Saturday, March 17, 2012

Philippine Notes: Bahala Na

Yesterday we were able to sleep in, and by sleep in I mean that our body clock still gets us up at 5 am or earlier but on this particular day, we finally had no more planes to catch. Getting up super early has its perks though, breakfast overlooking the Bohol Sea, morning swim in crystal clear water, morning yoga (for one of us at least) and a great walk along the beach. Following half a day spent relaxing, we then headed out to the wedding.
I come close to shedding tears sometimes during some pretty random occasions. Movies like Hitch for instance...don't ask. However, last night I was just one of many I think who were brought to the edge by what was a magical night. The wedding ceremony and reception was a marathon, starting at 2 pm and ending for us at 10 pm (at which time the party was just really getting started I think). The ceremony was held in an 18th century church in Dauis, which was an amazing setting for what was a 90+ minute Pilipino mass (fans handed out). Following the ceremony, we headed back to Amorita and the party began and for all I know it is still going. The food was amazing, gigantic prawns, marlin, squid, pork of all kinds, and more traditional Pilipino desserts than I could count. Every speech or toast was eloquent and everyone seemed to be an entertainer, singer, or dancer, with wedding attendees from literally almost every continent as we met people from Chile, Netherlands, Turkey, Minnesota, Brazil, Bangladesh, India, Australia and of course, the Philippines.
1. The Philippine people have a Tagalog saying called Bahala Na, or "Leave it to God," or "whatever will be will be." In a setting like this, one can easily see how this type of approach to life works.
2. Coca Cola signs are everywhere here, just like Johannesburg, South Africa actually. It's almost like everyone has opened a small shop next to their house, covered it in Coke signs, and then given a nickname to their store. You cannot turn a corner without bumping into Lucky's, Bong Bong, Angels or Tubag's corner store. They are everywhere.
3. I have seen at least 5 or 6 people walking either goats or pigs down the road with a leash made of rope. Most of the goats here are really small and it is common to see either a single goat or cow in the backyard of a home, idly passing the day.
4. Simple things like seeing a starfish in the water for the first time, stumbling on a mountain of coconut shells or watching a local guard shush away a stray village dog from an 18th century church, these are the types of things I want to remember and why I love to travel.

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