Decided to take an assignment that would take me out of MNL for a few days. Covered three stories in two days, traveling from Manila to Iloilo to Antique then back to Iloilo again. It was time mostly spent in transit, which I needed. With MNL the living, breathing bottleneck of a creature it is now, I looked forward to the early morning flight I knew would not be delayed and the long, traffic-free drive to a place I’ve never been.
One more PH province unlocked —> Antique, Aklan.
It’s little things like these that get me all giddy.
While I can’t really dwell on the specifics, I was in Visayas for a book project on an industry I’ve never reported on before. The trip was yet another affirmation that I am quite possibly on the right track with this freelancing thing. I’m learning a lot of different things on the job, chalking up new skills in the process including the art of faking it til I make it. This one especially felt like I went into the whole thing blind—no details on my subjects even until the last minute. It was a frickin’ challenge and I felt like pulling at my hair at one point, but after just letting my subjects talk and talk and talk without them realizing they were all puzzles I was piecing together, things started getting interesting.
One thing I’m surprised by in this neck of the woods is the fierce attachment of the Ilonggos (of all ages!) to their lovely, laidback province. A lot of the people I talked to, I’m honestly a bit amazed to find, weren’t really as itching to get their asses out there as I (always) am.
I can’t really blame them—if I had to pick a place to move to in the Philippines, I’d love for it to be right by a river. I love being by the water, and the lovely city with its diverse mix of proud heritage houses and burgeoning street art, has got plenty of riverside haunts that will keep happy little introvert ol’ me hooked. Fact is, the thought of spending a cool afternoon by the Esplanade with a good book is making me want to book a flight back there now.
I guess it’s just that for someone who’s always been restless and itching to get to the next destination, it was a surprise lesson in contentment and establishing roots. On one hand I wish I had the same disposition, but on the other I can’t really imagine staying put at this point. I guess home is not in one place for now but in being out there still. I know, I know, Manila has come to be “home” the last 15 years, but even to this day this gritty city has never made me feel truly comfortable. And I think it’s this very discomfort, this all-pervasive, underlying element of unease that’s made me choose the place over my hometown where life would really be simpler, calmer.
I don’t think it’s masochism..or is it?? Haha.
I don’t know..I guess I find contentment in discontentment.
Maybe I really am one of the weird ones.