Tag Archives: change

Another year older

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I spent my birthday in Escolta surrounded by worn out spaces from a bygone era that whisper their stories through the chipped walls, fading paint, and the layers of dust that embrace forgotten belongings. The nicks and cracks alone can make even the most prosaic of men to wax nostalgic, but there is no room there for sentimentality. A decrepit shop window surprises you with an intriguing art installation, while the former site of a department store is now the home to a bustling community of artisans and creative entrepreneurs. The elegant architecture remains—albeit weathered and worn—but it is now charged with youthful, colorful, contemporary energy that makes you look forward to the future, that makes you excited to see what’s next for this place.

It was not a bad way to spend my birthday. It gently reminded me that everything old can be made new again, that change is constant but old things need not be discarded. It made me remember my favorite line from Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman: ‘Omnia Mutantur, Nihil Interit. ‘Everything changes, but nothing is truly lost.’ Not a bad day at all.

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Million People March

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“Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.” – Galadriel to Frodo

Today I took part in the Million People March, a peaceful protest against the Priority Development Assistance Fund commonly called as the Pork Barrel. I am not a political activist, but I went because I wanted to be heard. Over 400,000 filipinos, like me, in their own way, wanted to make a difference and showed up at Luneta Park to clamor for change. I didn’t have to make a speech to be heard or to sing and dance to be noticed. By being there I showed the nation (and the world!) that my voice mattered. Enough is enough. No to corruption. No to the misuse of public funds. Philippine government, we are watching you.

Note: aerial shots were taken by Architect Paulo Alcazaren

To know more about the issue, watch this video.

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August

It’s been a month since I’ve visited my blog. I apologize for that.

I’m gearing up for some changes. It made me revisit an old entry from 2006. Here it is:

August
http://stephdisturbstheuniverse.blogspot.com/2006/08/august.html

I always have mixed feelings about August. It’s the time of year when the sun mercilessly blazes the whole day without relief, while the nights grow balmy and indigo dark. It is accompanied by volatile and indecisive weather; monsoon rains and tropical depressions form in the east and heat waves reign in the west. It’s as if the earth is heaving with anticipation for the coming birth pains—its nine months is almost up. It’s time to give it up.

It doesn’t matter where I am; August still feels the same way. It’s melancholy and silent, like someone tethering on a wire over a precipice. You are all alone and you could fall and no one would hear you or you could fly and your wings would bring you closer to the sun.

I can’t say that I am crazy about August, but I can definitely say that I can’t live without it. I was born on this month some odd years ago. Which is probably the reason why I have so much affinity and dislike for it; sometimes I can burst into flames with so much passion and intensity for everyone to see or I could disappear into a cesspool of murky, uneven shadows where no one dares to follow.

This month has always brought me changes. For one thing, I turn a year older every year. What have I got show for, I ask myself sometimes, when that day comes. And on some years, like this one, I couldn’t care less that it happened once again. We all have to grow old anyways.

Most of my plans come into fruition or end in August—I moved back to the Philippines twice, moved out of 3 apartments (or is it 4?), received acceptance and rejection letters from schools, awarded two scholarships, etc, etc. Dreams are born at the same time hope is discarded. I go along with the year. I always feel the need to purge and reap the fruits of my labor and to face the repercussions of my actions. Time’s up. Now I have to move on.

The month is almost over and I am still undecided if I want it to end. September brings a different set of feelings and responsibilities. Am I ready for my new life? Am I ready for the end of the year? Am I ready for the birth pains? I don’t really know, but I have 12 days to find out.

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Flushed

I thought I was going to have a jam-packed day today, but unfortunately all my plans were literally flushed down the toilet.

Last Wednesday night I made the mistake of eating the last piece of chicken empanada, a leftover from New Year’s lunch. I was halfway through it when I noticed that there was something off about the texture. I threw the rest of it out and that was that. Or at least I thought that was the end of it. Come 3AM I suddenly woke up because of a painful stomach cramp. That started my non-stop 5 -minute rendezvous with my toilet, which went on for most of the day. My stomach started to feel less turbulent Friday morning, but I made the mistake of putting a bit of butter on my toast… and that just start the cycle all over again. Sigh.

I was feeling more confident this morning, ate my toast sans butter, and got ready for work. Like some cosmic joke, my stomach started grumbling the minute I fished my keys out of my bag to lock the apartment. After three quick meetings with my toilet, I found myself on my bedroom floor, clutching my mobile whilst calmly telling the parents of my students why I had to cancel class last minute. So there I was, stuck at home once again.

I must admit, I am handling this whole purging thing really well. This situation forced me to be still (on my ceramic throne) and think about things. Some of my goals for the new year are: to be more healthy, to treat my body better, to stay away from toxic people and things, and to spend more quiet time with myself. Guess what? This little uncomfortable illness just gave me what I needed. Like what I’ve been telling myself for a while now, out with the bad, in with the good. Now that you think about it, purging at the beginning of the new year ain’t that bad. 🙂

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