Sunday, July 15, 2007

40 Kilometers from Siniloan, Upland Region


I crammed into a trike along with four other people (my co-workers and her two kids and a mutual friend from the neighborhood) to visit a friend living in a two-story Nebah hut near kilometer 40.

The hills are so steep, we had to let the trike's engine rest a few times because it was working so hard to get us up the hills. My co-worker's 12 year old daughter and I walked up one hill that seemed impossible for the trike to climb with all 5 of us.

As soon as I saw Sylvia's house, I thought this is for me. This is the life! She lives in a two-story nebah hut (a house made of weaved bamboo with a thick roof of long grass). There is a vegetable garden, chicken coops behind the houses and a pig farm on the far side of the hill. There's also a rest house cross a flowered pathway where people can rest for mid-day naps. There is also a dirty kitchen, or outdoor kitchen inside.

It was so amazing to sit there in the misty rain, rocking back and forth on a swinging bench and look down at the deep ravine of ruffled banana and fringy coconut trees below. It was so “malamig” there. A relief from the heat of the lower land region of Siniloan...And so cool and quiet..There were no trikes whizzing by constantly, no people or music blaring...

I think that I'm getting old. I'm becoming so intolerant of noise lately. Maybe it's because quarters are so close here and there is no privacy so the noise and people are everywhere. I know that sounds bad. I really enjoy the people but wish I had a I could go that was kind of away from everything...

I wish my house was more remote so I could not be easily disturbed. The truth is neighbors, old neighbors, students and old host family members have taken it upon themselves to just drop by on a random weekday night unannounced. This is pretty common and I expected it just not so frequently. I'll get used to it, right? I'll miss all the attention and interest and generosity when I return to the US. I hope that the Filipino sense of close knit families, generosity, consideration of others before themselves, constant positive attitude and smiling face rubs off on me. I like how positive and agreeable people tend to be here...I think that positive attitude, hopeful spirit and open generosity with all people is something the US could use a lot more of.


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