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THE SUNDAY TIMES: IT’S A BEAUTIFUL WORLD WE LIVE IN

Location: Palawan, Philippines

Why Palawan is more than its breathtaking beaches.

Someone once saw these photos I took and told me, “Wow, you have such beautiful photos!” After a few weeks I realized, “It didn’t make a good photo, it’s just a beautiful world we live in.”

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Pristine Beach, Puerto Prinsesa, Palawan; February 28, 2016

It is Tuesday morning on the second week of March. I am in my new usual comfortable outfit: a jumper tucked with a polo inside with my hair hanging loose on both sides. I am feeling wide-eyed, I feel like Gman has been teaching me a lesson since last year and it is looming into zoom now. I’ve been hiding for the longest time – both online and in real life. Messages from some friends to meet up have gone and passed, as I sit by my bed devouring Murakami’s world, slowly by each hour.

I’ve also been feeling not myself than ever before. I take notice of the hair on my head, the skin on my body and the bones inside me – all of them feel unfamiliar. A Levithan-One-Day-level kind of strangeness. I do not know them, or maybe I’ve just forgotten.

In a sense, I wanted and needed that time. I needed to forget everything and listen to the abyss inside me that has been screaming all this time. I wanted to forget – forget about the voices I constantly hear nothing of but negativity, forget that such a cruel world exists for I have acknowledged it for a little too long now. It’s time I see only the beautiful days – when the sun knocks on my window, and a faint wind passes by to greet me a good morning.

But maybe it isn’t so much as forgetting as returning to my natural self. I remember the summer days when I was still in college when I’d read Harry Potter and putting it down would give an end to my life. These days feel unfamiliar because they are new, but somehow, without willing it to, my soul has gone back to where it felt comfortable in, although I could definitely feel some struggle this time around.

Another week has passed into our year. Another seven days of a week we cannot turn back to if we wanted.


It is now Sunday morning and looking back to the week that has gone is surreal. Living someone else’s life feels more believable than actually being present at all those meetings and days I’ve walked up to work and gone home when the sun’s tired. It feels more real for my soul to have gone off to various adventures and my lifeless life went on without it. That feels more soothing, at least for now.

Real or imagined I know that I still did live through those long and sometimes dragging hours. But how will I be able to appreciate the beautiful moments if not for them?

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