In the Philippines, the “historical sites” we have are mostly Catholic churches. I’m not a Roman Catholic, but I do appreciate visiting old churches and learning their history. En route to Manila from a beach in Batangas on Bonifacio Day, we stopped by the largest church in the Philippines and in Asia located in Taal, Batangas. I was surprised when I peeked outside the car window, because I didn’t expect it to be that big!
The Taal Basilica was established in 1575 by the Augustinians, with San Martin de Tours as patron saint. Read what Wikipedia has to say about it. And apparently, it’s where Ogie Alcasid and Michelle van Eimeren got married in 1996. But we all know how that marriage ended.
Across the Taal Church are rows of heritage houses, also known as “Little Vigan”, because it’s second to Vigan in the quantity of heritage houses that were preserved since the Spanish Colonial Period.
You know those inscriptions hanging on the walls of churches, temples, or shrines? And those leaflets being passed around at tourist spots? I (try to) read them all. Knowing more about a place makes exploring it more real. It’s like adding colors to your imagination when you try to relive the significant events that occurred there years ago.
Our country may be tagged as one of the worst nations in the world because of our greedy political figures (and all the inhumane killings), but it’s good to be reminded that there are still beautiful things to see and experience here.
I used to be some kind of a pack rat growing up, always insisting to keep things that have “sentimental value” even though I know I won’t find them necessary in the future. I would always think, “If I keep this item now, someday I’m gonna want to recall memories I’ve forgotten that are associated with it.” By the age of 21, I have collected lots of shoe boxes housing memorabilia and other miscellaneous stuff. You want thingamabobs? I’ve got twenty!
But when your life suddenly takes a turn (one that may involve leaving the house you grew up in and moving to a whole other island) you find yourself in a situation wherein you have to choose to either let go of the useless junk or take them with you. In my case, I let it all go. Because even in letting go of the useless junk, it somehow teaches you how to move on.
When I moved permanently to Manila, I’ve managed to hoard a whole new set of worthless crap. Because, really, old habits die hard. After a certain period of time, I again found myself stuck with too many unnecessary things (boxes, papers, clothes with stains or rips, worn-out shoes and slippers, old bags, hair clips, ribbons, paper bags, bottles of old lotion and cologne, receipts, containers of different sizes, key chains, jewelry boxes, scrunchies that have lost their elasticity, USB cables, incomplete set of crayons, pens with no ink, etc.) that I can’t seem to let go and are only causing clutter in my little world. I’ve moved apartments six times in the last four years, and every time I move, I always accumulate junk in boxes that I need to throw or give away. Disposing of these objects is kind of symbolic, you see. Saying goodbye to the old ways, and welcoming the new. I figured that if I don’t do it, I’m never gonna be able to declutter my life. Yes, my life. Because having a messy bedroom says a lot about a person! Lol.
Not that I’m not messy now. I still am. My apartment is a haven of disorderliness but I think I’m doing a whole lot better than before. And I have an easier time disposing of things now.
In fact, I sold two mobile phones this week that I no longer use. Before, this would be something that will stress me out because I hate letting go of personal things. But today it’s easier for me to do so. I don’t even have problems with the idea of selling my iPod Touch that’s only 7 months old.
I know that I’m just putting too much drama in this (haha), but I guess my point is, sometimes we reach a point wherein we feel that we’re actually stepping up one level in the maturity ladder while minimizing sentimentality a bit. More importantly, we are able to decide that we no longer want to be held back by our fear of losing personal possessions. If we can move on from little things, it won’t be long until we can move on from bigger things, in some cases, from people who were previously part of our lives.
I just discovered a new favorite movie: August Rush. I know it’s not unusual that I gush about movies, but this time I’m turning up the gushing one more notch. August Rush is an absolutely beautiful movie.
I’ve had a copy of this 2007 film in my external HDD for a while now, but never got around to watching it (because I haven’t heard of it before and didn’t think it was anything special) until that night when I told myself I should sit through it. And I’m so glad I did!
If you look at the big picture, you’d see that the story is about an orphan boy who came looking for his mother and father whom he haven’t met yet. And he does eventually find them. But what makes this story unique is how he finds them. Or to be precise, how they find him.
Yet the story is not just about a boy whose one wish in the world is to be found, it is also about a mother who, after 11 years, still haven’t moved past the terrible experience of losing her baby. She lived her unhappy life trying to fill the void brought on by what she thought was a miscarriage. She later learns that her son is alive and sets off to find him.
The story is also about a father who, oblivious to the existence of a son, have not quite gotten over that girl he met 11 years ago on a rooftop. From time to time he is reminded of the love they could have had but lost due to some complications.
What eventually makes these three paths meet is their love for music. The mother and the father are both musicians, and the son, while growing up, develops an extraordinary passion for music even though he hasn’t played a single note in his life. He claims that the moon told him to follow the music. And he believes that if he learns how to play the music, his parents will hear him, and they would know he was theirs.
Below are some of my favorite quotes. I’d like to think that “music” and “faith” are interchangeable.
“Listen, can you hear it? The music, I can hear it everywhere. In the wind, in the air, in the light. It’s all around us. All you have to do is open yourself up.”
“Sometimes the world tries to knock it out of you, but I believe in music the way some people believe in fairy tales.”
“I believe that once a upon time, long ago, they heard the music. And followed it.”
“I don’t know where it [music] comes from, but it’s what I hold on to. And I can’t let go.”
“Do you know what music is? God’s little reminder that there’s something else besides us in this universe. A harmonic connection between all living beings, everywhere, even the stars.”
“You got to love music more than you love food. More than life. More than yourself.”
“I could hear it. Sometimes I wake up and it’s there. I hear it when I’m walking down the street. It’s like someone’s calling out to me. Writing it all down is like I’m calling out to them.”
“You can’t learn music from books. It’s out there.”
“You never quit on your music. No matter what happens. Coz anytime something bad happens to you, that’s the one place you can escape to and just let it go. I learned that the hard way. And anyway, look at me. Nothing bad’s gonna happen. You gotta have a little faith.”
“The music is all around us. All you have to do is listen.”
Okay, enough spoilers! The movie is starred by big names such as Keri Russell, Robin Williams, and Terrence Howard. If you haven’t seen it, get a copy now. After you’ve watch it, rush back here and share your thoughts. =)