Looking up to the Coconuter

Over the years, the internet has become a source of wonderful inspiration for aspiring writers like me. Earlier back in college, one of my compulsive habits is to snoop on blogs of other people when I am searching for a particular topic on Google. For example, when googling ‘Batanes’, I would click on the blogs containing the name. When the blog seems interesting to me, I would read all the other posts (overtime, I would eventually forget about ‘Batanes’) and learn more about the writer.

I never actually thought of starting up my own blog then. I guess I’m just seemed content with the idea that there are people out there who share the same sentiments and thoughts like mine. I enjoyed reading and listening to other what people have to say than writing my own thoughts and voicing my own opinion.

All that before I stumbled upon the http://coconuter.blogspot.com/ aka David Poarch.

For those who haven’t discovered him yet, David Poarch is a Filipino-American software engineer (he’s currently pursuing a triple-degree on some ivy league college at the States). He graduated valedictorian in his class back in highschool, and had once worked in NASA. He seems to have all the things any guy would want for the great American dream: brains, good lucks, guts, and determination, but on February 2006, he turned his back from all these things, including his own family, and returned to the land of his birth: the Philippines. There, on a farflung province at Zambales, he settled on his grandma’s old house and led a life of a humble rural farmer, a far cry to the sophisticated and comfortable lifestyle he left in the States.

David’s reason for going to the Philippines may not be understood by some. Others even thought he was outright crazy and ridiculous. Ironically, his reason is simple enough. He was born and raised on the Philippines for years, and he chose to come back because he wants to reconnect with his homeland. It was as simple as a son returning home to visit his mother. Another thing is that, the Philippines made him ‘alive’.

David Poarch and his farm here in the Philippines. Screen grab from Youtube

I had the pleasure of interviewing David for one of my assignments in Rappler. Unfortunately, I never got the chance to meet him personally because he was studying in US that time. He’s already a father of two and if he wants them to have a good life he had to do his best to get a degree and find a good career when they all come back here in the Philippines.

“Life in the US has its comforts and stability, but it can oftentimes lack heart, purpose, meaning and spirit, which can lead to gradual desensitization and disconnection with the natural world around us” he said from the email interview. “Having been born there (Philippines) and having spent my childhood years there, in my mind the Philippines was a safe haven I could run to, and so I did”

To chronicle his journey in the Philippines, David created a blog called the Coconuter. It was his personal journal detailing his quest for the great ‘Coconut’ which will fall from the heavens and ‘hit’ him in the head. It symbolizes his quest to find his purpose in the world. It also allowed him to touch other peoples’ lives, Filipinos and non-Filipinos alike.

Doing what he likes best, no matter what the people say. Photo courtesy from his blog

What stirred my heart on the Coconuter’s posts is that how he sees the special to the mundane. His sentiments of the Philippines and his identity as a Filipino are something you would like reading over and over again because they crawl in to your core until you found yourself on him. His pictures reveal a simple and rustic glimpses of the Philippines which will make you feel reminiscent of your hometown. Unsurprisingly, his blog became a hub for OFWs who longed for home and found comfort on David’s words. Armed with his handy digi cam, David did the impossible and brought the Philippines to them, no matter where they are in the globe.

Although his love for the Philippines is the main focus of his blog, David’s story is universal to all of us, regardless of nationality or race. As human beings, we are inherently searching for our place in this world. Putting aside our materialistic desires, our quests for fame and fortune, our priorities and goals, we are all unconsciously looking for a place where we belong. We may have different perspectives on finding it, taking different paths to chase it, but David showed a way few of us are brave enough to do, and that is returning to where we began and starting over again, even if it means sacrificing our old lives and leaving all those behind.

The important thing is we feel ‘alive’.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Be inspired by the Coconuter: http://coconuter.blogspot.com/

If you want to check out my article on him for Rappler, here’s a link: http://www.rappler.com/life-and-style/7499-the-journey-of-the-coconuter

About sentimentalfreak

Consistently inconsistent. Forever searching and wandering. 'Tis only writing that calms down her restless little soul.

Posted on April 6, 2013, in My country, Prompts, reflections and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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