On the beach, the sea can be your best friend. You can pour out all your heart’s regrets and frustrations and it will not cast judgment. You can hear its calming response with every wave that hits the shore. You can come closer and allow it to embrace you in its waters, and your sweat and tears will not matter to it, for it will not make a distinction from its own saline. And if you leave, you can always be certain that it will always be there, ready to listen upon your return no matter how long it takes.
May 1, 2014. It was the reportedly the hottest day of the year to date, and perhaps no other description can be more apt to figuratively describe the intensity of the passion that filled those who participated in the annual protest rally. Tens of thousands filled the plaza around the monument of Gat Andres Bonifacio in Lawton, as the same deluge marched the streets of midtown Manila to Mendiola to reaffirm the demands of the working class and other sectors of society for social justice.
April 23-28, 2014. The past days have been a blur. At the heels of a week-long trip to Australia, I had not fully recovered from disorientation. I had not taken a lot of pictures the past days because my phone’s screen was already a mosaic of shattered pieces of glass precariously held together by some inherent Samsung adhesive, and one crack had covered the front camera. And aside from that, I have been un-inspired, suffering from a specie of ennui the past weeks. I’m not sure why, and I don’t really want to answer the question.
Together with my incoming and outgoing co-officers (who really are more than just co-officers to me) in the student council, we went to San Juan, Batangas for a beach outing, right before some of us flew to Zamboanga to attend the national convention of the Association of Law Students of the Philippines (ALSP). The trip to Batangas was a comfortable one. I ended up with a big bruise on my buttocks after falling off from the staircase, but it was all fine. The trip to Zamboanga on the other hand was punctuated by such an uncomfortable bus ride from Dipolog to Zamboanga City as we traversed Zamboanga peninsula in an effort to board our flight back to Manila.
April 19, 2014. It was our last full day in Australia. We had booked a city tour of Melbourne, and the guides took us to the standard sights around downtown Melbourne, including some shopping arcades. We were eventually dropped off at Victoria Markets, somewhere uptown. That afternoon was spent packing up for our trip back home. With a whole night to spare, I decided to take a walk, as I often do, around downtown, for a few hours that night.
My heart’s beloved:
I am writing you again, because I am alone and because it troubles me always to have a dialogue with you in my head, without your knowing anything about it or hearing it or being able to answer.
Momentary absence is good, for in constant presence things seem too much alike to be differentiated. Proximity dwarfs even towers, while the petty and the commonplace, at close view, grow too big. Small habits, which may physically irritate and take on emotional form, disappear when the immediate object is removed from the eye. Great passions, which through proximity assume the form of petty routine, grow and again take on their natural dimension on account of the magic of distance. So it is with my love…
Excerpt from a love letter from Karl Marx to Jenny Von Westphalen (June 21, 1865)
April 18, 2014. The ten-hour train ride to Melbourne went by quickly as we slept through it during the night. We woke up on a Good Friday morning in Melbourne, our hotel just almost across the train station. Upon checking in, I took a walk around downtown by myself, as I often do, only returning to the hotel to join my family for lunch. I took another walk that afternoon after taking a nap, that time taking my little sister with me. Since it was Good Friday holiday, most of the establishments were closed. I was guessing the number of people in the streets that day, numerous as it seems to be at times, was less than normal.
April 17, 2014. Greeted Mama with a birthday cake as soon as I woke up. I had secretly bought one the night before when I went out with a friend. It was our last day in Sydney, and we had the day to ourselves, no tours booked whatsoever. Guided with GPS and Google Maps powered by prepaid mobile internet on my phone, we wandered around downtown Sydney, did a few shopping, before hopping on our ten-hour train to Melbourne.
April 16, 2014. We were booked on a tour to the Blue Mountains, a national park west of Sydney. Spectacular views. We were likewise brought to a small zoo where we were able to interact with some kangaroos, koalas and emus. Instead of taking the road back to Sydney, we were ferried on a, well, ferry along the Parramatta River as the sun was setting down. I met up with a childhood friend and her sister for a night out in Sydney.
April 15, 2014.