK, I will leave you with one more football analogy as its World Cup year. This post was my playing just the first half of a friendly behind closed doors. A few more run outs, a full game and I’m ready for the league. Be patient with me and no more football analogies, I promise.

I’m back writing, still rusty, but I’m coming back to see where this takes me. I have decided to just put out posts as they come to me. No regular pattern, I think it will be all the better for it. So this is my warm up post. Normal writing will resume as soon as possible. This old chicken is coming out of his shell.

(Photo courtesy of Kay Smith Brushworks)

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Filed under Impressions, Manila, Philippines, Travel

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