I moved in to my new home in Manila last month, Unit 506.

Unit 506 is a fresh start for me. I am finally back in Manila with a new work assignment after having spent three years in Pampanga. It was a huge adjustment as I would have to deal with a higher living cost, deal with everyday traffic, and adjust to a more fast paced and a more dynamic working environment. This is in complete contrast to my provincial life in San Fernando.

I am enjoying the change and I have discovered how I have turned “probinsyano” over the past three years. Just a couple of days back, I was getting my laundry when I noticed a small box installed in one of the exterior walls of the laundry shop. I assumed that it was a phone booth. Two nights later, I saw a guy toggling with it and only then did I find out that it was a prepaid mobile loading station. I was amazed, excited is a better word, with this new device that I intend to try out one of these days.

The experience makes me smile every time I remember it as it reminds me how “innocent” I have become while in the province. I realized how life can get so busy in the city that access to services, such as loading stations, needs to be as convenient to the user which leads to the development of these devices. In the city, it is all about convenience because everybody seems to be very busy hence we have seen the rise of business opportunities on the service side like laundry shops and home television shopping. We even now have a group that offers to do grocery service for the busy individuals. That is how busy people get in the city which you rarely see in the province.

The great thing about living in the province for the past three years was that I have more appreciation now on a greener community. I miss waking up in the morning and still get to breathe fresh air. Now I have my own attempt to set up my own herb garden – a goal that I have tried to work on when I was still in Pampanga that never really took off. I am proud to say though that my very own Basil plant is growing nicely in its small corner by the balcony.

Trying my hand on having my own herb garden is a stress reliever. Every morning, I make sure that I water the Basil plant and take my time to appreciate it. It is also the first thing that I check as soon as I get home from work. I need to make sure that it is okay. The funny thing is that this is the first time that I have actually done my own planting after elementary years. I guess it is my way of finding myself in my own little green world…something that I definitely picked up during my stay in Pampanga.

Come to think about it, I have learned to appreciate the simple things in life. I guess that is what the provincial life is all about. It is about enjoying the nooks and crannies of your home that in the city you do not really have the time to do. It is about taking the time to stop and appreciate the small things that life has to offer.

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Rave: Summer is already here and it is quite exciting that Philippine tourism is really picking up in the international scene. It is also great to see the rise of organizations offering tours to the different Philippine destinations sparking economic growth in these destinations. I just hope that we could continue this tourism surge to provide a better livelihood in the province.

Rant: The current situation in Sabah is causing a lot of tension, not only with Kiram’s followers and the Malaysian government, but also in the international community. I sincerely believe that the bloodshed could have been averted by bringing the issue on the discussion table rather than resorting to violence.

Rave: Jollibee recently opened its first store in Singapore and it is a good sign for growth for this Philippine brand. It is a great to see Philippine brands penetrating the international market as it shows that we can definitely compete in the international market and that our brands can be classified as world-class.

Rant: Willie Revillame is once again hitting the tube again with the latest video of him reprimanding two of his co-hosts in his latest noontime shows. I know that we may have seen just one side of the story – his, and we have got a lot to say about it. Whether he is right or not, I must say that prudence to what we say on TV is more appreciated by many.

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