Writing about one’s hometown starts with lovely ruralish images—bordering between innocent homesickness and cheap tourism—and ends with a tormenting confession. I used to have motion sickness. Raised in farmlands and having mountains for playgrounds, the city was like the American Dream to the young me. I didn’t even know the existence of America then. Let memory bring the Tuburan that I knew, and let the present disrupt this memory. This will be a series of thoughts, recollections, confessions that may reveal the regrets and longings of my childhood home: Tuburan.
A lot happened, some were rewarding, some surprising, some unwelcome, some outrageous. But May indeed was a rewarding month. I’m back on trails again. A call from a travel editor prodded me to reacquaint myself to the trails. Mountains, trails—they remind me of us, humans. They can be unpredictable, predictable. They can be selfish, inamiable, indifferent. The boyfriend said geography could not be selfish, humans could, are. “You were trying to personify geography,” he said. No, I wasn’t. It’s a cold fact. And nature has every reason to be. It reminds me of Arundhati Roy’s passage from her The God of […]
Yesterday marked the last of Holy Week. I went home for three days, rendering this online home unattended, silent. Yesterday I had a regretful afternoon and sought refuge in halu-halo, late unlimited-rice lunch, and J. M. Coetzee’s words. He continues to teach because it provides him with a livelihood; also because it teaches him humility, brings it home to him who he is in the world. The irony does not escape him: that the one who comes to teach learns the keenest of lessons, while those who come to learn learn nothing. —J. M. Coetzee, Disgrace