“Wala na akong mga pantalon, kaya nakabahag ako ngayon”, (“I don’t have pants anymore that’s why I’m wearing a loin cloth”) Rigor said when he reported for work post-typhoon Nona.
He quickly glanced at his buttoned-down Hawaiian shirt and bahag (loin cloth) and let out a hearty chuckle.
I was expecting him to ask me for pants or money to buy one but he didn’t. He simply happily worked the whole day in his bahag (loin cloth).
“How are you and your family?”, I asked.
“Naglagay po muna ako ng trapal habang wala pang pampagawa ng bubong.”, (“I just put a plastic cover in place of a roof since I don’t have money to have it fixed right now.”, he answered). Then, he immediately went back to his task as though it’s perfectly ok to have a house with no roof. Like Rigor, he did not ask me for anything nor did I hear a single complaint from him.
Then, I went to where my father was working.
How many trees were down?, I asked him.
“More than a thousand”, he replied.
“Looks like, we won’t harvest any rambutan this year”, I commented.
“We’ll plant again.”, he reassured me.
“How long will it take to bear fruit?, I asked.
“In 2 1/2 to 3 years.”, he answered.
“That’s a looong time.”, I gasped.
“Well, if you think that way then you’ll never farm. Just plant, dear. Before you know it, they’re all big trees."
Rigor, Lino & Papa- they’ve just gone through the worst storm to ever hit the farm (and El Nino before that) and they simply stood up, brushed off the dust and moved on.
While I was busy asking questions, they were planting again- pants or no pants.
meditation by Release Your Wings
P.S. PAOT Disaster Risk Reduction and Response is collecting donations for those affected by Typhoon Nona and Onyok in Samar, Mindoro and Sorsogon.