The Beauty of Simple Life
By Apolinario Villalobos
The most beautiful people in the world are those who live the simplest life….that is my own view. For me, beauty is the essence of life and if it becomes complicated, it could no longer be considered as such. To sum it up, simplicity is beauty.
Beautiful people are just around us and I have encountered one in Buluan, Maguindanao. I contracted the guy who drove a pedicab for a couple of hour and as I found him to be trustworthy, aside from the tip, I also bought cookies for his kids and a kilo of fish for their dinner….simple gifts that I could afford. I was touched when he told me with utmost gratitude, “sir, sobra-sobra na po itong grocery” (sir, these grocery items are too much). The guy who eventually became like a brother to me, considered the cookies from the bakery and the fish from the wet market as precious groceries and which for my friend were special gifts, especially, because the Ramadan was closing. Unfortunately, for many people, only items at SM Supermart and other big outlets, that should be overflowing out of grocery bags are “GROCERIES”.
While I was on my way to Baseco Compound in Tondo, one early morning, two years ago, I stopped for a mug of coffee and a pack of Skyflakes cracker at a sidewalk carinderia for breakfast. While I was about to open the cellophane wrapper of the biscuit, a scavenging couple and their young kid of about 4 years old, stopped by and asked for a glass of drinking water from the carinderia owner. As it was not yet 7AM, I presumed that they have not taken anything yet to warm their guts up. They could have just hit the road as shown by their empty plastic garbage bag. I invited them for breakfast of coffee and Skyflakes which they declined but due to my insistence, they sat down. I opened the biscuit wrappers for them as they were hesitant to pick them up. The woman shared her Skyflakes with her husband and their kid while carefully inserting the two packs in her soiled and dirty backpack…she did it as if she was doing a ritual in handling a fragile object. The Skyflakes crackers were treated with special care as they would probably become the family’s lunch for the day. I was almost moved to tears upon hearing the kid repeatedly say, “sarap, sarap” while munching bits of biscuits with much care.
When Jesus bid his disciples goodbye, the farewell fare was unleavened bread that he broke into several pieces to be shared by everybody. Wine which could have been limited in quantity was passed around. It was a special occasion that initiated the series of events leading to the spiritual salvation of Christians for generations to come.
Today, occasions can never be considered “special” if it is not held in expensive restaurants, five-star hotels, or resorts, with the expense that should run up to almost or even more than a million pesos!
Life in this world has greatly become complicated!….an ugly reality!