Be Careful What You Wish For

by misslampa

I’m up to my neck in work, heeeelp!

It has been the longest and most tiring day I’ve had in a long time. I started the day teaching Grades 2-4 kids in a Gawad Kalinga village in Baseco, sped off to White Plains to teach a Grade 5 tutee and her cousin who’s in 1st year high school, and then moved to nearby Corinthian Gardens to help an IB senior with his ToK presentation.

Apparently, a 7:00 a.m.-11:30 p.m. workday can be too much –  even for a workaholic like me.

So right after changing into my house clothes and slippers, I start craving for something brainless. Before turning in for the night, I want something – anything – that won’t require too much use of brain cells.

I look at my bedside table and see Umberto Eco‘s The Name of the Rose. Any other day, I wouldn’t think twice of picking it up so I can read ten pages or so before I sleep. But well, you don’t turn to Umberto Eco if you want something mindless. To Stephenie Meyer, perhaps, but not Eco. That’d be as stupid as getting sold on the idea that yet another love story about a certain vampire boy and a new girl in town is so brilliant and groundbreaking, it has to be turned into a movie franchise. Oh, but I digress.

Nope, I definitely won’t be reading Eco tonight.

I find myself reaching for the remote control. After all, you can always count on TV to have something dumb at any time of the day (and brilliant too, for that matter). I flip through some channels and settle on this telecast of a local swimsuit competition sponsored by clothing brand Mossimo. The host is about to start the question-and-answer portion.

Aaah, now this is mindless.

The contestants are vying for the title of Mr. and Ms. EcoTourism, so they’re asked questions about promoting the Philippines to the world as a travel destination. The first contestant approaches the mic.

Host: If you have to choose one word to describe the Philippines, what word would you choose and why?

Easy enough, yeah? Just choose one good word, easy as pie.

Contestant 1: If I will choose a word, I will say the Philippines is “a second paradise.” I call it a second paradise because, look around…

I zone out and fail to hear the rest of her answer. I get stuck trying to figure out how she screwed that up.

Some seconds later, the host calls on the second contestant. I tune in again.

Host: If you have foreign visitors, where will you bring them to show what the Philippines is and how we are as a people and why?

In that brief pause before the contestant opened her mouth, I imagine having to answer the question myself. Intramuros, Sagada, and Cebu come to mind.

Contestant: Of course, I will bring them to my hometown, Davao (metropolitan hub in the south of the Philippines). Davao is a wonderful place because it’s inclusive, not exclusive. I mean, in Davao, it doesn’t matter where you are. Anywhere in Davao, you’re in a place of equilibrium.

Ano raw?! (What was that?!) I stare at the ceiling for a while and say a silent prayer for all my recently-fried brain cells. Instinctively, I turn off the boob tube before I can even start analyzing her statements. If I take any more of this, I’d be my critical, wise-ass self again in no time, and I wouldn’t want that.

Hay, I really need to be more careful with the messages I send this generous, indulging universe.


contest poster taken from 

Danbo’s adorable picture taken from

4 Comments to “Be Careful What You Wish For”

  1. OMG let’s explore Davao, sobra akong na-curious sa “place of equilibrium”!

    • I’m wondering, too. How does a place of equilibrium look like? Baka zan-zen lang din to, puro giant payong at faces na na-diamond peel lang! Wow, the Juay movement is more popular than we think, haha! :-))

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