The summer season is not officially over but the frequent occurrences of light thunderstorms during evenings forebode the arrival of more rainy days.

For rice farmers, this is an auspicious time to begin clearing the fields for the start of the new planting cycle. Locals still use the tried and tested carabao (domesticated water buffalo) and other manual techniques for land preparation. However, the use of mechanical implements begins to be popular that traditions might give way eventually to modern farming.

The high tech revolution even penetrated farmers’ simple lives. The transistor radio which was very popular back then are now left at home, becoming mere decorations on shelves.

Almost fifteen years ago, a cellphone was a rarity in this place. With a new cell site, I was one of the lucky few to own an analog Alcatel cellular phone. People came to me to call their loved ones in far places. Without my phone, they had to go to the town proper which is about nine kilometers away.

Anyway, I predicted then that even farm workers would be tuned to their MP3 players and cellular phones while working in the fields. Of course, all I received were howls of skepticism for even suggesting such far-fetched claim. Wishful thinking, they insisted. (Translation: crazy)

Well, as the saying goes, I had the last laugh.

Nowadays, farmers still use the carabao but with them are MP3 players hanging on their necks, providing them endless entertainment while performing monotonous tasks. Once in a while, they stop on their tracks to answer a call or reply to text messages from cheap phones.

Now, they smile at me as if admitting I was correct all along. 🙂



10 thoughts on “Accessory

      1. They say it’s more like Seattle weather: raining all day with intermittent sunny periods. If you watch Vietnam war films, we share the same weather patterns.

      2. Isn’t there flooding? Seattle rains but not all day… Drizzles a lot.. Do the water buffaloes live in the barn?

      3. Not all farmers could afford to build a barn. Carabaos sleep wherever there is mud to protect themselves from pesky mosquitoes. 🙂
        In our place, we do not have flooding. In other places, yes.

      4. The Carabaos I guess like the rain.. Without sounding gross, do people eat them like cow? Or do people milk them?

      5. It is forbidden to slaughter carabaos unless they are too old or injured. People eat them like cows.
        No milking carabaos here. 🙂

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