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A Filipina girl in Bulgaria and how snow can bring joy

Her name is Rita Sanchez Yordanova but everyone in Kozloduy calls her Filipina. Why? Because she is the only Filipina in this small Bulgarian town on the bank of the Danube. She is also young, beautiful, with waist-length hair and full of curiosity. She wants to get to know her new homeland as well as possible. She has even made her own vlog where she uploads videos of her experiences in Bulgaria.

Rita arrived here two years ago with her Bulgarian husband. She recalls her first impressions: "It was autumn and the Philippines is a tropical country, we don't have four  seasons. And I really liked everything! The nature, the houses, the churches were exactly as I remembered them from the children's movies. And I said to myself - this is a fairytale country!"

At first, however, she admits that she had a difficult period because of the language barrier. Today Filipina Yordanova speaks good Bulgarian, lives in Kozloduy, loves to walk along the banks of the Danube and even travels around the country alone. "I like watching people on the train read a book. This is not common in the Philippines. Well, your roads need repair, but the people are friendly. They keep asking me questions, they want to hear my story."

And her life before she came here was definitely not a piece of cake, she says:

And drawing comparisons between Bulgarians and Filipinos is inevitable. "You are very independent people! Our culture is entirely family-oriented. One always has to take into account the opinion of relatives, even at a later age,” she says.

Besides, in the eyes of Rita, Bulgarians are workaholics and very active people. Bulgarians are constantly doing something and they love to travel, so they are always busy. This, she says, explains why, when they sit at the table, Bulgarians  become really chatty - something that is absolutely unacceptable in her culture. It seems to be the only time Bulgarians have left to talk to each other, she says.

Apart from being a vlogger, the beautiful Rita  is also a very good cook. She admits that she loves Bulgarian cuisine. She mastered the art of making traditional Bulgarian things like banitsa, lyutenitsa and yoghurt. She likes Bulgarian spices, such as savory and cumin, which are not found in the Philippines. And yet, what has been her most vivid  impression of Bulgaria so far?

"The most exciting experience here is the snow! My first contact with the snow! I spent 30 years of my life in a tropical country. In my country, people travel to Korea or Japan just to be able to see snow. But I did not have that opportunity. So here in Bulgaria, I experienced something indescribable," she says.

To enjoy the little things in life, to love, to be grateful and humble. This is the life philosophy of the young Asian woman who has found her happiness on the banks of the Danube, on the other side of the globe.

Author Veneta Nikolova

Photos: courtesy of Rita Sanchez Yordanova

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