Sunday, August 24, 2008

Floating thoughts

Recalling the events of the day before sleeping at night is a good habit... which I don't practice.

I used to be this reflective type who over-analyze things. I review an event, get something (a lesson, a reminder, a smack-in-the-head) out of it, and charge it to my stash of experiences. I even write about it sometimes.

I'm now ashamed to admit that I rarely do some DEEP THINKING. Or if I do, I put an end to it immediately - whether consciously or subconsciously, I'm not quite sure.

It feels so mechanical. I act, I stop, and then I act again. No processing involved. It's like reading a book and then simply forgetting about it afterwards. Or doing an activity without actually understanding why it needed to be done.

This may have started from my wanting to be able to let go of past hurts quickly, to save myself from prolonged pain. Until eventually, the "okay, this already happened... let's move on to the next" attitude became part of my system. Lahat na lang pinapalampas ko lang. Kung maalala ko man, sinisipa ko lang nang paulit-ulit palabas. Even those that don't deserve getting kicked out are affected, in my efforts to avoid too much thinking.

It's surprising that I haven't done serious reflecting here - here where I get a lot of alone time, where life is much slower, where experiences are mostly new, where meaningful things happen almost everyday, where the rest of my life is supposed to unfold.

We always hear the think before we act advice, but we often fail to realize that thinking AFTER we act is just as important.

From now on, I will PROCESS my experiences every available chance. I'd think more, reflect more, write more, and hopefully learn more.

For concrete starters, I'll try not to close my eyes, scrunch my nose, scream "aaaaargh" in my head, and say "it already happened, there's nothing I can do" when recalling an action I wish I didn't do. Instead I'd bravely think it over, admit to myself I was wrong, make the lesson stick to me like glue, and say "it already happened BUT I can make up for it."

Saturday, August 23, 2008


I can make a novel out of my experiences here, if only I'd be determined enough to put them into writing.

The hardest battle is indeed the one you have with yourself. When you win, you also lose. But heck, any kind of battle does involve winning some and losing some.

It's hard to strike a balance between the person you are and the person you want to become (or you thought you wanted).

* * * * *
An attempt to give updates:

1) It's RED ALERT here in Kiamba since last Friday when the MILF attacked the next municipality (Maasim). For the past days, seeing tanks and armed men in fatigue has been like seeing street kids in Katipunan and dibidi vendors in Recto. Yes, they're everywhere. They're even right here at home, considering that I live with the Mayor. More and more troops are coming as threats are getting more intense.

2) While typing this entry, I heard my name on the radio. The DJ read a text greeting that supposedly came from Mark, my RUMORED boylette here. Mayor was laughing out loud so I didn't hear the message clearly. After a while, the DJ said a song was dedicated to me (by the same guy). Mayor, in his defensive mode, said "oh hindi na ako yan ha." Buang kaayo si Mayor oy! Playing a joke amidst the war.

3) I want to transfer to a boarding house. See things as a gift, appreciate what was given, it's just a matter of perspective, blah blah blah. I know all that, but I also know that I'll learn more and integrate more with the community if I'm not staying here. Buti sana kung marami kaming volunteers na nakatira dito, o kaya hindi high class na pamilya ang kasama ko, o kaya.... Man, I really want to get out of here.

4) Ever since my mom called me after hearing what happened in Maasim, people here have been constantly asking if I'll be sent home. I've been answering "alam ko mami-miss nyo 'ko," and their replies were heartwarming. I really felt that they didn't want me to leave yet. Wala na raw makulit. Haha. Also, they were oh-so-concerned when I got sick. I felt the love. (FYI: JVP will pull us out of the area if the situation gets worse).

5) "Good noon sayo, enjoy talaga ang youth organization ba," said one of the youth from Badtasan, the very first barangay we organized. That was the time when my self-esteem was kind of down because of negative (but constructive) feedback from our Program Officer. The text message was exactly what I needed to lift my mood. Unfortunately, we haven't gone to other barangays yet for security reasons.

* * * * *

The newest defender of Kiamba

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Stretch to the limit

You woke up too late, you got caught in traffic, your boss burdened you with urgent reports, your boyfriend decided to call it quits. You curse, you complain, you mourn about the unfairness of it all. You wish you were somewhere else, doing something else.


Acceptance is not really that much of a problem. Acceptance with an OPEN MIND is. It's easy to give in and say "eh ganyan talaga eh, wala na 'kong magagawa." It's true. There are some things that we cannot change. It's the very reason why we need acceptance in the first place. But blind acceptance is a different issue altogether.

You accept that you're stuck in a work that you don't like.
You accept that your friend talks like a know-it-all.
You accept that you and your pseudo-boyfriend can't be together.

Acceptance doesn't end with simply surrendering to the reality that you can't change something. It's more of learning to APPRECIATE what you can't change. Now that you've accepted that you're in a job that you didn't dream of, that your friend has an annoying personality, that your guy is afraid of commitment, what's next?

Sapat na bang tanggapin mo lang? Madaling sabihing tanggap mo na, pero sa loob-loob mo, galit, takot, malungkot, o nasasaktan ka pa rin.

The past few days, I've been wanting to scream out loud, to tell people to leave me alone. I feel like I'm being forced to do things I don't exactly believe in. But isn't that the point of this whole experience?

To CHOOSE to change what needs changing.
To CHOOSE to accept what needs accepting.

I tend to forget that it should always be a conscious decision.

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