Essays and articles

Sunrise…Sunset

sunrise1

The sun rises from this part.

Here, it is more quiet. The sun slowly rises to spread its warmth on the sleeping town. The beach as always was empty, as was the rest of the property. Last night i slept with the faint sound of the waves outside the veranda, the sound marred by the AC protesting from the fluctuating current, a sorry state of affair in this locality. Over dinner of broiled fish, fried chicken and veggies in coconut milk, I pitched in to the ongoing conversation with colleagues on local issues and gossips… “why not go solar panel? All roofs in this town.” And another one interjected, “add the animal dungs and go biogas as well!” And so it went… “organic veggies, too… and meat, as well..” Laughter.

For me it was a serious conversation.

“Change is coming?” Indeed. Yes, it will come. But from the hands of those who can feel the need for such. Not something that is dropped from the sky, or from the promise of one elected politician. It often comes from the ground. And such is more profound.

beach1.jpg

While in between battling and frolicking with the waves, three of us women in the group were having this conversation about uninhabited islands and the many beliefs of locals about respecting silence. The other side of this sea would be the part where the first landfall of Typhoon Haiyan happened. From across our vision, the small islets can be seen. And so the anecdote was retold by one of my companions that the old women in the town admonishes the local tourists to respect the Unseen inhabitants of the island, lest something bad will happen to their audacity. One look and feel of this place would make you “behave” – it’s like treading a sacred ground. And we owe respect to this unexploited place.

beachkids1.jpg

In that afternoon swim and solemn walk by the beach, the local kids were generous enough to give me this photo. They asked me to capture this familiar scene. They didn’t know I had some summers like that years ago in my grandparents’ town, our house also near the beach.

solitude2.jpg

On the other side of the beach, this town rises from the tragic visit of  Yolanda, the local name for cyclone Haiyan which flattened this entire town. Three years after, I had this chance to visit the place and spent sometime in this local resort. Yes, the people are resilient.

sunset1.jpg

Back home, the sunsets are profound. I took one glimpse of the orange ball sliding into the horizon. It happened so fast. In this particular afternoon, I was the only adult that strayed into the beach while my kids and nephews were also busy taking photos and fishing on the shallow waters.

Life is sunrise and sunset.

Essays and articles

Exercising the Right to Vote

A clean, honest and credible election – that is what the people deserve. It was astounding to see how friends and neighbors took to the local precincts to cast their votes for the next set of leaders who will manage this country. I say manage – not rule, not even run. The mandate is to manage the economy and make it more humane – people over profit, the environment over greed. Surely, we have learned our lessons.

The good things are – people  voted based on their convictions, more platforms for discourses, and the young and old both dreaming of something good to happen. That explains why these generations are converging on the voting places – as watchers, as local leaders of their respective political parties, and as one of the electorates.

Still, the negative side of our political culture persist. Money floated around to entice votes. People still expect to receive some incentives for voting, be it money or food. It does not sound good, i know. But it is real, it is still happening.

They say that democracy is noisy. It creates a cacophony of voices even on social media platforms where the only regulation that exists is your own. We’re quite lucky. I thought of the citizens of countries where dissent even in their most artistic and subtle forms are curtailed. And now, the shadows of such a regime hover – at the back of our minds, in the open whispers on Facebook and Twitter. What is there to fear? We have been through those dark times in our history as a nation. Are these fears unfounded?

We wait and see… what is really coming?