Greetings from Manila! (Finally!)


I moved to the Philippines.

We’ve been planning this whole thing for nine months, and I’ve been here for nearly two and a half weeks, but it’s only now starting to feel like it actually happened.

The days since my arrival have flown by. In true Filipino style I’ve received the warmest welcome from friends and family. It’s different, visiting here on vacation compared to facing the task of relocating your life half way around the world. Rather than dashing from one tourist spot to the next, I’m spending my time getting settled and reestablishing roots – opening a bank account, getting a driver’s license, and fixing my visa.


Sneaking away for some sightseeing in Tagatay


Lately I’ve been craving structure and trying to find my new “normal” – but just when I feel like I’m getting used to my surroundings, something new invades my senses and I remember, “oh yeah, this is not Orange County!”


  • Walking my dogs at sunset, I look up in the sky and think that I see birds. Nope, they’re bats.
  • Every time I enter a gas station, bank, or shopping mall, and even grocery store, I pass by armed security guards – sometimes with machine guns. Yay!
  • At night time I step out on the back patio and turn on the lights. Hello geckos!

There are some things I know will take time getting used to like: humidity, traffic, and poverty. Third world poverty. (Think: A child holding a baby, weaving through four lanes of gridlock traffic, tapping at car windows and begging for coins. I learned that tapping back is how to say, “Go away.” Ouch.)


Hello, Gecko!


Obviously, I’ve got to take in all the newness and accept everything as part of the Living Abroad Experience; still, it’s been nice holding on to a few things that remind me of home. I’ve met two American neighbors. One sold me a bright yellow scooter and another invited me to join a social club for local expat women. Today I had a Coffee Bean & Ice Blended Drink and we just had McDonalds delivery for dinner. (Yes, they deliver here and yes I deserve it. Last week I ate ox tongue. Ox Tongue!)

All in all I’m thrilled to be here – everyday is a new adventure. I’m trying amazing fruits (YUM!) and soaking up the warm tropical sun. I’m hugely grateful for the support I’ve received from friends and family here and abroad.ย  Please stay tuned for more stories!


Meet my new ride - don't worry, I only ride within the village!


For those waiting for me to start posting, thanks for your patience. It took me awhile to have the time to get this going and I will do my absolute best to keep it up. Thanks for reading, and feel free to share this. Don’t forget to subscribe!


6 responses to “Greetings from Manila! (Finally!)

  1. So great to hear from you Liana! We miss you, but are excited to learn more about your new adventures. Great post!!!

  2. How exciting! Glad to hear you’re getting settled in, we miss you but you are on an amazing journey! (I’m jealous!) and I LOVE your scooter! haha

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