I was with you for hardly a week, but fell madly in love.
Perhaps not in the same way as I did with your distant second cousin who is a thousand times faster and a million times more attractive.
But, yes, I did fall in love with you. Well, almost; with your bright and lively countenance, with the twinkle in your eyes and the smile on your lips, with the breeze with which you welcomed me in, and the ease with which you warmed up to me.
At this moment, I am compelled to pause and rationalize that this sudden spurt of emotion could only be because it has been a good decade and a half since I set foot on foreign land of any kind. Sadly, I know only too well my rationalization is flawed, if not completely, at least terribly completely.
For, it was not your sky scrapers and impeccably smooth roads that made me fall for you. Nor, was it your dust free pathways and Americanized accent.
It was actually your wonderfully sweet people who would literally slow down their cars to let me jaywalk happily. I am a sucker for sweet people, you know. It was your clear blue sea which, in its purest form, is so inviting I just wanted to plunge in and loll around forever and ever. I am a sucker for the sea too, yes I am.
Well, well! Let’s not get all excited already, shall we? If you think you are all rosy and right and flawless in sight, wait a minute. And, listen to what I have to say.
Though I lost some calories thanks to you, I did not like the fact that you fed me only with leafy salads. Though I am a compulsive shopper (yes, unfortunately :(), your multitude of uber-rich malls ran the risk of making me a pauper had I more time than the paltry 2 hours I did.
Alas! I am also painfully aware of the fact that that these two points do nothing to weigh down your radiance.
How I wish I had spent more time with you, how I wish I could come back to you and spend the rest of my life in your loving hands.
But, you know what? I think I spoke a little too soon. I can never spend the rest of my life with you, Philippines.
Unfortunately for both you and me, I fell madly in love with your distant second cousin, much, much more madly, and much before I set foot on your soil. He is noisy and crowded and swift to a fault. He does not have your lane discipline, he does not have your sense of cleanliness in him. He has little or no regard for people who cannot keep up with his pace. But, he has a vibrancy that makes me fall for him all over again every time I see him - truly, madly and deeply too!