Simple Life


I was born in the northern part of the country, where people enjoy living in the peace and quiet of the valleys. The place is abundant with nature's gifts- air so fresh, trees so green. It is so simple a place that I often wonder how people survive in its mere simplicity. Jollibee, Mcdonalds and other fast-food chains are two-hour drive away. Cable channels are limited to the country's dominant networks, some HBO, Star Movies, basically a little over 20 channels. There is no Lifestyle Network, which means no Rachel Ray, Martha or Giada de Laurentiis.

Good thing though, two years ago, Internet came to town. My dad's one of the first customers of Smartbro, and now a convert to Digitel's DSL. Instead of sitting endlessly or watching the day pass you by, you can now surf and chat. But since this is a simple place with simple people, only a few has internet connection. People here can get by with their everyday lives, working at the municipal city hall, public schools, or even working in those small to medium scale enterprises owned by big timers. Pay is of course, negligible, but they live within their means. Those who are flamboyant are usually those who have relatives working at broad and sending moolah for extra expenditures.

Despite all that, what have always amused me is the fact that people continue to live their life and to love their life here in this small town in the northern part of the country. Without complaints. Yes I admit I'm always complaining of boredom, of not being able to eat chicken joy if I'm craving for it. But I think it's part of life's simplicity. That sometimes we have to embrace life's simpleness to be able to realize that we need not material things and to always keep up with the trend to just be fulfilled. Instead of chicken joy, I can eat turon, banana que, ginataan/pinaltaw and other yummy local treats.

Life can indeed be lived simply, just how my dad has enjoyed living here all his life. And I admire and love him simply for that. Tomorrow I will again leave this small town of ours (that is after a two-week vacation) and perhaps be back again in four months or so. I will continue to love this town's simplicity, this town where I grew up and spent half of my simple probinsyana life.

See you again in four months, Cagayan Valley. Back to Manila and then back to graduate student life.

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