a weekend with my pandora’s box

this could be the most intelligent subject ever discussed in a girlie bar in sabang island for the last ten or fifteen years. dani chuckled.

no offense to those who came together before us.  but we did talk of stuff people do not normally talk about in an island where diving has brought about good and bad things alike to the country i belonged to.

i spent my weekend with a guy named daniel, a 28-year old swiss guy i worked with for a year in my previous company before i decided to look for greener pasture and he decided to chase girls in china (errr…. study mandarin, i mean).  he is a lot of things to me (but all of which are entirely platonic) but more than anything else, he is my mirror to the world outside.  he has been traveling for as long as i can remember and has met the kinds of people i never thought existed. 

though his fascination with china is now greater than his bond to the philippines, it was in no way amputated our friendship.  we shared each other’s deepest secrets that nobody else know about because they are either too sinful or too conflicting or too controversial to share.  we shared a common fascination on understanding culture: he on someone else’s and I, of my own. 

but, you can make a difference, you know. he spoke up after my failure to give him a sound reason why i wanted to keep a blog about the things i see in sabang.

there is something about my friendship with dani, as with the case about my relationship with david, that made me more conscious of my race, more on confused fascination of it rather than indifferent surrender.  that i have been regarded by my expatriate friends as anything else but filipina makes me think about the notions they have of the general population as a whole. but it was always dani who asked the most striking question.  

perception is reality; the world is a mirror. in a swift glance, it gives us back what we wanted to see, how we wanted to see it.  only when we look closer and touch ourselves could we understand more.

in two days, dani will leave again for macau, then to hongkong and then beijing.  in two weeks, he will either be in australia or back in switzerland. it is not clear when i will see him again.  perhaps, last weekend would be the last.  but then, when i dropped him off at the airport six months ago, we thought we will never see each other again. 

so, perhaps not.  besides, there will always be hostels in malaysia.  bookstores in london.  parks in new york.  coffeeshops in paris.  beaches in micronesia.  off-the-beaten path tracks in laos.  superb restos in thailand.  pubs in russia. salsa dancing in south america.

and with dani charming girls all over, i know i will always hear stories from him.  if not of all those brain-wracking, eye-opener experiences, then of the lewd, crazy, dirty ones.

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