There was a research article a couple of years back, which was posted about on LinP3. In conclusion, Filipinos are among the happiest people in the world.
We have friends and relatives who many foreigners would deem as being poor. However, these Filipinos do not consider themselves poor at all. It is basically a family commune with a number of relatives living on the same land, sharing for the good of everyone.
They live in rural areas that are not overcrowded, not polluted and a chicken being stolen is considered the major crime of the week. Seriously.
Fishing in the pristine mountain springs & mountain streams, in nearby rivers provide sustenance. Several types of Perch and Eels are usually the Catch of the Day. The people grow a little Rice, Corn, various other Vegetables, Coffee and Fruit trees are abundant. There are yard chickens running around, free range, and there is always a pig or 2 being raised. Large amounts of money are not required and everyone is happy everyday. One relative visited us last year and it was the first time he had been to Bacolod in well over half a decade, by his own choice. My mother in law is not happy in the city. After a one day or two day visit, she is antsy getting back on the family farm in the countryside.
Living a laid back, slow paced life without stress is something more foreigners could learn and appreciate. That was my lifestyle in Southern America.
In some respects, a number of areas in the Philippines can be compared favorably to Disneyland. In a different sort of way but with similar themes.
We spent the night down at the farm last night and much of the day on Thursday. One of my favorite cousins had a wedding planned. I do not show favoritism but Liezel has gone above and beyond being friendly with me and making me feel welcome in the family. She is a fabulous singer who can easily sing in professional bands.
The night before Thursday’s wedding, I made a large pot of Chili. We have a home Karaoke System and it was used until after Midnight.
The wedding was held in a not so far away town in an Independent Catholic Church…Iglesia Filipina Independiente. The Wedding Reception was held at the family compound, where 4 or 5 families in that particular clan live. Before the reception kicked off, two different relatives proudly took us on a tour of their new houses. Both houses are concrete and one house in particular was very impressive, built for around P600,000.
Family raised goats, ducks and a pig were the main fare in the Wedding Reception and all were excellent. BBQ Duck, Goat Caldereta and Lechon. I only eat the Lechon Ribs and that is the part of the Pig I received.
The Uncle of the Bride tends our cattle and we recently added two white Brahman Cows to the herd. They are not scrawny, looking very good, and the Uncle has taken very good care of our cattle for over 9 years.
Appearance can often be very misleading. Down in the boondocks rural areas and simple houses may appear to be the grounds of people living in poverty, however, our relatives consider themselves extremely blessed and well off in Life. In reality, they certainly are!
I hope to see you one day, somewhere…all around Bacolod.
~ Gary ~