Pandelicious

Travel Stories

Dumaguete and my Mid-trip Depression

I go on trips.

trying to answer a question that leads to more mysteries.

Following a 36 hour boat ride, riddled with delays and setbacks.

I’m here for 4 days. Spending time with what i like to call contemplative silence.

Alone. Solo trip. Table for one. Just as usual.

I’m endlessly trying to kill brain cells with beer,

and in Dumaguete there’s plenty of it on a cheap price.

Hoping that it could maybe clear my thoughts. An anti-thesis because with my usual over thinking, the cloudiness a beer brings is such a welcome relief.

I don’t know if this is my last night here. I’ve stopped counting. I desperately wanted to leave, t move to a new place in the pace i’m accustomed to but i can’t. There’s something that hold me back from doing what i usually do, from escaping and catching new highs.

Maybe i’m punishing myself. I haven’t been very productive. I haven’t been the person i would like to be. Frankly i’m ashamed to be myself right now.

Being a nomad, a free-spirit leading a boundless existence isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. When it feels undeserved. 

Especially for me, i should be working to get closer to my dreams, but what dreams exactly?

I’m walking at the Boulevard. I see the light from the posts that shine consistently every few meters. There’s who i fondly dubbed the “Tempura girls”, women who make their living selling street chow for the night owls.

At a measly 3 pesos or so (i didn’t count my change) I chose the friendliest looking girl at the far end and ordered my tiny portion. I don’t eat much, contrary to the gastronomic fare that Dumaguete is famous for. I kept my stare at the other sellers, those with no customers. They wait for the lost, the hungry nocturnals but in this sleepy college town those people are a rare occurrence.

How many would they have to sell before they can go home? I walked to a lonely woman at the opposite end of the row and bought an egg. I don’t usually eat duck eggs but if that 13 pesos, another sale that she makes helps her to go home early then i will enjoy it.

I went back to the room i rented, it’s too big to be occupied by just one person even if it’s bereft of any luxury. Anyway, it’s just a place where i shower and lay down my head to sleep.

Indoors i feel uninspired. i walked a lot in Dumaguete, the wide streets with only a spattering of cars, most are motorcycles. Tricycles are the primary mode of public transportation here, the fare is 10 pesos for a short ride. Usually i pay 15 or 20 and watch the driver’s face light up. It’s a little joy that i’ve come to appreciate during my stay here.

Food. All sorts of food. I’ve consumed while i’m here. I’m gorging while being half-hungry, I’m trying to fill something, ostensibly my tummy.

I don’t think i bought anything more expensive than 100 pesos. i could get full with a single serving, or half even. There’s a myriad of choices not enough for the few days that i’m here.

I went to the Market across my inn. For the morning there’s the staple bud-bod and chocolate sari-sari for breakfast, which they call pamainit. A good afternoon snack is the comical Bading’s halo-halo.

There is a beautiful Church here that has a blue glow inside. Even if i haven’t been there inside, i pass by it while walking around the plaza a number of times already. I always pause to admire it but i dare not go inside just yet.

A plebeian habit of mine, is the notion that o’m entitled to three wished when inside a Church that i’ve never been to before. I feel it more when i’m in awe of its beauty. I try to pause and reflect  but i get distracted. Maybe my faith is weak or i’ve never been very religious. It’s an embarrassment i try to fix, chalking it up to youth or an incessant belief that the Universe is dangling by a thread and i somehow have control over it if i pray hard enough. But my logic sometimes dictates in contrast– I belong to the church of the utterly random.

My wishes aren’t usually of the tangible. I would rather it be spent on something i can’t control: fate, the thread that holds the universe- and in effect my life and those close to me. I should try to wish for a car or a briefcase stuffed with cash, but when it fails to land at my feet i might get disappointed.

 I feel very damaged.

For a long time now, but damaged isn’t the right word. I can’t claim to be something else other than another rebel youth. I am merely someone who outgrew childhood but not immaturity.

Maybe lost is more apt. I thought that i would be someone i’d be proud of by now. But i never had the courage to stick to something long enough to know if i was any good. It’s a pain to admit that i wasted so much already on lost opportunities. Yesterday has gone and time along with everyone else is moving forward and whether i can catch up is a daily struggle that i have to face.

Now, i’m done with promises and justifying my wrong choices, it’s not the path i take that is important but the fact that i have to keep walking. I have no plan but i will have direction. I’m ready to embrace uncertainty and not dwell on my past mistakes.

The time is 11:53PM.

I am excited. I will wake up to a beautiful sunrise.

And hopefully soon, it will be in a different country.

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