The new addition to Shangrila mall is great because it’s not crowded, has decent stores and there is a lot of good food. I recently met a friend who went to college in the Philippines and we were able to discuss local society over waffles.
Maple is a restaurant in the new wing of Shangrila mall that serves waffles and other things–all with a hint (or more) of maple syrup. It was great comfort food, since it tasted just like the do-it-yourself waffles in Dilin, the Linfield cafeteria.
It was extremely refreshing to get her take on life here, since we think somewhat similarly. However, she stayed in Manila whereas I went to Oregon (to have some of the best years of my life). If I had stayed here for college instead, I wouldn’t be exactly like her, but I would have come close.
Did you know that life in the Philippines is hard? Like, really, really hard? Minimum wage for a day is less than an hour’s pay compared to America. Income tax is 30 percent. That means a lot of people here get less than $200 a month. HOW DO PEOPLE LIVE?!
But, the country as a whole isn’t as close-minded as I thought. I assumed my family was the exception, but our mindset is becoming the norm. My friend knew at least two of our older female classmates who are also going to get their own apartments and live alone. The people I know in my generation still pay for little of their lives (rent, electricity, cellphone bills, etc.) but we are getting there. People are allowed to find their passion without being questioned at every turn. I suppose it was my fault for assuming the country hadn’t changed at all since I left.
What encourages me is knowing there are women in the country who are coming to the same conclusions, and making the same decisions as I am. The desire to support myself, live alone, and focus on a career before a family.
Anyways, time for me to get to work! 🙂