CITY GIRL, PROMDI HEART: REASONS WHY I LOVE THE PROVINCE

“Promdi” is a term that refers to someone who was born in the province and has lived there for a long time. Filipinos from the countryside are often made fun when they first arrive in a big city. If someone is unable to pronounce the letter “f” and instead uses the “p” sound, he or she will be labeled a “promdi”. It is taken from the English phrase, ‘FROM THE’ province. The Philippine language, Tagalog doesn’t have a letter F so F is pronounced as P. “The” is pronounced by many Filipinos as DI… So PROMDI is coined. Promdi people are stereotyped as wearing unfashionable clothes and speaking with a rural accent. But lemme get this straight, I pronounce my “Fs” and “Ps” right. 

Some people find it a bit destructive and embarrassing because “promdi” is sometimes used as an insult or a joke. Others preferred to be called a Probinsyano or a Probinsyana since it has a better connotation. Me? I don’t really mind whatever they call me because that’s who I am.  In fact, I take pride in my provincial roots. I was born and raised in the small town of Hilongos, Leyte and moved to Cebu City when I started college. I stayed here until I got a job, and has been staying here since.

I’ve been living in the city for more than a decade now, and surprisingly I’m loving it. The busy offices have the best city view and most certainly keeps me amped-up through the day. It makes me feel independently fulfilled especially when I look back to how this city has provided me with all the opportunities that led to everything I have accomplished today. The cozy city lights make me feel relaxed on most nights. And on some nights, it fuels my fun loving heart, subtly reminding me that living alone can’t be too bad. On my first year here, I couldn’t imagine how my retired-military pops would react if I stay out late.  People in the province sleep early…too early compared to the city. But having worked night shift for a few years had made it feel so normal.

There is a lot to love in the city, but waking up to the sound of vehicles rushing down the busy streets and the frequent blaring of horns from impatient drivers are not really my cup of tea. Walking down the road shaded by towering skyscrapers doesn’t quite satisfy my nature-loving heart either.  

So here are the reason why I would always go back to the province.

THE NATURE

I grew up in a place where the austere grandeur of swaying tall trees greets me as I stride down the open road. The breathtaking mountain scenery never fails to amaze me day after day. And the relaxing sound of the leaves with every touch of the breeze? It’s a music I can listen to all day long. And I always miss all that.

THE CULTURE

Culture and traditions are mostly very evident in the provinces. And this may be preserved because there’s a minimal influence from people not native to the area. It’s very seldom for people to move to the province to work, study or settle down. Mostly it’s the other way around. People from the province move to the city for better opportunities. Thus, there is a slow growth of modernization in the area compared to those within the city.

THE PEOPLE

Provincial life is not as busy as life in the city. There is always time to have a laid back conversation with others. Because it’s easy to build connection, and you probably grew up with the same people, you will most likely know everyone in your area. And that is why the familial and friendly bond is preserved through the years and people share and celebrate accomplishments, not just with a small circle of friends, but mostly with the whole neighborhood. And that is more fun than any night life in the city.

THE FOOD

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Every province has it’s own delicacies and it’s one of the reasons that makes that province so special. These delicacies are often brought by tourists home to their families. But not just the delicacies, where I’m from, their are a lot of fresh produce available because of the vast land area for farming and the surrounding water that’s perfect for fishing. With these, lot of native recipes were formulated. Recipes that when cooked whenever or wherever, can give you the genuine feeling of provincial vibe just by the taste of it.

THE RELAXING SPOTS

There are a lot of tourist spots in the provinces of the Philippines. In my province alone, these spots are just a few kilometers apart. And because there’s no traffic, travel time is very short. In a day, you will be able to visit a lot of destinations without spending a lot.

 THE SUNSET. 

The coolest masterpiece of God. The most perfect splash of colors that changes as the light succumbs to darkness. Who wouldn’t love a great sunset? Especially if you got your family and friends to share it with.

How about you? Would you prefer the province or the city?

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