Average

boracay 050
When I visit a scenic place like the Philippines' Boracay Island, I often wonder how the people who live here can take it. Do they ever get tired of looking around them? Do they drink in their surroundings the way visitors do?


boracay 101
I wonder if they realize you can probably count on one hand the number of places in the world where the sea is this kind of crystal blue. Or that you won't find sand this white or this powdery-fine anywhere.


boracay 081
Do they know that what is just an average sunset for them is an experience that inspires other people to write sonnets and paint pictures? Do they know that people pay a lot of money just to see it?

Do they know how lucky they are to live in a place filled with so much beauty? Perhaps living with it every day dulls their appreciation. Or more likely, in a country where over half the population lives on an average of $2 per day, the harsh realities of everyday life, filled with poverty and hardship, saps their strength and fills their attention until there's no time left to appreciate what's around them.

So I get why women wake up at dawn to pick Boracay's white sand beach bare of seashells, or send their men to hack off a piece of coral off Boracay's coast. And I get why a villager in Kenya would agree to work for a poacher and help him trap elephants, or why a farmer in Brazil decides to slash and burn sections of the Amazon rainforest. Because whether he appreciates the beauty of the things he is destroying or not, he appreciates the survival of his family even more. I don't condone it, but I get it.

If we in the developed world stopped collecting ivory jewelry or rare seashells, or if we were less dependent on livestock that required large areas of open (and around the Amazon, deforested) cattle, maybe the poachers and exporters and importers would have to find some other way to make money. And they'd stop recruiting poor people to do their dirty work. And if the developed world could help these people develop some other, sustainable kind of livelihood, they wouldn't have to choose between feeding their family and destroying the environment. Until then, they'll just have to go about the business of staying alive, without any regard to their surroundings, without stopping to smell the roses or see the sunsets.


Feel free to leave links to your own Photo Hunt entries below. And for more averages, click here.

Share this :

6 comments, leave yours here:

ewok1993 said...

i get it too.

jams o donnell said...

What a beautiful place. I suppose if you live there you will take such a beautiful place for granted a little. Great take on the theme!

RM said...

What a small world. My family and I went to Boracay early December of last year; I even have similar pictures to the ones you posted. Your first picture is very similar to ones I have in my collection. So similar, in fact, that the blue sailboat in the distance is in my pictures as well!

But on a more serious matter, I get what you're saying. I saw the poverty on the way there from the airport, as well as on the island itself. The Philippines is rich in natural wonders but unfortunately is poor in everything else. It's unbelievable and disheartening to think that the people of Boracay can't even enjoy their own beaches without first surrendering them to foreigners or, like us, balikbayans with foreign money. Boracay is the perfect example of the rich and poor living side-by-side in the Philippines, and how foreign currency is the driving force of the economy there. I hope things change for the better with the upcoming election, but I'm not holding my breath.

Doreen said...

Such a lovely place!!

Asianmommy said...

What beautiful pics!

Heather said...

Beautifully written. I couldn't agree more. If anything it reminds us to respect others and their ways of living and not to take anything for granted.