Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Life's a Decision

exactly 2 years ago
Exactly two years ago, I started my ultimate journey. I had just finished working at a construction site in La Trinidad and I had just secured a letter of introduction from the office of the governor. And here's what I had to write on my journal*.

I leave La Trinidad for Tublay today. I feel apprehensive and hesitant. Perhaps because LT has become my comfort zone. I feel secure, comfortable, and certain here. But perhaps I'm just feeling the way everybody else would. Only, I'm more open to changes. I don't resist change as much as ordinary people do. This is nothing new to me. I've felt this when I decided to quit my job in 2011 to try farming in my hometown (but my boss called me up again after a few weeks and gave me an irresistible offer so...). It was repeated when I quit the same job in 2014 to try the BPO industry; and once again when I left that industry after 3 months to embark on this journey. 
My pack and everything in it when I embarked on this journey

I guess what makes it easy for me to make big decisions is my belief that whatever life path we take, we will all just survive somehow. It's human nature--survival instinct. The reluctance to change is just a phase. So even though I feel apprehensive about what's waiting for me in a place I only know by name, even though I think it so irrational to leave a place that has become my comfort zone, I'm leaving anyway!
It's been ten days since I came to Benguet. Working at the construction site and Bagsakan and spending three nights on Mt Timbak surely taught me a lot of priceless lessons. Kuya Salvador's** work has inspired me and convinced me that a man just has to wait and take his time and eventually realize what potentials nature has provided him with. We just have to focus on the opportunities it presents and stop fixating on its limits.
At the construction site, I learned how to appreciate and admire the work and capabilities of construction workers. Our modern jobs do make this world a different place. Yes that's the term--different--not necessarily better. The notion of a better place is just a product of impatience and lack of appreciation for what's at present. We forget that the present is a present (a gift) and our ego has taught us to aspire after something bigger and we motivate ourselves with the words innovation and progress to which we have arbitrarily ascribed positive connotations, when, in fact, everything is relative.

working at the construction site, I had to carry rocks up this narrow sloping alley
Construction workers build houses. I think a shelter is a better output than figuring our how the 'like' button can increase visitor engagement. 
At one instance, I also saw some preachers with their little boys and girls going from house to house trying to share the word of God in an effort to save as many souls as they can. But I think carrying rocks every day and working with the earth trying to save lives by providing as many men as they could with shelter is no less noble.
Man has made this world so complicated that what's essential has already gotten relegated.
It was a good feeling to have been able to appreciate some work by actually taking part in it. And it was  a splendid feeling when ninety days and 350 kilometers after that day full of anxiety and apprehension, I had been able to accomplish, by far, my greatest and most successful mission as Lagataw.

*This little yellow book was going to be the blueprint of my first book. But up to this day, I have not started writing it.
**Kuya Salvador is the owner of one the highest homes in the country. It is located in a very hostile environment--no running water (they rely on rainwater), very rocky ground. In spite of all these impediments, the locals have found a way to turn that hostile land into a productive vegetable garden. Just last year, his humble home which swayed in the strong monsoon has already become a mansion of sorts.

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