I had a long drive over the weekend.
I left Manila around two o’clock in the afternoon of Saturday and reached Santo Domingo, Albay, around four o’clock in the morning of Sunday.
I’ve always loved long drives. I enjoy the countryside. It always reminds me of home. I love to eat in small carinderias along the way. There are hundreds on the road from Manila to Albay.
What peeved me was the torture I had to go through when the drive gets rough. The highway in Bicol, except for the stretch from Naga to Legazpi, is tortuous. I wonder how much the contractors and the politicians earned from the road project.
The agony, however, was lost when, for the first time in my life, I saw Mayon Volcano. It’s just amazing. God really makes wonders. I could not help but gaze at the wonder towering over me while I listen to the sound of waves slapping the shores of Santo Domingo.
And then there’s the music of the wind.
I went to Santo Domingo to talk about journalism to campus journalists. It’s sad that after we happily dream about the future of journalism in the country with the advent of new technologies reality crept hours later with the news of the killing of a broadcaster in Palawan.
Enough is enough, we’ve said in our statement. But I really don’t know what to do. Every time I’m interviewed by other journalists the last question is always “What are you going to do?” “What are your next moves?’ I really don’t know. I would have wanted to say “What have you done?” Aren’t you a journalist too?”
I left Santo Domingo around three o’clock in the afternoon of Sunday and arrived in Manila around three o’clock in the morning Monday. I had a close call with two big buses near Legazpi. Reality, however, hit me several kilometers later. I could have died, I thought.
Early the next morning I was awakened by calls for interviews by radio stations. It was then that I learned that another journalist was killed. I could have died driving. My colleague in Palawan died working for what he believed was right. I owe it to him to get to Palawan.
It would be another trip that hopefully would not have any close calls with fate.