An Evening in Odiongan

An evening in Odiongan
The road by my house. This paved national highway runs the circumference of the island and is the major means of transportation.

Every morning at 7:50am and evening at 5pm and often many times in between I cross this road, navigate numerous tricycles, motorbikes or trucks and walk to the OPAG office where I work. I live in a place where buildings are painted with bright colors and the sun sets spectacularly over the ocean just one block from my house.

Living here for over a year, I now speak both Filipino English and American English, the differences are subtle but some phrases change depending on my audience. For example I constantly remind myself to avoid saying “It’s okay” or “I’m good” to kindly reject the offer of a cold soda which I do not want. The commonly used American words okay and good are perceived solely as affirmation here. A standard Filipino English phrase which I have adopted in amusement, “Wow she is so industrious” to compliment someone hard at work.

I would describe Odionganons as ‘industrious’ also. The first inhabitants arrived here in the 14th century, a second wave of settlers came in 1810, followed by both Spanish and American influence, WWII battles with the Japanese, and right up to the present day where water flows through pipes supplied by a local reservoir and electricity is (nearly) always available. I have my choice of Filipino or American foods, but consider myself lucky because large fastfood chains are not yet reached the remote premises of my Filipino home.

Living in the most peaceful province in the Philippines, I’d rank that tricycle shown in the photo above as one of my greatest risks, merely because traffic in the Philippines flows like water and most other safety concerns are non-existent in this remote, yet also progressive town.

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One thought on “An Evening in Odiongan”

  1. Hah – I can probably count on one hand the number of times I have used the word “industrious” in a sentence.

    What about health risks in the form of foodborne illnesses or water contaminants? Or diseases spread by insects, etc.? Do you consider those risks during your time in Romblon?

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