To be among kindred spirits is something one can always hold onto as the string though which the sense of 'ligare'--to bind--is not only felt but experienced.
And give life to.
My trip to Sanchez Mira is my first in the last 30 years or so.
Been to this famous place right after Claveria in the past, when my soul was kinder and younger, and my body and bones were more tender and supple.
A mission was beckoning, and it started when one good doctor, educator, and writer all rolled into one--Dr Freddie Padua Masuli--told me that their chief administrator of their school wanted to speak with and know more about Nakem Conferences, the movement we began in 2006 and has created some ripple effect among advocates of cultural democracy and emancipatory education in the Philippines.
I said, Yes! and that was the beginning of that 12-hour trip on land from the cemented jungles of Metro Manila to the monastery-like silence and charm of Sanchez Mira.
I wanted to see Pagudpud again, this town with its meandering cliffs that lead to the West Philippine See, its ravines filled with nothing but greenery.
And then, of course, Patapat, the famous zigzagging road that instilled in me a child's thought about the beauty of nature and its dangers too, what with a number of buses and jeepneys slipping into the bottom of its crevices in the past.
It was the break of day when I got past all these places of memory, that after decades and decades of not renewing that promise of re-membering and remembering, was beginning to take its form again.
July 25 it was, and I was among friends, advocates of cultural freedom, linguistic justice, and liberatory education.
One does not mind the long, long hours of sleeplessness when we have this experience in return.
And I thought that the talk I delivered somehow clicked.
Or so I hope.
---Sanchez Mira, Cagayan, Las Islas Filipinas, 25 de Julio 2013