My recent trip to Fort Ilocandia in Ilocos Norte was a wake up call on how challenging living an eco-friendly life could be. See, my cousin and I ordered some late lunch at one of their restaurants on our first day there, and we ordered it to-go (or take-out, a Filipinism). When our orders arrived, each dish was stored inside a styrofoam box. And of course, we had some plastic spoons and forks as well as a large plastic bag where all the stuff we ordered were placed.
I would have to confess that I totally forgot that food to-go (take-out) means having to place it in a styrofoam box. I began wishing for Fort Ilocandia restaurants to start using food grade paper boxes, or better yet, we should have brought our own reusable containers to lessen the trash the country accumulates. And also to lessen my guilt, somewhat.
Should I write a letter to Fort Ilocandia that while their resort is very purrrty, it would be purrrtier and more easy on the conscience if they go greener?
My second wake-up call came yesterday in the form of fake designer bags sold at Divisoria. See, my cousin bought seven purses marked Coach, Burberry and Gucci…all pretty…all imitations…all “pasalubong” (gifts) to family and friends when he gets back to the U.S. I have to admit that I saw two bags that I was sooo itching to buy. But I would also have to admit that my conscience killed my desire to buy it. If I buy those bags, I was afraid that I was also buying labor issues (Did the workers, probably Chinese, work under good conditions and were they compensated properly?), economic issues (Is the deluge of fake bags from China killing our own bag indusrty?), and other peripheral issues (nationalism and colonial mentality, smuggling, materialism, among others). So I ended up salivating for the fake bags while convincing myself that IF I buy, I am not just buying a fake bag that’s pretty, I’m also buying a host of grave issues along with it, so my mind should just shut up about it.
Last but not least, I really want to make a difference in the world. But how to do that with a broken heart is a really a tough question. It’s distracting–this dull thudding in my chest. I’m praying to God to go take this feeling away, but how unfortunate that it seems to want to stay.
I suppose this is part of the package. I mean, if there’s the good, there’s the bad and the ugly, right? These go hand in hand, I guess? These challenges are simply a part of life, of being human. So here I am, soldiering on and hoping for the best. So help me God. Help me do a good job for You.