Thursday, April 17, 2008

Where Do You Live?

Kahlil Gibran said on the “The Prophet” that your house is your larger body. It grows in the sun and sleeps in the stillness of the night.
In a tropical country like Philippines- it is very convenient to have a house made of Nipa or palm leaves or grass. It is, as the name implies, a hut, raised a few feet above the ground, sea or mud and constructed out of bamboo tied together, with a roof using dried grass. They were once the first houses of the Philippines before the Spaniards arrived. I liked the simplicity of its design basically because it’s very comfortable place to relax and stay. It provides very good ventilation and are made from very inexpensive materials. It is actually a basic shelter for the common Filipinos.

As you see, it is very different from a carpeted floor. It is pretty easy to maintain like for instance- after you eat your meal, you just have to let the leftover grains of rice pushed through the holes on the bamboo floor, lols! At night, since the silence is so maddening, you can just let the window open for some airconditioning, lols! Well, that's true. It's safe. Oh well, who will bother to steal your charcoal-coated pan anyway?

I still remember one time we had a big typhoon. Since we live in an island, it doesn’t have too much of covering from the strong winds. After a day of extremely cyclonic, powerful winds and torrential rain; most houses were devastated- leaving most of the residents a broken, messy house. It doesn’t have enough support and because it is easy to build, it’s easy to destroy too. One thing for sure that instill in my memory at that time was the true spirit of bayanihan. People help each other restore and build their houses again. Or even literally help each other carry the whole house to another location. The four large poles requires a lot of people. It is where the community members volunteer to help a family move to a new place.

4 Grateful Heart's Words:

emanrais said...

I love your story, indeed. We both have a lot of such similar close cultured. Rice, carabao, nipa or pondok in our country. A hut of bamboo construction at sawah or paddyfield and huma or grassfield. With babong of dahon rumbia or coconut leaves. It built 1 meter above the soil. Except for that simple grounded mud oven heated by burnt of small braches of dead trees. This was my pavorit hut during my childhood in village arround the city of Jakarta in 1950's. My pavourit food usually such hot sof rice, with simple fresh vegetables broth, baked salted sundried small fish, and fresh raw grunt chilies, tomatos, redonions with salt and fermented shrimp cake. Bayanihan spirit? Cant found in Tagalog dictionary, but may we called that spirit as gotong royong. That like how the ants work. It was such agrarian community spirit. Voluntary at social work in their community. They work not for wages but in appreciating food, drinks and talk together. What an awesome for a take me home. Salamat kaibigan.

emanrais said...

Watching this highrates bayanihan. Some people picked up and move a whole bamboo house were rare, and at my age I believed never saw such amazing thing like this even in Jawa or Sumatera Island before. But a gotongroyong when an house were erected until finished. I get something in my mind, may I copy this pic and put as a header in my htpp:// It was a familytree blog. It would be valueable for a bayanihan spirit. Thanks indeed if possible, shawie.

Salamat said...

Yes, those were the days, Emanrais :) here, the organic foods are more expensive... most foods are all processsed already :(

emanrais said...

Yeah, that was our warm and loving motherland. Organic food not only to eat but for our grief too. Then touch and procced the canned one. It's just a food not a glory. Long life our bayanihan, shawie. Pic look great in there. Thanks indeed.