I began watching Terrace House: Aloha State because Part 2 of Terrace House: Opening New Doors is still unavailable in Netflix. Before this, I also binged on Terrace House: Boys and Girls in the City. Now that I’m nearing the end of Aloha State, I can’t help but notice how the members can move in and out of Hawaii and Japan freely. And I am envious!
Take Lauren, for example. She left Terrace House in Hawaii to make a new life in Tokyo, Japan. Just. Like. That.
If it were someone like me, who’s from the Philippines, the move may not be so nice and easy like that. There will be an extensive list of documents to submit for a visa. There will be a lot of scrutiny about my life and background. I will have to prove that I am worthy of entering such a first world place.
Anna, too, left Terrace House to seek more adventures in other countries. Her reason was that she already experienced a lot of things in Hawaii. I suppose she means that she felt that it was time to move on. Again, I am amazed at how easy it is for these people to just pack up and leave.
And then there’s Guy who just flew in and out of Hawaii and Japan. If there’s a surfing competition elsewhere, say, Indonesia, he flies. Just. Like. That.
My middle class upbringing in this third world (developing) country molded me to be appreciative of, and familiar with, various lifestyles elsewhere. My experiences studying abroad also gave me a taste of what it feels like to live the first world (developed) lifestyle. But even if my upbringing, mindset, and sensibilities can possibly fit into a wealthy country’s, the reality of my nationality prevents me from pursuing that kind of lifestyle easily. That makes me sad.
As my Filipino friend who was also a student in Korea and I frequently talked about, we are highly skilled, decent, and hardworking people who desire a life that will make us feel human, that is, the kind of life where a trip to the beach or a walk around the park is as easy as 1-2-3; the kind of life where moving around, be it through public transportation or traveling farther, is not so complicated. But because we are not in the wealthy side of Asian countries and our nationality carries with it various negative connotations (even if we are decent people, really), opportunities do not come easily compared to wealthy Asians or Westerners with white skin. It was a time when we felt it was a great disadvantage to have been born Filipinos.
Watching Terrace House, I feel that the fact that the members can move around freely around the world is a privilege, a wonderful privilege, that they do not think of much. It is ingrained in them. They just get up and leave.
P.S. I’m glad that the countdown to Part 2 of Boys and Girls in the City is shorter now. If I’m not mistaken, it will be aired in Netflix on May 22. Can’t wait!