tired from three months of preparing. exhausted from five amazing days of the journey for peace. but very much alive from the beauty of the experience. imagine five extraordinary days of listening and talking with leaders. experiencing culture, religion and relationships.
tipsy too from four bottles of beer after having lunch (bulalo and sinampalukang kanding) at 2pm at victoria's bulaluhan along the high way in bansalan. tipsy from tasting the fruits of giving it your best shot! tipsy from the victory of overcoming limitations both of the physical and the spiritual.
but the best lesson of the panaw sa kalinaw was articulated in an alternative health center in inudaran, kapatagan, lanao del sur. in our midst, two gas lamps burns brightly, illuminating the small room where the secretariat are huddled in. cold starts to seep in from the linoleum-ed floor, and the cracks on the nipa wall. but warmth seems to throb from our hearts as we meet in a kiss a cup of coffee from the hospitality of the people.
to hope and to dream.
to hope, that even if things would not get better now, it would eventually be. no matter how it might take. no matter how far would we need to go. better days would be with us, the community and me... soon. to hope that eventually, it would be ok. kids going to school, hunger would starve itself to death. hope...
and to dream, that things would be better. things would wind up the way it should. that the world would be free from war, discrimanation and hatred. that peace and development would finally come to the house steps of the people. that it would be ok. dream...
when it was said. i also know that to hope and to dream wasn't said for the people. it struck a familiar chord, because it was also meant for me. to hope and to dream with these people maybe the gift of mindanao to me.
i say again: i would never be at another place and time except right here, right now.