Saturday, May 26, 2018

An Open Letter to my Friends in the Philippines 

My dear friend,

How are you? I hope you are doing fine. I know you saw my social media posts and you might be wondering why I didn’t I see you even if I am home. I want to let you know that I cherish the moments I have spent with you but I chose to not see you for a couple of reasons:

1. Limited Time

My husband and I go back to the Philippines primarily for our medical missions trip. With the exception of one trip, the rest of it were for our missions trip. We often have very little time to spend with the people we love. If you were in my place, I think you will agree that you’d rather spend your time with your very own family.

I used to value spending time with my friends I lot when I was younger but it changed when I moved to the United States. I am miles away from them most of the time so it made me value every minute I could get just to be with them.

I won’t consider myself a social butterfly but I am quite friendly. I’ve made quite a lot of friends from every walks of life and I am thankful you are part of it. Please know that I cherish our friendship. I really really wish I could see you but it’s not always possible.

2. Limited Resources

One of the Filipino traditions that makes me feel bad all the time is this "Pasalubong" mentality. I know sometimes you are just joking. You may not even be expecting anything but do you know how much it hurts me whenever I hear "where’s my pasalubong?" I have learned to ignore it whenever I hear that statement but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t offend me at times. I wish I have more gifts to give but I don't. I chose to not try to please everybody because I know I can’t.

If I ever said we can "possibly" see each other please know that I genuinely wanted to see you but the circumstances most of the time doesn’t allow. I totally understand that it seems like I am forgetting about you or I’m ignoring you but I don’t.

Please don’t assume that I have a lot of time and resources to give. I wish I have but unfortunately I don’t. I live a comfortable life but not as abundant as you might be thinking.

I used to wonder why some of my closest friends, who worked abroad, wouldn’t see me whenever they get home but now I do. Often, you had to experience it yourself in order to understand better and that’s the case for me.

I cherish our friendship. The time I’ve spent with you is precious to me. Please know that I remember you and won’t forget about you. I love the thoughtful messages you’ve sent. It means a lot to me.

I hope you understand where I’m coming from. Thank you for being my friend.