Less Busy in Agbanawag, Nueva Ecija

Early this week we decided to be less busy and visit the farm of my late father-in-law in Nueva Ecija (which means New Ecija in the Philippines, Ecija being a province of Sevilla in Southern Spain). Just checked a few things out there and relaxed. So, we went with my sister-in-law’s family for some bonding moments and fun. After almost 3 hours of land trip, we dropped by the Cabanatuan City market for some food and proceeded to the town of Agbanawag.

It was fun talking leisurely with my “bilas” (my sister-in-law’s husband) under a cluster of bamboo trees somewhere in the rice fields while our wives happily shared stories at the kitchen while cooking together. After lunch we had a long nap, ate supper after and went to bed early in the evening. It’s one of the advantages of being less busy—sleeping early at night. And anyway, you often feel sleeping so early when you’re right in the middle of a rice field at night.

At Dawn

The next early morning was the real treat. I woke up at 4 am, spent some pondering time in an easy chair, and then went out to enjoy the fresh air and sunlight at 5 am. Everything was serene and still and easy. Even “Gorio” the farm dog looked so relaxed and carefree, although he probably knew he’d have a long day ahead. I enjoyed the majestic scene of massive mountain ranges in the distance although they seemed near and just within a short walk. Most of all, I enjoyed the glitter of vapor droplets at the tips of the young palay plants, like diamonds pierced by the pointed palay leaves gently swaying with the soft, cool breeze.


Note the vapor droplets on the leaves.

Everything was the look of freshness and new life. And it was awesome just standing quietly there and pondering on these sights and thinking how good God was—kicked stress out of your life. We each should have time for this—taking time to escape from it all and rejoining nature in its natural turf and habitat, sharing in its quiet worship of the Creator. You really have to be less busy most times.

Our “Neighbor”

After my outdoor quiet time and some breakfast, I surveyed the surroundings again and noticed our nearest “neighbor.” I tried to zoom-in the cam in my wife’s smartphone but the picture below was the nearest I could get. So it was actually farther than how it looks in the picture. I asked the caretaker about the hut nearest us and the neighbors who lived there, but she said it was only occupied during harvest season. So, it was empty at the moment—and I thought I saw somebody there just a moment ago. Anyway…


Our nearest “neighbor.”

It’s a completely different experience from the crowded neighborhoods in Manila where views from every side are cut-short mostly by the fences or houses of your neighbors or by street traffic. Often, you can’t see beyond ten or twenty meters. In rice fields, you see as far as your eyes can see, unhindered by almost anything, as if you see the ends of the earth from any direction. Your eyes get really relaxed and rested seeing distant sights.

Sometimes I strain my eyes trying to look farther and wondering what people there on the other side are doing at the moment. Or gazing at distant mountain tops and wondering what’s happening there right that instant. Then sometimes, in your imagination, you see the entire place multi-dimensionally—-from where you are, from the other farthest end, and from the mountain tops—all at the same time. Then it gives you a strange feeling of wellness, some kind of extreme relaxation. You know what I mean?

Anyway, you’d get what I mean when you finally get to be less busy in life.

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