I love this tiny green island sorrounded by the sea! That’s all I can say about Guimaras Island in Western Visayas, Philippines. It’s only a stone’s throw away from where I live, an hour away in fact, and another 20 minutes by boat. So my little family visited again after Christmas, and stayed at our friend’s Vegetarian Bed and Breakfast place called ‘Balay Bato’. We had collective meditation after a glorious kiirtan. Then we binged on their lovely indigenous vegan dishes and watched Play for Change videos. The kids played their Magic Cards and goofed around with the cat and dog who we befriended on our last visit.
The other day, I received a text message from my staff Jhoann that had a lot of hearts and I Love You’s. It said Happy National I Love You Day. I thought it was cute. But I can name more than a handful of people who would scoff at it. Worse, maybe more than half the world thinks it is meaningless and petty. And maybe for many good reasons. I love you has become a fad, a meaningless phrase casually said with nary a thought.
I think we live in the time of the persecution of love. It has nothing to do with the dismissal of the National I Love You Day. I mean a real persecution of love and its very essence. Love has been relegated to the margins, looked down on in favour of material and professional success. Love has been shut out of many hearts. Proofs abound: wars, domestic violence, conflict at the workplace, destruction of the environment, factory farming, marginalization of basic sectors, climate change, religious intolerance, anger and cynicism. All of these and many others prove that love has been thrown out the door.
I wanted to give this post the title “The Story of Me Falling In Love With India And Its Hospitality”, but then I would have to add, Apologies to the German Girl who wrote an article of the same title.
Trying to keep it simple, I came out with this.
The story of me falling in love with India is the story of ‘I knew I love you before I met you.’ Since I was young, I have always been fascinated by photos of starkly beautiful women with piercing eyes, wearing wonderfully coloured sari. It has always been in my bucket list of countries to visit: England, Egypt, and India.
After a long hiatus, I’m back again with this new blog. I will try to upload whatever posts I could salvage from my old Green Pen blog, the one that got hacked three times (yes, three!) where I lost so many of my previous posts.
I will be writing here about my work, the causes I’m engaged in, and whaetever interesting enough happening in my life.
Love and light!
Since we moved to Iloilo, my favorite afternoons are when I go to Gamot Cogon School as a parent volunteer after school monitor. The presence of an adult is needed for the kids left in school attending clubs, doing homework or remedial or simply waiting for their ride home. Not that they need any supervision. The kids are behaved and just do their work or play and a presence of a monitor is basically for emergency cases, which, thank God haven’t occurred. Continue reading