Thursday, April 04, 2013


"People do crazy things when they think no one cares. The irony is that getting away from yourself actually brings you closer to yourself, it’s just that you have to get out of the familiar to realize it."
- Ann Rebadavia, on Road Films

After three weeks in Negros Island, I'm heading back to Manila come Sunday morning.

It's been years since I've had a proper vacation and this is the first one I've had since I've started working (which is a different story altogether - something that I rant about to a certain group of my friends whenever we have the time to chat).

I'm not going to say that I'm returning to Manila a changed person - or even a better one, for that matter - but spending time away from most of my daily routine is definitely an eye-opener of sorts. While Bacolod is more of a city than a rural area, it's pretty easy to notice that the pace of life here is not as frantic as that of Manila's. People are more laid back and time seems to move much slower but despite all that, it never gets boring. Unfortunately, I can't tell if it's just me since I don't get bored easily anyway - and I actually look for slow days a lot.

At some point though, everyone has to go back to their real lives.

There was this movie I watched a long time ago. It was set in Hawaii, and while I could no longer remember the plot (or the title or the actors), there was this one scene that got stuck to me. One character remarked on how beautiful the island was and said that it was the perfect place to spend one's vacation. However, she added that she didn't want to stay there for life.

For the most part, I guess I feel the same way.

It's easy to grow fond of a place where one could wake up without counting how much (or how little) sleep has been taken the previous night.

It's easy to grow fond of a place where free time is no longer deemed a scarce luxury and one could spend these newfound moments as they see fit - mostly to just stop worrying about the world (or just to stop, really).

And it's incredibly easy to grow fond of a place where one's troubles become so utterly alien that they seem so many unfamiliar worlds away, trapped in a drastically different lifetime.

However, there is a reason for all things.

I guess one way of looking at retreats such as these is that it makes us evaluate the value of a lot of things we take for granted as well as those that we already appreciate. And it is then that I realize that I have a whole bunch of such things; that there are plenty of things I have to go back to - and more important ones I want to go back to.

And for what it's worth, those are things I won't exchange for the world.

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