8.08.2005

Honorable

That's what an old-time acquaintance told me the other day when we met on the train - me going to work, her off to a theatre workshop - when I told her that I'm currently working at a school for the Deaf.

It struck me as kinda funny, her reaction. but when i think about it, that's what i've always strove for. Not to be honorable per se, but to engage in meaningful (at least to me), rewarding (not just in the monetary sense) activities.

It all started in 1996 when i applied at Haribon Foundation. Would you believe i actually shed some tears during my interview? I don't know if it's due to the fact that i really wanted to be employed or because i really believed what i told my interviewer (in a gist: i am amazed at my friend's sense of fulfillment doing development work even if they get only this much pesos. This was a new thing to me then. I grew up in a lower middle class family and there were so many times that i wished we had more money so i didn't have to feel so deprived and poor).

Back to the topic, I did get the job and it was fulfilling. Knowing that everyday no matter how small or miniscule your effort is, it's a contribution to making this world a better place.

Even when I left Haribon to manage bands, somehow this new way of looking at things informed all my decisions. Except for that brief part where I managed this really successful band, most of my efforts were towards helping out talented but struggling in obscurity, bands. For me, money and fame was secondary. It's helping these kids realize their dreams - that's the priority.

When i finally realized that what i want to do in my life is write (not the creative kind, more like the reportorial kind), I choose a newspaper that's more geared towards advocacy. And now I'm a regular contributor to Metro Working Mom (check out the August ish with Carmina on the cover. i'm mighty proud of my article on art and its importance to children) whose approach to writing about parenting goes beyond the usual how-tos and profiles on celebrity moms.

So, yeah i guess i've chosen the 'honorable' path which i have to emphasize is miles away from the 'righteous' path. I may chose to do what i do but i will never be righteous about it. I respect other people's decision to pursue their life works wherever it may lead them.

In the end, I realize I am my parents' child after all. Despite the fact that i never really knew them (they left for the mountains when i was just 9 months old), their blood runs through me. Everything I do seems to pale in comparison to what they sacrificed: their young lives to help free a country from the claws of dictatorship.

I am still in the midst of coming to terms with this bittersweet legacy. Maybe it's because of them that I choose to be who I am or maybe that's my way of connecting with my parents. I do know that this is the way for me, no matter how challenging or frustrating it can get most of the time.

2 Comments:

Blogger chino said...

... most of my efforts were towards helping out talented but struggling in obscurity, bands. For me, money and fame was secondary. It's helping these kids realize their dreams - that's the priority.

thank you, nest. i ♥ you for helping us out.

3:26 PM  
Blogger miranila said...

You're welcome Chino :) I wish you and itchyworms the best.

5:24 PM  

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