Wednesday, May 11, 2011



By: Kile Sound Man

There I was…on a small side street in Barrio Santa Maria watching the Pacquiao vs. Mosely fight with 40 or 50 other people.  As I stood there in the rain, with all my sound equipment, in a poncho that was doubling as a portable sauna, I realized something.

Community is huge here.

This particular spot was set up outside someone’s house in the open, with some coverings over a few of the chairs and the televisions.  People had been planning to watch this fight together for a long time, and then suddenly, the day of it starts raining. 

I feel that anywhere else the event would be cancelled and people would watch the fight in their homes by themselves, yet here in Manila everyone stayed! They shared umbrellas, watched from neighbors’ balconies, and even stood in the rain. 

Yes, they probably withstood the weather partly because Manny Pacquioa is a national hero to Filipinos, but I think the major reason was because they wanted to share those moments together.  It was a simple yet beautiful realization for me.

An example of the friendliness and hospitality of Filipinos presented itself later the same day.  We met up with one of the kindest and friendliest people I’ve ever met. 
Dab Samar.

Dab is an avid couch surfer, which is to say he uses the website to find free places to stay with locals in different countries as well as hosting travelers in his home in Manila.   Couch surfing is a great way to find free places to stay in whatever country you’re visiting and a fun way to meet fellow travel enthusiasts.  Dab is the epitome of the couch surfing ideals.  He told us that he likes to host other travelers simply because he likes being helpful.  He likes being a part of the travel community and it’s obvious to me that he’s so open and welcoming because that’s just the Filipino way.

Despite being in a country whose culture and people are completely foreign to me, I’ve felt welcome and at home and I find that pretty amazing.

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