Musings of a Mountain Girl: Humor and Lessons to Ponder

by Maricel

I’d rather go mountaineering than go malling.

Primarily because I used to be a mountain girl (and still consider myself one). I could go bask in the sunlight on top of the mountain while enjoying the scenery, serenity and the exhilarating feeling of having conquered the summit of the world. That overwhelming feeling, the experience, is priceless! No other place could entice me into trading that worthwhile experience for a month-long shopping spree (make that year- long, and I’ll think it over)… The good old memories of my childhood life in the mountain still captivates me up to now.

I’m scared of worms… than of snakes.

Whenever I saw snakes, I normally just shoo them away. In cases however with highly venomous snakes,  most of the time, I would do the running (not much of a problem for a mountain girl like me actually). But, if it happens that I meet a worm or see a caterpillar on my way (never really got used to seeing them anywhere whether on highlands or in plains), I’d lay dead flat on the ground and die of heart attack, most probably.

I can live without a cellphone.

In an era where technology manipulates people’s lives, it is uncommon to live and be like one of the Flintstones. But I am proud I am.

We never had that gadget before (while living in the mountains). It’s a good thing that I’m not addicted to it. However, when it becomes inevitable and I am required to use one, I make sure I won’t get too consumed by it. Actually right now, I’ve learned to enjoy a little luxury by extending my monthly load allowance from 20.00 to 40.00 pesos in a month. Now, that’s what I call penny- wise. Haha! (A mountain girl does not need too many luxuries in life.)

I don’t wear heels. I go for flats instead.

Since I never get used to it, period. (It would have been terribly difficult going on the mountain in a red stilleto, you know). Ha!

I am a fish head- eater fish-head eater.

Sounds terribly barbaric? Well probably to most people, but there’s an explanation to it.

As some may have known, I came from a not-so-blessed-to-have been-provided-with-food family (apparently because dear parents wanted to prioritize our schooling… increasing our budget for food at that time would have to mean decreasing our chance to get proper education. Am just glad they made the right choice). So every single piece of food we have on our plate (even if it may not look like food to some) is worth of a good feast (especially if it’s eaten with our own- harvested root crops like camote, camoteng kahoy and apale while on top of the mountain, the moment becomes heavenly!)

Oh yeah, almost forgot about fish heads. They actually were left overs from our previous meals. Normally when you eat fish or daing (bulad), you eat its meat first, so what remains after would be that part near the head. Eventually, we took those fish heads as viands whenever we ran out of food. Time after time, that experience became like an obsession we no longer can get rid of. Consequently, I, we, ended up loving to nibble the head than the meat itself of the fish. Yeah, I know it’s gross! Sorry… (If dogs and cats can talk, what would they probably say?… Glad that they can’t.)

And oh, this just formally affirms me as a sister of my brothers. Oh, we’re kindred spirits!

At twenty-seven, I still sleep with Mother, most of the times.

Would that make me a Mama’s girl? Well then, perhaps.

Since we never had much time while growing up because Mother was busy finding means of living with Father, and just to keep up with those lost moments when we could have been together but have to allow to be deprived of some opportunities to share time altogether as a family, while I still have the time to show Mother that I do need her in my life, I’ll stay, sleep and cuddle on her side… like the child I used to be. The child in me, after all, is still in me.

With the advent of new age technologies, thought and lifestyle, maybe I am one of the few (rare) people who would still prefer simple living. Simple living in the sense that you don’t allow these modernization to consume you (entirely and in every aspect). I am not against changes per se because I believe every single opportunity for change is also an opportunity to do better things, things that last a lifetime, like the feeling of having to finish one mountaineering challenge. Newer gadgets, highly- convenient amenities become the fad of these days but there’s nothing more like the experience of having to savor and adore the world and all its magic in its purest form, with your own pair of contact lense-free eyes, don’t you think?

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