When people become gifts-A A +A
Sunday, August 12, 2012
We started on an early morning trip to the ecofriendly Aloguinsan Farmhouse. Bonding with three married daughters is always a special gift from God.
The people we first met at the farmhouse were Boy, Eric, Lyn, Lit, and Vicky, all so welcoming and eager to make our brief stay pleasant. My daughters opted to walk the extra 200 meters to the river to take the Bojo River cruise. Knowing that the terrain wasn’t smooth, I preferred to avail myself of the farmhouse tour.
Eric Longgakit, a very knowledgeable young man on farming, told me things I heard for the first time. Actually, the farmhouse was a smaller version of councilor Archibald’s House of Nature. I saw rows of ready to be picked eggplants, tomatoes, etc. Among these rows I gasped in wonder at the beautiful yellow flowers with very bright purple centers. When I asked Eric what they were doing in a row of vegetables, he said: “That’s the okra. The minute [the flower] closes, it becomes the vegetable which we eat.” I couldn’t help my quick answer: “What a pity! The flower is so attractive. It looks like a large gumamela."
What also caught my attention were the very clean, playful pigs. They were cavorting in the natural environment—the soil. There was no cement floor. It seems that when they are given everything natural including special the food concocted by Eric, there are less casualties. They rarely had a problem with pig ailments. They enjoyed being touched by me.
The next pen, however, posed a "problem" for me: Huge goats with very thick horns. They were hybrids. Eric urged me to feed them and to scratch their foreheads. The problem was that the horns looked so intimidating but I didn’t want to show Eric that I was afraid. I picked up some fodder and then I touched their foreheads.
It was love at first touch. I didn’t want to leave their pens because each goat wanted to be touched. My bubble burst when I was reminded that they were just after the food.
When my daughters came back from the river cruise, all ecstatic about the scenery, the glow on their faces showed that Boy had given them an enjoyable tour. The buffet was so enticingly attractive. They told us that every dish was prepared from homegrown items. Lyn, Lit and Vicky surpassed themselves particularly in their salad and dessert. The juice we had consisted of passion fruit, tanglad and lemonsito. It was super delicious.
The next stop was at Club Fort Med in Boljoon. It was another beautiful experience. The waves crashing against the seawall spawned by the aftermath of typhoon Gener lulled us to a very restful sleep. Before I retired, though, I looked up and saw the moon emerging from the clouds with a lone star in tow. I thought of Tina Unchuan who would have loved to capture this in a painting.
Waking up at dawn by the sea is an experience I wished every one could have. The waves were still stubbornly crashing against the strong seawall. Actually, I asked myself: “Are we like the waves, too, banging ourselves at the thick walls of difficulties and rushing to the shore of safety when our deep waters of life are troubled?”
We left very early for Tanawan to see the whale sharks. I was looking forward to this trip. The people at the beach were so informative and helpful. We were briefed on how to behave with the whale sharks. As soon as they circled our banca, I was speechless with awe. My daughters, strong swimmers, jumped off and I wanted to get into the deep waters myself. Sad to say, senior citizens like me just have to accept that there are things we no longer can do.
As I watched the huge whale sharks come close, I had mixed feelings. Deep in my heart I knew that man shouldn’t mess with their feeding habits. However, I also knew that the people in Oslob are very careful and gentle with them because of their thriving livelihood. Personally, without this tourist attraction, I would never have been able to get so close to a whale shark. I had the urge to touch them because they looked so docile as they expected to be fed. I knew, however, that we must not touch them. In awe I marveled at God’s handiwork. Like the poet Charles Lamb I too asked: “Did God who created the tger create these docile sea creatures, too? Then very humbly in gratitude, I bowed my head and said, “Thank you Lord for creating us all.”
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 12, 2012.