Thoughts · Travel and Food

Un-Toxicating Monday Part Three: See More Than What the Eyes Can See

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I call this delay of posting part three of Un-Toxicating Monday a blessing. God really has a purpose for allowing things to happen, and for me it’s being able to share with you a certain thread I saw in Facebook (and one of these days a comment I wish to share)…

I am never a fan of politics, although back in high school I wanted to be part of it. What changed? It wasn’t the corruption caused by politicians but those who voted. It was never a question of who has more money or who has more power to rule. It was always a question of how will the people react before and after election. Because most of the time we need to see more than what our eyes can see…if we want to move forward to progress…

The Sorsogon City’s Baywalk’s Parade of Three or More Colors

September 2: I headed to the pier after that short visit to the bank. It was my planned meeting place with two of my best friends (although one of them was unable to catch up). Aside from its accessibility (compared to the two-rides I need to take to City Park), I also wanted to see that much talked about candy-crushed inspired cottage finished.

Sorsogon Baywalk (rempeolas or pier) was just an ordinary pier where we would sit on the brick wall’s side to enjoy the breeze

After the orange... A photograph I took last 2012 while waiting for friends...
After the orange…
A photograph I took last 2012 while waiting for friends…

and relax (I’ll write about the transition someday). During 2004 or 2005 this place was turned into a more convenient area to relax and enjoy the afternoons with family a friends. The left wing of the baywalk (as you enter) was widened with cottages and kiosks where people can sit and enjoy the sunrise and sunset. The right may have remained the same but now hosts food carts selling street food such as fishballs, kikiam, and cheese-sticks (I believe this was kept as is to also make sure people enjoy the sunset more).

When Sorsogon Baywalk came about, the kiosk and cottages (both posts and seats designed as bamboos) were colored green. After the mayor who developed it served two terms, a new mayor came and the green was replaced by orange. Sooner or later this became yellow. After sitting for two terms as well, this mayor was replaced by none other than the former mayor and when I visited the Baywalk, some of the cottages were painted green.

Newly repainted pili landmark at Sorsogon City Baywalk Photography by Kahren Ricafort
Newly repainted pili landmark at Sorsogon City Baywalk
Photography by Kahren Ricafort

Repainting is still on going. I didn’t even see the candy crushed inspired cottages featured before in Facebook (they must have repainted it). To be honest I love the green color since it’s refreshing to the eyes (after all it is a relaxing color). But during my visit, other than the excitement that the pili landmark’s vandals were gone, my attention was drawn on some policemen (or so my companion claimed they were) that parked a few feet away from where we were seated and the reaction other onlookers had. They were buffed with their clean-cuts, white shirts (if not jersey), shorts and running shoes.

Obviously they were there to jog, but the way some people starred at them seemed as if this was not normal….I didn’t know jogging wasn’t normal…

Not Your Average Normal

What is normal?

When we use the word “normal” we refer to it as something we see every day or experience every day. In terms of physical we usually associate it with having two arms, two legs, to feet, a head, can see, can speak, can hear, and the list of all the normal stuff. In other words “normal” is something we have grown accustomed to…and anything that seems new is “not normal” or simply “abnormal”? While there are situations where such an occurrence is considered bad, there are situations we can see as good especially harmless. We have to always acknowledge the fact that “the only thing that’s constant is change”…and of course anything new is considered “not normal” on its first runs – just like how we deal with comfort zones.

Whatever we deal with within our comfort zone is normal; and in seeing these “policemen” doing their walks at the baywalk, it may have been uncomforting for some – although (let’s admit) jogging and walking, and seeing guys doing pushups and stretching in Sorsogon Baywalk is completely normal. As I think of it wait till they see a girl with crutches jog! But what does the whole repainting thing have to do with these men jogging?

It’s all about how people react…because sometime if we always look at everything new to us as something unacceptable, we tend to bring progress at a halt. In the landmark repainting thing—well—people have so gotten used to colors and landmarks associated to politicians that it has become a normal response for people to suggest “improvements” according to who won their support.

Clearly chasing the wrong things

This is the part where I really get to say why I am thankful for this Third Part’s delay.

A certain Facebook page posted the photos below showing the “Welcome” landmark of Sorsogon City with a caption: “Green or Orange?”

Sorsogon City Landmark... photo from Go Sorsogon
Sorsogon City Landmark… photo from Go Sorsogon

I guess I was already expecting how most of them would reply: according to the politician they support. For years this answer has become normal. Some may blame it on the politician who hailed the color and made his supporters love it because it’s his symbol. But isn’t this another way of saying “You’re whole being is mine”, “My favorite color is your favorite color”, or “What I want is what you want”. It may seem pretty normal for some but this is really abnormal! It’s like saying: “I don’t have a life of my own” or “I’m a freaking ZOMBIE!”

Even if I am used to it (and of course with the fact that there might be a political agenda), how most of them reacted – especially those with sarcastic remarks – was really disappointing. Let’s admit, it may have that political connotation to it but in the eyes of any person living outside this province it was a clear question of what color would fit best…and with how most of them answer was a clear sign they were limiting their views (which – let’s admit – reflects poorly on all of us).

Good thing not all comments and replies were like that. Some may have declared their support for one party but suggested the color that represents the other. Others simply suggested developing a new design which isn’t bad at all.

Look Beyond and Get Involved

In part one of Un-Toxicating Monday I shared these words:

“I saw how people assume too much and worry about situations that are completely harmless just because it’s something new to them—worrying without basis.”

What if we try to look at the question according to how anyone outside this province would see it? As an option to make the landmark improved? What if we were to ignore assuming that this is some political question? There’s no harm… Just like the “policemen” who jogged. They were there to jog and walk as a group – the same as any teenager or elderly would do their morning walks in that location. Come to think of it that was pretty normal!

Any person who wants progress will see progress

Because he fought to develop his character

To think openly, speak diligently, act accordingly

Most importantly to help others

Most of us are limited by what others say. It’s always been a contest of who can raise a voice higher than the rest to be heard. Maybe, out of being tired shouting like the rest, some have succumb to the voice of the one who can belt it out! But what if we whisper instead? Write it? Pass it on? Use hand signs? Do it differently. It may not be “normal” but let’s not forget “There’s no harm in trying”…

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