For the record, I don't really consider myself as poor, or even my family for that matter. Let's just say that we're in a temporary financial setback which I already explained in my previous post(s). I'm learning a LOT from this experience and one of my most treasured lesson is that poverty inspires creativity. You learn to be innovative with your scarce resources since you wouldn't want to waste anything on useless stuff. I was able to prove this "theory" one Sunday.
A typical Sunday for me and my siblings is to go to church then eat lunch together. Since I'm on a tight budget, we usually eat at Lutong Bahay (LB). Its the usual haunt for students and dormers who want to eat homecooked dishes without having to spend too much. Come to think of it, when I was a student I rarely eat at LB since I was on a tighter budget. I can survive a day with just a can of pork and beans and a cup of rice. Anyway, I had a dilemma last weekend because I only had 200 pesos in my wallet. If we were to eat at LB, it wouldn't be enough to feed four mouths for lunch. I was thinking about it since Saturday and when I passed by the mini-market stall in Philcoa, I decided to buy half a kilo of fish so that we can have fish tinola for lunch because its the easiest dish to cook. The next morning, as I was preparing to go to mass I thought of an idea - why don't we just go on a picnic and eat lunch together by the sunken garden or lagoon. Wouldn't that be more enjoyable? When I checked my stock of groceries, I realized I had several canned goods which we can eat for lunch. These dishes would be easier to bring than the tinola. So, I opened two cans of tuna, a can of corned beef and my favorite pork and beans, heat it in the microwave, and cooked pancit canton. Voila! It was an instant feast.
When I informed my siblings that we would be having a picnic, the look on their faces were priceless. I even brought my poi set for some entertainment. Of course, I later informed them that it was part of our austerity measures. ;) I will forever treasure that moment and I'm sure they'll do too. Even if we were just partaking of canned goods and instant noodles, it seemed like a feast fit for a king. Not even a million peso dinner at Le Cirque can beat that ;)
Lesson learned: Happiness is always a choice. No matter how dire the circumstances, as long as you stay optimistic that everything will turn out right in the end, then there's no need to fret. Do not let your faith waver! Find joy in the simplest of things and always be grateful for each blessing.