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Happiness

Ben Contreras .

“MABAW ra ug kalipay” describes people whose happiness is not measured by things that are luxurious or expensive. Take for example, travel. Some people prefer going abroad or taking a cruise. Well and good because they can afford it. But those who can’t can be happy with simple trip nearby.

Every time the family plans to have a reunion, the proposed venue is always somewhere outside the country. Ours is an archipelago with more than seven thousand islands. Surely, there has to be places more beautiful than what we see abroad. Not that ours is cheaper than going abroad, but it’s not about the cost but the beauty of nature which we are not lacking.

I belong to those “mabaw ra ug kalipay.” I don’t need to go far to find happiness. Being a lover of nature, I prefer to discover what we have in the province of Misamis Oriental.

Perhaps, it was purely on economics why I was not able to explore our province during my younger days. Now that I have what it takes to enjoy life in simple ways, I have to race with time to enjoy with my wife who happens to love sightseeing, too.

We did it first a few years back to Balingoan. We spent a night at Mantangale Beach Resort courtesy of a “brother,” Daniel Uy. This was followed by a trip to different resorts, big and small, toward Lagonglong.

Lately, with relatives from Cebu, we went to as far as Manticao, visiting all the known beaches and resorts. Aside from C Recort in Libertad, Blu Sand in Initao, Vencelyn and Elizaga beaches in Manticao, Seabreeze in Naawan, I believe there are more places worth seeing, not necessarily beaches but places that produce local products of arts.

For my wife who has been going through a minor health problem, the trip was rejuvenating. It made her feel alive in a sense.

Of course, having Filipino dish for lunch is something we don’t want to miss.

Oh, yes, I almost forgot the beautiful Initao Conservation Area. It was so invigorating to be under the cover of huge trees and enjoying the panoramic view of the sea from deep inside. It reminded me of a man-made forest in Bohol.

A land trip to Davao City is in the drawing board. It’s a wish I promised my wife so she could visit some old friends there. But doing so, it would offer opportunities to visit places we only heard from people who’ve been there before.

It’s never too late to chase your dreams and it doesn’t have to be expensive.

***

Are we in for more floods? The situation points to that possibility. A low pressure area threatens to become a big typhoon very soon. I can’t imagine the flood in known places and the traffic woes that come with it. It is a problem ignored for decades. Now that we have less open space and forests to absorb rainwater, less mountains to protect us from strong wind and lack of working drainage system, we all have to learn to live with it.

The Kauswagan highway is flood-prone. Nobody seems to know the root cause, not DPWH, anyway. How many attempts have DPWH done to solve the flooding problem? It elevated a portion of the highway, diverted the flow of water and now, widened the drain connecting to the river. The result is still the same.

At RER Subdivision Phase I, the floodwater has been entering the gate near the highway. The same problem is true at RER Phase II.

Can we say that we reap what we sow? Everything is of our own doing. Nature provides us with our needs, but we fail to protect nature. Sigh.

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