Technically, in (my) shoeboken, no face with eyes, nose and mouth should appear (can be found). But as it is with most rules/laws, there maybe exceptions to the general rule, and even exceptions to the exceptions.
This could be a “God in All Things.” It actually is. But the life-event this image represents is also worthy of being a “Shoe Boken.” Being an adventure itself, and the fact that no face can clearly be distinguished in this band of Little Laos defeats such technicality. So…
Today, three years ago, courage roared like a lion while fear kept close to the sidelines. We crossed Guimaras on a bangka and travelled by jeep to the solitary mountain top that is Sitio Serum. This time it was different, unlike six years before that when I was one of those awkward seniors who had to go through immersion and recollection, I was dubbed as one of the (newbie) facilitators.
And I must say, it’s harder than just saying a bunch of words. Being the new recruit and all. You have to be prepared, you have to know when to give emotion in exchange of emotion (and when not to?). You have to learn when to just listen, when to understand, when there is a need to speak, and what to say at a given time. As I see it, there should be spontaneity of emotions, words and actions from the students in order for them to be in the NOW. Despite the strong tendencies of adolescents to be carefree, there is still that struggle to express themselves, to express their BEING because of the uncertainty of their emotions (at that stage). And it is up to the facilitators to draw them out, which is also a bit of a struggle. I couldn’t say I did a great job, it was my first (and only?) time to be one. I hope I wasn’t lousy though (lol).
Now and then, I look back on those days in Guimaras and SMILE… especially when I see my ABYAN tee, which says: Ang abyan ko nga Ati, taga San Nicolas. I’ll always be thankful for that experience and for all the people present. One way or another, I gained something of value by the gift of your presence. Love & Gratitude!