I live in a world around people who live incredibly simple lives. People who could settle with having dried fish, rice, and perhaps adobo and sinigang (Filipino dishes) for their meals. People who live in non-extravagant homes, and refuse to live with any form of luxury (kaartehan). Sometimes I walk out and see them working hard at the junkyard just near our house, or at the computer shop next door playing computer games, or mostly playing basketball, shirtless out in the rain. I see this old man each morning sitting in front of his house just up the neighborhood. I see mothers taking care of their children, buying ice from us often times.
I wonder what it would be like, to live completely simple like that, where money’s barely enough yet the people find ways for hope and fun.
Last Saturday I went out to the city. A 3-hour bus ride away from home, it wasn’t everyday that I went here in this area of Metro Manila. There was a book fair, and I saw the thousands of people.. looking attractive, holding high-end DSLR cameras, and iPads. I saw children who looked smart and spoke in complex English, gorgeous men and women wearing and looking their best. Tall chinese fathers wearing coats and ties. Guys wearing eyeglasses, carrying some thick books toward the counter – books they would read to improve their knowledge and their way of life.
It wasn’t the usual sight from my neighborhood. I wonder what it would be like, to live having a lot of opportunity like that, to have resources more than enough to be able to do what you want and more..
Two completely different worlds. And I like to think that I stand from afar, observing from a distance. I was never completely the former nor the latter. I know what it feels like to be in some of both worlds. And I wonder if both these worlds have a cosmic gap between them… Is there a cosmic gap?
Because if there wasn’t, then..
Maybe the kid around my neighborhood wearing the same sleeveless shirt sorting out scraps and the kid on this learning program advertisement at the fair who could add two 8-digit numbers with just her fingers could meet one day, give each other a hug, and say,
“Hey, we’re both humans. We’re in the same world. You’re my ally and I’m your friend..
We may be living different lives but…We’re in this together.”
What would it take for these two worlds to meet? Would the world be a better place if both did?
Just my thoughts on a foggy five-in-the-morning.