Work has been so demanding lately that it’s really hard to sit down, gather your thoughts and write something – let alone travel and write about it. It’s not like the work has been so monotonous that there’s nothing to write, but, in fact, it has been the opposite; there’s been too many events.

It’s just that I like to compartmentalize certain aspects of my life and I don’t want this blog to be an extension of my professional life so I tend to keep details from work to a minimum when writing here. Nonetheless, I guess I’ve reached a point where I’m realizing that work has been really taking a huge chunk of my hours that it’s impossible to avoid it and not let this blog gather cobwebs.

Since last month, the pacing in the office dramatically picked up. It started with the Pista ni San Roque in Barangay Mabolo, a weeklong event that culminated on May 11 with a parade of dancing. May is traditionally a month of fiestas, and this is Valenzuela City’s answer to the nation’s celebratory tendencies. It’s not the most lavish of fiestas and it suffers from a sort of identity crisis (Like, is it really a feast celebrating the patron saint of the disabled, or just an ati-atihan knockoff?), but it does a good job of providing color and fun to an otherwise drab city.

Ironically, on the day after the fiesta, a tragedy struck the city. A fire razed a slipper factory in Barangay Ugong, killing 72 people, injuring many others, and revealed serious problems on the labor practices of many workplaces in the Philippines. Not to mention that it raised issues on the processes of granting business permits by several local government units.

The days that followed involved lots of press conferences, press releases and keeping open eyes and ears to the resulting probes in the executive and legislative branches of the government. This meant a whole lot of media exposure for the city that, honestly, became too overwhelming for me. There have been times where I would get off work past midnight or report on weekends, and a weekend away from everything seems really tempting.

May has been a really hectic month and with the opening of classes and some unwelcome developments regarding the fire investigations, I don’t expect June to be much more forgiving, if at all.

Nonetheless, I’m expecting a change of pace with major trips in the horizon, especially my trip to Thailand and Laos later this month. It’s been a year in the making and it’ll finally happen! I’m trying to keep the trip as spontaneous as I can and as my meager budget will allow me, so I’m having a loose itinerary.

Hopefully that trip will reignite my writing engine.


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