The Dawn of the Dancing Lions

My Symphonies: Bedshaped by Keane
Chances by Five For Fighting
Say by One Republic

It’s been about three months and three weeks since my graduation day in high school. I was there, in the university gymnasium of my Catholic school, marching my way up and down the stage with high hopes for new and sweet beginnings. With these hopes come my knowledge that some things would have to end in order for other things to begin. As Paulo Coelho said in the “Closing Cycles”, nothing is irreplaceable. And yes, I used to really think that this was a lie– a propaganda. I used to believe that many things in my life cannot be replaced or substituted. Well, little did I know that I knew way less than I know now. So here I am, shocked by the fact that I am actually writing about what’s going on with my life after more than a season of being in silence and anxiety.

This is the part where I tell it all…

Yesterday I decided to go back to Bacolod. Now what is so special about that, you may ask. Well, I never really thought of going home before August 24. The original plan was that I’ll go home for my grandmother’s 75th Birthday which will be celebrated on that particular day. But I guess fate found a way for me to be in this place unexpectedly to see what I wasn’t able to see for the past sixteen years of my life.

So we all know that my life here in the City of Smiles theoretically ended since the very day I stood on the grounds of Miami (or Miag-ao, for a more “honest” term). For everyone else who doesn’t know yet, after many weeks of frustration, anger, fears and tantrums, I landed in the University of the Philippines- Visayas. I am taking up BA Communication and Media Studies. Currently, I live in a dormitory, which is a place with no housemaid, no air conditioning system, no wide and comfy bed, no parents, no personal refrigerator, no pets, no cable television, no telephone, no DVD player, no door locks and definitely no privacy. Basically, I am now living a life which is so different from the one I used to live a few months back. And I have to tell you that this whole experience is a gradually life-changing process.

A life-changing process. But I have to be honest with you and to myself. I used to really hate the kind of life I deliberately chose– the dorm life, the UP life, the rural-area living and the eerie and idyllic atmosphere I am in lately. I used to really hate Miag-ao. It is a hundred times opposite to my hometown. There are no malls, bars, fast food chains, theaters, express ways and fancy restaurants where I usually relieved my stress and vanished my madness. Miag-ao is a place which holds a mysterious silence– a mysterious yet interesting silence. And as I continue living the “silent life” in this place, I am occasionally finding meaning to all of this.

And as I walked on the old grounds of Bacolod last night, I felt some kind of a slap on my face. It was only just last night when I realized why Bacolod is so so different from Iloilo. Both places are actually dubbed as “Twin Towns”, but I beg to disagree.

Everyone who has seen me grow up through the years knows how much I love Bacolod and how much I treasure the moments I have shared with countless people in that place. This is the place where I learned my ABC’s, my 123’s and this is also the place where I learned most of my firsts: my first love, my first kiss, my first taste of alcohol, my first barkada, my first drunken night, my first fall and my first rising up again. So now I say that Bacolod has been my primary training ground. This is where I first learned the basics of life. Bacolod, in fact, had been my one and only love. But honestly, I fell out of love with that place already.

Sure it’s still as wonderful as it was before. There’s still the famous Lagoon, the dazzling Lacson Streets, the gigantic Robinson’s Place, the traditional Central Market and Plaza Mart, the recreational Reclamataion and Bredco, the busy North Drive and the different barangays that make up my Birthplace. Bacolod is still the same after months of being away from here. It’s still the same; but the people aren’t.

Sometimes I think of what could’ve happened if I decided to stay in that place; if I decided to be one of those greenies in La Salle, or the excellent people in UNO-R; if I decided to stay in my house, on my bed, living the same life all over again. Do you know what the product of my constant thinking is? A blur. A blur, simply because I choose not to see the outcome in a clear perception. And I no longer am interested in knowing anything about even just a bit of information about that place and most especially, about the people in it. It’s like college really has its unstoppable ways of changing things and people so drastically. Yes, change is inevitable. But it’s just so sad that some people change not for the better, but for the freaking worse.

And now all I see when I visited my hometown was a crib of babies who are either sleeping or drinking milk from a container which spills more than it contains, and I can do no more than just choke before such scene of an unfortunate serendipity.

I also have to say that despite the fact that my hometown is fast becoming a crib, I still long to visit a few loved ones back there: my family, my pets and a few good friends.

I guess life really gets better once you’ve trashed things which are no longer crucial to your existence– things which diminish bliss and bring down improvement.

Everything in this visible world is a manifestation of the invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts and getting rid of certain memories also means taking some room for other memories to take their place. Let things go. Release them. — Paulo Coelho (once again)

Now I am seeing a brighter horizon. 🙂

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