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.