Every snapshot has a story: The ‘Welcome’ Sign

'Welcome' signs are iconic. Some are simple, yet exude an idea or two about a place.
I feel safe and secure with my travels whenever I see any of these signs.

Not only do they give you the comfort but also the thrill of knowing that you are headed to where you want to be. After all, being on the right track matters.
Reaching your final destination without hassle is heavenly.

I have passed by this particular Kapangan 'welcome' sign a number of times. No border checks. No unnecessary controls.
It has only pointed me to one direction.
Welcome to the other side. Home.

When Lightning Strikes Twice

Affirmative. It did. I have barely got back on my feet and started believing that things were getting better, when, like the first time, lightning struck without warning. Another shocking truth revealed. This couldn’t be happening!

This time, it was more forceful, more poignant and more painful. It totally knocked me off my feet.

I thought of all the others who got hit the first time and have been trying their best to move on. They have worked really hard hoping for that light at the end of the tunnel. But, has the strike of a second lightning, a more disheartening truth, rendered those efforts useless? And I can’t help but ask: Was I taken for a fool that I didn’t deserve to know the absolute truth the first time?

I am not angry. I don’t think I will ever be. However, I am deeply hurt to the core of my being. I may have every right to be. Well, give me that, at least.

What now?

My heart bleeds. I’m finding it difficult to breathe. Nevertheless, I have accepted the blow and have resolved to bravely live with it. Now and then, I force myself to stop those tears from flowing because crying neither stops nor changes the harsh reality of it all.

You see, discovering the truth behind a lie for the first time, is like lightning as it strikes once. Its power is not enough to cause any serious damage. Rather, it becomes an impetus for a massive shake-up of your personal beliefs.

When lightning strikes the second time, the world then crumbles and burries you with it. It numbs and sucks the life out you. It can kill.

What keeps me going? Unconditional love.
It stops me from blaming anyone including myself. Stop the blame. Live the game called life.

It makes me sane and be understanding of why lightning hasn’t struck once but twice.

It keeps the suffering under control.

Whatever happens next, unconditional love is a weapon that I am unable to surrender to the enemy. I will fight with it, not just today or tomorrow but definitely for eternity.

 

‘Of The Sea’

There were four

That became two

‘Of the sea’

Just  you and me.

 

When the world shook

An arm kept me safe

‘Of the sea’

Did it for me.

 

Kept apart by miles and years

The flow of blood, fervent

That bridge between prevails

Unbroken, forever unburnt.

 

My love, respect and awe

Never lost, be in the know

I miss the big bro

Of the sea, so I speak.

My wheel. My life.

href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/wheel/”>Wheel</a&gt;


Take control of your steering wheel as you would take control of your life.

The moment you touch that wheel, you become the boss of your emotions, your thoughts, your words and your actions. Do not be overwhelmed with that power, though. Drive safely. If you don’t, there’s bound to be terrible consequences. The worst is the loss of your life or someone else’s.

Therefore, live your life safely. Take risks but use your common sense.

Move away from danger.

The wheel is life. Sometimes you’re up, at other times, you’re down.

Therefore, do not mock and judge people. One of them might get to the top of the wheel, wealthier, more famous and more successful than you.

Remember the golden rule. Believe in karma.

What we do and use to make wrong things right

(alluded to one particular leader of a land who thinks he can do anything with impunity)

Diversion:
-Constantly making up excuses or alibis. The attention is now drawn from what is actually wrong to proving the truthfulness of the alibi.

-Inferring from someone else’s experience. What has been right for someone may not be right for everyone.

-Knowing but not straightforwardly accepting that he is wrong. He cleverly fights back by pointing out the opponent’s wrongdoing instead.

Deception: Lying is not telling the truth outright. To deceive is cheating someone with a fabricated truth. That is double jeopardy.

Revenge/ Karma: The notion of “an eye for an eye’…

Beliefs:

-Customs and Traditions:  If one can accept and adapt to changes of the times, then there is no need to justify a tradition or practice.

-Ideology:  Whatever society calls it and however it is applied, it does not necessarily determine that what is wrong is right and vice versa.

Social Media Misuse/Abuse
When one resorts to spreading fake news. And using it further to proliferate erroneous information or a graphic image of the purported enemy.

Charisma
Its power can drive supporters to blind loyalty and encourages them to acquiesce to any idea without reading between the lines. They would go as far as defending and shrugging off the use of foul and offending language. They would further tolerate inhumane practices.

When their  enemy falters and does the same, he is excessively  mocked, bashed and taunted personally and via social media.

Keeping allies as close as possible and at all costs. Knowing full well that as and when needed, they can be utilised to propagate the same convictions as the charismatic leader.

White lies.

 Wanting total freedom where there is total disregard for the law. Divine or human.

To blog or not to blog

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My daily routine of heading to work has been put on hold for sometime now. This has given me the opportunity to re-ignite hobbies of old: reading and writing. I was able to read those pocketbooks gathering dust on the shelf.  I unwrapped subscriptions of Reader’s Digests and read them all. To further pass the time, I completed browsing through a pile of travel brochures.

Coincidentally, I have had this  longing to write about my own culture after realising its slow demise and how much I have taken it for granted. Thankfully, I found an online community, Igorotage,  which interestingly caters to topics about my tribal roots. Perfect! I signed-up. My tagline: “I am passionate about keeping the Igorot culture alive”.

To blog:  When I started writing for Igorotage, my ‘creative juices’ kicked off! It paved the way for me to take courage,  reach out to more readers and learn the intricacies of blogging. This site, Opinions Matter,  came to life.

My first attempt to blog about my roots,  Hometown Fortress came into fruition.

The more I blogged, the more I wanted to write about anything and share my opinions from my heart’s point of view. Not only have I discovered that blogging is an avenue to  discover the eccentricities and convictions of other people but it has likewise widen my writing horizon.

To blog more: My determination to share my culture in writing has not waned, therefore, a separate site, www.benguetsite.wordpress.com has been created to highlight that goal.

I hope that through this specific site, I will be able to relay the significance of not just knowing but also remembering one’s culture and traditions. Hence, passing a priceless heritage to generations still to come.

Please click on Benguet Blogs in Menu to read about my life as a Kankanaey Igorota.

One Day. Two Stories.’Kevi and Santa’

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The weather maybe muggy today, but it's tempting not to stay indoors. So I decided to drive around and take photos of the town where I've lived for the last 13 years. Then I met Kevi and Santa. Here is the other story.  

I took a stroll into the woods and stopped  by a quiet stream to cool down. A dog was already there doing the same.  Its kind lady owner allowed me to take a photograph of her dog having fun.
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As I took the shot, my attention got diverted onto a couple at the shallow end of the stream. Their backs were turned to me and both were busy getting something from among the overgrown bushes in the water. This scene felt familiar. It took  me back to a river in a town where I grew up. What I needed to do now was to verify a wild guess!

The woman noticed me and signalled that I follow a narrow path leading to where she was standing.

Whoah! I was right! The couple was gathering fresh and (oh, well, call it organic) watercress! I knew it!

Watercress is called tungsoy in my Ilocano dialect.

Here's a flashback to my neighbourhood in La Trinidad, Benguet Philippines. Many residents plant watercress in a river for free! Then it was sold fresh and in bundles. By the way, for those who grew up in the same neighbourhood, they would know exactly what river I was referring to.

Back to the present: Where I currently live, watercress is packed and sold for making vegetable salads. Some people are not aware that it can either be sauteed or steamed.

The couple from Nepal spoke broken English but I was able to get their names; Kevi and Santa. They generously gave me a bagful of freshly picked watercress! From a stream where you'd never expect was teeming with such nutritious green.

Not unless you have the slightest idea, then you'd never know.

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Thank you, Kevi and Santa. Watercress happened to be one of my favourites. I hope we'll meet again.

Here is the first story in one day.