the return of the comeback

by Evans Yonson

(Note: This is a sequel of last week’s entry entitled, departures and arrivals.)

Barcelona – In the past twelve months, I spent five months in the Philippines. The first two months were in the second week of November 2010 to the first week of January 2011. While the other three months were from mid-June to mid-September 2011.

The first trip was meaningful not only was it short and fast, I also had my first solo photography exhibit. The exhibit took almost two years to plan out with a little help from dear friends and students from everywhere. While being very busy getting things done for the exhibit, a friend invited to shoot a hair competition. The surprise of them all, I met this guy that I shot before in 2008 just before flying back to Barcelona to start my studies. His name is Niel. I don’t know what’s with me and whirlwinds. We started exchanging numbers. Lo and behold, the next time we saw each other was in Camiguin Island, my favorite getaway-from-it-all place.

During my two months, I went to Camiguin twice. First with my former student and Niel. The second was with my family. I went to Manila for a traditional charity work in an orphanage with my former students. I went to Cebu to meet up with my college bestfriend, Ongie. While the Manila was fast and furious, the Cebu trip was probably the laziest of all. I did nothing but sleep in the hotel, eat at Ayala Center, devour almost one lechon Cebu, and sleep again.

My June 2011 trip is totally different from my 2009 vacation. The earlier trip was educational, in terms of spending a month learning how to be a sustainable farmer and eight weeks of doing part-time classes (educational video filmmaking) in the university. This year’s trip which is a bit longer by four more weeks, has been more than educational. I did the usual part-time classes in the university but this time I had another subject to teach – photography. I went to Thailand twice, first in July (alone) and then in August with my sister and niece, Alexis. I did several exposure trips with my photography students – from the fair, a barrio in the city, a public market, a city fiesta, to a remote rural town.

Both visits to the Philippines were colorful. I saw MJ. We dated in December. We said hi in July. I met Niel in December. We dated after the New Year. He came to have breakfast in August. The first return was a bit festive knowing that Christmas was in the air and it was a season to be jolly. The second one didn’t really lived up to its promise of a bountiful harvest.

I did some harvest though. I met and known more than 100 new students. Got close to several ones who made sure that their annual photography exhibit would be a successful one. I left ten groups to produce their own documentaries. The return of the comeback might held a lot of promises. But these promises were in some places and in some persons that I have never expected to meet and experience.

Some returns do not guarantee success. Definitely all comebacks are all worth it. But what gives?