Friday, May 26, 2006

Hard struggle, simple pleasures

It’s another day of media interviews.

Mike Abe (DZME) woke me up.

What can we do to protect journalists? Is it right to arm? What’s your reaction to the arrest of suspected killers? How do you assess the situation in the country?

These are questions that I have to answer every time a journalist is killed or attacked.

To tell the truth, it’s not that easy.

I have to speak English when interviewed by ANC and foreign media outfits (BBC and Singapore Straits Times this week), Filipino in radio and television interviews, a mix of English and Filipino when speaking before press conferences and interviews with newspaper reporters, Filipino during rallies and demonstrations, Cebuano for Visayas and Mindanao radio and even Chavacano for radio stations in Zamboanga.

There are times that I have to go around Metro Manila several times a day for various studio interviews and fora. I have to walk from EDSA to the ZOE television studio in Ortigas this afternoon under the heat of the afternoon sun.

It’s not easy.

It’s not easy to talk to the families of victims, to the police and to government officials. It’s not also easy convincing colleagues to support the campaign to stop the killings and protest the inaction of authorities.

It is therefore refreshing to have a short break, like passing by PowerBooks in MegaMall and buying “The Last Temptation of Christ,” which I read more than 20 years ago, and the “Love in the Time of Cholera,” which I read more than ten years ago.

I bought the books because I lost my copies a long time ago and the re-issued pocketbook editions are affordable.

It’s been a long time that I have entered a bookstore so I tried my best to hold on to my plastic money and fight the urge to spend. I would have wanted to buy the latest novel of Paulo Coelho, “The Zahir,” and Amy Tan’s latest novel.

Then I had the honor to have tea with someone I really admire and treasure. I could not help but tremble. I could hardly sip my tea or have a bite of the rhum cake. If only the moment would not end.

After the tea and the cake and several sticks of cigarettes bought from a hawker at the corner, I was gifted with a request to demonstrate how to ride a motorcycle.

It was Mount Everest! I felt like Romi Garduce who did not become the first Filipino to reach Mount Everest’s summit but who did his best to have a spiritual journey.

My heart still pulses with excitement. The moment will continue to live. In my heart.

Thank God for the small pleasures after every harrowing day.


Jules said...

so, how's the love in the time of cholera? did you get the penguin red classics edition?

if you're into cuelho, try to find thorton wilder's "bridge of san luis rey". same price as cholera...

. said...

i haven't started re-reading marquez's novel yet due to my workload. yup, i got the penguin red classics edition but i haven't seen the "bridge of san luis rey." i have read that book too. actually it was one of the inspirations of my "into the mountain" book in 2001. what other titles did penguin issued under the red classics edition? - joe

Jules said...

hi joe,

you might want to check out Penguin's site... so many tempting books.

so far, all i got from Powerbooks (during sales) were Lolita, Love in the Time of Cholera, Perfume, Bridge of San Luis Rey and Master & Margarita... hirap na ko maghanap ng iba.... hope you'll feature more classics reviews in the future. (and sana our local bookstores will permanently stock up on these too)