By: Amanda LEONG Shu Yi
So, 19 days have passed and each day spent in Guimaras is a wonderful blessing to me. Being able to stay in Laktawan village in Nueva Valencia has not only enabled me to truly experience the lifestyle and culture of Philippines but also allowed me to redefine myself, my values and my goal.
In this fisherman village, I has the opportunity to go out the sea at 3.00AM to catch fish. It was pitch black when we departed, the waves were calm and quiet, and only the engine sound of the small fishing boat could be heard. After traveling to a certain distance, one of the three fishermen threw one end of the long lines of fishing net into the sea, and the fishing nets started to unroll. After unloading the fishing nets, our small boat traveled further and then stopped in the middle of the sea while waiting for the fishing nets to be loaded.
We had coffee and bread, witnessed the magnificent sunrise, exchanged conversation, and shared a lot of laughter. As soon as all of us were done with our coffee and breads, we headed back to collect the fishing nets and the whole process lasted for at least an hour. It was only when I tried to help pull the last 100m fishing nets that I realized how heavy, painful and tough it was to pull the fishing nets, The fishermen made it look so easy! Then, I has my thoughts running wildly at this moment while looking at fisherman, all sweat drenched, on the way back home.
At first, to be really honest, i felt really bad for them for the tough lifestyle that they go through. Al least the occupation of being a fisherman is deemed tough to me. I started to ponder that if anyone is given a choice nobody would choose the tougher way to live life. However, as I interact with them throughout the journey, I realized that my concern was unnecessary because they seem to be happier, more satisfied and stronger willed than anyone who comes from the city. I truly admire their spirit and I believe that such spirit should be something I hold onto dearly in the future if I ever get lost in finding myself
It was really simple, yet this particular experience has become my most vivid memory of the course.