November 2013 Diaries (1 of 3)
January 4-10 Edition
Jonathan Aquino's Journals
November 1, 2013
It's 10:26 p.m., Friday as I write this. I'm in Cebu.
I'm here because I'm traveler, and I spent my life working my way to various places.
I left Manila early this year. A personal reason compelled me to leave everything behind including a budding film career. The pain was just too much, and I realized that I had ran out of reasons to stay.
The travel and the solitude in a remote sea side town here are part of the emotional healing I desperately needed.
Then around the second quarter, I faced the most negative event in my life, in the sense that I have completely lost my faith in humanity. I've been struggling against that but it finally happened. I call that event my "Encounter with Doomsday." The effect on me is irreperable.
But hey, it's all part of the trip.
"What a journey it has been, and the end is not in sight," goes one of my personal anthems, "but the stars are out tonight, and they're bound to guide my way..."
November 3, 2013
3:15 p.m., Sunday
I'm in the large garden of a friend's house somewhere in the south of Cebu just a few meters from the sea. He's inside getting stuff for our barbecue and early outdoor dinner. I'll be moving in tonight in a large room in the grand mansion across the street. My new landlady is now preparing the receipt and the room.
For the first in quite some time in my nomadic existence, I'll be living in a place that could potentially serve my needs except for the glaring fact that I have to pass the main living room to get to the stairs. My second-floor sanctuary is quiet and cool in the daytime, unlike my apartment in the city. It's large enough so I can dance again, though I don't do it professionally anymore.
What looks promising is the rectangular shape of the room because it's conducive to the smooth flow of positive chi. I believe in feng shui only about the main concept of living in harmony with the laws of the universe, which I learned in my ongoing spiritual journey.
I respect the principles of geomancy but I rely more on a positive mindset, an attitude of thanksgiving and proactively helping others to reap good karma and offset the negative ones that I've accumulated throughout my lifetimes across the centuries.
I don't believe in luck - but I believe in grace.
My friend asked me to fix something about his cell phone. Instead of going to Settings, I checked out the MP3 tracks. I finally got the title and the artist of a song I like.
"I'll be all right, as long as it matters, as long as you're here with me now..."
As Long As It Matters
I'm now in my new place: the master bedroom of a mansion. The family's dad is gone and my landlady has moved into a smaller room. For a while, their only child occupied my room before moving somewhere else. Still plastered on one wall is a poster of young Filipino matinee idol Sam Concepcion. Around me is a gallery of South Korean pop star Kim Bum. I think it may have been a girl's room. Then again, nowadays, you never know.
Boys Over Flowers
November 5, 2013
I'm not like everybody else.
"Johnny, you're weird!"
You have no idea, I thought.
"People always tell me that," I replied. "Very consistent."
The girl who told me I'm weird is a work colleague whom you might say is a member of our office's "in" crowd. She is a fashion model and really chic. With her lifestyle and a stint in Singapore, one would have thought she'd been exposed to all kinds of people, especially artistic types. I didn't disagree. But I'm sure we're seeing the same thing from entirely different perspectives.
I think "weird" is really subjective. If you ask a dozen people to explain it, you'll probably get twelve different answers. Then, those same people might think of their fellows as weird because they think differently. As for me, I show the world my true authentic self and I never harm anyone. I can't even imagine trying to be someone I'm not. If the whole world calls me a freak because I'm not like them, then it's not a reflection of my character.
I'm proud to be me.
"Ask Xian," I said.
I was talking to my work colleague Nick last night and the subject somehow touched on some ideas that I have thought deeply about. These are not the things I want to debate about. But I'm always intensely curious about what people think about them because it gives me a deeper insight into their characters.
We were walking towards the elevators when we saw Xian, a trainer in a call center company.
"Ask me what?" he said.
"Two things," I replied. "First: Nick says he doesn't believe that everything happens for a reason."
"I don't," said Xian.
I do. I believe there is something behind coincidences and random events. Our existence itself is a part of a plan that defies our finite minds. The best engineers can never construct something like the human eye, much less a brain.
"Second," I said without missing a beat, "he thinks that intelligence and character are the same."
We trooped inside the elevator.
"They're different," said Xian as the doors closed. "You can be smart but you may not have character. You can have character but you may not be smart. You can be witty without being intelligent, and you can be intelligent without being witty. But you can't be witty without being intelligent."
I believe that character has nothing to do with intelligence, so in a way I agree. It's just that we seem to define "character" in different ways. For him, it's about personality; for me, it's about values. I have lost count of smart people I met. But some of them are bigots, bullies, and back fighters.
I measure a person by how he treats others and by nothing else.