Expat Interview: Jane Reynaldo

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Name: Jane Reynaldo
Home Country: Philippines
Job/Industry: Spa Director, Mandara Spa at Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa
Other countries you have lived in: Kuwait and The Maldives

What brought you to Malaysia and how long have you been here?
I first joined the Mandara Spa at Sheraton Imperial KL way back in March 2008 as Spa Manager. After more than a year, again, I was promoted to Spa Director and then moved to Sunway Resort in August 2009. All up it’s been about five years now.

What were your impressions of Malaysia before you came? How have they changed, if indeed they have?
I first visited Malaysia in 2001. Back then all I knew about Malaysia was that it had two very tall towers! Malaysia had changed a lot, in terms of development and infrastructure and the traffic was not so bad then.

How easily did you adapt to living in a new country?
Malaysia is a lot easier to live in compared to the other countries I was in before. Maybe it is because I look like a Malaysian – there are times when I’m greeted in Bahasa as I walk into a department store or have a waiter try to take my order in the local language.

What are the three things you like most about living in Malaysia?
I love that despite it being a Muslim majority country, its people acknowledge and respect all the major races living here. The cost of living here is still reasonable and of course I love that there are so many public holidays!

How long do you think you will stay?
As long as I can. Malaysia’s future looks very promising and I find life easier here than being in my own country. I also love to travel and Malaysia had made it possible for me to do just that.

Name three typical weekend activities that you enjoy.
I love packing my bags, and taking the next flight to Langkawi, to enjoy the beach. I also love visiting Jonker Street in Melaka and getting lost in the crowds at Petaling Street.

Do you frequent any restaurants offering food of your homeland?
Not really, as one of my favourite things to do when I travel is to try local food. My parents are also great cooks so if I want tasty Filipino food, I just wait until my next trip home.

What is your favourite Malaysian food?
Nasi Kerabu.


What one memory will you always treasure when/if you come to leave Malaysia?
The people of this country. After being here for five years, they still amaze me in so many different ways.

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