It was one of the hardest blows in my life and I felt a part of my soul was lost upon leaving Mindanao. It seemed my world forever stood still and imploded to breaking and my urge to share my thoughts suddenly dissipated into the thin black air of the city. Depressed and restless , writing again became so difficult on my end and finding the perfect words to express my emotions have slipped into a sinkhole of total darkness.
To my beloved followers you deserve better and my apologies to the people who continuously supported me despite of my huge imperfections.
For the last two and a half years, I’d been the sole Environmental Specialist of a Coal Mining Exploration Project in Surigao del Sur and stepping into this sleepy province placed me in a world so different from what I've got used to- an environment where convenience is always the trade of the market.
I have seen the reality of life through the eyes of the marginalized member of the community far from the promises of progress slipping from the lips of the politicians running the Philippine government. Poverty has been rampant for decades and the people in this part of the Philippines have not wondered even a little that their hope for advancement would become reality.
To Where I Found My Purpose
As I break the ice of a “boring” life in the country side, I have wandered only to discover the other side of Mindanao- BEAUTY, RICHNESS, and KINDNESS. All of these have made me wondered why Mindanao was so underdeveloped despite the island’s huge potential to be progressive. The island of Mindanao holds the ideal characteristics of development to become the country’s leader in eco-tourism: its traditions, people, diversity and incomparable unique wonders of nature.
Mindanao is already “Mindanao” at the time when the rest of the Philippines are just any other island. Kingdoms have had governed this land where unique trading system fueled the simple yet progressive economy of the land. Most of these can be traced from the artifacts and writings that our ancestors have left us to remember that we were once a mighty community being respected by our neighboring nations.
Mindanao has the lush yet dwindling natural resources, from the thick forests to rich seas that are far unique from the other places in Luzon and Visayas. The lush dipterocarp forest had been the backbone of the Philippine timber industry for so many years but only a handful of businessmen and powerful people got benefited from this resource, categorized as “public good”.
Mindanao has a unique traditions and cultures that have been so silent from the consciousness of the common Filipinos.
Ranging from the soulful songs of mourning, to the ritual dance before a tribal war, these treasured practices flourished in the daily lives of our forefathers. As alarming as it may sound, these unique traditions and cultures that were protected and handed to many generations are now slowly disappearing due to the intrusion of the “modern world”.
With those facts of wonders about Mindanao, my heart broke knowing that I will be leaving the land that have put sparkles in my eyes, moved my imagination and flickered the hope in my heart. I lost the fire that gave me the reason to live and my simple “purpose” in life just vanished!
Rising Like a Bird of Fire
But I believe life is what we make it and I promised that I shall wake up like a phoenix rising from the ashes of total disappointment.
When I was deeply down, I asked myself what is “Love Mindanao” without Mindanao? But I have realized reading back the mission of my blog that it is not about the place, but the spirit that lives inside of me, giving value to the name I have chosen so that wherever I go I would be bringing the fire and beauty of Mindanao.
For the past four or five months, the deafening silence of my realm shouts freedom while I wandered through my wrecked imagination. And just like any writer, I was stuck for an artistic inspiration, thinking that the playful spirit of creativity have left me rotting to pieces of zero motivation .
I was praying that soon a bright shining savior would lift me from my sorrow and hopelessness. And with God's graciousness, I am hoping I will be allowed to return to my beloved place once more.
And just like wishing to a falling star, I couldn't be merrier when my prayer was answered by bringing the AVLDA & LGSP-LED into the picture, bringing a spark of light to my pitch dark life. And I believe that this light shall burn brightly in the future, unleashing the hope and the cravings I have lost. Soon, time shall heal all the wounds of the past and I shall be whole again picking up the pieces of the lost ME.
Just give me that space and time and I shall be shooting like a burning arrow of a hungry warrior running ragingly to a war.
I would like to give my sincerest appreciation to Ms. Lysil Toledo and to her entire family and staff of Fish Cage and Sandbars in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur for a wonderful experience in their humble resort, the place I considered as my refuge during my breakdown. Your hospitality bridges me and my troubled emotions, making me better and soaring high after my faithful recollection in Surigao del Sur.