Monday, March 05, 2007

A Series of small, Contradicting Epiphanies


Written in: Poblacion, Sta. Maria, Bulacan, PHILIPPINES
Composition: Impromptu
Previous post: So Much More


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"...when I did, I hadn't noticed it."

Having uttered a statement I considered was so sublime in its simplicity, I immediately made a mental note of that very instance.

The location: a bookstore (Powerbooks?) in 'The Fort'. The time:
evening of the 20th of January, 2007.
It was an answer to a question that Rose asked me.

She was sitting in one of the finely appointed chairs meant for browsers. I was standing beside it. She asked out of curiousity if it was hard adjusting to life in Canada.

I only said, "The first few months were definitely hard. I was yanked away from the dear and the familiar - it wasn't a pleasant experience, that's for sure."

She followed up by asking, "So, when were you able to finally adjust?"



"I can't say," I said, as I squatted beside the chair to better face her, "because when I did (finally adjust), I hadn't noticed it."


Continued...
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"Do you ever miss Calgary?", Ate Yayi asked, as we threaded our way through Manila Traffic, during the weekend that I spent with them.

"Mnnn... Not really", I replied.

"Really?", she said, "Mireille was an exchange student in Highschool, you know. She went to New York State. Her first few weeks, she was always calling home and crying, saying 'I want to go home!' "


I replied by saying I probably don't miss it in the same way because going here was a conscious decision in my part.

The next day, at Chateau Verde, Cris was showing off his photos. I saw some of the photos he took the previous day and then some of the ones he took while he was visiting Mireille in Calgary.

Now, Cris takes awesome photos, and his photos of Calgary and sorrounding areas are works of art.

As I ogled at the images, I had a pang of longing for the place.

Liar, I thought to myself. You do miss it.


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"...OUR roads..."


"Fuuuc... psshhh... these trucks." I remarked, censoring myself, inside Cris' car.

I wanted to launch a barrage of stronger expletives but contained myself. Besides, expletives are futile anyways - if it can't be heard by the party it is directed towards, then what's the point?

The newly engaged couple, Cris and Ate Mireille, were driving me home to Sta. Maria, Bulacan, the Sunday of the 21st of January 2007. We were following an overloaded longbed ten wheeler cargo truck.

"Look at these guys," I said, going off into a rant, "they overload their trucks, and because they're not allowed in
NLEX (North Luzon Expressway), they take this route and screw up OUR roads. gah!"

I caught it as soon as I had said it - I referred to the roads in the possessive. Not only that, I included myself in the collective. We, My, Our Place


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A random recollection.

I must confess that I haven't done that much intensive reading regarding the philosophical movement of
Existentialism. Nevertheless, I am aware of its general principles and some key works that use it as a principal tenet. In fact, I think I have been a follower for the longest time - prior to even me realizing that there was a movement and that it had a name. Why the heck else would I boldly proclaim this blog as "Randy's Existential Trip"?

Anyway, everytime I use the word, Existentialism, I think of a very profound, often quoted, passage from Kierkegaard's Repetition:

"How did I get into the world? Why was I not asked about it, why was I not informed of the rules and regulations but just thrust into the ranks as if I had been bought by a peddling shanghaier of human beings? How did I get involved in this big enterprise called actuality? Why should I be involved? Isn't it a matter of choice? And if I am compelled to be involved, where is the manager—I have something to say about this. Is there no manager? To whom shall I make my complaint?"
-Young Man

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A reminder of things past

A few days after my short stay in Manila, cousin Marco dug up a notebook.

It was a daytimer I had for the last highschool year I spent in the Philippines. For some reason or another, I chose not to bring it with me to Canada ten years ago - opting instead, to leave it in his care.

Beyond being a daytimer, it too was a time capsule of what preoccupied my mind during those times. It had "poetry" (or what I pretended was my poetry), scribbles, memes, random thoughts, and a lot of ballpoint artwork.

The usual topics of male adolescent sexuality, wishful daydreaming, whimsical fancy, and generalized jackassery could be seen in almost every page.

There were however a few things that I found troubling as I read it again for the first time in a decade.

It had a lot of teen anger. For some reason or another, I was angry, mad and absolutely enraged at the world and my existence. Now, nothing is new with that, I suppose. Every alienated young male with raging hormones probably goes through their own version of teen angst.

But what is significant about this is that, in
another post, it seemed as though I was attributing an angst-ridden first few years in Canada - the maladjusted, depressed few years - SOLELY to being thrust into another culture without my consent.

The discovery that I had perhaps 'brought' the angst with me, to say the least, was very sobering.

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"So, when do you come back?"



One Monday morning (it would have been Sunday pm in Calgary), I found myself chatting on MSNmessenger with some guy I know from the
Calgary Sports Car Club.

I was asking him how the winter's racing (rallycross and stage rally) season was going, and he was asking me how was my vacation so far.

After a few minutes of this he asked me, "So, when do you return to Calgary?"

I replied by typing, "I head for home on the 14th of April... this year."

His reply was, "Home being... there (in the Philippines) or here (in Calgary, AB, Canada)?"

I had to pause before rattling away at the keyboards for an answer. Did I just refer to Calgary as Home? Months ago, I used to refer to this trip as "Going home to the Philippines". Which is it?!

"Home equals there in Canada", I finally typed.

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Next Post: A First! A Negative experience of Philippine Life

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