The year 2017 was a struggle. Not that life was particularly hard, but I found it hard to be motivated or determined to do anything. I literally just let the time pass me by.
I started 2018 with a cautious optimism — still afraid to make big pronouncements in fear of failing spectacularly, but determined to at least do something. I am starting a business, and since I am not quitting my job, I can afford to take it slow. Afterall, what’s most important to me was the official documents that state I am a legitimate business owner for visa application purposes.
I have been slowly telling friends about it, which was rather out of character for me, as I am still quite private. Out of the blue, and acquaintance contacted me about the province, and I offered my services. It’s a challenge, and I found myself promising things that aren’t there yet, but instead of folding and referring other companies that have more experience, I found myself accepting the challenge. The voice at the back of my head that used to whisper not to give up is steadily firming up and is growing stronger.
There’s still hope for me yet, it seems.
My work requires me to talk to English speakers, and write for English readers. While I use Filipino in everyday conversation, most of the media I consume are in English. The only times I read and write in Filipino is when it’s required for a local client, or when chatting online and texting with people.
When I opened the link for this New York Times article, I was surprised to see it in Filipino. Though there is a link for the English version, I decided to challenge myself and read it in the local language.
It’s a completely different experience.
I feel like if I read it in English, it’s much easier to feel detached — it’s happening to them; it doesn’t concern me. Reading it in Filipino really drives home the gravity of the situation.
This year, I’ve so far spent 8 months out of the country, and I have to admit to the feeling of detachment from all of these atrocities. In less than a month, I’ll be back in the Philippines, and reading the article made me realize the reality of what I am coming home to.
I like to think that I travel on my own terms — not fervently working down a checklist of countries to visit, but traveling to places that I love and genuinely have an interest in.
It’s been 10 years since I started traveling, and it was only tonight that I can remember joining in a hostel activity. I just had my early dinner, and was all set to head back to my room, when A, a traveler from Germany who I chatted with yesterday asked me if I want to hang out or play games.
Instead of making excuses, I found myself saying yes, even if I was already yawning. We ended up joining the other backpackers in the lounge room, watching a silly vampire movie. It wasn’t a big thing, but I am patting myself in the back for that.
…and just like that, my sanctuary was invaded.
Like most people nowadays, I have my preferred social network. While I still use Facebook for work, no personal posts from the 13 people I am friend with appear in my feed. I also use Twitter, but it is also heavily filtered. My Viber is mostly family and close friends.
The social network I really love is Plurk. Though it’s mostly dead, with many of my contacts opting to stick to Facebook and Twitter, I like it because it’s already filtered. The ones left are those who savor the peace and quiet as much as I do.
But it seems that the political discussions are not just limited to Facebook, Twitter, and Viber anymore. It’s now in Plurk, too. For most part, I don’t mind, because it lets you see other people’s perspective. However, when it devolves to people pointing out how right they are and how stupid everybody else for not sharing their views, it goes nowhere and it repeats every time a news report comes out.
At this point, I can’t help but feel people are almost wishing for the president to fail, just so they can say that they were right. Please don’t wish that — if he fails, we all lose.
I find solace in the fact that I still have passion for creating new content for my blog. While I continue to procrastinate on ticking off items from my pending to-do list of sponsored entries, I am invigorated by the thought of writing original blog post from my personal trips.
That makes me extremely happy.