Carmen came to Canada at the end of April 2019 and after six months we returned to The Philippines, October 12, to continue to explore our relationship. While there, I discovered, somewhat to my surprise, that as a Canadian, my unrestricted entry was good for only 59 days; after that I had to apply for an ‘Alien Certificate of Registration’, which was mildly disturbing to me, naively believing I had unrestricted liberty. An alien! I felt a bit like ET.
Travels with Myself
A Journal of Discovery and Transition
Doug Jordan, Author
Rainy days severely limit commerce and economic activity in The Philippines. With Super Typhoons, everything comes to a halt, government and schools suspended. This is a chronic problem for the Philippines economy but acute for the millions of Filipinos who operate micro-enterprises, called tindahans, out of their tiny houses.
May 9th was Election Day in The Philippines, and Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos was elected in a tremendous landslide over his closest rival, Leni Robredo. Since then the alarmist reports out of the Western press, and echoing comments to me, now an apparent expert on Pilipinas affairs, have been distressing, and to my mind, insulting to Filipinos.
The most compelling difference [between Canada and the Philippines wrt covid consequences] is how significantly more damaged the Philippines economy is and the adverse affects on the people. … For all of this, Filipinos in general are not complaining
When I arrived in Philippines March 4 (and survived the bureaucratic storm of documents – both print and electronic) and was driven to our modest resort hotel in Dasmariñas, I was struck by the heavy traffic and claustrophobic congestion, even though only 6 o’clock in the morning. It was just like the last time I was here, pre-pandemic, in 2020. But somehow different. The country is tired.
What has been the response to covid-19 protocols on Philippine society is something I hope to uncover during my visit to The Philippines over the next few weeks, and see if there may be similar disruption to social cohesion as there appears to be in Canada. Stay tuned.
I lament my forced separation from Carmen Beauty; I am missing her company and constant companionship and feeling quite lonely. We Skype twice a day, sometimes four times a day, adjusting for the twelve hours difference in our time zones, and keep ‘in touch’ (ha!) that way.
And what do we learn from all this Trivia? That The Philippines is a country of contrasts, a curious combination of west and east, old and modern. Of tradition and of a rapidly changing society. And it gives me pause to consider aspects of my own life in Canada.
Travels With Myself has a different purpose than The Pilipiñas Packet; Travels is the account of my journey of self-discovery and transition in the twilight of my life. The Packet recounts tour of The Philippines but was as much a vehicle for discovering myself, as it was for having a life experience.
The thing she did comment on though, was how far we had to drive to see these many friends. Living in suburbia, your friends were scattered in their own distant suburbs, or downtown, and this meant much travel. At least the travel on relatively uncongested expressways was not the tremendous thief of time that commuting in The Philippines is. For this we cannot thank city planners for inventing suburbia, only for adequate infrastructure.