Thursday, February 5, 2009

And In the End...

Hopefully, this is the last of my Batanes posts...

(Written with The Beatles’ Golden Slumbers playing on the background… )


Once there was a way to get back homewards
Once there was a way to get back home
Sleep pretty darling, do not cry
And I will sing a lullaby…
-Lennon-McCartney

I am leaving Batanes for Manila tomorrow. This extended, 18-day love affair with solitude in the country’s most isolated islands has finally come to a close. As I was packing my suitcase this morning, I couldn’t help but wonder, now what?


He’s a real nowhere man, sitting in his nowhere land,
making all his nowhere plans for nobody.
Doesn’t have a point of view, knows not where he’s going to.
Isn’t he a bit like you and me?
– Lennon-McCartney

Before I left Manila I had the good fortune of talking with an old friend who said that this long retreat from the rest of the world would most certainly be life-changing. We imagined that I’d probably come back with a beard and a wistful look on my face, as if ancient and sacred secrets have just been revealed to me. Like Moses after he walked on God’s mountain and spoke to the burning bush, we joked.

But after 17 days, I look at myself in the mirror and examined if anything has changed… Then I discovered... Whaaat?! I do have a beard now!


Blackbird singing in the dead of night,
take these broken wings and learn to fly.
All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to arrive…
- Lennon-McCartney

Kidding aside…

I looked at myself in the mirror and realized that at the end of it all, nothing has changed. Oh yeah, I’m darker, with more sun-induced blemishes and wrinkles on my face, with disheveled hair badly in need of a hair spa, cracked fingernails on scaling hands, calloused and deformed feet, more prominent varicose veins from too much walking around under the sun and the wind. I also gained several more pounds from my dozen-egg-a-week low-budget traveler diet. The image I see on the mirror would have made me depressed. But as this journey comes to a close, there’s a certain joy, an elation, a state almost akin to enlightenment, but not quite.



The long and winding road that leads to your door will never disappear.
I’ve seen that road before.
It always leads me here, lead me to your door.
–Lennon-McCartney
The Lonely Planet has a slogan which says “I search. Therefore I travel.” But do we really travel in search for something? Do we really find anything at the end of each journey? It’s hard to say. I do not agree with the notion that one needs to wander far away from home to search for epiphanies. Perhaps there are really no such things. There are only ordinary miracles in ordinary places and ordinary moments, just waiting to be discovered.

But since I took the pains of detaching myself from my everyday environment, I wonder if this is all worth it, when at the end of this 18-day retreat, I’m still the same. I cherish the same passions, feel the same way for certain people and things, I’m still the same idle procrastinating bitch who blogs all day despite mountains of unfinished business, I still can’t find the guts and the sense to say some things and to do the things that really matter, I still cry over silly movies and lines, my premature Alzheimer's Disease is still hounding me, I still cannot say what it is that I really want out of life, I still talk to that imaginary friend, and yeah, I still don’t have that well-designed plan that will enable me to get laid.

But the fool on the hill sees the sun going down,
and the eyes in his head see the world spinning round…
-Lennon-McCartney


Existential angst? Nah. Truth is I’m long done with that crap. Perhaps I’m just lonely that this trip is ending. Perhaps I’m just coping with the inevitable post-travel depression before it even starts. Perhaps I’m just excited about the real world that awaits. Perhaps I am hoping that after this trip, the next journey will finally be one that will lead me home. Ahhh, home…


Someday, you'll know I was the one
But tomorrow may rain so I’ll follow the sun.
One day, you'll look to see I've gone
For tomorrow may rain so I'll fillow the sun...
-Lennon-McCartney

I hope I’ll find out soon enough. But for now, I’m back to where I started.
Uh-oh…

Oh well…

Perhaps…

And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make…
-Lennon-McCartney
All photos belong to the author unless otherwise specified.

6 comments:

Reena said...

What? So all this time you were there?! I thought you returned home a week ago. Ang haba pala ng vacation mo. :)

“I search. Therefore I travel.” - I like this line. But personally, i travel for pleasure and not to seek anything spiritual.

Nice pictures. And i enjoy the allusions to the Beatles songs...hmmm. magaya nga. haha...

AngelMD-No-More said...

hi doc! whoah! got interested with your posts about batanes. it's a dream place of mine too! a priest family friend who was assigned there inspired me to visit the place.hmmm you just gave me an idea...when autism strikes, i could go there on my own too.hehe thanks for the pics you posted.=)

Walking on Water said...

@reena, yup, was there for the past 18 days. just arrived manila today. i'm a huge beatles fan kasi. i was probably a hippie in my past life. =)

@angelMD-no-more, functional autism - that's always nice... grab it when it strikes! i'm just wondering. Are you an angel-no-more or an MD-no-more?=)

AngelMD-No-More said...

Dra WOW: after training in a govt institution, that meant, angel-no-more.hehe linked you up if you wont mind.

drrayms said...

I couldn't help but wonder, now what? ... mother, you sound so like Sex In the City!!! Hahahahaha!!! well, without the sex?!

Love the pics! I know you had a great time there! You took pictures of your two great passions... kids and elderly people. hehehehe!

will said...

ganda ng peekchurs. gusto ko na tuloy pumunta sa batanes sa leave ko. pero dapat sumweldo muna kami. isang buwan na akong nagdidildil ng asin.