Newly-discovered allergy medication

Itchy eyes. Endless sneezing. Scratchy throat. Irritated ears. Troubled breathing. And now, you can add “neglected blog” to my growing list of allergy symptoms.

I’ve been trying to figure out why this year’s allergy season is hitting me so hard. Why, I can hardly remember having any difficulties last year! What’s going on this year? Has the weather really messed up the plants and trees so much that their pollen output is going haywire? Maybe the air has more impurities, making things that much worse for allergy sufferers. Could it be that my backyard is somehow suddenly hiding an invisible forest of the maples, oaks, and birches?

It wasn’t until I spent some sick time organizing my old photo files that I realized the answer. It’s not that the season this year is worse—it’s that I have no point of comparison. See, last year around this time, I was somewhere else. Somewhere far enough from all the kinds of pollen that affect me.


Philippines 2009-0997

So even when I was visiting the house where I grew up, with greenery everywhere, I was fine. We still have all kinds of fruit trees growing: coconut, mango, guava, avocado, duhat, banana, atis, kaymito or sugar apple, chico or sapodilla. The grass was lush, the breeze was blowing, and not a runny nose in sight.


Philippines 2009-1034

And Manila is a city with construction going on everywhere. Dust was flying, tiny debris falling from great heights, fumes from diesel-powered machinery … but the only thing that bothered my eyes was the bright sunlight.


I went sight-seeing by the Pasig River, which is arguably one of the most polluted rivers I’ve seen. There was junk floating on the river, the stifling smell of water-logged garbage … but I never had to touch my inhaler.


Philippines 2009-1571

My cousin took me to visit one of the oldest structures in the country dating back to 1599, and it smelled every bit from the 16th century. It was musty, and I’m sure it wasn’t mold-free. The old stone smelled damp, high ledges were dusty, and there were rooms and hallways that could have used some fresh air. Not once did I feel the need to stifle a cough.


So, here’s my smart idea. And I just want to say, for the record, that this is purely in the interest of research into proven methods of immunotherapy. I’m thinking that from now on, before allergy season hits, I need to relocate temporarily.

All those in favor, raise your hand.



11 Responses to Newly-discovered allergy medication
  1. Elizabeth
    April 19, 2010 | 8:33 pm

    *raises hand*
    I totally agree! Looks like a wonderful place to relocate!

  2. JenniferA
    April 19, 2010 | 9:04 pm

    Oooh, I’m raising my hand too! My husband and I both noticed extreme allergy symptom improvement last year in Aruba as well. I’m all for season-long Aruba relocation.

  3. Divina
    April 19, 2010 | 9:14 pm

    I agree. I raise both my hands. :) I think I need to relocate too.

  4. Hannah
    April 19, 2010 | 9:34 pm

    Wonder why that is? I never had allergy problems in the Philippines or Brazil, yet I was in the countryside, surrounded by trees, farms, jungle, etc.

  5. thedailyclick
    April 20, 2010 | 6:16 am

    *raises hand*
    Can I come come with you? I’ve lived in the US for 23 years and never had allergies until we moved to Texas.

  6. karma
    April 20, 2010 | 9:22 am

    I don’t know, Hut. Sounds good in theory, but I’ve lived in virtually the same place my entire life and never been bothered by allergies. But this year, I found myself reaching for the daily dose of Claritin for the first time. Although I have tried to convince my husband that we should at least move to the beach somewhere here in New England because I’ve noticed HIS allergies seem sooooo much better when we are on vacation! ;-)

  7. Liam O'Malley
    April 20, 2010 | 11:14 am

    Funny thing how allergies tend to come and go as you age. This seems to have been the worst year in recent memory for most people I know but for me I have barely had any trouble at all (and I promise I’m not saying that to brag!).

    I’ve read recently that if you can get your hands on some locally made honey (like within 50 miles of where you live) and eat it regularly for a little while then through that honey you’ll build up an immunity to all the pollen that is around you. I’ve never tried this so I can’t exactly vouch for it, but it does seem to make sense – I’d be interested to know how successful (or not) it might be.

  8. Amy
    April 20, 2010 | 3:48 pm

    Florida never gets a break from pollen. And this year Everyone even visitors are complaining because we are getting slammed with OAK, GRASS,PINE and anything else you can imagine that might bloom. But if you need some warmer weather, come on down and have a visit. Its still too cold for the ocean swim, but we just were at the beach with a picnic and wading and watching the sun go down. It was for a nice evening to spend with the family. My little ones love the sand. BTW, us Floridians have to take allergy pills daily, year round, and that doesn’t always help when it gets really bad.

  9. jonah
    April 22, 2010 | 4:12 am

    Love your pictures of the Philippines. I have not been back since 1991.

    Btw, just wanted to point out that the link to the pioneer woman is misspelled. you have 3 e’s in pioneer.

  10. emily s
    April 24, 2010 | 6:48 am

    I hate allergies, and I’m so bad about taking my meds….
    I am SO in love with all of these pictures! Wow. Just wow. I’m jealous and now I really want to visit my friends in the Philippines!
    Hope your allergies get better soon! And I definitely think you should take that trip : )

  11. Maribel
    May 13, 2010 | 12:57 pm

    Your pictures and narrative are making me so homesick! The relocating during allergy season is a fabulous plan. Great blog site, kababayan.. :)

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I write, cook, play music, and make pictures. Not necessarily in that order. I was born and raised in the Philippines, and it shows. That means I eat rice with every meal, love my cousins like my own siblings, and firmly believe that avocados are best eaten with cream and sugar.

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One summer night in 2010, our house burned to the ground and we lost everything we had. This is the story of what happened and how life and hope can always rise from ashes.