Saturday, 14 August 2010

Do It Yourself… Or Not.

(I am not sure why I chose the title. Just read the article then try to figure it out by yourself. Whew. Anyway, this is for one of my course, Social Science 1. I tried my best to make it formal and comprehensive, it's just that due to the limited time I have to work on this, it might be crappy. And it's all my fault. So.)


I’ve been in this community for as long as I can remember. In other words, I’ve been here since the day I was born. So, I think I have the right to say what I need should be improved when it comes to the welfare of this community. Opinions, suggestions, and other views for the progress of this district are always appreciated, anyway.

First off, there’s a reason why we have what we call a “neighbourhood.” Our houses aren’t located near each other just because there’s no other place to put them in. We live in one community because we have to help each other to be able to develop. We need each other to be able to survive. And we won’t be able to live normally unless we acknowledge the fact that we are a part of one group and that that group is essential for our survival. Because of the fact that we are now in the modern era, what we Filipinos call “bayanihan” seems to lose its meaning. I think the first step to be able to do something that would spur the growth of our community is to get to know each other first.

When my family and I moved here, from a place that is actually within the campus as well, of course I didn’t know anyone yet. The feeling of belongingness was a hard process. The new neighbourhood was so quiet. It was very peaceful. And it’s as if nobody knew anyone else. It’s as if no one else existed aside from his or her family and everything that is inside their house. My new place seemed boring. I felt like I didn’t belong there. Most importantly, I felt like the original residents didn’t like me to be there. Or they just don’t care.

That is actually the reason why I think it is important that people within a single community get to know each other. It is the primary step to be able to plan something more intimate for the betterment of a specific region. A simple welcome party or something for the new residents would do. Practices like sharing food from house to house would be nice. To be able to receive warmth, of course it should be given first.

After we work on tightening our ties with our other kababayans, planning on actions for development would be easier. I believe that it is easier to work with the people you know since you would be able to know their background and some of their preferences.

Now, what I like most in this community is the fact that the inhabitants know where to throw their wastes. They make it a point to make sure that there are no trashes anywhere near the vicinity. If ever they see one, the initiative to put it away is there. They want their places clean because they know that it mirrors them in a way. The residents know how to maintain their places and this simple act suggest that they want others to do the same. So even if we do not actually generate a plan to make the roads clean, each unit makes it known by setting an example. That’s why when it comes to environmental concerns, I don’t think my community has a problem with that. Now keep in mind that I am just talking about the area where I actually reside, not necessarily the whole UP community.

So anyway, I mentioned earlier how the people in my place seemed detach but is still mutually united in keeping the whole community clean. Compared to my previous neighbourhood, this by the way is also located within the UP Campus, this second place does not have the Flores De Mayo. I dunno why that practice is the first thing that came to my mind when the word “cultural” was brought up. Maybe it’s because aside from the connection it has with our history, I really love seeing beautiful maidens parading in front of me in their beautiful dresses. I never got the chance to be a “reyna” in the Flores De Mayo. Actually, I never got the chance to be in a FDM even if the role is only to hold an arch. I would have liked that! Haha. So. Every time I hear that some village near ours would be having one, I always wished that the adults in my community would gather and act on it. I want one too! By the way, I was in my first few years of high school when we set off for a new area. That’s when I realized that not all villages or areas in the UP Campus have events such as the FDM. I actually thought there was only one group of them and that they actually go around the whole campus to show off their beauty. Well then, I thought wrong. It was too late for me to realize that as long as I live where I do, I would never be able to see an FDM ever.

So. I want to change that for the younger generation. I fear that they would not be able to see girls dressed like queens or be like queens themselves even for a night only. This tradition used to be valued a lot. I believe it is a part of our history already. Right? Because it involves Spain and Christianity. And these two concepts has a huge impact on us Filipinos. It’s sad that little by little, it’s as if it is being erased in some of the communities here in the Philippines. Sad, because it is really beautiful, though.

Events such as that, whether cultural or historical, not only showcases the talent of the people but also binds them. It makes the bond of the people tighter every time a program like that is executed.

The only event that is being held in my community every year is a New Year’s party, which is also a year ender party. It happened every year and the fund that is being used is actually from the people of the community. The week before the actual program takes place, some residents responsible for the event go to each of the house to ask for a contribution. The people has the option whether they wanna give money, candies, or other valuable things that could serve as a prize for the games that would be played.

I can’t actually say much about the changes that should be done in my community that would make me feel satisfied. I like it the way that it is. I know the people here would be at an arm’s length if ever the time comes that I would badly need them. We might not talk everyday about the stuffs that are going on around the country or around the world but we know mutually that if ever one needs something from the other, all s/he has to do is ask. We are neighbours, anyway. We should rely on each other in times of need.

Whom else should we yearn for in times of trouble aside from the people that are closer to us? ##

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