If you want to spend some quiet moments, refresh your mind, feel close to nature and God, Caleruega is the perfect place to go; located in Brgy. Kaylayaw, Batulao, Nasugbu Batangas. As described in the flyer given to visitors at the gate, Caleruga is a house (place) of prayer and renewal. It is equipped with facilities for activities like retreats, recollections, prayer and renewal workshops, and other religious and environmental-related assemblies. But you can also go for a day’s visit. Like what I did last weekend. For 30 pesos entrance fee, you can enjoy the breathtaking views, clear your mind and find peace.
It’s sad that the Saturdays of sharing ideas, discussions and being critiques each other’s works have ended last April 28. I joined the Mainstream Fiction Writing Workshop conducted by JL Caiña of the chips. The workshop was held for three Saturdays in a seminar tent in Quezon City. Although we usually started the lessons late than the what’s in the schedule, everything was worth it! I learned a lot from the lectures and writing exercises (hmm, I think I owe JL one activity pa. Haven’t submitted it yet). Hopefully I’d be able to finish the stories I’ve been working on for several months already.
Aside from the learning experience, I also gained new friends. I won’t ever forget Ate Pinky who gave me free rides to QC city hall after each workshop because I’m afraid to cross the street from the seminar tent. Thanks, Ate Pinky! You can always buzz me if you want more pocketbooks. 😉 And Zoe, the lady who looks like Michiko Yamamoto (according to JL and I have to agree!) screenwriter of the movies Magnifico and Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros. She hates to be interrupted when she’s talking. Then, there’s Kim who would like to create her own animé masterpiece. And she loves Neil Gaiman. ArJ was the only guy in the workshop. I wasn’t able to talk to him very much, though. But I will never forget the look on his face when we he was forced to bring get the Tagalog romance pocketbook because JL asked us to read one and analyze it.
It’s just been a week since our last day and I’m missing their company already. I miss the exchange of ideas, their suggestions on how to develop my story, the tuksuhan, the laughter… everything. I’ll definitely see you guys again one of these days. 🙂
I discovered something about myself before I went to bed last night: That I like my life as it is before that little “deviation” yesterday morning. Although my decision was fast (more in haste, as a friend has said), I know it’s what I want. Whatever direction yesterday’s incident would have brought me, I don’t regret it. As long as I’m happy now, I’ll be okay. I’d worry about the future in the future. You see, I like the carefree life. I hate being pressured for the wrong reasons. And I don’t want to pressure myself.
I’m 100% sure I did the right thing. I’ve got evidence to support that. A few hours ago I found out from another friend the reason for a failure in her life. She got scared and she was in a hurry. And I trust my instinct. And it shouted “NO!” too loud for me to ignore it.
So I’m me again. Normal. And ain’t I so glad!
(P.S. to “another friend” – sorry if i used your words. i know you’re on the road to recovery and happiness now. just be careful)
We do not talk a lot. Voluble and opinionated as I am, I shy away when I am face to face with you. Even now, I still find myself taken by surprise whenever you crack a joke.
You often keep to yourself—in silent observation—that most people think you are unapproachable. But do not think you are a stranger to me (although when I was younger, I felt you were) or I do not understand you. In so many ways, I am so much like you. We cannot deny that fact.
Despite the silence between us, you are the most influential person in my life because I look up to you. For me, you remain the most selfless individual I know (or would ever know). Words are not enough to tell you how much I respect you.
There were times I must have disappointed you, I know. Sometimes, I am very frustrated with myself, too. But I cannot recall any instance that you confronted or showed me your frustrations in me. Instead, you continue to understand and support, never judging me or the choices/decisions I make. You let me discover life’s lessons, commit mistakes and learn from them. You put your trust that despite the misgivings along the way, I would make the right judgment in the end. You let me walk my chosen path, but you are there to to catch me when I fall.
If, in the future, I would decide to come out of my protective shell and gamble (although Grandmother believes I won’t, ever!), I would choose someone like you or somehow similar to you, whose love is unconditional and without prejudice, always ready to extend a hand and do not expect anything in return, someone who has no hang-ups about his masculinity.
I thank you for everything. You will forever be my number one man.