AFTER three weeks of living in Bailen I think I may have gotten the hang of provincial life. It wasn't that hard—I am a promdi. It should come to me naturally. I was born and raised in Southern Mindanao, where the malls start closing at 7:30 PM and most people are alseep by eight. Bailen, islands and seas away from where I was born, has its own charms, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to call it a home, albeit for a short time.
I will have to tell you these, for these consitute the most amazing things I've done thus far. That I have mastered the art of taking a bath at night, with icy water that makes me jump every single time I wet my torso, all this done inside a dark bathroom with a makeshift curtain cover as a door substitute. That I have taken on basketball—a sport I had otherwise considered barbaric—and played with children who cursed like sailors every time they missed a shot. That I have gone biking, thanks to the twelve-year old kid who couldn't say no to his village doctor's pleas. That I have read two story books to Gabriel, the four-year old in the house, and if anything good would ever come out of our sessions, I hope it would be that he would come to love and enjoy reading when he grows up.
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