Monday, July 12, 2010

From Luzviminda to Uncle Sam: Reflections on my US Trip (Part 2)



From Luzviminda to Uncle Sam: Reflections on my US Trip (Part 2)
Lj T. Salceda

My friends were right, 17 days were not enough to discover and enjoy all things bright, beautiful and stateside (as we say in Filipino) in the US. However I tried to maximize my time and made a list of some of the things I’ve realized and experienced during my first overseas trip. This is in no particular order:

1. Visited the FEBC office in La Mirada and re-acquainted with some of our foreign staff.





2. Rekindled the child in me with the rides in Disneyland and the fireworks in the evening- spectacular!





3. Took pictures of the various types of flowers and plants in SoCal. The giant roses and magnolia trees were adorable. My favorite spots are Balboa Park in San Diego, The Arboretum in Arcadia and my hosts’ neighborhood.






4. Strolled in Santa Monica park/beach and saw plenty of potential talents, cool tricks and pricey souvenirs. But what intrigued me most was the number of homeless people scattered everywhere even in the Beverly Hills area. I never expected a first-world country like the US to have so many of them.





5. SoCal is heavily influenced by Latin Americans, one proof is the name of their cities/streets, pero hindi siyempre pahuhuli ang Pinoy. Check this out!





6. Americans LOVE sports! They are festive and loud whether it’s the NBA finals or Superbowl or the World cup. Please don’t start talking about the Lakers with my man. Lol!



7. Their small bowl of teriyaki is equivalent to our big bowl. Drinks (especially sodas) are usually refillable or as we say in the Philippines bottomless. Almost everything is super-sized, from strawberries to flowers to fast food.





8. The weather there is almost perfect, not too hot and not too cold. But my skin is used to the humidity (or probably pollution) in Manila, as a result my lips were always parched and my skin was always breaking. Ouch!





9. Cost of living is high, so high you either need to have a stable job/s or a rich relative willing to support you for life! Car is a necessity and gas is expensive (triple the price in the Philippines), so are movies ($5 during the day, $7 at night), Filipino food/items are imported = meaning pricey (half of a small papaya for tinola costs $1). Thank God for Japanese restos where I satisfy my rice cravings!





10. One of the things I appreciate about the US is they allow the elderly to have jobs that in Philippines will only be given to younger people. If someone can still do a job well regardless of his age, why deny him the right to be productive?



11. America is pampered. Very pampered. They have Tivo, washing machine and dryer, dishwasher, the nicest schools and libraries, the latest gadgets, almost every type of products, services and accessibility to information. However, they pay high for these too, literally and figuratively.





12. I saw a squirrel, rabbit, hummingbird, eagle, possum, raven, horses and peacocks without going to the zoo.





13. An hour drive in the US is loooong and faaaaar. Unlike in Manila, an hour drive means spending 20 mins in traffic jam, 10 mins waiting for passengers and 30 mins traveling. I rarely doze off when I travel in the Philippines, but in the US I slept quite frequently on the road.





14. I saw Indians, Persians, Turks, Chinese, Africans, Mexicans, Europeans and other nationalities without going out of state. I’ve met some of the most generous, hospitable and godly people on this planet in the lives of my hosts, my boyfriend’s family, friends and even strangers.







15. Possessions, work, money, citizenship is not synonymous to JOY or SATISFACTION. I saw a lot of tired, disgruntled, hopeless, empty, sad Americans. They’ve got problems there too. Recession. Divorce. Homosexuality. Pornography. Addiction. Materialism. Name it, they’ve got a brand for it.





16. Good thing is, they’ve got Jesus there too! The churches are alive. Christians are on-fire. Christian bookstores are still on business. I saw a shirt that says “Let’s share the gospel while it’s not yet illegal.” Let’s pray for our brothers and sisters in the US.





17. Finally, you don’t need a fat bank account, connections or illegal activities to fulfill a dream, to reach a destination and accomplish a goal. All you need is to obey. I only had $300 in my wallet (I don’t own a credit card) when I went to the US and no, it wasn’t from my politician relative. But that’s another story that I have to write when the creative juices kicks in again.



For now, its mission accomplished. Until my next travel assignment, Lj here standing by.

15 comments:

  1. I LOVE IT...VERY INSIGHTFUL...I AM GLAD HOW MUCH YOU ENJOYED YOUR STAY!!!

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  2. wow...napagod ako dun ah...hehe...feeling ko ako din nagtravel....yuo deserve it po ate...God bless you po..till next your travel po...

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  3. Very interesting discoveries and adventures, LJ! You will have new eyes when you set foot on our country again! God bless you.

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  4. I like you insights LJ... Happy for you! God will provide for your next trip.

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  5. What an "adventurous" insight!!! Thanks LJ for sharing your US of A experiences with your FB friends...:)

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  6. Louise -> I had a blast! Thanks for dropping by. :)

    Anonymous -> nakakapagod talaga, but it's all worth the the pagod, the expenses and the sacrifice. :)

    Ate Grace -> I'm back in Manila. I am honored that you take time to read my blog. :)

    Anonymous -> You're welcome! I like to share kahit through articles and photos lang. Mahal kasi pasalubong. He, he, he! :)

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  7. Tita Marie -> Amen, next time sana ka na! :)

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  8. Thanks Ms Lj, i like to read your blog & article, you're such a good writer...very informative...the ideas are coming from the heart, keep on inspiring people. God bless!

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  9. wow love it!!!!!!!!! parang c dora d explorer k lng ate...hmmmm..i enjoyed a lot piling q aq ung nagtravel hehe!

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  10. napaka-laki ang kontrast ano? Mayamang na bansa pero maraming mahihirap. Maraming serbisyo ng pamahalan, pero maraming pila, atbp.

    Mabuti naman may balansya at katarungan sa kamay ni Jesus at Kanyang pag-ibig sa ating lahat!

    How can we serve the Lord in the capacity where He has called us?

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  11. i love your insights LJ! i've enjoyed every pic....you've got bountiful blessings from God indeed :)

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  12. HI! MS LJ NARIRINIG KO LANG VOICE MO SA RADIO PERO NAKITA KO FB. MO AT PECTURE AT PAGKA ANALISA MO SA POSISYON NG MGA TAO SA US MADAMI AKONG NATUTUNAN , TUNAY KANG KATIWALA NA PANGINOONG DIYOS ..LALO KAPANG MAPAG PALA NG DIYOS ...AGAIN THANKS...

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  13. Paki paabot ng pag bati kay ate Marie ng HAPPY BIRTHDAY Diko kasi makita FB ni Ate ...So again thanks ..God Bless.

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  14. Thanks everyone! God bless you all! :)

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