Rainy days severely limit commerce and economic activity in The Philippines. With Super Typhoons, everything comes to a halt, government and schools suspended. This is a chronic problem for the Philippines economy but acute for the millions of Filipinos who operate micro-enterprises, called tindahans, out of their tiny houses.
Travels with Myself
A Journal of Discovery and Transition
Doug Jordan, Author
Science now explains thunder and lightning, and even how life began, but the fundamental questions remained. But because the mind abhors uncertainly it prefers magical thinking to the horror of the abyss. Religion gives people comfort, and who can blame them for that.
As much as it irritates me, many Canadians seem to love the eponymous national holiday, or have never thought about it. But it is awkward sounding and uninspiring to my mind. Scroll through google and see how many other countries name their national holiday after itself: I can only find two others: Australia and Russia! And the way broadcasters mindless chirp ‘Happy Birthday Canada!’ is enough to make one nauseous. Talk about an unserious country.
Even though only a 15-year-old self-absorbed teenager, I had become politically interested and got caught up in this national debate. My instinctive preference was the Red Ensign, mostly because, as Canadian of anglo heritage, indoctrinated with British history and pageantry, I liked the Union Jack and its inclusion in the Ensign. In any event, I liked this new Pearson Pennant and I urged my mother to make my/our preferred variant of the blue borders flag so we could fly it and thus show our preference.
Jeffrey Mason, whose book ‘Dad, I Want to Know Your Story’ which has inspired the writing of my auto-biography, invites the journalist to list the critical events of the year of one’s birth, in my case 1947, but I think this is a bit empty because in 1947 I was pretty much oblivious to what was going on at the time. It may have been a significant year to my parents but are just entries in a history book for me. More significant I think would be my formative teen years, 1962 perhaps. I would have turned 15 that year.
May 9th was Election Day in The Philippines, and Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos was elected in a tremendous landslide over his closest rival, Leni Robredo. Since then the alarmist reports out of the Western press, and echoing comments to me, now an apparent expert on Pilipinas affairs, have been distressing, and to my mind, insulting to Filipinos.
[Dad] used to watch the ponies running at Fort Erie Racetrack of a sunny summer afternoon in the early 1960s when we lived in Welland Ontario. A few times he took me with him. No doubt for him an afternoon at the track represented a business expense entertaining a customer, but to me it was pure excitement, especially to stand by the rail and see those thoroughbreds thunder by.
I was born on August 27, 1947; at 5:00 pm, I was told, just in time for dinner. The source, of course, was my mom – I’m not sure my dad ever told me anything about my birthday, nor much else about my life, as we shall soon see.
The most compelling difference [between Canada and the Philippines wrt covid consequences] is how significantly more damaged the Philippines economy is and the adverse affects on the people. … For all of this, Filipinos in general are not complaining
When I arrived in Philippines March 4 (and survived the bureaucratic storm of documents – both print and electronic) and was driven to our modest resort hotel in Dasmariñas, I was struck by the heavy traffic and claustrophobic congestion, even though only 6 o’clock in the morning. It was just like the last time I was here, pre-pandemic, in 2020. But somehow different. The country is tired.
What has been the response to covid-19 protocols on Philippine society is something I hope to uncover during my visit to The Philippines over the next few weeks, and see if there may be similar disruption to social cohesion as there appears to be in Canada. Stay tuned.
Even though we’re not quite out of the pseudo-apocalyptic fear period, one can see a light that looks like freedom. And I’m not talking about transport trucks, just a small beacon pointing the way to a time of more choice, more options, and hopefully, more tolerance – more like the ‘olden times’ normal.
I can return to The Philippines and bring my asawa back to Canada. I should be happy.