Off to a Place

Image of a woman's feet and a suitcase

Give those feet new grounds to cover/

Far or near, it is the act of leaving that decides our destinations. It is the resolve to get up and go, hit the road and on to catch the next bus, train or plane. Or, simply to walk or to drive, away and yonder. It could be a short or long cruise, depends.


The departure may mean a going away for good. It could also be a temporary journey, with an earnest promise to to return – at some hour, some day, some year.  Revolver, as they say in Spanish. To return, to make one full turn.


We could be touring on business, to return on the same evening. We could be travelling on some weekend errands, to visit a sick relative, perhaps? It could be a quick get-away, to a beach in the countrysides, enough to rest and to laze around, before the usual Monday grind.


kartong larawan ng isang eroplanong may mga pasahero

Travelling usually gives us new perspectives to our situations/

We could be leaving for an important conference, one that lasts several days. Or, our going-away could be for a week, to iron out a dispute or to close a deal. It could be for a month, to finally enjoy the awaited vacation, a sojourn abroad. It could as well be for years, to try and fit into a new life. To improve one’s chances, as people often say.


Our going away could be propelled by someone or something being after us, or, us being after someone or something. A relationship gone sour, a dream to chase or a longed-for reunion. It could be a mission to put back the missing parts, to pave the healing process or to close the gap, between and among people who’ve been years, distance and time apart.


To forget what hurts, to break new grounds or to find new fate, going away could serve one or all. To start anew or simply, to allow oneself to grow. Travel enables us to turn over a new leaf, as the saying goes. In another setting, positively. Why, it seems an excursion to a new place permits another view. The next turn may not be the one we’ve been used to, but leaving helps us proceed and do.


larawan ng bagong tren ng PNR, Manila patungong Bicol

A new adventure awaits us with a new turn/


A trip maybe planned or hurried, with a fixed destination or no. It maybe solitary or with a companion. It could be a flight in the wee hours or a happy excursion at the break of day. It could be an expedition borne by necessity or driven by mere fancy. Could as well be a sojourn prearranged days and months ahead, or, simply a meandering – a leisure trip with no clear intent.


Sometimes, we go away with a chaotic mind. Sometimes, with a clear head and a determined heart.  Whether accompanied to the platform or to the station by our dear ones, or, embarking on a solo trek,  we depart in pursuit of new grounds. To leave, to go, to live – to a world unknown and unexplored.



Leaving surely makes us uncomfortable at first. Heck, it may even hurt. We are so intimate with the familiar – the nooks and the corners, the warm relationships and the predictable routines. Oh,  the sheer consistency lulls us into staying where we are. Do we want to be disturbed? Shall we go on away and afar to disturb other places, other people? Say, we’re so used to our lives spinning in the same old rhythm and manner.


kartong larawan ng isang babaeng nagpapasya

Days when we consider breaking the monotony/

But just the same, going away may just be the excuse we’ve been waiting for, the break we’ve been pining for and the chance we’ve been wishing for. Might it not expand horizons, broaden narrow views or dust off rusting beliefs? We’ll never know, until we try. In the meantime, it might just be the short-term remedy for all the headaches and confusions from all the usual spinning.


When taking the first few steps of our journey, we usually give the familiar place a quiet embrace or a warm, enveloping stare. There’s that chance, we may never pass this way again.


For better or for worse, with a light or heavy heart, we sling that backpack, lift that duffel bag or pull that suitcase and off, we go.


We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”

– T.S. Eliot


Of Valentines, Love and Other Falsehoods

larawan ng tsokolate at rosas para sa araw ng mga puso

Chocolates and flowers to melt the heart on the V-Day/

Another Valentine’s Day survived, whew! With all the flowers and chocolates being peddled around and bandied about on the 14th, one’s liable to think the world’s gone mad with love. Messages crying out loudly or, softly, “Be Mine.” Yes, but could you give me a minute, please? After all, it’s not that easy to say, “I’m Yours.” Really.

Or, is it? Isn’t it what we’ve been waiting for, the chance to turn soft and finally surrender without a fight? “Shh, heart, thou doth protest too much. Keep still.” It’s that time to see the sky a shade bluer, the grass a bit greener and the rose a little redder, huh? It’s the time to be happy. Or, so they say. Or, so you say.


larawan ng dalawang nag-iibigan

Love is making senseless excuses about being in love/

But what of it? What could be so special about love, really? Love, indeed! Why, it’s a curse, according to the severely affected. It’s about finding oneself in another person, the craziest of ideas. The nerve! The height! Capital!  Some situation one takes the trouble to entangle himself in.

It’s as though the pressure of the clock isn’t enough, the degradation of the environment not alarming enough and the proliferation of crimes, nothing to worry about, no. The heart could stand some more tremors, keep them coming. Truly,  a person’s appetite for self-destruction knows no bounds.


The heart has its reasons, methinks the problem begins there. It has this phony superstition that the more befuddling a person is, the more attractive he/she is. How come? How come that a person who bothers your sleep, intrudes in your thoughts and makes you forget your meals, becomes the center of your universe? That’s insane!

Now, it’s bad enough that one forgets himself with the intruder’s presence. But there usually follows music, too, of the most unusual kind. At this point, insanity of the distressed person scales up to a level not quite anticipated. Derangement then shows itself in various serious forms. Regression sets in – the suffering person becomes young at heart. Some warning is in order or the effects will be irreversible.


Some form of intervention thus becomes necessary. Rescue the afflicted or be damned with the consequences. Alas, for most people, they do not see the peril of being around a fellow who is truly, deeply and madly in love. They usually ignore the signs, fail to address the root cause of the predicament and some even go the extent of encouraging madness. Ah, when will we ever learn?

I say with candor, love must be nipped in the bud. It musn’t be permitted to take roots, reach out to the sun and cavort with the wind. There’s a stiff price to pay if we allow that to happen. Sadly, we have allowed just that. Negligence seems to have the run of the place, for thousands of years. And where has it gotten us, may I ask? To the bottom of the deep blue, I am loathed to admit. It’s a world peopled by folks who can’t tell their left from their right, a sorry business.

larawan ni Kupido, ang diyos ng pag-ibig para sa mga Romano

Valentines reminds us, foolishness spares no one/

Fortunately, some bright minds came up with the idea of celebrating the love day. They marked a certain day of the year for honoring Eros or elevating Cupid, a happy, if not a cure-all, solution. By declaring Valentine’s Day, the authorities effectively stripped love some of its mysteries. Love’s then lifted up and held for everybody’s appraisal. Devoid of falsehood and misconception, it can now take its place among its brethren – ambition, revenge and shame – a veritable and strong line-up. Love as one among the many emotions that make this world go round.


Consider this. Celebration of love for just one day needs not give one the creeps when he or she is loveless. Come on, it’s just a day! For all the hoopla, Valentines can be and is usually survived. I mean, it’s not as hard as Physics. It’s nowhere near Algebra, hey. I must admit though, that not quite measuring up to the demands of the occasion, induces a state almost as bad. There’s always the inquiring look, the solicitous words and the punishing kindness from friends, relatives and acquaintances, all to make The Day bearable.

These well-meaning people do not take you to task for going around and about loveless and unloved, no. They pray and hope for your deliverance. For them, love is a mandatory kind of sickness, very much like the measles or the chickenpox – it’s necessary. If it can be helped, the affliction must manifest and declare itself on the 14th day of the second month, yes. This way,  you’ll be normal just like the rest, normally in the love fever range. Ahuh.


larawan ng isang taong humihiling ng pag-ibig

Finding love’s not easy as a breeze/

So, it happens. Love is commemorated yearly, on a circumstance and in a ceremony called Valentine’s Day. There are flowers, chocolates, cards and all sorts of compunctions. It’s not so bad. Really. Valentines thoughtfully reminds us that love can be lost and found. Or, found and lost. Which, when one comes to think of, is what love’s  all about. It’s about finding what’s missing and losing what one thought she or he, has found. It’s a lot like life, honestly.

Different folks conceive and celebrate Valentine’s Day differently. For some, it’s the chance to show off, to declare devotion way too loudly. For the others, it’s the occasion to spend all too carelessly. Still, for the others, it’s the suitable day to cry oneself immensely. Different strokes, I say. For me, love is meant for growing. If your plant has not matured by V-Day, why, it’s no time to expect harvest yet. If you do, that isn’t just subscribing to falsehood. It’s being silly, on top of forcing love.


larawan ng isang kamay na umaabot sa pag-ibig

Love is grown over time/


And if there’s one thing love ain’t, it’s just that – it’s not begotten by compulsion.


Happy Valentines, all year through!  😉 🙂


Not In the Frame

Image of a series of painting of flowers

What is excluded in the frame may just be as important/


With us, the last words are usually yours. And there they are, stonily unsaid. Unspoken but lingering, all the time coming between us.

larawan ng isang di-pangkaraniwang frame

Some things maybe out of their usual frames/



Ah, frames and handles! Could they be any different from boxes and approaches? 🙂