Saturday, December 27, 2014

Guide to a New Year's Resolution: Ways to Attain a More Interesting Lifestyle

Based on an interview with the late Dell H. Grecia
Dell H Grecia was a veteran journalist writing for newspapers and magazines (columnist of Women's Journal and The Filipino Reporter), and appearing on television with Ka Gerry Geronimo's Ating Alamin. To the end of his life at 87, he continued on discussing with his friends current events, his experiences, tradition and values. And most important, how life should be lived. Thus this article in 2011, reprinted in his memory. 

Live on the countryside - not in the city.

Here are his suggestions on the ways to attain a more interesting lifestyle. In our conversation Ka Dell cautioned that not all of these suggestions applies to a person. They depend on age, culture, domicile, profession, and the like. In fact this serves more as a checklist rather than rules. One is free to choose, modify or add to the list as he may deem it fit under his situation and needs. What is important, Ka Dell emphasized, is how a person live a life that is happy, healthy, and meaningful.This is his message for the new year.

1. If you can manage, do not live in the city. It’s not a good idea to stay, live and work in Manila. The cost of living here is very high and is very complicated. Why not settle on the countryside?

2. Consider sending your children to schools in the provinces. While Manila is the center of education, there are many good schools in the provinces.

3. For the young, study the course you wish to pursue. Functional courses are becoming more in demand. They prepare you to become practical and opens great opportunities for self-employment.

4. Revive the bayanihan (cooperativism) spirit. For example, pooled transport will help a lot in saving money, gas, effort and labor. Cooperative farming, cleanup, gardening, are examples to apply this Filipino value.

5. Avoid food wastage. It takes a little ingenuity and art to convert leftover foods into new kinds of dish. Plan your menus according to your food budget. Cook at home, prepare the children's baon, and as much as possible, eat with the family.

6. Don't be lavish in everyday meals. Consider the nutritive values of the food served, and its proper distribution to the members of the family.

7. Plant some vegetables on vacant lots or in pots. Include herbals, and orchard trees if feasible. Make a home garden as part of your home.

8. On housing, follow the rules of nature on ventilation, sunlight exposure, and functional design. Your home should be environment-friendly, and "tailored" to enhance the natural landscape.

9. Don’t be too dependent on medicine, specially antibiotics, analgesics, sleeping pills, etc. Instead, take healthful foods and drinks. Don't take junk foods and carbonated drinks. Avoid additives and artificial food like MSG or Monosodium Glutamate (Vetsin), decaffeinated coffee, sugarless sugar (Aspartame, Nutrasweet, saccharin, magic sugar), fatless fat or Olestra .

10. Start an enterprise, proprietorship or family business. Remember the defunct NACIDA (National Cottage Industry Development) in the sixties and seventies that made the Philippines a strong economy. Start with "bottom-up approach." Don't rely on heavy burrowing and high technology.

11. A side line business helps. There are enterprising employees who get extra income through buy-and-sell, while others become agents of goods and services such as life plan and educational plan. Extend your side business with your own products, and those from your community.

12. Limit going to disco houses, fast foods centers, and sauna baths, and to very far places, just for pleasure. Instead, go to the nearest parks in your area and enjoy a weekend or a holiday with your family and friends.

13. Visit museums, painting exhibits, agricultural and industrial fairs, concerts, and the like. Join educational field trips, and continuing education programs.

14. The key to an interesting lifestyle is, “Simplify your lifestyle.” Here are further suggestions.

a. Let’s earn more and spend less. Be simple in everything. Why complicate matters?

b. Sa lahat ng bagay iwasan nating magpabongga. (Avoid ostentatious living.)

c. Learn the art of recycling everything.

d. Let us avoid panic buying. It is useless and self-defeating. Avoid impulse buying. We must study carefully the urgency of all the things we intend to buy.

e. Enjoy the wonders of biking and walking. Spend more time with nature.

f. Give up costly entertainment and celebrations like fiestas, birthdays, baptismal, anniversaries etc.

g. Practice self-discipline especially in spending. Self-control is very important.

h. Don’t rely too much on new technology. Use your creativity and hidden abilities in coming up with simple inventions and innovations, such as building a garden pond to harvest rainwater and raise hito and tilapia.

i. Make use of your talents like teaching children to paint, to play a musical instrument. It is one way of earning money and friends.

j. Give up costly vices, like gambling and smoking; and other cravings.

k. Put yourself in a low profile. Maybe, forget your title and do farming. You will get closer to people and become "at home" in your community.

l. Iwasan natin ang mainggit. Why buy a new model colored TV set when we can’t afford it? What is the point of coming up with the Joneses?

m. Let us forget the “live for today and to hell with tomorrow” attitude.

n. Plant all your vacant lots. There’s nothing impossible in urban food production.

o. For the unemployed, try shifting your gear to an alternative life style. Learn some sacrifices.

Lastly, follow family planning and don’t get married too soon these days.•

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