By Kate Nan Tang.
Time really flies. I am writing this blog on the early morning of the last day I will stay in Guimaras, Philippines. Yesterday our host mother took her six daughters and us to the beach. It was sunny and the sea was clean and beautiful. We played ball games in the water. It was a lot of fun. But in a few hours we are leaving them, leaving Guimaras. This thought makes me feel sad.
I treasure my memories and experiences in this month. I will remember the boys sitting on the roof of a jeepni (a transportation tool, kind of like a bus) laughing and waving to me against the background of the gorgeous sunset.
I will remember the clouds at sunset time changing their color from gold to blood. And sailors at the harbor are talking loud and the food stands near the street are making toasted chicken, making this place seem kind and interesting.
(Sunset at wharf)
I like the moment when I get off the boat, the porter gives his hand to me and pulls me onto the land. I like to hold my host sisters’ hands. I used to be nervous about the racial and cultural difference between me and other people in the world. But now I feel with a true heart and willingness to communicate, I will be able to learn about people’s life in other places on the earth and what they are thinking about. It is not so good to regard others as “others” or to put people with a different thought on the opposite side. I feel we are the same. We are all relying on happiness, love and memories to live.
Guimaras is a place covered with jungle forests. Every time I walk by the road beside the forest, I feel peaceful. And I think about the 14th poem from Tagore’s The Gardener.
“The hut by the side of the water is shaded by an overhanging tree.
Someone was busy with her work, and her bangles made music in the corner.
I stood before this hut, I know not why.
The narrow winding road crosses many a mustard field, and many a mango forest.
It passes by the temple of the village and the market at the river landing place.
I stopped by this hut, I do not know why.
Years ago it was a day of breezy March
When the murmur if the spring was languorous, and mango blossoms were dropping on the dust.
The rippling water leapt and licked the brass vessel that stood on the landing step.
I think of that day of breezy March, I do not know why.”
(Cloudy sky in Nueva Valencia, Guimaras)
Since we are living in Lala’s house, which is built on the water, every time I stand in the wooden house, I think about the beautiful poem and feel that life is not elsewhere. It is right here. I live in my life and Lala, my host mother, will live through her life. Although the living condition in Guimaras is not as good as that in Hong Kong objectively, everyone seems to get everything from life yet through different ways.
(The two cats in the family)
We went to Mambukal Resort for two days. When I came back home, my host mother gave me a tight hug. At that very moment, I really felt it was my mother who was embracing me. I was moved. And I said to myself when I come back to Guimaras one day in the future, I will hold my kind host mother and sisters with my arms tightly.
Salamat Guimaras! See you again!