Some people I know hold a fearful pessimism for any place they haven’t been to before. They don’t find themselves comfortable in new settings and prefer the familiarity of hometown plazas or friends’ living rooms. Then, there are other people I know who grow antsy after being in the same place for too long - whether that be a couple hours or a couple days. They tell me the suburbs drive them insane - that they want to move to Arizona, New York, or even China. Some people are only comfortable in their one spot, and others seem comfortable everywhere else but here.
This home I live in, physically, is just a fabrication of a construction company and a catalogue from Ikea, Target, and Costco. A variation of this arrangement can be found within spitting distance outside my window, and again in the opposite direction. Why is it I don’t care to go many other places, at the same time that some others can’t stand their own places?
If I think about the exact form my house used to exist in 10 years ago, I recall it being quite different. Lots of the furniture and other belongings within have since changed. So, in that sense, it isn’t the same home anymore. I guess it’s grown up in the same way that I’ve grown up, or, anyone else has. So what makes it important to me is the continuing memory of having lived and living here. I am struck by others being made uncomfortable by their own memories.
Beyond, by Daft Punk. RAM is underrated.
I’m sure you remember the drama queen in high school. She’d be the type to have a breakdown for being assigned a bottom locker. Perhaps she’d trade favors to switch for another’s top locker. What kind of nail polish that so-and-so wore would be a huge deal to her, if nobody else. When you grew older, you’d look back and realize that it didn’t matter at all what locker or nail polish people had. Some people get into drama just for drama’s sake. Getting into it is what can make life fun.
VSCO-NEX Set 04. Our Baler Paradise.
I’ve returned from the Philippines two weeks ago. I haven’t gotten any photo opportunities like that since.
Do It, by Tuxedo (with Mayer Hawthorne).
VSCO-NEX Set 03. The Ditumabo Excursion.
Speaking of the Sony Alpha NEX-6, it shoots admirably. Dynamic range is decent, and color reproduction can be good when tweaked. Compact, but feels satisfying in hand.
(Source: Flickr / biyabo)
SUMMER ESSENTIALS, by Desgettier.
The best things for the best season.
VSCO-NEX Set 02. A Philippine Annual.
The SEL1650 proved flexible and capable, for everything from indoor to landscape. Still, the Sigma 19mm ART couldn’t be beat for image quality.
(Source: Flickr / biyabo)
It’s been about five days since I’ve landed in the Philippine Islands. You guys know that I come back here every year.
The funny thing about me, whenever I return here, is that I half-become a different person. I wake up at 7 in the morning, and fry bacon to have with my fresh pan de sal from the neighborhood bakery. Pet the dog in the backyard while enjoying the morning sun, while reading the news. Go for a walk around with the camera, all before ever turning on the computer. Lunchtime usually happens at a fast food joint on the way to another adventure. I lose track of my phone, having rarely used it (at least in comparison to my use when at home). Night falls and I’m in bed long before midnight.
All that, compared to what? Waking up close to noon and eating cereal; sitting in front of the computer for a couple hours, only getting takeout just to return home with it, and having my phone on me constantly. What’s to stop me from doing all these things that I do in the Philippines at home as well? A friend asked me about that, and after thinking about it for the past five days, I’m still not sure.
Maybe it’s because when I come here, I feel more connected to my culture. Everyone here moves like I move, and the pace of life facilitates my more healthy body clock. A cousin of mine holds a theory that gravity is stronger here in Mataas na Kahoy, Batangas. It makes people and time move slower. Condensate sweats down the glass. The dog lies quietly. Maybe that theory is true.
Or, maybe it’s because a dramatic change in circumstances is required to break oneself out of the mold. This town runs on pan, Pesos, chinelas, and old manners. Old women, sitting out in their thatched barangays, drinking local cocoa and listening to the radio - or, at least, what they can make out of it over the distant drone of karaoke. Old men, whom will recognize me and talk about my long past grandfather, who practically half-built this town. Maybe the blood is just different here.
Or maybe the trucks and trikes are just too god**** loud in the morning.