Sunday, March 01, 2015

2015 So Far - February

"A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP"
-Leonard Nimoy (1931 - 2015)

Yes, I'm still alive. And yes, I know that I haven't had time to update this blog.

Sorry about that.

First things first - we finally received the free copies of my NaNoWriMo 2014 entry! The cover was designed by the Girlfriend (hi!) and looks extra spiffy.

While I'm looking forward to joining again this year, there are a couple of writing projects I want to take on over the next year. I'm still tossing ideas around at the moment, but I'm looking for something worthy as a credential, if that's a clue.

Anyway, as per tradition (if two consecutive years count as a tradition), we went up to Kalinga a few weeks ago to attend their Foundation Day or the day they split from Apayao - (which coincidentally falls on Valentines Day).

An interesting thing happened last year on our way there. The bus managed to break down in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere. We ended up transferring to a fully-packed bus and finished most of the trip sitting on the floor - not an ideal thing to happen on a fourteen-ish hour bus ride. This trip was heaps better, and I managed to get a few winks of sleep throughout the trip, which I'm really thankful for.

I don't know if it was just me, but some members of the parade seemed to bear a burden on their shoulders. The grim specter of the Mamasapano tragedy was still in the hearts of the people of Kalinga. After all, nearly a third of the men slain were from the Cordilleras - two of which were sons of Kalinga.

I remember hearing the Girlfriend's sibling's talking about the tragedy. They knew one of the heroes personally and the stories put a person behind a mere name on some newspaper's front page and much more than just a statistic in the decades-old conflict in Mindanao. I guess that's the worst thing about sad events like these - it's too easy to ignore them when one lives too far away from the conflict for it to matter personally. The ugly truth is that the pain is infinitely magnified when it hits too close to home.

A year later, and being here still makes me wonder what city life really is about.

Despite being the country's capital, Manila has lost its national identity a long time ago. I guess that's the price of progress.

In Manila, one will never see people don their native clothes during fiestas and march towards the streets early in the morning almost as if it was their civic duty.

In Manila, one will never see a seemingly endless line of school children parading towards the capitol alongside their public officials.

In Manila, life is a balancing act - one that is too fragile for its own good. One would have to try to keep afloat amidst an ocean of work, bills and a hellish commute - where keeping one's sanity is another struggle in itself.

Still, they say there's always a time for everything. Right now, Manila is where I probably need to be. There's a million excuses I could try to say to explain why, but I'm going to leave things at that.

Meanwhile, here's a picture of me calmly trying to harvest corn. Because why not?

Like a boss.

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