(Wikipedia) ‘An Expatriate (often shortened to Expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country other than that of their citizenship. The word comes from the Latin terms ex (“out of”) and patria (“country, fatherland”).
This blog aims to discover people who are Expats or I would often call it, adventurers like me, venturing out in a new place to call home and creating memories. I have previously lived with my parents and siblings in the Saudi Arabia when I was in high school. I have enjoyed and cherished my memories the beautiful Sandbox I once called my home. Now, I am in a new adventure with my husband and two sons living here in Singapore.
I am featuring expats in different countries to share their experiences and adventures with you and me. I love listening to thier unique adventures.
I am excited to introduced our featured expat for this month. Meet Amber Folkman, an American blogger of AMommabroad, who is having more fun in the Philippines with her family. Let’s get to know more about her.
1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and where you are originally from?
Hello! I am Amber Folkman and I am an expat from Seattle living in Manila. I grew up in California but we lived in Seattle for a number of years before making the jump to the Philippines.
2. What made you move to Philippines? How long have you been there?
My husband Jake had traveled to Manila for work and pitched the idea to his boss to just move us there instead of all the traveling. They went for it and we have lived here since 2009, with a short stint back in Seattle for my husband to attend graduate school.
3. What do you miss about your home country?
That is actually a difficult question for me to answer. I miss my family but to be honest, I only ever saw my siblings and cousins once a year to begin with which is the same now. I miss the family time for my kids to be with their cousins and aunts and uncles. We actually have never had that to begin with so I am not sure if miss is the right word but a ‘longing for’ for those interactions. I miss Trader Joe’s quite a bit.
4. What are the wonderful discoveries and things you like about in the Philippines?
Oh my gulay, where do I begin? I love the markets for handicrafts and palengkes. I love the access to nature, take your pick of the mountains or the beach or a few hours away. I am now a kakanin addict. I cannot get enough kakanin. Suman, espasol, pinipig, karioka- you name it, I love it. Most of all, I love the people. Their smiles reflect the endless summer felt here, another plus. I love their friendliness and cheer.
5. I love your humor! Hahaha! Oh my gulay! You will fit right in with Filipinos. What are the 3 tips you can give to fellow expats in Manila or those you planning to move there?
Expectations. Expect traffic. Expect certain groceries to be expensive. Expect harsh smells. Expect a few blunders in terms of culture.
Eat the food! Find a friend who knows your palette and try everything you can. A Filipino menu can be intimidating but as soon as you find a foundation for certain sauces or dishes you can expand.
Make friends with lokal Filipinos. This is your bridge to longevity and happiness in the Philippines. Once you make friends the language will come, the food becomes familiar, you learn the culture and they know where all the good stuff.
6. The LITTLE MISS HONEY community gets inspired through travel, food and books. Can you tell us your current FAVORITE TRAVEL SPOT, current FAVORITE FOOD/RESTAURANT DISCOVERIES & current FAVORITE BOOK?
My favorite travel spot is definitely Punta Fuego. We go down there once a month. It’s easy because of the drive and we cook a lot of our meals in our rental. Since it is a private community there aren’t a lot of people. You have access to a great beach, great pools and the 2.5 hour drive cannot be beat.
My favorite restaurant of the moment is SOUV, a new greek restaurant by Chef Robby Goco who also runs Cyma. Their frozen greek yogurt is to die for!
I recently devoured the Firebird Series by Claudia Gray. I also highly recommend her book Lost Stars if you also love youth romance and are a nerd, it is set in the Star Wars realm!
7. Where do you get your inspirations? Who or what inspires you?
Color inspires me. I am drawn to simple bold backgrounds and lots of pops of bright color. I went crazy in Batanes over Pacita Abad’s art work.
I really love textiles as well. They are tangible color but tell a story and serve a purpose. I have a particular affection for the Inabel weave. I almost can’t pass one up.
8. Share with my readers more about your blog. What is it about?
I blog about life in Manila and looking for the positive. I have an umbrella of topics but most of my favorites have to do with family focused activities. I love sharing about nature and where to go to feel connected to the earth or arts.
9. What are your 3 favorite Filipino dishes?
As I mentioned earlier, I am a kakanin addict although it is not a dish.
– Merienda with tsokolate tablea, ginger tea paired with pandesal, kesong puti or suman
– Sinigang na Hipo
– Adobo Kang Kong also.
11. Where are your recommended travel spots and places to hang-out in the Philippines with your family and friends?
I love our access to museums! There are so many museums, not just in Manila. I am partial to Pinto Art Museum, the National Museums and Quezon City Experience. I love the mountains of Antipolo. I recently ventured to Masungi Georeserve and couldn’t believe the unreal beauty. That place is a treasure. Rizal has so much to offer and is so close! I also love anywhere near UP Las Banos. The Makiling Gardens are a sight to behold and don’t miss the dairy on campus. Just a short ways away is San Pablo which again, is another treasure trove. Lake Pandin, Cafe Lago, the 7 lakes, so much to explore!
12. I am sure you know a lot of Tagalog words and phrases by now. Can you give us one Tagalog sentence for my Filipino and non-Filipino followers to read?
Mahal ko ang Pilipinas! Iniibig ko ang Pilipinas!
Hay naku si children!
13. I think you are adorably cute, haha! Lastly, can you share with what is your inspirational mantra in life?
It changes but lately this part of my journey has been to focus on the good and find the everyday magic.
Thank you Amber to showering a ray of sunshine with your positive outlook in life and finding joys in everything you see. I wish you more fun and adventure in the Philippines.
For more of Amber, check out her blog: Amommabroad.com and follow her instagram: Amommabroad.
If you are an expat or know any expats who are interested to be featured, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.”