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2010 – The New Year Arrives in Davao

It is now the third New Years I have experienced in Davao and the second one since I moved here. While trying to think about an article for this week, I started thinking about celebrations here and life in general. In addition, what I hope for in the New Year to bring. I am not one to make New Year’s resolutions since I usually forget them or break them.

New Years Eve is similar to the extent that it is a reason for Celebration. All that day Elena was baking sweets such as her famous Mango Float and brownies. In the States, if I were dating I would plan somewhere to go with other couples to enjoy the festivities. If I were not dating, I would usually just stay home and go to bed early.

Here in the Philippines, New Years Eve is usually spent home with family. Many restaurants and bars are closed for this reason. Once the New Year rings, the noise level is deafening. Lucky for living in Davao, fireworks are banned so it does not sound like a war zone.

On New Year’s Day, we were invited to a friend’s home and enjoyed the friendship, communication and a fantastic meal. Their were friends we made from the Friends of Mindanao group. We sat, talked and ate a wonderful meal.

As you read from my site, there are many differences in life and culture. It is a never-ending learning process here, with not only Filipinos and living in the Philippines. It is also learning to live and be friends with other Expats. We are all different, with different backgrounds, economic levels and attitudes in life.

In this past year, I have worked on meeting people, looking for ways to earn money and improving my relationships with my family and friends. I have given up on certain people I thought were friends and have developed friends with others. Even this site is growing. In the beginning, I wrote about my family as more of a way to show friends and my family back home my life here. As the site grew and I realized most of the readers are either Filipinos who have lived abroad for many years interested in their home country or foreigners thinking of moving to the Philippines. Many expats living here do not bother reading since they are experiencing their own life here.

With this, I try to write more about cultural differences of life here and interesting places to see, visit or restaurants I have enjoyed. I also try to explain how different life is here. As the old comment from The Wizard of OZ, “Toto, we are not in Kansas anymore.”

So, what do I have in mind for 2010? Well I hope to find ways to earn money, either through this site, on the internet or possibly working here in Davao. I am also going to try to learn more words in the local language. I do not plan on a teacher, but just a little at a time.

I am also looking to develop better friendship relationships of quality, not just someone who speaks English but nothing in common.

I want to try to relearn golf so there is another fun diversion to everyday life. As of now, I do not see being able to afford twice a week as some expats I know, but maybe once or twice a month.

As life goes on here, you start to go with the flow. The acceptance of what you cannot change comes in and life becomes normal. However, as I mentioned before, Filipinos, culture and life in the Philippines has more differences than similarities living in America.

I am hopeful the world financial crisis reverses and life will get better for all. I also hope and pray the Philippines will learn from their mistakes and make the necessary changes for a better life for its citizens and residents. This country has so much to give but so little direction to get it done.

I wish all my readers and all around the world a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.

6 Responses to “2010 – The New Year Arrives in Davao”

  1. Evelyn says:

    happy,happy new year to you,too, bruce and to your wife ,elena…
    i have learned to love reading your blog and become addicted to it…
    so keep up the good work and thank you for writing and staying and believing in my country…
    hope we’ll get to see each other someday when i go home…

    • Bruce says:

      Evelyn,
      I hope for you a GREAT 2010. I am glad we met through my site, became friends and that you enjoy reading my articles and enjoy them. I also am happy you will comment.

      “Hope to see each other”? We better. I enjoyed our visits and am glad you have told other of your friends about my site. Maybe you will start a “American in Davao” fan club in California and Gen San.

  2. david S. says:

    Happy New Year Bruce! I wish you and your wife a prosperous 2010.

  3. yanilea says:

    Hi, nice celebration in Davao. Your new year was peaceful and happy I believe.

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