09 August 2007

Countryside Economics

We should all live simpler lives. This makes us happier and a lot more friendly to the environment and our fellow man. If we all lived simpler, we would be free from at least some of the woes that beset modern man.

In fact, taking the idea a step further, why don't we just relocate to the provinces? With the wide reach of connectivity and technology these days, we could actually continue to enjoy the pleasures of modern day life, and still make a living, while out in the boondocks. The countryside is developing rapidly, we have internet almost everywhere -- the competition between our telcos made sure of that. Back in the day, the Hacienderos of Bacolod would live on their farms, seemingly a great distance from civilization, ut they continued to live decent and auspicious lives. They were able to educate their children who now play many an important role in our industrial world. These days, there are options such as homeschooling, the phenomenon of the internet,
courier companies that reach the farthest corners of our expanse, transportation routes that grow each day, airline flights that seem to serve more and more routes. If that doesn't work for you, there are seaplanes and boats, FTP and email. What a wonderful time we live in. Imagine this:

Sitting on a rocky stream somewhere in a cozy corner of the country, a Dr. Pepper soda in hand, reading my email on my BlackBerry. Oh my, I need to edit that draft attachment attached to that email message. Good thing I brought my IBM laptop and wireless aircard, then connect to Smart's 3G (or at least GPRS, if really way out in the wilderness) service and send back that contract, duly proofread and ready for my client's signature. I will probably get the signed copy through fax tonight.

Enough of relaxing, I need to check back on my business. I return home on my Old school Toyota Land Cruiser, and swing out back to where my livelihood is. Passing through my pine tree grove, taking in a whif of its lovely scent, I check on my Anthuriums, my vegetables, mushrooms and free-range chicken eggs, which are just about ready for packing to be picked up by 2GO. My client has been waiting for my shipment. When 2GO gets this to him, his customers will enjoy their fresh mushroom soup, arugula and baby lettuce salad and main dish of assorted grilled vegetables with devilled free-range chicken eggs. If I prefer to use Air21 tomorrow, I'll just give them a call.

I go in my house, see my wife and children busy homeschooling, researching over the internet. My, am I glad they don't have to go through miles of traffic or the risk of any mishaps if we had decided to school them in Manila. I feel better knowing I have control over the information made available to them, which not only includes those seen in school but also mass media, adverts and even newspapers. that is not to say that they will never get to come across these types of information, but at least either me or my wife will be close enough to satiate their hunger for knowledge in the proper manner, and in the right perspective. You cannot avoid such situations, especially while they go to town for their Kumon and soccer games with the other kids. But I know I can rest easy knowing that their parents are the dominant characters in their early lives. When the time comes that they need to go to Manila for college, their minds would have been molded correctly such that they can filter the bad and suck in the good.

That fax came in. I will have to visit Cebu every other week for a consultancy engagement in ISO. Not bad. Now, I have something to tell my friends when we meet for a few drinks at our usual haunt, the Bahay na Tisa. It is, as common here as pan de sal, al fresco, since the pollution we have all grown used to is practically non-existent here. the guys would probably be sick and tired of all the new niceties I have called "projects": my new composting toilet, my new cistern that gets filled up by rainwater, my new waste disposal/composting system, my new solar-powered pathway lights, my new wind-powered water pump, my new blah-blah....

Now, we just moved here 2 years ago after purchasing the property we live in now, but I was so taken and accepted among brothers and fellows of my fraternity. I have never met them before, but I came well recommended, and we now treat each other as brothers would.

Not ready to make that leap yet? Imagine the economics of it all. I generate more jobs where I live, preventing the locals form having to go to Manila for that dream life that will not come as easily as imagined. I am helping minimize the influx of people into Manila that contribute to its pollution, homeless colonies and crowds, thereby exerting more stress on the already-complicated eco-system that is Manila.

Now, doesn't that make you at least a bit more excited?

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