Dear Reading Diary,

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Have you ever read The Chronicles of Narnia? I did: I borrowed a couple of  Narnia books from a lit-chick-friend.

It was about crossing worlds. And a lot more.

As I brave my eyes to finish de Lint’s The Onion Girl, I found myself seeing “echoes” of worlds from Narnia. The differences are outstanding and let me take the pleasure of pointing them out. 😛

In The Chronicles, the focus was on the “other world” called Narnia. It was about the characters Lucy and company’s adventures in Narnia. Yes, in Narnia.

The Onion Girl, on the other hand, featured not just the “other world” but includes the “crossing”. You could see the characters talk about it, describe the nature of their crossing — be it via dreams or simply closing one’s eyes. The addition of the “crossing” had in effect, stimulated the philosophical zest that was inherent in such surrealistic works of fiction.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t save me from this turtle-pace reading. Not at all.

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x___x

Let’s recognise where we’re never going to succeed and stop trying.

– Richard Templar-

Page 105. That’s a cited no-bs tip from the rule-demystifier himself, Richard Templar. This statement belonged to a section entitled: Rule to Break: Always seek to improve yourself.

This section corresponds to Rule 52, which urges readers to “Accept [your] shortcomings”.

I was never big at self-help books. This is partly because I’m a huge fiction-addict. Another reason is because I enjoy making my own ‘rules’. I don’t exactly call them that. They could be principles, motto, views, or self-theory. The fact is, I’m used to thinking over other’s views, checking them for myself. When I find that I believe some scrap of advice or rule, I do it, apply it. It’s when I don’t believe or felt unconvinced about such rule that things get interesting.

I mull over it. It’s more than a preference, I guess because I got used to doing it. Or I just don’t like thinking “lazy”, sticking to stereotypes, or letting my views go anesthetized.

So what made me read Templar’s book?

First, we were in an airport bookstore. Changi Airport to be exact. Everything looked beautiful, so crisp, the leaves in the shelf were just so vibrant. Long story short: purchasing was just inevitable. Of course, seeing what genre it was, I had to scan the pages. I wanted to make sure that it was really something that I could read ’til the last page. There were anecdotes (relatable: check), and humor (huzzah!), and then the price (pocket-friendly). 😀

Then the actual reading. Reading fiction and non-fiction is different. With fiction, I felt like I had an obligation to read pages per day. With this one, I felt like I had to mull over some details. Reading The Rules to Break was like having a conversation: someone narrates a story — about how a “rule” came to be, how it is applied in everyday contexts — then, this someone dissects it to see through the meaning, see through the crazy details, and sometimes, to laugh at it.

It’s not a boring conversation , I’m telling you. The writer’s voice is quite strong but not loud that it shuts your own comments.

I’m not done reading it. My beautiful-chaos of a schedule makes me forget. (excuses?)

Yet, knowing that an unfinished conversation is waiting for me — this re-unites us.

Awww…

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Dancing ants
Dancing ants

First, there’s the Pope’s visit. Then, the Sinulog festival…

This isn’t just gonna re-spring our step; it’s also gonna give our faith some revitalizing pigment. The Sinulog is a colorful festival that originated from Carmen, a province situated in the northern part of Cebu. How I knew this had nothing to do with heritage or historical study; I just happen to have a friend who lived there and who happen to love pinpointing the origin of this province-to-city craze. 😉

choose the right sneaks
choose the right sneaks

The route from home to the main street isn’t always easy. You could either take the jeepney or cabby; but the point is, they can’t drop you to the exact scene. So, you ought to prepare your feet for some walking (and in some cases, shoving). Bring the things you can’t live without, but keep the sack light. Also, you can’t do more with jewelries or flashy watches or you’ll end up losing them to some thief. 😦

The first float
The first float

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The Sinulog festival is a great time to celebrate the arrival of one of the most important image of Cebuano faith: the little Sto. Niño. Various themes are infused in the dance, in the beat, even in costumes or gigantic floats; yet, to complete the cycle of celebration or re-connection of our past to our present, these variations were designed to ‘route back’ to that special ‘arrival’.

Some of the contingents
Some of the contingents

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So who gets to join the dance competition? Different contingents flock to Cebu, competing under such categories: interpretative dance, street dance, and more. These folks came from various provinces — within and outside Cebu. Dancers in particular come from elementary and high schools. To fuel their travel, food, props, costumes, and other finances, contingents gather support from different sponsors.

popping colors in props and costumes; tired yet still-smiling -- these scenes will greet you right at the street!
popping colors in props and costumes; tired yet still-smiling — these scenes will greet you right at the street!

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Your eyes will feast in color. 😀

Another remarkable thing that floods around this festivity is empathy. I don’t eavesdrop but with you in the ropes (that serve to “divide” spectators from performers), you can’t help but hear things. Someone made a comment about the costumes being uncomfortable. Others rant about the long walk and dance and heat that these young dancers endure. Of course these conditions are addressed by providing props-people to cart and wheel the props around. Refreshments are made available, and a vehicle for heat-defeated folks are prepped at the tail of each contingent.

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Ants, conquer!
Ants, conquer!

It’s impossible not to have any favorite among all these dancers. Mine was the ant-dancers of Don Vicente Rama Memorial Elementary School. Such a mouthful name, but cool dancing ants none the same! The concept meant to depict the diligence of ants. In some children’s story, ants gather together to store food (while the other character, a grasshopper, lazily lounged in the grass). Come stormy winds and flood, yet the ants did fine, because they’ve prepped, right?

The Holy Child
The Holy Child

It’s ironic that while we stomp our feet to the beat, and chant ‘Viva, viva Pit Senyor!’, the celebrated Child is silent.

Perhaps, He’s not just atop those flowers or float vehicles; He’s probably with us. He could be that kid whose face and shirt was painted with paint powder, whose equally painted hands sought to pull the tail of my shirt to move his way along the ropes. At the end of our street rendezvous, I ended up squeamish over his hands’ imprint on my white shirt. Argh…

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Re-springing Your Step.”

Inbox and wings

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Emails have wings

they travel in wire

perhaps, made of zeroes

and ones.

What of these flights?

Where goes the winged?

‘they never tire’ — I always thought

They cannot miss,

poor inbox cannot

afford to

be empty,

empty

my basket of precious

patience.

Emails have wings.

Always.