Author Topic: Heartbreaking/touching/inspiring experience that made me really appreciate Phils  (Read 206 times)

Offline cicliste

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 8
I was in Cebu last week and I had an experience that was both extremely poignant, more than a little unsettling, but honestly renewed my faith in the human race.  I met a young lady in Cebu and we talked, her English was good, and had dinner and so forth.  College student at some tiny school out on Mactan Island.  She is tall, beautiful, and neat, but more than anything just exudes boundless enthusiasm and goodness. Two months this side of 19.  Side-splittingly funny and a former beauty pageant participant and did some of the poses for me and her self-intro speech and I almost fell off my chair laughing. 

She asked me if I would come over to lunch at their house in Cordova before I left.  I said sure, why not?

Well, first of all it's a long long taxi ride from Cebu to the never-never land of Cordova, on the extreme end of Mactan. Doubly so in the driving rain.  Tourist country, this is not.  We met at a nearby landmark, then she grabbed my hand and walked me through a labyrinth of the most downtrodden and poor homes and inhabitants I had ever seen.  Tiny alleyways filled with mud in the driving rain.  Roosters everywhere.  A really old man peeing right out in a tiny little square because there was nowhere else -- and she introduced him as some sort of great-uncle or something, can't remember.  She waved into all these horribly depressing little houses and said, "that's my cousin so-and-so" and they all flashed back big smiles.

We got to her house.  Absolutely diminutive one-room house but neat as a pin.  Her mom and brothers had been waiting for me and had made a nice lunch and were super psyched to have a guest.  The five of us had lunch together and the girl fed me every bite, putting her non-fork hand under my mouth like a couple that had known each other for years.  There was a large poster of her in one of her beauty contests -- the mom was obviously super proud. 

They were easily some of the most gracious hosts I ever knew.

Then I realized: the house has no electricity or plumbing. _None_. They have to go down the street to the bathroom. Mother and daughter live in a bunkbed on straw mats.  Apparently the boys sleep on the hard floor.  The house is pretty much open to the elements -- there's a roof of course but lots of open spaces under it.  It's exactly what we would call a camping cabin in the USA. 

They never asked for a single thing.  When we were done with lunch, I chatted with the brothers and mom for a while and then I had to go to the airport to catch my flight. We left and waded through even more mud (since it had been raining hard for a couple hours more by then) and totally stark abject dirty poverty.  This girl had a huge smile and bounce in her step and held my hand tightly the whole time.  She yelled for her cousin to give us a trike drive to a taxi, and we did.  She accompanied me to the airport and gave me a giant hug and smile. 

And that was that.  But it seriously moved me to think that such a flower can bloom in the starkest of stark slums.  The Philippines has definitely touched my soul. 

Offline Gray Wolf

  • Sr Member +
  • Sr Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 4,921
Ever wonder how these people clean themselves when using the toilet? If you were stunned when the previous girl's sisters ate using their fingers instead of spoons or forks, wait until you find out how they clean up after using the CR.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tabo_%28hygiene%29
Louisville, KY USA

Offline codefreeze

  • Sr Member +
  • Sr Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 116
Ever wonder how these people clean themselves when using the toilet? If you were stunned when the previous girl's sisters ate using their fingers instead of spoons or forks, wait until you find out how they clean up after using the CR.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tabo_%28hygiene%29

I'm a big fan of the tabo. I use one at home. I even used to use one at the office - had to use the disabled loos though. I could never go back to just loo paper - nothing beats a nice clean bum! Sorry probably too much info!  :o


Offline Gray Wolf

  • Sr Member +
  • Sr Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 4,921
I'm a big fan of the tabo. I use one at home. I even used to use one at the office - had to use the disabled loos though. I could never go back to just loo paper - nothing beats a nice clean bum! Sorry probably too much info!  :o

A good tabo pail was one of the things I insisted on bringing home to the USA with me from our last trip. Works wonders. Takes a bit of practice but once I got the technique that works for me I wondered why more people don't use one. I've never felt so clean
Louisville, KY USA

Offline Hestecrefter

  • Sr Member +
  • Sr Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 233
Many years ago my first Filipina gf said to me, on that delicate topic:  "Most white people don't wash; they just use tissue.  It's disgusting honey."

I have not used tp since, at least not in my own home.  I have always felt cleaner and I have probably saved a few acres of trees from being felled to make all that tp, which gets flushed into our waterways.  I feel a bit superior every time I see someone slugging home from Walmart or wherever that 48-roll megapack of tp they got on sale.  They should save their money.  Hard to find a good tabo in Canada, mind you.  Very few sold anywhere.

Tabo at timba para sa akin habang buhay! (Dipper & bucket for me for life!)

Offline iamjames

  • Sr Member +
  • Sr Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1,056
My GF said to me a few years ago -
"If you get dog s*** on your foot do you just wipe it off or would your wash it off".  QED.   

Offline RUFUS

  • Administrator
  • Sr Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2,194
SO SAYETH THE RUFUS

Offline codefreeze

  • Sr Member +
  • Sr Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 116
Hard to find a good tabo in Canada, mind you.  Very few sold anywhere.

Yes, here in UK too they are not easy to find. When some friends came from Phils we wanted tabo as pasalubongs...they thought that was a funny request - we got three brightly coloured ones!  :D

 


bisaya, cebuano, cebuano lessons, bisaya lessons
Romantic Tagalog