Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sagada Love Story (Fiction)

 Would it be something that you would want to feel? Even if it’s this late? We could have had it all.

Five, no, about six hours.  Do you remember? The bumpy trail, your head on my right shoulder to show you proudly all the 'views' - an Ibaloi girl with an Ibontoc boy who is proudly showing Mountain Province? A young guy introducing his world, or perhaps attempting to confirm a part of his life to that woman who won his heart?

We arrived on a rainy day, on a stop to Sagada to see the place, particularly, the famous coffins and caves. We walked casually down to a road looking for an Inn. We finally settled with George’ s Inn. It must be the computer shop below it. Do you remember? I hope you do. We never even got to close that penthouse door. We were so in love. We can’t even get enough of each other. Do you remember? The kisses? The hugs? The warmth of our bodies. The passion we can only let go off when we fall asleep. Did we even leave our bed to see the attractions of the place?

Remember when we pulled the pillows and blankets outside to see the stars? We were lucky that before closing hours, we have bought a bottle of gin, and your favorite chips; that black Tortillos along with some vinegar. You really loved that then… I know, because I have come to love it too…

Remember when we walked in the rain. Those are what we saw in the movies, and we never really cared. We laughed about it. You called me “noisy slippers”, because of the way I walk with them. Do you remember when he had coffee on that little shop when we were dripping wet? Tell me that you do.

Do you remember the words that were supposed to be said when one wakes up first? “Good Morning beautiful..” if it was me who does. I never cared any of your words, because I always feel your kiss on my forehead, my cheeks…my lips. Do you remember our mornings? Our nights? Do you remember?

I know you remember when we painfully argued at Bontoc, the way I was jealous back then. When we never talked for two hours and thirty minutes in the van but finally made peace at Bauko, and started kissing again. When we reached Mt. Data and number 114 will be etched in our lives forever? When we (or I) got drunk at the fireplace and you dragged us to our room. Do you remember how happy we were? Do you remember any of  it?

Today, you stood there with that glorious wedding gown...and you are not waiting for me.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Glory of the By-Line

It was a couple of years ago when I first passed an article for a local newspaper. As a college student back then, it has brought a different feeling of joy - greater than being a contributor of an article or poetry for our campus paper. The feeling that my ideas will reach hundreds or thousands of people is, in a way, fulfilling, and yet, scary – I’m fully aware that by writing something “against call-centers”, I have barred myself on working in one, that by writing on the evils of “capitalism”; of criticizing the “culture industry” that it promotes, the marketing strategies which dehumanizes our population, and of writing about existential thoughts, I have boldly burned some of the bridges to having a decent career. Even with all of these costs however, I have already decided that if I ever write, it should contain ideas and critiques that will seek to educate or enlighten.

It was startling though, that after passing more articles, I found myself being tempted to write something about myself. I suspect that there is something about finding your name in the “by line” that gives you an illusion of brilliance, almost to the point of arrogance. But alas, this sickening tendency has become more common to veteran writers and columnists. Every newspaper issue, we find our columnists writing more and more about themselves rather than discussing issues that are much significant to our society, or even to our community. Every Sunday, we are being fed with articles about their social lives; how they spent their weekends, about their eating habits, about their aging self, and almost every mundane thing which they recognize as significant. Sometimes, some of them write critiques which are evidently encouraged by mere bursts of emotions and not out of logical and fair analysis - they emphasize that we have a lot of problems; garbage problems, dirty politics, decline of moral values, violence on streets, etc., but never suggested any proposals on “how” to solve them.

A writer once told me that much of these dispositions  of turning a column into a personal diary and a personal rant section, are usually supported by their status in their society; having a good name, being a lawyer, or a veteran journalist. Maybe it is these qualities that give one the license and authority to write about almost anything, and anything, whether it be sensible or not. Maybe, I and many of the writers of the next generation, have yet to learn a lot of things before we are given that ‘right’ (marami pang kakaining bigas).  Nevertheless, how I wish that we have more public intellectuals like Randy David, or Conrado Dequiros, how I wish that our columnists would write more about philosophy, political analysis, or even social studies for this new generation – of facebook and youtube and its social dilemma, of the Indigenous communities’ response to the global changes, of culture industry and its environmental effects, of ethnocentrism and discrimination, and those other topics which are needed by the readers in this society.

Our changing world is constantly given the challenge of coping. Somehow, I think that those who hold the pen and paper should serve the public in educating and enlightening them on issues that will really matter.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Art of 'Multi-tasking'

They say that we have to live as many lives as possible in order to understand life better. That we have to look at things from different eyes, different perspectives in order to come up with  better opinions, better ideas, or better analysis. Since, however, we are only limited by a certain mortal age; ‘multi-tasking’ becomes the next best alternative for this particular aspiration.

For whatever reason why people end up as multi-taskers, whether it is because of financial needs, for learning, or even for the mere sake of being busy, multi-tasking becomes a skill for most – the mother, who is a teacher and a store-owner at the same time, or the taxi driver who is also a college student and an artist. Perhaps it is in this mode where they can express the many individuals inside them – living multiple lives, and tasting bits of those different worlds.

I started multi-tasking when I was in highschool, joining as many clubs and learning different things from them, while actually being an active member of our church’s choir. It is that insatiable hunger to know more, to learn more, and to try different things. I wanted to expand my world. Today, I have developed that tendency to grab everything within, and sometimes, without my reach – As a college instructor, community official, graduate-school student, and from time to time, a wannabe writer/blogger.

Now, you might be asking ‘how?’ .Hence, the reason I wrote this article. I would like to share tips on how to become your very own ‘multi-tasking’ machine. Hoping that this would help;

1.     Decide that you want to become one. When you multi-task, you are not guaranteed ‘excellence’ in those things that you do. You lose time, concentration, and energy with specific tasks/jobs, and there will always be that danger of arriving into ‘mediocrity’.  It will be a choice of many things which are merely ‘good’, or a single thing, which may be the ‘best’. Choose.

2.      Pick things that you love to do, or you want to do. There is no point in multi-tasking when you hate doing most of the things in your plate. However, do not be hasty in dismissing things because of first impressions – give it a chance, and learn how to love them because sometimes, you really have to. (Also, avoid procrastination - even if you love doing it hehe)

3.      It’s not about the money, money, money. Money is only a tool to living a life of contentment, not necessarily happiness. However, the things that you choose to do must also be worth it; there are expenses to consider – the bills, food, transportation, and even those time to time ‘breathers’, thus, you must be smart to know if the things you are doing can financially support the other, and also value things not for its profit, or money generating capacity. If it ‘breaks even’ but you are happy, then you are fine.

4.      Know your limitations. Consider everything, and I mean everything. If you want to work and study at the same time – then your workplace and school must be very near (or better, those that are near your home). Consider not only the distance, but also the ‘shifts’ the time element, and consider your health. It would be pointless to drown yourself in many things at the expense of your health – for you might be earning much only to spend it at the hospital. This comes with the rationality of eliminating a task/job, which compromises and/or endangers your other tasks/jobs.

5.      Exploit technology. Use your cellphones’ sound recorder to review your lessons while at the jeepney (and also while resting your eyes a bit – just don’t fall asleep – baka manakawan ka pa hehe). A friend also made use of a loan to buy his car so he can instantaneously go from point A, to point B, or the location of his different tasks/jobs. The point is, there are tools at your disposal, just use them.

6.      Have a goal. As Bruce Lee said, ‘they may not necessarily be there to be reached or achieved, but, just to aim at’. It is a guide; in that very cycle which may encourage stress and boredom, we need a picture to inspire us – a more comfortable life perhaps, our very own home, a trip abroad, an academic degree or a career. That would be one’s personal choice.

7.      Confidence. No one will believe us when we ourselves do not believe in ourselves. This quality will be very visible not just to our workmates, classmates, co-members of our group, but also to our employers, and business partners. This quality will open many doors. 

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