Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Laughter, uninterrupted

I can't imagine a world without laughter. I wouldn't want to. And one of the great things I find about cyberspace is the abundance of sites and blogs that make me laugh. Whether it's about politics or religion or celebrities or webcomics or just something amusing that someone shares about his or her daily life, I almost always get a good laugh.

People in other countries sometimes get the misconception that Third World denizens are a depressed lot. While that may be true in some cases, I don't think it applies to the majority. You'd probably think, for instance, that people in Israel live in fear and dread all the time...what with the threat of suicide bombers and war, not knowing if today is going to be his or her last day on Earth. But I read from one person who lives there that it's precisely because of this uncertainty that they enjoy life a lot more. That that's the reason they grab life by the balls and live it to the fullest!

"It is true, however, that Filipinos are far and away the funniest people in Asia." (From a wonderful article written by a foreigner for the Asia Sentinel, about a popular nightclub here.)

Here in the Philippines, the majority of the people lives beneath the poverty line. I admit that seeing the shanties, the homeless, and the street children begging for alms is heartbreaking. But sometimes when I'm stuck in traffic, I get to see quite a few of them at play. And it's amazing. These kids play, in the most primal sense of the word. No Internet, no video games, no high-tech things. They play real street games...tag, street basketball, they turn somersaults from a sandpile. I hear their laughter, and it shines a ray of light to my heart. Their circumstances are appalling, but their ability to laugh wholeheartedly, unabashedly, in the face of it all is humbling, to say the least. I'm not saying that one should take pride in poverty...good lord, no! But I'm in awe of those who somehow keep an air of dignity and integrity about them in spite of their financial constraints. Yep, I'm saying it. I think that many of the poor and the middle class have more ethics in the tip of their pinkie than those with intimidating initials after their names, or those running large companies, or those living in their mansions in posh subdivisions like Ayala-Alabang and Forbes Park.

I griped about losing electricity for three days and not having broadband Internet access for almost two weeks. Many of my nation's poor are struggling every day to make ends meet, yet they still have the strength and the will to laugh and have fun. It almost makes me want to hang my head in shame. But not quite. See, I'm really shameless sometimes. :-)

Yes, life can be hard here for so many people, but that won't stop us from laughing. And that's one of the reasons I love my country and my fellow Filipinos.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post, Lizza!

I have always believed that laughter is indeed, the best medicine.

Anonymous said...

Laughter is as important as food and water. I feel fortunate everyday that I can share in the laughter and joy with others...Good Post.

Now back to being a slovenly wise-ass.

Lizza said...

Laurz: Indeed it is! Thanks. :-)

Matt-man: You forgot to mention sex. :-) Your being such a wise-ass is a gift that your readers (including me) enjoy immensely.

gem said...

I had no idea that Filipinos in general had such a great sense of humor. I, too, sometimes feel very ashamed of the things that make me sad when my circumstances compared to many in our world are so easy. Enjoyed this post very much.

Yaxlich said...

Yaxlich enjoyed reading this post.

Laughter is by far the greatest sound in the world. Where there is laughter, the world is good.

Long may laughter reign.

Photo Cache said...

great post, lizza. i credit laughter as an essential ingredient in keeping a relationship going strong. furthermore, it keeps your life worth living if you can laugh despite of every thing.

Jessica said...

i have to agree with laurzeilei....what a beautiful post! i feel the same way about laughter, but you wrote about it in such a great way that it renewed that specialness that it has for me. thank you!

Lizza said...

Gale: Thank you very much! Yeah, we laugh a lot. ;-)

Yaxlich: His blog posts make me laugh a lot. Thanks!

Photo: Thanks! Laughter is a magical sound...except maybe if one laughs like a hyena. In that case, it would be just damn annoying. :-D

Jessica: Thank you. I appreciate the kind words. Glad you all liked the post.

ian said...

The only Filipinos I know are you and Irene, and the two of you never fail to bring a smile to my face, even on days when it seems NOTHING can cheer me up.

Thanks!

Ian

Anonymous said...

Like without laughter isn't worth living. Sometimes is all we've got.

Prometheus said...

Prometheus wonders if he is Filipino.

Some wiseguy said it doesn't take much to make people cry. To make people smile? Now that takes talent. Prometheus is happy to be among talented folk like Liz, Yax, Gem, et al.

Lizza said...

Ian: Thanks! Glad we can make you smile. And congrats again!

shadowfalcon: I agree. May you never run out of laughter in your part of the world.

Prometheus: You can get away with creating a nationality of your own because you are a class unto yourself, my friend. :-)

Sisya said...

one thing about broadband internet is access to so much laughter. Another thing about broadband internet is that you can read such blogs and enjoy them. Way ta go blogger

Lizza said...

Thanks, sisya! Feel free to drop in anytime.

Mimi Lenox said...

Thought-provoking post, Lizza. Reminds me not to grumble when little things happen to annoy me. Thanks for the push to sanity.

zeroimpact said...

It's really true that laughter and happiness cannot be bought
The sincere laughter and smile is always more prevalent in those as you said
I always tell myself to smile and laugh whenever I could, you never know who you might brighten up because of that little smile or laughter.

Lizza said...

Mimi: Thanks. Though I think I'm probably the last person to push anyone else to sanity. :-D

zeroimpact: What a nice thought--brightening up someone else's day through your own smiles and laughter.

natan said...

cool blog

Anonymous said...

most inspiring blog i've read in weeks!!!

IM

Lizza said...

natan: Thanks! Your drawings are cool.

IM: Thank you. :-)