By LI Shi Lin June
Black and white. If let me define Hong Kong with colors, I would probably say that. Because clear rules are orderly custom in citizens’ life. But when it comes to Philippines, it is not that obvious for me to make a quick conclusion, for my life here is colorful with such various possibilities.
On last Monday, when I finished my daily work with my business partner, which is not as smooth as I expected, I decided to sit on the blench on the plaza to watch the beautiful sunset to relax and refresh myself before going back home. However, my peaceful routine in Philippines was suddenly interrupted by a call from my best friend in my hometown. And I soon knew that there was a dramatic incident has befallen her family that may result in failure to continue her university studies, while me, as her only and best friend since our births, staying thousands of kilometers away from her, could not offer any help. I felt sorry for her so much that I kept the call and cried until 6 o’clock, when there was already no tricycle for me to go back home.
When I was desperate, one friendly man whose name is the same as mine offered me a ride. At first, I thought he was just also on the way home, where is near to mine. But after we arrived, he told me that he would come back to the plaza again, because his family were still here waiting for him to hang out. Then I realized that he intended to drive me back home. What touched me most is what he said afterwards: “I am also one member of the host families, and I am afraid that you may encounter some dangers crying alone in Jagna at night, so we keep close to you and we must help you safe home, and to help you is my honor and privilege, please don’t pay me.” Though I insisted to give him 20PHP and asked him to buy some drinks for the kids, he still refused, which ultimately made me cry again.
Gone may be our days staying in Philippines, but their goodness of heart and purity of spirit of nice people I met here will never fade in my mind. It is they that remind me of the fact that, whenever you are concerned about others, others are also concerned about you.
Orange family love
We live with Lea’s family in the three weeks. It is really a big family with 14 members, Lea, Lea’s husband, their 4 kids and Lea’s mother. You may wonder who are the left 7 ones? They are everywhere in the house, they may sleep on your bed without your permission, they always want to grab one bite of the food from your plate, haha, yes, they are 7 pet cats who have stayed with Lea’s family for long. Living together for 2 weeks, we have already familiar with their different personalities. Three little cats always fight, but they will also lick each other soon after. Some bigger cats are fat and aggressive to rob the food from others, but there is also only one who is sweet to people, lying on your knees sometimes. It is the first time to live in family with pets in my life, and I fall in love with this lovely lifestyle.
The person that we communicate most in Jagna is Lea’s mother, who we also call her “Mom” because of her hearty and warm care for us every day. Mom is a great chef not only for her excellent cooking skills and creative dishes, but also for her considerate love for us behind the delicious delicacies. She changes the menu every day and always encourage us to eat more, just like what my mother dose in home. Her generosity and caring enhance my sense of belonging to this family and community. I am also inspired by her positive attitude towards life. In Hong Kong, we value making progress and lifting up. But Mom keeps a peaceful mind about everything in life, the death of her husband, her high pressure and maybe, money. She reminds me of one concept from ancient Chinese philosophy, “Dao”, which basically symbolize the spirit to live the nature of life to keep your inner peace. And I think this is exactly what we city students are lack of.
The sky and the sea here are both as blue as jewel, the trees and plants here are green like beryl, the mangos and bananas are brightly yellow, and the people here dye my world to red and orange, and all of those constituted my colorful memories in Philippines.