I came into this world of small alleys and busy streets. The ways are littered with tricycles and jeepneys. The hustle and bustle of this strange world seems like a reflection of myself. Laoag city is very confusing at the first glance, but it becomes a system of confusion and a strange order within itself. For such a small town boy, realizing all of this so soon was weird. Overwhelming. There is a strange phenomenon that happens when one enters the city. The crazy buzzing and humming of the motorcycles becomes something you count on, and becomes quiet, just as the feeling of being overwhelmed becomes ‘normal’?.   You get used to weaving through crowds of people and being the center of attention, and the struggles and challenges of everyday life become as smooth as dealing with the masses. Being the center of attention becomes an intentional humbler: realizing that you don’t deserve this special godly initiation that is presented upon you. The power of being white is strong, but not taking advantage of this weakens it, and I am humbled to do so. The dark smog that overcomes the city is lifted. I realize that in all of the commotion, there is an order, just like in my dull mind.

I miss home. I miss the quiet ignorance of the everyday, the dulling silence that we think sharpens us in our slow, uneventful, and unchallenging lives. The quietness that we are comfortable in, of not having to be aware of anyone else’s comfort, is a soothing thing.  Being a guest in the busy streets creates a lean edge on psyche. Thinking that I am separate from this world back at home destroys our humility; it heightens our sense of self. That aura radiates from us. As we roam through the madness and get lost, we get treated like gods, but we realize that this is our wrong. This makes us humble, heightened in the world, sharp, stronger, harder. It helps lift the chaos of the city, and makes us one with our mind. Because the city is made by us, just like the clouds in our head.

 

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