Pilipinas, I love you. Pilipinas, I love you not.

Pilipinas kong mahal?

This love month is not only for expressing our love for our expat partners. There are other people and objects of our affection like our home countries. This month we, trailing spouses, talk about our homesickness, our longing for our home countries, which we do love in more ways than one.

I have a love-hate relationship with my home country. I daresay I will never ever pretend. I hate pretending. I won’t praise it to the high heavens and say that the Philippines is the best country in the world or that I have been awfully, depressingly homesick and have been itching to come home at the soonest possible time.

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What the dog does when left alone

It is inevitable that Obi would be left behind at home at times.

In the extremely pet / animal friendly US, there are still a lot of places where pet are not allowed. Of course, not everybody can welcome pets into their establishments. There are still a number of people, who are either allergic or afraid, perhaps because of past traumatic experiences like a bite. Or there are just some establishments where utmost cleanliness is required like the supermarket, pharmacy, hospital or restaurants (not all).

So whenever The Husband and I go out for errands, to Church, to eat out or to attend hoomans only events, Obi stays at home in his crate.

Why crate him?

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My thoughts on “Fresh Off the Boat” TV show

Little Eddie Huang in very white Orlando, FL in the 90s (Photo from the Disney ABC TV group)

Ever since I stumbled upon the teaser trailers of “Fresh Off the Boat” last year, I was excited. An Asian American family comedy on one of the major US TV channels? Okay, I have not been in the US that long, but this one is different.

You’ve got white people family comedy. You’ve got black people family comedy. You’ve got hispanic family comedy. And FINALLY, we’ve got Asian (well, East Asian and then some, at least) family comedy to look forward to.

I watched the two-part season premiere last Wednesday and I was partly laughing my ass off and partly could not relate.

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How to make the most of your visit to The Alamo

On tour at The Alamo

I hate being an awful tourist, one that comes, snaps a picture for posterity and goes. I don’t usually do that because I do want to savor every second I am in a new place, but I was one of them awful snap happy for show tourists when we visited the historical Texas monument, the Alamo in San Antonio.

I regret it so much (and really wish that we could visit the place again) and I share my unsolicited advice to those who plan to visit the Alamo.

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American football for dummies (like me)

OMAHA! (Photo by Nottingham Trent University)

This Sunday is America’s version of the Philippines’ Manny Pacquiao fight. The American world stops (at least for most who do not have work on Sunday night) for the Superbowl, the biggest American football game of the season.

I didn’t know anything about American football then. Even with the exposure on American pop culture on TV and the silverscreen, all I knew about the sport was the quarterback as the team captain and that you had to score touchdowns. That’s it.

But now I still cannot say I am an expert, hell no! But I must say that I have picked up some working knowledge of this once mysterious game. And if you are watching the Superbowl for the first time, here are some things that you may need to know (or some random thoughts about the sport from this newbie):

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Introducing: Obi Juan the corgi

Our happy dog son

Kelan kayo magkakaanak? (i.e. When are you having a child?)”

If you are a Filipino married couple without kids, this question you get from every Filipino you meet. It does not matter if you’ve just met five seconds ago. It doesn’t matter wherever in the world you are. Filipinos will ask that question.

And I now have an answer to that: we already have one.

Meet Obi Juan (Star Wars Obi-wan Kenobi reference here) the Filipino Corgi, our dog son.

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Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor, TX

Can you see and feel the age?

What I love about the US is that I can actually feel, smell and taste a little history. And in Texas, it means eating through the handful of decades old barbecue places that are still thriving to this day.

One of these legendary barbecue places is Louie Mueller Barbecue in the teeny town of Taylor, TX, around 30-45 minutes drive from the state capitol of Austin.

Louie Mueller Barbecue started as a grocery store in 1946. To deal with the leftover meat because of the lack of refrigeration then, they barbecued all the leftover meat and sold it to customers. Three years later in 1949, barbecue sold more than the groceries and Louie Mueller Barbecue was officially born.

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#TrailingSpouseStories: Rebirth? Not quite.

The expat life is being reborn, but still having your armour and the rest of your baggage on you (Photo by Jay)

Happy New year (again)! Welcome to the January #TrailingSpouseStories blog crawl 

This January we talk about beginnings. We all were there at some point in time. We all started out in strange lands. How was it like starting over in a new country – if you have done it multiple times, does it get easier or harder? And what are you building in this new year? This is my #TrailingSpouseStory…

My life has never changed in a major way then.

I studied in the same all-girls Catholic school for 13 years. My schools – kindergarten/gradeschool/highschool and college – were in the same city, just a kilometer away from each other. I played the same sport for 12 years. I lived in the same house for 18 years. I even had the same boyfriend for 9 years.

I loved that there were aspects of my life that were steady as a rock, but ,at the back of my head, I always longed for some change.

Be careful what you wish for they said. Then boom, change happened and it happened in the most radical way possible. Three days after our wedding, I found myself in a new country – without family, without friends – with a new husband.

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Taste of Brazil @ The River Market, Kansas City, MO

Green and Gold – Brazil colors

Now that we’re on the topic of South America, let’s talk about Brazilian cuisine. About how I didn’t expect to find it in the heart of the River Market in Kansas City, MO.

Taste of Brazil is tucked in one of the corners of the main building of the historic Kansas City River Market. You won’t miss the bold green and yellow Brazilian flag colors painted all over the restaurant. And of course, the Brazilian flag hoised up, loud and proud.

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El Portal Colombian Bakery in Carrolton, TX

Bandeja Paisa…arriba!

As an expat, I am always fascinated on the differences in culture and the surprising similarities. I’ve observed this in Latin American cultures. I suspect it must be the Spanish connection; as with the Philippines, a lot of these Latin American countries were under Spanish rule in the past. (Anything that could possibly be a common ground?) Thus, a lot of the same Roman Catholic practices and a lot of the same flavors in the food.

Thanks to The Husband’s boss, we were introduced to Colombian cuisine in El Portal Bakery in Carrolton TX, which proved my hypothesis true.

How so?

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