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Find Your Light - Philippines

You will find what you look for. If you look for light, you will find the light. If you look for darkness you will find darkness.

Manila was a prime example of that for me. Upon arriving back in Manila the second time I had been through a whirlwind of emotional transformations, triumphs, and failures. One of my purposes in life is to continuously become comfortable will being uncomfortable. I call this a purpose and not a goal because this is an ongoing desire - a limitless act of will to expand my comfort levels. It is something I see as a lifestyle, not just a check off the list. I intend to go where most others won't go. Because it requires too much discomfort to get there.

It had been a while since I had been uncomfortable. I believe transformations occur when you are the most uncomfortable. I had been living quite comfortably in my urban lifestyle, well paying job, and vast ad deep friendship circles. When I said I was ready to be shaken, I had forgotten what it felt like. It's been a few years since something really rocked my world.

It wasn't just Manila that shook me. It was the Philippines as a whole. At this point, it is the poorest territory I have crossed. Seeing and participating in the very destitute lifestyle of the Filipino people was so overwhelming at points I stood breathless and in shock. Some of the images of people laying naked in the streets, covered in fifth, rummaging through rotted waters and garbage were surreal. Witnessing this level of poverty on such a large scale for so many days and weeks on end without site of a standard level of living was emotional draining.

The Philippines is a beautiful country. The people are the friendliest I've encountered. They take pride in smiling. In offering a helping hand. They are humble and embracive. They are incredibly passionate people. From fire throwing, to street food master chefs, the bus attendants, and corner store clerks. Everyone performs their jobs with the upmost pride. It is so uplifting and refreshing to watch. Through my entire stay in the country I not once encountered an individual who specifically made me feel unsafe. My discomfort was never stemmed from an individual or local of the country. My discomfort was stemmed from unfamiliarity with that level of living.

- AS @ travelingsnow

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