THE GOOD LIFE

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

During the wake of my father, a longtime friend and a neighbor came.  He just arrived from Uganda where he was an OFW contractual worker for almost 5 years.  He was architect-engineer and assigned by a US firm to certify if UN assisted infrastructure projects have been completed.  It was a rewarding job except that he was always on the field right where the local community resides.

It was a near shocking, almost shuddering experience for him.   We had a very interesting conversation.

“Kamusta pareng Ador ang buhay OFW?”

“Naku, pareng Ven, hanggang hindi ka makarating sa ibang bansa, hindi mo talaga mamahalin ang sarili mong bansa.”

“Mukhang matinding bansa yung napuntahan mo yata, sa Africa ba yun pare?”

“Pareng Ven, ang mahihirap doon ay talagang mahirap.  Kung ikukumpara mo mahirap dito sa Pinas, and poor dito  ang pinaka middle class na nila doon!”

“Buti hindi ka kinain doon Pareng Ador!”

“Hindi naman Pareng Ven, hehehe.  Alam mo pare dito ang pangarap ng mahihirap ay magkaroon ng sariling bahay, pirmis na trabaho, maayos na pagkain.  Doon pare, hindi ka maniwala, ang pangarap lang ng mga tao ay magkaroon lang ng kulambo!”

“Hahaha, tangina naman pareng Ador, baka naman sa ospital ng may sayad yung napuntahan mo!”

“Hindi pareng Ven, talagang ordinaryong community yun doon.  Walang makain ang tao doon kundi rasyon na galing sa gobyerno na puro munggo lang.  Ang langaw dun kasing laki ng ipis natin.  Kaya kung ang isang pamilya ay kakain o matutulog dapat nasa loob ng kulambo.  Grabe ang kahirapan doon.  Dito sa atin, ang pulubi kahit paano mukhang mabubuhay pa, doon pare, talagang naghihingalo na!”

“Sabagay pareng Ador, ang mahirap dito tumambay lang sa palengke, may pang ulam na, makakakain kahit paano.  Pero dun sa napuntahan mo grabe pala ha??!!”

“Ay sinabi mo pa!  Kaya nung lumapag ako dito sa airport natin, yun unang poste, poste yun pare ha, niyakap ko na kagad ng maiigi, iniyakan ko pa na parang kamag-anak, at sa paghagulgul ko, sinabi kong hindi ko na iiwan ang poste!”

It was a harrowing exposure especially for someone like my neighbor who virtually grew up in a community where being poor is a matter of choice and not as a destiny.

It dawned upon me the consciousness that indeed the “good life” is there in our own community of orientation.    It is there where not only relatives but friends can easily be accessed.  Well, at this point, distance is no longer a factor as it was in the past.  There is FB to rectify the loose ends.  And it means not only the good life, but a better one.  So rejoice!

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About vjtesoro

A perpetual student of Corrections

Posted on August 8, 2016, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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