departures and arrivals

by Evans Yonson

(Note: I wrote this piece in September 2009 after my two-month vacation in the Philippines.)

Barcelona – I am so back in Barcelona. It’s been several months since I last posted an entry and as I always promise to myself and my avid followers, “I will write more this time!” A promise that I don’t seem to keep all the time. If I write now it is because I am so inspired to relate to everyone reading this note.

Last entry was posted on 30 April and it’s already September 2 now. It’s been four months and two days. Many things have happened. Many places have been visited. Many old friends have been met and giggled with. And many new friends were discovered.

In May, I went to Milan upon the ardent invitation of my college buddy, Michelle, to visit her and her family. Although I have been to this northern Italian city in December 2004, this visit now was made more memorable meeting Michelle’s family. We went to St. Anthony’s Cathderal in Padova. The cathedral maybe small but the devotees were warm and pious. I went to rediscover Venice by myself. Arriving in Venice shortly before lunch, the first chapel I entered into unknowingly was the Mother of the Holy Rosary, my patron saint. I went to Genova, that great Italian kingdom by the Mediterranean Sea. Mitch showed me Milan on my last day. My flight back to Barcelona was at 7pm but I arrived very late at the Malpensa Airport that I had to purchase another online ticket that cost me double the original price.

Arriving late in Barcelona that day, I had to rush back to the El Prat airport for my flight to Madrid. I flew to the capital with my dear classmate, Paula (a Madrileña, a graduate of my faculty at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid). We attended this international conference about a modern-day sociologist with our teacher. I stayed at Josephine Pacate’s place for 3 nights. I went to Segovia with June Vicente to taste the famous Cochinillo (the Spanish version of the Filipino lechon de leche). I left Madrid without seeing Francisco.

By the end of June, I was up and ready to go home to the Philippines. It was rather a very long flight that I thought I would never take that route all over again. Barcelona – Malpensa – Singapore – Manila – Cagayan de Oro non-stop. Good thing, I was met with a grand party at home. All my family was there that I could never asked for more that day. I quarantined myself for 2 days for people feared me because of influenza A (H1N1).

The whole month of July was spent learning and appreciating sustainable agriculture. On weekends, I would go to Xavier University to teach educational video/film production. I have always wanted to become a farmer and even for a month I became one. I loved every single moment of it that I would regret wasting 30 days listening to long lectures and doing the non-stop workshops.

When August came suddenly it dawned on me that it’s been a month that I was in the Philippines. The real action only began when my good friend Oliver came to visit us on the third week. We went to Camiguin for three days with Nash, Star, MJ and Jonathan. I had to hurry back to Cagayan de Oro for I was going to Manila to see some friends. I went to Manila with Vya. We went directly to UP-Diliman but we were surprised to discover that it was non-working holiday in Quezon City. I had to go back the next day only to be told that they don’t issue the certificate that the University of Barcelona wants from me. We stayed in Mandaluyong in Charles Legaspi’s place. Charles being the ever beautiful hostess slash fashion editor slash wrist. I went to Intramuros for a photo shoot in Letran with my former student, Pablo Cabahug. He is slowly gaining a name for himself in the fashion industry. After the shoot, I met with another former student who is a bigtime player now in the telco industry. Such a week that we arrived Cagayan de Oro very early to hold my weekend class.

After my class, I met the person that would spell the difference of my summer 2009. His name is MJ. I met him through Nash and he modeled for our photo shoot in Camiguin. MJ and I went to Manolo Fortich for a pre-nuptial shoot of my niece. We had a very long overnight talk that we woke up late the next day for our shoot. We had breakfast at the Del Monte Clubhouse in Cawayanon.

Meeting MJ made my stay in Cagayan de Oro more meaningful. The last hot days and rainy nights were spent talking, cuddling and loving each waking moments. I introduced him to my family. And they love him a lot. I brought him to friends and they like him. We shot with another model and the crew adored him.

On our last day together, we went white water rafting. We took the advance course. Whoaaa!!!! What a way to end my summer! MJ, white water rafting and me. Perfect!!!!

Just as I was about to depart for Barcelona, a new man in my life arrived.

Nash told me once, “if you’re happy with what you have now, stay! If you’re not, then go and depart.”

I said to myself, “I am leaving not because I am sad but I am leaving because I want to have lasting happiness when I get back.”