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Asking for rain

Last July 15, there was torrential rain in Camiling, Tarlac. Going home, my friend carefully drove her car on the way to the nearby town of Sta. Ignacia while I watched the downpour through the windshield.

Then I remembered a life philosophy that I hold on to in relation to the rain. I shared to her that I will never ask for rain to start or for it to stop. I do not know if it makes sense, but aside from the fact that I cannot control the rain, I would rather let it happen or not happen naturally, because there are people that will be affected by our wishes. My friend said she gets my point in the way that I do not want to be insensitive to others.I took some time to respond, pondering beyond the rain as to my standpoint in life. Then I said, yes! I do not want to be insensitive. After all, I may be in my comfort zone asking for something, such as the rain to happen or not to happen, but others will suffer. I do not want to be insensitive to the condition of others vis-à-vis the condition that I am in.

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In my mind, I would also rather be neutral. Since people will be affected either way, I would rather let things happen naturally than be part of those hoping otherwise. I do not want to take sides, because there will be pros and cons. If it rains in my life, I will accept its effects. If it does not rain, I will also be just as accepting.

When I reached home, my father was sitting at the balkonahe while drinking his vitamin G (gin).

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“Nagpigsa ajay tudu ijay Camiling, Pa (It rained heavily in Camiling, Pa),” I said.

“Kasjay ya! Awan la ti tudu ditoy (Is that so. It never rained here),” he replied.

Then he started sharing about what was happening in the taltalon (rice fields). After the pinagparaep and pinagpasikka (steps in the planting of rice), he was thankful that it rained during that two-day activity. But up to the day of our conversation, it had not rained again. He was worried, and that was obvious from the three-fourths consumed bottle of his vitamin G, which he would usually drink only halfway through before going to bed.

“Ay Apo! Agtudu kuman (Please Apo! Let it rain)!” he exclaimed.

Hearing his plea for rain, I could feel he was desperate. Aside from his land, he said, his neighbors were also agitated, worried about what would happen to their farms if the dry spell continued. I could sense that rain was really needed. He even questioned the weather forecast which predicted that there would be four typhoons in July, because there was not even enough rain to water the fields.

“Pangpangaasi yu Apo! Agtudu kuman (I am begging you Apo! Please let it rain),” he repeated his plea.

Then it dawned on me: Should I join my father’s prayer for rain? I should be sensitive to how he was feeling. I will be affected by our farm’s yield, too. Should I join him in asking for it?

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I tried to dig deeper and face my fear. It may be that I am afraid of simple involvement: If I ask for rain and it happens, will I be able to stand by my request knowing that others may be affected adversely? Rain may come or it may not, but am I willing to participate and take part in summoning the hope for it to happen, or even merely caring if it did not?

As I witnessed my father raising his arms for rain, I was there with him, but doing nothing. Perhaps now I should take a stand and also ask the heavens to open up?

* * *

Jazreen Olive B. Agustin, 29, is a proud daughter of a farmer who was able to support her to graduate cum laude from the University of the Philippines Baguio. She teaches at Tarlac Agricultural University.

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