Sunday, April 03, 2005

Trips

the kids and i just got back from a four-day vacation at the world famous Boracay. needless to say we're all tired and tanned but happily so. we enjoyed our selves and did as we pleased, thank God for the comfortable budget we were able to bring with us (thank God even for the ex, their dad, who helped out quite surprisingly generously, when i told him where i was taking the kids and if he could help but it's up to him...)

on tuesday, i'll be off to another 5-day vacation trip, this time with my colleagues at work, where we will go on a package tour to Camiguin, somewhere far south of the Philippines.

on april 14-15, we department chairs and our dean are supposed to have a working beach excursion just somewhere north of our island, too, but i might not be able to make it as i would rather go to manila to be with my dad, who will be having his heart bypass surgery...

***

i will write more extensively on these trips later on, when i catch my breath and am able to collect my thoughts and impressions again, but for now, all i can say is that i've always welcomed the chance to travel, ever since i was a kid.

one of my most perused books was Disney's Wonderful World of Travel, and my other hobby when i was 8 or 9 years old-- aside from reading and writing-- was cutting out the coupons in magazines for free travel brochures and mailing them at the post office, so i could get all these wonderful travel catalogs back (of course i lied about my age heehee).

as with books, i think travel is the other best way to expand one's experiences and perspective of the world. not the touristy, shopping mall kind of travel, but the real kind, the kind where one engages in the lives of the natives more intimately by travelling as they do and eating as they do and living close to how they live.

it's not just a physical "trip" to another geographical location. in many ways, it becomes a mind trip to other states of consciousness and even a soul trip to other levels of being.

i grew up living in the mezzanine floor of what used to be my parent's store in a public market. i didn't have the "normal" childhood of playing physical games in lots of open spaces, or even just playing with dolls (my father thought it was an unnecessary luxury).

my childhood was spent working at the store, from sweeping the floor and wiping the dust off the merchandise, to helping in the inventory and tending the cash register as soon as i learned to count well, then on to attending to customers and suppliers and all the myriad sorts of strange people one gets to meet in a public market. there were no weekends nor holiday vacations (not even Christmas!... well only Good Friday, and even that was just half a day...), as weekends and holidays were the busiest store seasons too. we were forbidden to play too much with the other street and market kids because of their coarse manners and foul language. thank God my mother had the insight and foresight to provide us with books and lots of paper and pencils and crayons to at least let our imaginations run wild and free even as our physical bodies lived in cramped and dingy surroundings!

that's why i always say-- my father gave me roots (for his introducing us to the harsh realities of life at such tender ages), my mother gave me wings (for her introducing us to the value of imagination and dreams and following one's passions).

***

i have written a lot of my love for books and writing here, but rarely so of my love for travel. so in the next few blogs, i think i will focus more on these mind and soul trips, even as they take me physically to real geographical places.

hang on for the ride!
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