By Huang Yung Hsiang, Eric
I guess I have never lived a healthier life than my first week in Guimaras, Philippines; sleeping at nine, waking up at five in the morning has been a common practice for me here. The reason why people in Guimaras wake up so early might have a lot to do with the climate here, which makes me sweat all the time like I have just finished playing basketball for an hour. Especially after 6 am, when the scorching sun rises, it would be extremely tiring to do any household chores. Therefore, my host mother, Risa, always wakes up at around 4 in the morning and by the time I am awake, the breakfast will always be ready on the table. Risa has been treating me like his fourth son besides Do-do, Do-don and her one-year-old cute little son, A-jay. Talking about people in Guimaras, I would describe them as a little bit shy but extremely generous to foreigners. Take Do-do and Do-don as examples, they seldom respond me with more than three words whenever I tried to initiate a conversation with them but they are willing to lend me their precious motorcycle and even let me occupy their bedroom as my bedroom for the whole month. In my opinion, I think it is very impressive because imagine that you are a teenage boy and suddenly two stranger coming from another country just come and occupy your room and at the same time take away your favorite toy, you will definitely hate them! However, I did not see any kind of anger or unhappiness from their eyes and it truly amazed and impressed me.
Do-do and Do-don also made me reflect on myself a lot. I remember all I had to worry about when I was in their age was my school work. I did not need to work in a store to get an extra income for my family, I did not need to serve as the driver of my parents and never did I have to do the laundry for the whole family. I thought I knew there are many people in other parts of the world having a much tougher life then I do. However, not until I actually see it did I realize how lucky I am to be able enjoy what I am given now. I suddenly understand that what I thought I had achieved was nothing worth bragging at all. I should learn be more humble and cherish everything that I have now.