It’s my fourth day here in Minnesota, and aside from enjoying the company of my ninong plus the sightseeing and culinary adventures, I am simply glad to have survived winter.
There’s still no sign of spring coming anytime soon. Yesterday (Sunday), the temperature here in the state did not even reach zero — and that’s FAHRENHEIT, and not celsius. At around seven last night, the temperature was -24F. I’ve grown quite accustomed to wearing five layers of clothing on top, excluding scarf and bonnet. Still, going out of the house feels like entering a freezer. There are moments when I couldn’t feel my ears!
If it’s any consolation, at least I will be able to put my body fat to good use! Hahaha.
Still, despite the temperature, I couldn’t leave Minneapolis without trying Sebastian Joe’s, a local ice cream brand in Minneapolis. As a chocolate lover, I tried the Oreo and Chocolate Amaretto flavors. They were both rich and creamy. But what really made my day was the Raspberry flavor, which was such a thrill because of the chocolate chips in it. It’s really too bad we don’t grow raspberry in the Philippines!
Food aside, when I think of the winter here and what citizens of cold countries have to endure year in and year out, I could not help but remember the observations and studies saying that these countries have turned out to be generally more progressive and prosperous than tropical nations because they have winter and the three other seasons to deal with (I’m still looking for an actual study on this, but this has been the subject of many commentaries). Hence, people of these countries — as individuals and as socieities — have no choice but to plan ahead of time and really think of what is good for the long term. Planning ahead and thinking of the long term becomes part of discipline itself. One sees it tangibly when it comes to planning and execution of projects for food supply, infrastructure, etc.
Certainly, the negative aspects of the bahala na traits that Filipinos are said to have, cannot be the norm in places that have winter. Still, having winter shouldn’t be the only factor why the Philippines is left behind. After all, one just has to look at countries like Singapore and Malaysia.
Then, there is the hot climate in the Philippines, which has been blamed for centuries for its effect on Pinoys’ performance. Jose Rizal himself rightly disproves this in his work, La Indolencia de los Filipinos. And one has to simply look around now and see how persevering Filipinos really are despite the hot climate and even global warming.
So at least, we Pinoys are definitely not indolent (if that’s the case, we won’t have any OFW’s making the sacrifice of leaving home). But we do have much room for improving our planning, especially on the part of the government.