Guilty pleasures

by Evans Yonson

(Note: Today’s entry was suggested by Jenipur Aranaydo.)

Barcelona – My mom used to tell us that a little of everything leads to something. But too much of something leads to guilty pleasures.

What’s a guilty pleasure? It is something one enjoys and considers it pleasurable despite the feeling of guilt. Is that a nice way to define this term? Or am I just repeating the words to make a point? Hahaha!!! That’s what I call guilty pleasure. Writing without thinking.

What are my guilty pleasures?

Travel. I travel as often as I have the time and lots of money months before my trip. Although, I stay in cheap hostels, I still spend a certain amount when I could have saved it for the rainy days and Mondays. Paris is one trip that I totally forgot that I was on a tight-budget. Floating from Denmark to Sweden and back in less than six hours was pleasurable but guilt-ridden. I reminded of my Moroccan trip where poverty, just like in the Philippines, is right before your eyes.

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Shoes. I might be related to the greatest Shoe Madame but I have always loved shoes. I buy shoes like it’s going to be the end of the world when I could have provided slippers for the farmers’ children to go to school.

Movies. If I were in the Philippines, I would watch movies at an average of three to four times a week because it costs only two dollars per. One movie date would feed one Filipino family of five. In a year’s time that would be almost 200 families being fed for a day. Since I came back to Barcelona in 2008, I have only seen less than 20 films in three years’ time. That’s a lot of savings for me, considering that each film would cost around 10 US dollars. To lessen my guilt now, I download endlessly like it’s going to be the end of the world, again.

Music. I don’t download free. I buy online and from CD stores here in Spain. I may sound crazy to any of my former high-tech students but yes. I buy. I have iTunes for my prized collection and Spotify for my daily dose of music. From Beethoven to Van Halen. From Jackie Evancho to Barbra Streisand to Carole King to Beyonce. From Regine Velasquez to Luciano Pavarotti. It really costs a lot to buy one CD alone. If I buy 20 CDs every year that would enough to send one child to school to get his primary education.

Purchases of BAGS and PENCILS. I am a sucker for souvenir bags and pencils. To date, I have more than 50 tote bags and close to 200 pencils from all of my travels. Some pencils are gifts from friends. Imagine if all these were donated to a public school in the Philippines, then these would have given at least 200 children something to write with for two weeks and bags that would last them the whole year.

Books. I buy books from anywhere and everywhere. I purchase books through Amazon. I remember buying three F. Sionil Jose books online because I wanted to read his masterpieces here in Barcelona. I bought Eat, Pray, Love online because the bookstores near my place do not sell English books. Sometimes it takes months for the Spanish translated version to arrive. I also buy in second hand shops especially in the Philippines.When I go back to the Philippines next year, I would be putting up my own library with close to thousand books waiting to be read. If these purchases were tallied it would send about 20 students to public high school.

These are all guilty pleasures. Please don’t think that I am not mindful of all these. I hate to be bumptious but I also have my own personal charity works, which I rarely discuss with someone nor write about it. Guilty pleasures give me a natural high just like receiving funny text messages. You laugh or giggle without talking to someone. We are entitled to our own pleasures but never to the point of addiction. Ever.

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