Yes, grief from losing your pet is real

Two weeks ago, I wrapped a friend in newspaper and put him in a rice sack to be buried forever. It was my final goodbye to my dog Achilles. Born an Aspin (short for “Asong Pinoy” or Filipino dog), the barely four-year-old Achilles contracted an acute intestinal infection that eventually took his life in a…

Filipino Time: Is Geography to Blame?

Do you want to conduct a meeting here in the Philippines? If you want to meet at 12 noon, set the call time at least an hour before that. It’s a common strategy employed by businessmen and even casual friends in the country to ensure that the ones they’re meeting come on time. It doesn’t…

Bahala Na: Hopeful or Fatalistic?

If you’ve been living in the Philippines for a while now, you might have noticed that a lot of people use the Tagalog phrase, “bahala na.” While it has no direct English translation, Filipinos usually say it when pertaining to a future with an unknown outcome. The closest might be the popular Spanish expression que sera…

Behind the Filipino Smile: What Makes Pinoy Optimism Unique

Why is the Philippines one of the happiest places on Earth? It’s not uncommon for this question to arise in anyone’s head when he hears of news and surveys that make that claim. Factors like corruption, poverty, and unemployment continue to plague the country, so how does happiness persist in conditions that are seemingly not…