Love at first sight: Filipino tourists first 24 hours in Dubai

From picking up our guests at the airport to reaching home, they're talking about how impressive Dubai already is. It's quite amusing to hear what they had to say about the emirate in just their first 24 hours - just as how we felt when we first set afoot here.  The comparison to our homeland is just inevitable.

On the road, they notice the postlights are very bright.  All streets are widely spaced and very well lit unlike Manila's, they say.  And they start talking about politics - that if only road funds will be well utilized, Philippines can be as bright as Dubai.

They also notice the orderliness in the streets; the huge malls, the towering skyscrapers that make Ayala and Ortigas minute.

Then they see a Ferrari and a Lamborghini parked on an ordinary streetside. "They just park these luxury cars here?" they asks. "In the Philippines you can't dare to do it."

After a quick rest we had lunch in a chicken fastfood. They're not used to dining without rice, and with a bigger serving. "So that's why you've grown bigger here..." they said.

As we were strolling around, they notice how people use their gadgets untroubled that someone might snatch them away. They feel it is safe in the city that everyone seems to flaunt their gadgets out. Again, not in the Philippines.

"So where is the desert and the camels?" they asked.   Although they've seen Dubai in the media with these buildings and modern structures, they still thought that we live in a desert.

After the first 24 hours of impression, they say "Parang Pinas pa rin, ang daming Filipino."  "But even if Philippines don't look as shiny as Dubai, we already miss home. we will never get tired of the irking sounds of trike and jeepneys, and of the adventurous streets of Manila."

Indeed, the heart can never love two at a time equally.  We can be amazed and impressed by other nations, but eventually, there will always be one place that we truly love - though not as great as others, but we've learned to accept what it is, and what it is not. Philippines will always be our home.

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