A wandering soul in a village in Phillipines

Mesmerising Phillipines

 Author of the Article: Devyani Chauhan

Although not exactly a people’s person by nature, the thing that strikes me the most when I visit a new place is actually the people who make that place seem unique to an outsider.

While some give you wary glances, some only smile, and the rest seem indifferent to your existence while still, some make you feel as special as a celebrity! I try to look into their faces, sometimes a little longer than a glance and a little short of a stare, to dig into their features as if that will help me reach their soul.

While we manoeuvre our way through the narrow lanes of a shipping village in the Philippines, we come face to face with what I would call simplistic humility. Nothing but bare essentials of life adorn the little huts of these villagers, but the smile on their faces remain warm and contagious. Guided by nothing but a torch light in spite of a bright sunny day that fails to reach the insides of this little hub, we reach the road to see more civilisation. While teenagers make a style statement in their funky attire, children in all sizes and shapes are urged by their mothers to walk a little faster. A scene not peculiar neither new, since it almost felt like I was in my own country among my own people had it not been for the faces of these people with their tiny eyes and shiny skins, their round faces with toothy grins and a carefree gait.

We share a common language to exchange pleasantries with the locals, but although our accents differ we still manage to convey what we want to say to each other. The sign language comes to our rescue. In the midst of nodding heads and waving hands as a mode of communication, and smiling at the confusion, we move on into the city.

Getting to know the people
Getting to know the people

The picturesque beauty of the place took a backseat while I explored the city among throngs of its local inhabitants and their myriad expressions. Greeted by a ‘Good-morning apo’ when we entered shops in the local market or a big mall, had the most distinct ring to it. Their eagerness to assist in the best way they could help me shed off the last grain of the little apprehension that I carried within. Isn’t it always the people that make you feel when you visit a new place? It’s the way they receive you that can make you feel at home and accepted. How much would the beauty of a place matter if the people it constituted were unfriendly I always wonder.

For me, the essence of a place is always in the clan it comprises of. They are the ones that can make a trip memorable and worthwhile, for in their warmth and smile they give you a part of them that you carry forward in your heart as mementoes of a lifetime, as I will do when I depart.

I will take with me some cherished times, only to look forward to another pasture, another time and another race.

 Author of the Article: Devyani Chauhan

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Tanya is a graduate in Sociology from Sophia College, Mumbai, a post-graduate in Communications and Media from SNDT Women’s University in Mumbai and holds a Master's Degree in Journalis & Mass Communications from Chandigarh University. A former writing mentor and a seasoned lifestyle writer, Tanya writes columns on The Lifestyle Portal of life and living.

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