Yesterday, when Feyma wrote about The Good Old Days, it was an article that I really enjoyed, and also made me think.
What did I think about? Well, I thought about the simple life. I also thought a lot about my wife and the kind of life she has seen, and how that affects who she is.
Sometimes, when Feyma talks about her childhood, it really enlightens me about who she really is, and how her life was so different than mine. Reading some of what she had to say yesterday in her article made me wonder… was Feyma’s life a lot like the life of my parents? The answer that I have come to when I ask myself that question is that Feyma’s childhood life was probably more similar to the life that my grandparents lived than how my parents lived.
Can you imagine going from what Feyma saw in her childhood compared to the life that she is living now? What a vast change! I know that in my case, although I’m older than Feyma (only by 7 years, though), my childhood life was nothing like what Feyma experienced growing up in the Philippines. As she described, some (perhaps most) of her friends did not even have running water, and had to carry water back on the way home from school.
When Feyma talked about using a charcoal fired iron to iron clothes, it made me think back, but not nearly so far! In fact, I only thought back about a decade when it came to the charcoal iron. A decade? Yes. Remember all of the Y2K fears back at the turn of the century. Everybody was scared that computers would choke on the new decade and basically shut down the modern world that we know. I can remember talking with a fellow back in 1999 or so, and he was talking about buying thousands of those charcoal irons here in the Philippines (yes, they are still being used in the Provinces), and making a big profit when Y2K wiped out electricity! I got a laugh when he explained his idea to me, but my laugh is even bigger now in hindsight.
But, seriously, whenever I hear Feyma talking about her childhood days and hearing about some of the things she has seen in her life. It makes me thankful for the life that I lived, but in a strange way it also makes me a bit jealous that I did not see the vast changes in life that Feyma did. I often wish that Feyma would open up a bit more about this part of her childhood and share it with our kids, because I am sure that it is something that would interest them greatly. Oh yes, the old stories of parents walking 5 miles (uphill each way) to go back and forth from school do come to mind, but in Feyma’s case, this is really fully true.
I have been to Patag, Sarangani, where Feyma grew up. As you saw, I shot the video in Feyma’s article. You know what? In many ways, life has not changed all that much. They still have kariton and use a carabao to pull the cart around. They still grow coconuts, make copra and live a simple life. Probably the biggest change out there, though, is that they have reliable (most of the time) electricity, and that has changed life greatly. Most people have water, but not all. So, life is improving, but in many ways the people out there are still left behind in many ways. They can travel a bit to go to the City and when they do that, they can see all of the modern conveniences. They can communicate with the world via the Internet. Oh, that reminds me of another great change that they have seen there. The cellphone. What do you think has changed life the most for people deep in the provinces? The Cellphone? Electricity? Water?
You know, from a large majority of foreigners like me who have moved to the Philippines, or plan to do so, one of the reasons that I hear is that they want the simple life. Yet, here I am living in one of the most populated cities in the Philippines. Not so simple, know what I mean. But, could I really handle living out deep in the provinces living a really simple life? Probably not. The peace and quiet would probably drive me crazy! I suspect it is the same for us all. Yes, I would like to embark on a simpler life than I am currently living, but not to the extreme that Feyma witnessed in her childhood. I doubt she would want to return to that either, though.
How about you?