I tell myself: there are no regrets.
The year is over, this year of deep sorrow but never one of regret.
There is one thing that makes me delineate these feelings, however intertwined they are: I have simply wisened up.
I am, in fact, wising up.
Running the Inquirer was simply tough odds. Tough time. Tough work. Tough thought. And the deep sorrows are not yet over.
Executing the newspaper's vision and turning ideas into something concrete always needed a perennial amping up.
No lackadaisical moves here, no indecision.
The life you go through in running what purports to be a respectable newspaper is one of a fastfood store, with everything on the go, with everything measured in instant.
And then, you have to be precise, mistake-free. One error in the articles and you are a goner. It paid that I had co-workers who were always on the ready, rain or no rain, shine or no shine.
Always, you have to be ready to substitute your 'sleep of the just' in the night with the 'best newspaper in town' ideal by not sleeping at all.
And then the other non-newspaper tasks that you have to balance: the ritual of bringing the newspapers in bundles up your second floor office so they get to be safely stacked up there for distribution the following morning; the ritual of making it certain that circulation is done; the ritual of planning for the next issue--oh, well, the cycle begins--and the cycle begins at the very time that the week's issue is coming out of the press.
Week in and week out, you and your co-workers did this.
Collaborators came and went; some for some time, some stuck it out with you till the end.
Well, some were big mouths, loud and rowdy.
Many were silent workers, doing things on their own, without being pushed around, needing no pushing around, needing no coaxing, always doing things on their own and never becoming a headache.
For many months, we watched the Inquirer lived the good life, and the good life got better and better each week.
We watched it lived more beautifully each week.
We watched its growth, and then, and then, one day, it died.
I want to live. I am wising up.
A. S. Agcaoili
July 9, 2006