28 Weeks Later…

imagesWhat? Leave London?!
Shock.
Horror.
Tired of London, Tired of Life they say…
Just like Vizzini from Princess Bride, I used to think and say that it was “Inconceivable!” too.

Well that actor Wallace Shawn is also in the film My Dinner with Andre, which is an eye-opener. There’s a specific scene where the city is viewed as a new type of concentration camp, its residents like prisoners, who having taken pride in the thing they built, are unable to leave it. So as much as I am a diehard dweller of L-town, I decided to progress to M-town. I dare say, the supposed capital of the world, was just not enough.

>> I know it’s out of fashion, and a trifle uncool.
But I can’t help it, I’m a romantic fool.
… on Echo beach, I watch the sun go down. <<

I’ve hardly escaped the concrete jungle though. The current home base is the district of Pasig, north of the river (which is somewhat comforting). Not quite living on the beach yet, but I have more frequent access to it, plus it’s always sunny anyway (mostly).

It’s a third world banana republic where red tape truly is dreadfully diabolical. As expected, the bureaucracy and government agencies are a nightmare. I yearn for a better public transport system (Oh TFL) and am starved of more convenient urban green spaces that aren’t private golf courses. Nevertheless, discussing what’s better/worse is a futile exercise.

Relocating was never about replacing one city for another. The choice was to explore unplayed options and expand my world further. Instead of paying for immersive entertainment, I’m lucidly living my own Thrilla in Manila. It’s an exciting game-changing endeavour, as I poke around the landscape to discover treasures and gain new victory points from challenges.

There are many images on Instagram for visual pixels, but here are some happy highlights thus far:

JANUARY
A surprising and spectacular start to the year, filled with beach travel and sunsets from La Union to PagudpudPalawan, Zambales and Batangas. A lyric in the Philippine national anthem that best expressed the state of my soul is ‘Alab ng puso sa diddib mo’y buhay’ [flaming/blazing heart, in your chest is alive]. That’s my default emoji alright. A popular term is also ‘hugot’ [drawn from a deep place, a tugging of the heartstrings] associated with any statements or declarations of honesty and #feels.

As for a soundtrack, “Be it for reason, be it for love, I won’t take the easy road.”

FEBRUARY
Mostly spent meeting people and making new friends, notably the amazing company TrainStation, which is personally serendipitous on so many levels. Several lessons and classes feature – guitar, kundalini yoga, outdoor rock climbing, surfing. In Tagalog the encouragement is ‘Go lang ng Go!’, similar to ‘carry on’ with more playful tones.



MARCH
A brief sojourn back to London for a wedding, quality time with family/friends, and consolidating development cards. Was introduced to the IO Collective – a community project focused on re-inventing how we live, work and learn in the 21st century. Definitely my cup of tea. Wrote Same Same But Different.


APRIL

Took an intensive training course to qualify for Neuro-Linguistic-Programming. This allows me to be a certified life coach. I passed my exam, and now I just need to practice with clients and run some workshops.



MAY

Had a blast watching paint dry, for Art BGC’s 2nd Mural Festival with Lebasse Projects.
Made some headway on secret plans for a real estate company. The new life also demanded a new hair cut! Oh, and the country elects a controversial new President. #ChangeIsComing


JUNE

Hanging out with the fantastically talented people of Karnabal, produced by the wonderful Sipat Lawin Ensemble. I popped my spoken word cherry, by joining an open mic night called Strange Pilgrims. Lots of werk werk werk werk werk. Am a social engineer for a CSR initiative called Change Station. Will collaborate on projects with La Union Soul Community, events with Make It Blissful and other schemes around the den of subcultures that is Cubao Expo.


>> Next up – JULY

Bought the ticket, and will take the ride for Rental Car Rally in LA.

#america #fuckyeah

A post shared by Rental Car Rally (@rentalcarrally) on

 

Do you have a flag?
Until the next update, Happy (PH) Independence Day!
Here’s to the free-range life.

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