August 24, 2007


"You take the chance and go and all you need is your passport in one pocket and enough money for a flight home in the other pocket and life will take care of the rest. If you don't go, you may forever regret it." - Anonymous

No better time to break this than now. I'm leaving Manila next month. I accepted an offer from a company in Switzerland last June. Two weeks ago, my residence/work permit was approved in Bern. Last Monday, my entry visa was issued by the Swiss Embassy. Today, the company has emailed me my e-ticket.

Am I doing this for the money? Most likely no. Yes, I'll definitely be earning more there, but cost of living is pretty steep too. Still, the money left after taxes, rent, commute, utilities, and food is still a couple of times more than what I'm making before taxes in the Philippines. But as it is, my wife and I are already doing quite well here in Manila. Why fuck with a good thing, right?

The real reason why we're leaving is that we're tired. I'm tired.

I'm tired of dealing with the bureaucracy that is called the Philippine government.

I'm tired of daily two-hour commutes. And that's only one way from office to my house.

I'm tired of getting ripped off by the taxes here in the Philippines only to see those in government benefiting from it.

I'm tired of getting it up the arse everytime a public jeep crashes into my car and the driver brazenly tells me, "Wala akong insurance eh. Sigurado naman meron ka. Dun mo na lang pagawa yang bangga."

I'm tired of having to save up months and months for my simple extravagances here in Manila, our only passion that keeps us sane, when I can (almost) buy whatever I want with this new job.

I want to live life the way they do it. I want to enjoy life. I'm 32, and if I'm lucky enough to live until I'm 60, I might as well spend the rest of my life with a solid chance of actually enjoying it.

I know it's not going to be easy. It's a predominantly white country, and they speak a different language. But I'm taking my chance. I don't want to spend the rest of my life with another "what if" thought lingering at the back of my head.

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