Wednesday, March 8, 2017

THS SUNNY PHILOSOPHER by Salvador D. Flor, Ph. D. | Do you not yearn for the good, old days?


PEOPLE, the older folks, have every reason to feel nostalgic, to yearn for the good old days. Those were the most beautiful time of their lives. Life was simple and quiet, the music dreamy, the climate ideal, lawlessness as rare as the summer rain.

What people had pleasantly experienced in those heady days is noticeably absent today Today’s youth are exposed to drugs and other harmful vices. Want is a constant companion. Joblessness has driver people out of the country.

If these things existed in the past, they were not so nightmarish, so horrible. There were no dreaded vigilantes, no rebels, no abusive cops, a little of bloodbath, a little of monte and other card games.

In the countryside, people went to bed with windows open. There is nothing to fear. The night had strange sounds. But they were the sounds of insects serenading their mates.

Complete strangers were looked up as long lost kin. They were served the best food and if they stay for the night, the only bed in the house would be theirs. The cold bamboo floor became their warm bed.

People were happy showing the beast of their hospitality.

In my barrio during a fiesta long ago, a stranger who said he was the don of a datu, strayed into a neighbor’s. Our neighbor did non inquire where he came from and what his name was. He was politely told to feel at home, to partake of the rich food.

The villagers believed that angels sometimes came to visit families to test their faith. Simple folks, they trusted in the goodness if human beings.

I knew of no instance of strangers seeking for a night’s lodging who were turned away. There was always a warm bed for everyone.

There is really much to yearn for in the old days. The prices of basic goods from rice to sugar to salt were within easy reach. Even the poorest did not have an empty table. There was always something to fill the belly.

A ganta of polishes rice was no more than half a peso. Rice corn was 15 centavos per liter and candy, five pieces of it, was one centavo. With P100, you could take home a cavan of rice.

It was an idyllic life for the poor.

The restless youth in the barrio, however, had found life boring. During the summer vacation, they had little things to. I was still small but I could feel the unease. Luckily, some enterprising adult men offered to give the youngsters guitar-playing lessons in exchange for few bottles of ginebra, local known as Marka Demonyo.

In the northern Catanduanes town of Caramoran, oldsters who terribly missed the music of yesteryers, spent hours at the town plaza enjoying the orchestra music. The much-loved ballads were that of the American greats like Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis, King Cole and our very own Diomedes Maturan.

The years have changed many things. Today’s music is labelled as noise. Crimes are frequent, cheap but quality goods are no longer available. The benign weather has turned vicious. Typhoons and floods and earthquakes have become common.

The planet has become inhospitable. And man, who has been given dominion over the earth by his Maker, has developed more appetite for violence.
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