Philippines has been one of the most hospitable countries I’ve traveled to. Not many places in the world, where you can walk up to a barbeque and get invited for a full three plus hour lunch – all the while making jokes and having fun, and all of it for free (we asked how we could get them back, but they weren’t having it). The photo above is just one occasion where the locals have invited us strangers into their party, but this isn’t just the random occurrence. It has happened everywhere in the Philippines that we’ve visited. I’d say that most people’s reason to visit the Philippines is to see the beaches and have nice weather, but the Filipino hospitality should be the top reason for visiting. Warm and welcoming people. It’s the life.
One day we traveled to our friend’s house in Cebu City and met with the whole family. We cooked some homemade chicken adobo, one of the specialties in the Philippines. We learned to cook, talked, watched TV, and ate too much food. The funny part of the night was that I broke their plastic chair on accident. One of the legs gave out and snapped. I blame eating too much, but I was probably too heavy in the first place. I will have to replace their chair soon. Later that evening we went to their cousins birthday party and ate more food. We tried all types of desserts – like some rice pudding and macaroni salad. It was so much, and I got so full.
On another day (night), we walked into a Filipino wedding renewal and got served beers and food. It’s such a different culture here. Most weddings in the west are closed off and private. Surely, here it was too, but you can’t say no to a guest.
And then finally, our Sunday barbeque. We met with a group of friends who play tennis together. We laughed at all their jokes – lots of making fun of each other. We tried seaweed salads, fish, barbeque pork, and a special type of corn rice – and beer. Seems like they had the right idea when it came to Sundays.
I really enjoy it here. It’s a good reminder of how we should act all the time. Warm and welcoming and generous. It’s the lifestyle and culture here. I hope to do the same when I get back to the states eventually and I hope to get more experiences like this one the next few weeks here in the Philippines.