Friday, April 3, 2009

Lens of Peace

I was so excited to finally able to see and discover the place my close friend has been talking about. I only met her for few months. Yet, the brief encounter had opened up a whole new perspective and candidness. Most of our conversations would always go back to our deeply-rooted past in the indigenous era. Both being born in a generation where everything seemed so primitive and basic; we definitely had a spur of connection right away. We were so much thirsty of the new challenges and adventures and yet, we kept coming back to old, golden memories in our home town.

I was so amazed at how slow; quieter, more remote her place had been compared to the island where I came from. She told me we’re going to walk 2 miles to get to the river and hopefully we could catch the small boat that would take us to their locale. I don’t even see any houses along the way. Oh, this is something fun, I thought.

We arrived at the river and apparently, it’s only a 10-meter wide and probably deeper. There were only few houses in the neighborhood and it’s covered with coconut trees. It’s pretty stimulating and very peaceful.

Her Mom was so excited to see us and quickly introduced us to the relatives. The kids were swarming around us a few minutes later. They were all so excited to go diving in the river.

“Are you coming with us tomorrow?” one of the kids asked. “It’s going to be fun!” they all shouted cheerfully.

Oh, that was so striking. I couldn’t believe B’s friends are all so excited to see her. She was asking for some updates and they were talking like they had established a closer bond and her being their Master. The kids most likely were only 8-11 years old!

I awoke the next morning with the roosters’ cock-a-doodle-do and the kid’s laughter outside the house. I haven’t checked the river and so I was so thrilled to be part of the group. Although it was a little awkward going out with a bunch of kids. Much to my dismay, the river is a little muddy. There were a few Moms doing their laundry, some clothes were dried on the rocks and a few carabaos lying sluggishly in the warm water. I felt like I don’t want to get in the water, looked so nasty to me. But I don’t want to insult my friend nor ruin the kid’s excitement.

They were all screaming while they do their tricks and talents on diving from the high cliff and from the trees as they stretch themselves unto the river. They did some acrobatic sling on a rope that bounces back and forth before they free themselves and jump with the matching yell like Tarzan or madman. I thought that was so amusing!

“Oh, she doesn’t know how to swim”, my friend told them hysterically. “What? But she’s already big, she should know how to swim!” one kid said sheepishly.

All of a sudden, I forgot all about the dirty water and the smelly carabaos that are swimming a few meters away from us. I was so embarrassed by such innocent comment of a 4-year old who evidently can do better things than me.

And if there’s one thing so memorable about that summer vacation, it is the experience and the immersion as I engaged myself to a different standpoint, unique lifestyles. I had developed a lifetime appreciation of looking beyond. I have come to understand that people sometimes act or behave according to what their environment had trained them.

My friend is one of those intelligent, classy and brilliant persons I’ve met and it’s a little sad to know that her parents didn’t seem to realize it.

11 Grateful Heart's Words:

Shinade said...

What a wonderful story to share with us Shawie.

I can just imagine what the trip back must have been like after living where you do now.

My old home town roots aren't quite that primitive but still compared to growing up in Dallas the trip back always amazes me too.


Mharms said...

What an enchanting place Sha. Makes me miss home :)

Census (aka Cen aka June.S) said...

Simplicity and no frills has got advantages too. Peace from traffic and noise plus people who know and care about each other, not just strangers who pass each other and never notice.
It sounds like a little oasis of calm.Thank you for sharing it!

The Fitness Diva said...

Looks and sounds absolutely gorgeous!

Alicia said...

You are so right Shawie about appreciating others different cultures and unique lifestyles. So much of how we behave and see the world has to do with our upbringing and our environment.

I think it is so wonderful when we can open our minds and appreciate the beauty in every culture.

BTW Kid's are great for telling you exactly what they are thinking, don't you love it! (Hey it got you in the water at least.)

It looks like a very beautiful place you visited and the people sounded just as beautiful. Take Care!

George Serradinho said...

Sounds like you had fun, maybe you go soon for some time alone. I always feel relaxed after going to my uncle's game farm, seeing all the wild animals and not having the hectic lifestyle of the city.

Don't worry about the swimming thing, you are never to old to learn something new.

Jena Isle said...


This was a nostalgic post for me , because I had lived as a kid too in the hinterlands of Kalinga.

Rivers, coconut trees and muddy fields were once for me too.

Thanks for sharing.

thirdworldgeek said...

Why don't come visit your home in the Philippines this Holy week? As the saying goes" there's no place like home"..:)

Chronic Chick Talk said...

Such beauty. Beautiful is something God gave us that doesn't cost a cent and its a priceless gift just as kids are too.

Chronic Chick

Salute said...

Sound like you had fun in this special little place.

zunnur said...

From your story and the picture, I see that you really had a great time.

"I have come to understand that people sometimes act or behave according to what their environment had trained them." - very well said and very true.