A vicarious life?

Recently, an email from my parents contained this line, “Every day, you have something new to tell us. But here back home, every thing is so routine.” At that same period, WC, one of the readers commented that I’ve been living life vicariously.

That got me thinking… am I really living an exciting, vicarious life in Taiwan?

I remember, the last time I went back to Manila, I met up with my best friend. She’s currently taking up medicine, already in her second or third year of medical school. We’ve been best friends since high school. That’s a long time.

She updated me with her life.

For her, nothing much has changed. Her daily life consists of taking care of her grandfather, and going to one of the cafes and studying.

Every week is always the same. “Araw-araw, ang toxic (Every day is toxic),” she shared.

She also told me that she was interested in a Starbucks barista, but because he was not Chinese and had an unstable job, she merely limits herself to longing glances from afar.


Because she doesn’t want to do anything that would embarrass her family. Her parents only had one wish — for her to marry a Chinese man — and she wouldn’t try something out because she loved her parents enough to obey their wishes.

My God.

I love her like crazy and I’d do anything for her. But please, whose life are you living for? You have only one life to live… can you not live life in a way that makes you happy?

The heck with what your parents think… WHAT DO YOU WANT?

But then again, I understand.

Living in the Philippines, where people knew who you were… and who your family was… it is inevitable to follow the dictates of society. You don’t have complete control of your life. You’re at the mercy of your parents’.

Hence, you may think you’re free… but you really are not.

And because of this, in order to keep sane, we deceive ourselves into thinking that we’re really happy, even though we acknowledge that we are always yearning for something more.

Thus, comparing to her, my life in Taiwan was so much exciting. She was awe-struck when I shared with her stories of my Taiwan adventures.

At that time, I was going out with my Japanese then-boyfriend and spent most of my time hanging out with my Japanese pals. I remember, we used to go shrimping and KTV a lot, and stayed out late drinking and telling stories. It was also at this time when I started going clubbing, which was a no-no back home.

No “nice” woman goes clubbing regularly.

I agree… for the most part, clubbing is not a “wholesome” activity, but I also believe that one should have fun and live life fully. If you haven’t tried, you’ve gotta at least try it once.

So here I was in Taiwan, wasting my life in all the revelry, just eating, drinking and having fun… doing nothing really productive (except working full-time), but I was happy and content.

Sure, I knew these adventures did nothing for my future (I mean, my best friend would be a successful doctor in a few years time), but hey, I was having the time of my life!

This made me think… which is better?

It then made me realize how much I’ve changed since I’ve arrived here…


For example, these past few months, because of the organization I’m in, I swear, my social calendar’s totally packed. A couple of weeks ago, on Thursday, went to the Oriented Happy Hours, and on Sunday, we went hiking at Neihu, Two weeks before was the CCPN Happy Hours and goodness knows, what activities we may have. Two Saturdays ago, we had a barbecue/pool party while last Saturday, we ventured on a day trip to YinGe, Taiwan’s pottery center.

Love-life wise, you already know of the guy I’m happily and almost-seriously seeing. Boy, I think I’m content being with him right now. Plus, some complication from Mike-Vibe who has recently called me from abroad. He has sent me an email last week telling me he wanted us to have more contact. Some guys have shown interest, but they’re not doing anything, so I’ll just worry about them later. As of the moment, I’m just happy being attached.

Sure, my heart has been trampled and hurt and my life’s a regular emotional roller coaster life, but at least, I’m putting my heart out there instead of merely sheltering it.

I think love makes life more interesting. 😉

Work has been pretty busy. I’m swamped with work everyday, and frustrated on how some people can be so incompetent. But am adjusting to it quite well, and looking around for areas of improvement.

Every week, there’s always something different to experience. And mind you, this doesn’t include clubbing anymore. Because of the company I recently keep, we’ve been trying to abstain from clubbing. It’s smoky and a waste of time. Hence, we’ve successfully abstained from clubbing for three weeks straight now, save for last week where we had to attend a friend’s birthday party at Room 18 (You’ve gotta attend bday parties!).

Now, if I go back home, my life will be in order. I won’t get to experience the emotional roller coaster ride I have right now, and if a guy screws me over at work, I have enough influence to do something about it. I’d definitely work for one of the top multinational companies (I believe I’m qualified) and outside work, I’d stay at home and be a good daughter. I’d accompany my parents wherever they go, and do the “right” things.

This means, no drinking, no staying out late, no dressing up….

Boring… boring… BORING!

A couple of years after, I’d find a nice Chinese man who has a good family, has a stable job and is willing to settle down and probably, at the prodding of my parents, marry him and have kids. Of course, I’d have to find a guy with the “right” qualifications, lest I embarrass my family reputation by going out with “unsuitable” men.

So am I living life vicariously? YES!

Not the super-duper wild life as you guys may think… I’m still pretty conservative.

Hmmm… compared to what life is supposed to be back home… hell yeah! DAMN RIGHT I’M LIVING LIFE TO THE FULLEST HERE!

So which is better?

Life in Taiwan, or back home in Manila?

Do you need a genius to figure that out? 🙂

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3 thoughts on “A vicarious life?

  1. Life is always better when you’re away from you’re real home. It doesn’t have to be Manila.

    Clubbing is kid’s stuff, even if you stayed till the wee hours of 6 AM. Going home with somebody you met in the club, that’s a totally different ballgame 🙂

  2. I totally agree with you! I was an exchange student in Japan for a year, and I got to do things I certainly would never have been able to do in the Philippines. Life is really different when you’re out of the country you’re not being held back by fears of what people might think about you.

  3. Paoyu and Mary, yes, the problem comes when you’d have to go back home and say bye-bye to freedom. Gosh, hope that doesn’t happen soon!

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