The Annie B Chronicles: Hello Baliwood
The adventures and misadventures of a ‘not so average’ Pinay trying to make it in the cosmopolitan city of Dubai.
Travel opportunities come only once in a full moon. To be able to see new places, learn new cultures and meet different people – especially cute boys – are the things I’ve always dream on. So when my boss ask me if I can accompany him to our company’s Global Conference in the world-class resort island of Bali. – without battling my eyelash I quickly said Yes! Libre na, may bayad pa! I get to work while being on a holiday trip – it’s like hitting two beards with one’s tone. Dizzizit, Annie B. goes globe-strutting!
I felt something was wrong the moment I entered the Business Lounge (Yes! Naka-jackpot!), everybody was wearing shorts and t-shirts and snickers. I was in full-Working Girl outfit – pin-striped suit with matching stockings and four-inch steeletoes outfit – hitsura ni Dianne Keaton sa outfit ko. I notice that, except for this group of Koreans, everybody inside the Business Class Lounge were in casual clothes – hindi naman Safa Park ito ah? These people should learn how to dress up properly. Business class kaya dapat naka-business outfit di ba?
An hour after we boarded the plane, I began to feel ankshoes. My boss was already in deep’s number and my seatmates looked snobbish. So I sneaked to Economy class and looked for other Pinays to chat with. Lucky for me, Manay Puring, the lady who sells pirated Tagalog VCDs in our neighborhood was in the same flight on her way to her annual vacation to the Philippines. Maricar, my cousin’s gay manicurist all of a suddenly came of the labratory. Chismisan Session na itu! It felt good to be in the company of my kabayans as we exchanged stories and laughed at jokes while killing time abored the airplane.
At last we arrived in Bali, and went straight to Legian Resort. I was thrilled again because I got to stay in a 5-star hotel. After unpacking my stuff and preparing my boss’ presentation materials, I quickly slipped out and took a tour of the island resort. Well, well, well, what can I say? Bali is a wanderful place – it is clean and the hotels and resorts are all world-class. The locals are very friendly – too friendly in fact. I thought I could buy a pair of Bali shoes – it turns out I had the wrong brand name in mind. But the beach – can I just tell you – the beach is not that fabulous. It’s not even white sand – with lots of rocks and gigantic waves, I wasn’t able to emote and do my Rachel Lobangco Shhboom projection. I was wondering why Bali is so popular in the world because walang sinabi ang beach ng Bali if you compare it to our very own Boracay.
The Annie B (Batobalani) Chronicles: Hello Baliwood
Sayang, we only had a few days to stay in Bali – and then back to the sandpit again! As I waited for my passport to be stamped at the Dubai Airport, I look back at the things that I saw and people that I met during my trip. I have seen very high-class places and sophistication people, but I’m more happy that I met other kabayans. Can you image if there were no Pinoy OFWs around? Kahit baduy pa sila or super ingay, or kamukha ni April Boy Regino – we’re all kabayans and we should be happy and proud of our own. We should all have that great Pinoy spirit. Kasi whatever anyone will tell you – iba talaga ang Pinoy!