Sunday, April 19, 2015

Malaysia: A Month in Review

Tomorrow, Malaysia and I will celebrate our monthsary. The past 30 days are brimming with new experiences but just like any other relationship, we've been through a few rough times.

It is difficult to live in a place where I need to look to the right before crossing the road because the traffic rules that I know are a complete 180 than what is followed here. It is depressing to not have sinigang, munggo, or dinuguan every time I eat out for lunch. There is no suking tindahan where I could buy an Ariel for Php7.50 . Also, I have to speak English all the time.

But looking through the tiny inconveniences, Malaysia has been interesting. I have learned how to use a fully automatic washing machine. I am now an expert in using chopsticks and is highly tolerant of Capsaicin. I do not have to worry about having cyanide in my milk tea because teh tarik a.k.a. pulled tea is the national drink.

The Greatest Lesson

I am a foreigner in this land and the fact that I am not a Muslim pushes me deeper in to the minority. To recognize this fact doesn't make me feel unsafe or afraid, instead I see an immense opportunity. I am more than eager to learn and devour this rich culture in front of me.

Respect for the country that is now providing me a living and requiring me to pay a low tax rate. Respect for the citizens and their magnificent motherland. Respect, the greatest thing that this country taught me.

Love is my Religion

Part of the reason why I decided to accept a job here is that I want to work in a multicultural environment, and indeed my team is a melting pot. I am exposed to different cultures and I get to meet people with experiences, beliefs and life stories that might be unacceptable and unusual in the Philippines. 

I think the most amazing experience is every time we talk about our religion. Muslims sharing their views about pork, dogs, and Friday prayer, a Hindu intricately describing his god and a happy Christian who will be on vacation leave for Christmas season because she is the only one who observes it.

It is beautiful that no matter how different our beliefs are, we are still able to speak our mind without judgement, that no one is trying to convert anyone to anything just because they think their belief is the superior truth. We respect each other that whoever our God is, we could co-exist and enjoy our lunch peacefully. 

However, I noticed that we may have different cultures, religion and nationality but we all share the same thing. We all have this one person in our lives that we deeply love. The person who we dedicate our free time to, the one who could make us smile even if they are miles away. 

Love is in one way or the other related to religion. As Christians would say, God is love and with that said, Love is indeed my religion.



  1. Congrats for keeping your sanity in a month. I had a good and bad times here. Malaysia never ceases to surprise us. Still we're here celebrating our 4 years this May.

    1. Wow 4 years, sana tumagal din ako dito ng maraming taon. Hope to see the both of you here po. Pasabit sa mga travels nyo. :)

  2. Beautifully written post! I understand what you're feeling because Dubai is exactly like that - a melting pot of different cultures, languages and religion.