15 March 2011

flight of the clip-winged

I opened my blog to initially set up a post about my recent feverish thoughts and a recent conversation with my mom when I got diverted into eating brunch in front of the TV again (as always). And since the only good thing on free TV this early is that newly revamped news and public affairs CNN-like free channel GMA7 did with their old QTV11, I just tuned in to see the tail of some news show and the beginning of a documentary show.

I would have stayed and watched the docu show had it not begin with such an utterly wrong premise about why people -- Filipin
os -- are leaving the country in droves.

See, the show was about how they set out to find the seven paradise spots in the Philippines and the executive producer's a
im of doing this was -- get this -- to show her fellow Filipinos daw that there are still so many good and beautiful things in the country, things that could make people stay here and not leave. And then they proceeded to show the seven so-called spots which are basically tourism-luring spots where the sun-sand-sea-greens intersect 24/7 in pristine no wifi-zone areas of the country like that Mt. Apo marine sanctuary just off of Dumaguete and another one like that in Cagayan de Oro and well, you get the picture. Picture-perfect Philippines. That's their idea of paradise here.

Um, news flash. If you were a foreigner and maybe you have dollars to spare here, then yes, by all means, stay in this co
untry and go visit all those seven paradise spots like now na! What about her fellow Filipinos kaya who can't even afford to travel out of their own towns because they can't afford it, and hence they are stuck in their own places unless they aim higher and take their chances working abroad?

If I wasn't directing for TV back in 2006--
where we had to go to Mt. Apo to shoot
a diving sequence--I wouldn't have been
able to visit this beautiful marine sanctuary.
That's our cameraman trying to walk on water
while we wait for the underwater crew to finish their sho

Or worse, what about some of those "locals" or the townsfolk who actually live in those seven paradise spots but who are there not because they love the place but they simply are stuck there, because they don't have th
e means to find better livelihood someplace else?

With this, I remember the sob stories the vendors at White Beach in Puerto Galera used on me and my friends when we were last there, urg
ing us to buy their wares because they have to pay their rent or they have to get their rheumatism treated or they need to buy rice for that week or ___ (just insert your own sob story here). My heart really bleeds for these people but I also want to tell them that we are not that well-off to just buy stuff every day, and even that vacation of ours in their island was also carefully planned around financial constraints and limitations. And I'm sure, even some of these vendors share the same sentiment I have: I need to get out of here. And by here, we mean the Philippines, not just that specific paradise spot we were both in.

One of the White Beach vendors. While I admire
their persistence, sometimes I don't appreciate
their emotional tactics. But of course, you can't
dismiss them rudely since they're just
trying to earn a decent and honest living,
something our politicians ought to do. (Feb2011)

How about that? Did the docu show producers even think of that an
gle for their story? Strange. Sorry to be bitter but it just irritates me when shows like that start off on wrong premises that undermine their viewers. While watching, I wanted to shout "Dude, even I haven't been to Boracay because I have to save for it to go there; what about your ordinary people on the streets who aren't as privileged as I am???" But since I just recovered from sinusitis and fever, I don't think shouting like that would help me in any way. So the next best thing is to turn off the TV.

And here we are.

Coincidentally, that was what I was really going to blog about originally. I was under the weather the whole weekend that passed well up to Monday, so my mom visited me yesterday to check up on me and to bring food or
as my college buddies have termed it years ago, "relief goods" hehe. Yes, even when I began living on my own in a rented apartment shared with college buddies, my mom still came over and brought food and stuff for me, which I shared with them of course hehe. That was when they called it relief goods hehe. Ah, those were the days...

While I was talking to my mom, my sister in California text
ed us both to say that her new training thing just concluded and she was currently inside a Jollibee store somewhere there, enjoying food she misses. And somehow, as I was ranting to my mom about my usual work-related rants, I ended up telling her about one of my college buddies who just recently landed in Ontario with her family, and how she's starting over there with new experiences. We've been messaging each other ever since, as she was also giving me tips and encouraging me to just do what my relatives in that province have been asking me to do for decades now -- to move there.

And it was then than I just told my mom what I told my friend: "Maybe I'm too old to migrate..."

And, as always, whenever I make stupid remarks like that, my mom just laughed at me and said "How old do you think your Tita was when sh
e decided to move there and bring her family and your grandparents?"

Hm, good retort. And that is why she is my mom, the mom. Bow.

Look at me. A good couple of years or so more before I hit the big 4-0 and I am thinking of feeling old for something. I don't know where that came from, as I never really thought much about age and all in my life. Until
I began teaching, that is. And that was when I noticed age gaps and all. Heck, even in falling in love, age is not an issue with me (as long as I'm not going to date anyone below 18 of course, I draw the line there) so again, why the preoccupation with age?

I guess it has something to do -- again -- with yanking myself out of a comfort zone which hasn't been so comforting to me lately. Let's just say that lately covers like five years. A long time to be uncomfortable, don't you think? I suppose so.

Now is the winter of our discontent,
made glorious summer (or before spring)
by this son (slash-daughter, to be genderqueer-ish)
of (New?) York (or U?). Sorry Shakespeare,
there's a glitch in our system.
(foot in Central Park, New York/March 2010)

Stuck in a lot of things, not just money. Maybe that is also part of it, yes, but unlike others before me, I never really want to uproot for money. What I'm after, as always, and as seen in my myriad of work experiences I've tried, is new knowledge and soul satisfaction. If money comes with that package, then great! If not, then I am willing to adjust, as I have done so before, many times already.

My friend in Ontario was warning me about this, that you have to start at the entry level there, no matter how far you (or we, since she use
d to be a TV news executive here) have gone with your career here. And I told her that that's not what I am really after if I leave here. I just want to settle in a place with far better systems (at least some systems; can't win 'em all) where I could earn a decent living, enough to pay the bills, and where I could have some time to just sit down and write. That's the simplest game plan.

I don't know. I've been feeling lately that I've done my time here in Manila and I've already done all that I could, to the best of my abilities, whatever it is that needs to be done in terms of forwarding the causes I support or improving the industries I have immersed myself in. And of course, being a non-oligarch and being an ordinary middle class citizen, I could only do so much without the financial back-up.

Even the noblest of professions is slowly losing its luster for me, not because of the brilliant minds I am having a high in guiding, but because of the old farts rotting around me there that refuse to change with the times or refuse to relinquish the evil that embraced them. It's funny, but it even came to a point when one of those brilliant minds threatened to blackmail me if I left teaching, since he said that is where our battleground is. By our, he means people like us -- queer people who still have to educate the world about how beautiful being queer is. Or something like that. Yes, I love my kids. But I als
o love myself. How's that for a dilemma? Or maybe it's not really a dilemma. Maybe I'm just being a drama queen. Or maybe this is just the fever talking again. I don't know.

Well, maybe it's time to think of myself, for a change, see how these clipped wings could still be mended to fly anew. I miss my old self when I just flew whenever something better comes along or when something amiss is already there and I jump before it gobbles me up into its system. Where did that old bayli go? Hm.

Autumn beckons. (central California/March 2010)

Maybe, like Elvis, she has left the building. And so, shall I follow?

Let's see.


  1. "Restlessness and discontent are the first necessities of progress." -Benjamin Franklin

    Teh! Ano ba itong too old too old na ito? Isa pang quote para sa iyo -

    "A year from now you'll wish you started today." -Anonymous


  2. "But because of the old farts rotting around me there that refuse to change with the times or refuse to relinquish the evil that embraced them."

    I actually just resigned from a teaching post. If you have seen Jerrold Tarog's "Faculty", I could completely relate to the girl who said, "Hindi kasi ako kuntentong mangitlog ng mangitlog ng mga mangmang katulad mo."

    Friends told me I should try UP but I don't want to teach in the same place that educated me. I'm afraid of getting disillusioned. I already am disillusioned over the private institution I just left (since I got my master's degree from there).

    I guess I'll just continue (anonymously) stalking all your blogs (haha) so I can still keep track of UP somewhat.

    *Sigh* UP has its share of politics and I think those are even tougher than the ones inside private universities. Like in one instance, when Dean Roland Tolentino and Prof. Guy Claudio both ran for the chancy's position. Gosh, that was bloody. Aaaaaand...I love them both.

    I can imagine how hard it must be for you to stay in UP but at the same time find it hard to leave.

  3. it is, malditera. hay...

    superfriend, please make batok to me. NOW NAH!!!!