Last month I spent a week in the Philippines, visiting my relatives together with my mum. It’s been years since I last was there and yet in a way, it felt like returning home. Even though I don’t speak the local language, there’s this familial bond to my maternal ethnic roots that I grew up with. Most of all, I’m grateful I got to spend time with my grandparents.
Spending a Week in the Province
For the most part, we stayed in the province, which meant immersing myself in farm life. I visited the fields, spent my days watching the animals and saw harvested crops of corn and chilli being gathered and sold. I also spent a good deal reading but really, it was most refreshing to be freed from any form of responsibility for a few days. It was liberating to spend an hour observing pigeons, then another hour playing with the cats and yet another hour following around geese, ducks and chickens and decide that it was a good use of my time.
Farm Life, Fields and Nature
Of course, this isn’t how my relatives in the Philippines spend their days. They get up at 5 a.m. when the sun rises and go out to the fields for work before the noon sun scorches down on them. Life there is far from easy. But for someone who grew up in the suburbs and cities, doing nothing but soak up nature was indeed glorious.