Category: Marilyn's Thoughts
Published: Monday, 22 November 2021 21:32
Written by Marilyn
Hits: 478

Undoubtedly challenging transition of life living in foreign country at a young age. I was barely 21 years of age and hubby was 22 years young when I left Philippines. We all can relate to this, from infant to about 12 years of age we don’t really know the full concept of life, what life is all about and we cannot fully comprehend how the world revolves around us. From 12 yrs. of age onwards learning process about life in our beloved country Philippines starts to kick-in.

Moving and living in a foreign country before I turned 21 altered my life. Living in Netherlands to start a new life and embark on a completely new environment is staggering. Adapt, deep understanding to Dutch culture, enhance capabilities and transcends new meanings in life. An eye opener! I’m in the Netherlands, therefore new breed of people with names and last names attached to them that I am no longer familiar with. Utterly what you see is what you get, people around me that I will encounter are of different color hair and eyes. Dutch people are fashionable, trendy up-to-date fashion is a ‘’a status symbol’’ to some. 

Yearly seasons fashion style and the colour of the season, although you can still buy any colour you want. To elaborate truthfully, every year of winter, spring, summer and autumn they go shopping. People will throw-away their clothes and will end up in a clothes throw bin. With the exception to some people that coats and clothes that are timeless they will still wear them for the next season and maybe the season after. Ridiculous amount of stuffs people throw away. Appearance and dressing up are important even to the smallest details for majority of the people.

Didn’t take me long to learned that it takes time for Dutch people to open up for a conversation but once you get to know them with a bit of effort they can be really friendly. A firm handshake with a smile is a form of greeting. Customary for family and friends to greet each other with a kiss cheek-to cheek three times  starting on the left cheek. Dutch are very private people, they don’t like personal question and refuse to answer you if you intrude their privacy and seriously they value their private and personal life. They are hardworking, organized and practical. They don’t like to brag nor display their possessions, wealth and accomplishments. Dutch people are direct with their communication and everyone is entitled to their own opinion of directness and frankness “tell it like it is” and ‘’accept it like it is’’ It is very much appreciated. The atmosphere is fine with no anger and resentment attach to it. May sound blunt to some cultures like the Philippines that opinion and communication are carefully thought of. Embracing authentic life in Netherlands, I’m blown away by my enormous amount of self-growth with this awesome country I lived and acquired residency for 32 years. Here I am very appreciative of the 80 % of my life living in Netherlands. Honestly every year we’re in Philippines for a vacation my heart feel so heavy bombarded with thoughts hugely missing Netherlands. Here’s my countdown:

       1. Miss my family, daughters constant love-care-thoughts keeps me joyful and upbeat and granddaughter who warms my heart.


      2. Family fun day out get-together.

      get together


      3. Dutch food not available in Philippines.



      4. Berries such as blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries also the peaches, nectarines, pears, apricot, plums and so on.



      5. Wide variety of cheese and yoghurt in varying taste, constant supply of fresh milk, 0% sugar free fruit juices of my choice to satisfy my thirst and much more.



      6. Fruit pies and multi fruit pies.



      7. Macadamias, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans and pistachios.


      8. Nature walk at Nature Reserve with hubby.



      9. The 4 seasons of winter, spring, summer and autumn.



      10. Going to fruit orchard and venturing Tulips field.



      11. Visiting centuries windmills, castles and churches from 1500.



      12. Europe road Trips.



      13. Scenic drive old architectural buildings all-throughout Netherlands.



      14. Dutch people who do not stick their noses to other people’s business, pretty much all to themselves and don’t mind other people’s business ‘’such a great trait” if only people of the world will possess the same trait. When you encounter  them on the street or happen to see them in supermarkets the only thing we say to each other is, hi, hello, how are you and bye.


Experiences over possessions! Lived a whole lot longer in Netherlands and shorter years in Philippines. Identifying changes help me manage the transition smoothly and grasp everything it all entails. Living in a foreign country broaden my knowledge towards better perspective, profoundly understand and seeing life from different angle. I lived in Europe practically neighbouring European countries at my doorstep to explore which is mind-blowing. Travelled places I never dreamed of, times I pinch myself of directions I never expect. However as time passes Philippines seems distant, social lives of your peers changes, faces and lifestyle changes, ties renewed and places change. Quite a challenge but I sail through it without hiccups. Regardless what country we live we have the skills   to adapt, learn how to move-groove with the music and dance with the rhythm. Multidimensional world indeed!

My childhood growing-up in Philippines, parents *mama and papa*did a massive great job*Took really good care of me/us in our early years. They shape me to who I am today, a woman with so much patience, descent and well-mannered human being. In Philippines for a vacation we go places as much as we could. My Sunday market expedition in City of Naga, Cebu, I make it a point to go to the market myself because I don’t want to miss the opportunity Naga market brings me. See cheerful people up and about buying their basic needs, busy and crowded but manage to roam around the market with ease. Who can resist the striking yellow mangoes bursting in ripeness and the delicacies and fruits I have been craving while living in Netherlands. Not forgetting the wholesome snacks of banana cue, sweet potato cue, cooked banana, corn on the cob, binignit etc. Inside the market building are clogged with vendors in their designated places selling basic food commodities. I can hear the hacking and chopping of meat and fish, vendors and shoppers talking, laughing, haggle prices and joking amongst each other. The renowned succulent lechon (inasal) plays an important role in the market, the aroma that comes off the lechon spread out in banana leaves. Don’t deprive yourself but do not overindulge. Delicacies I craved are like an electrolyte that hits my eye, triggers my brain that happen to land on my plate. On another note, Philippines is the only country in Asia where “where people wear a smile’’ the camaraderie and easy-go-lucky friendly people and the cheerful respectful children that rooted through generations never cease to amaze me. Flashback of myself ‘’me’’ as a kid: running around the street, playing badminton, over the moon, bagol, kadlas-kadlas, bato-lata (hit the tin can with slippers though) takyan on the street by the light post, jackstones on smooth concrete stairs. The highlight is the hide-and-seek (tago2) because we covered distant places hide from street-to-street, at the back of City of Naga parish church, Naga park plaza, the previous old market, right below the seawall if its low tide, outside behind and the sides of old municipality building. Had so much fun when I was a kid. Stories I will continue later. Mabuhay progressive City of Naga, Cebu!!