This is a story about a community living in Palawan, Philippines who are proud to live and grow in a land filled with natural wonder. One particular native of the place gave some insights on how they care for their environment and keep the land free of all evil.
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Taytay, Rizal in the Philippines is a group of #islands that has some of the picturesque natural beauty and well preserved, sustained environment. Global Culture Project had an exclusive interview with a native from Taytay who spoke all about the procedures to care for our environment and how the place is so special.
Read the interview to be published in June and #discover places that you only imagined exist in movies.
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This is a story of two people in this small world. One boy trying to make a life and one girl, who already found her in him. They chose each other inspite of knowing a bitter truth. By the end of this story, it will be clear what the truth it. But for now, let’s proceed with them. So this is world is small, right!! You have your social connectivity, fast travel via air and the magical gift of internet. No place is far and no one is ever out of your reach. With each day, it gets smaller and you get closer. But there’s no replacement of a human touch. I mean, can anything ever replace when you go and hug your bestie or kiss your lover. I don’t think nothing can ever replace this feeling or, let me put it like this, if there is anything money can’t buy that would simply be the human touch. Enough of this technology and poetic talk! Let’s get back to our protagonists of the story.
By now, you’ll have realized this is a love story. Yes true, indeed it is. But, hold on! Don’t assume, this is a sequel to any other stories you know. The meeting of these love birds is, as usual, through the famous online book. It started from Hi to lets have each other’s number. Then slowly momentum did build up. It was then photo exchanges, knowing each other habits and schedules. Gaps between individual texts started getting smaller and then, one hand wasn’t enough to type fast. With more time, they started getting closer to each other. But, again hold on! I haven’t mentioned they fell in love so just take it slow. They became friends. I mean darn close friends; those friends to whom you can actually become your inner child and stop acting mature. You stop using your head to talk because you say just anything you feel like. They took this part of their relationship too serious. It was like, you are my baby so you will do what I say you and the other one be like, No, you are my baby so I know what’s better for you. Fights were common as it is common in every relationship. With each post-fight silence, they never stopped coming back to each other, not physically thou. There was something between them, they couldn’t resist. They couldn’t stop thinking about each other. And now comes the funny part.
This half friend half couple kind of relationship went on for around two years. In this time period, they never met. I mean, seriously, they never met. It was all in words, voice and some photos. It’s never a strong urge to meet your bestie asap. You know, you will see them at one point and when you do, you’ll talk as if it was only a one day gap. No matter how long you stay away from your bestie, it is always the same when you meet. So, for them also, it was this exact thinking. And thus, it never occurred to them that they should meet. In those two years they found out few facts and all of them were related to one topic, which is, they can’t live without each other. But they made sure, they are not couples in words. It was totally unsure why they chose this. Maybe they were too shy, maybe afraid or simply maybe, they enjoyed their unique relationship. Whatever it was, it changed at the New Year eve of 2017.
This story is not about what they did during their relationship or using fancy adjectives to portray my writing skill. Don’t forget about the “bitter truth”. So, let’s proceed with the timeline. We were on the eve of 2017. On that day, they found out they love each other. And proposals!! No, not exactly. Nobody proposed. It was something in their phone call when they realized, I love you. Then they would ask each other, since when you loved me, why didn’t you say it before and you know all those initial love curiosities. The last bit of barrier of being strangers was broken. It was then all heck loose. Their talk went on for hours, more intimate memories were made and slowly a healthy strong bond was build up. After around 9 months of a sound relationship, finally it was time to meet.
And, now we come to the best part of the story. It was a big day for them. They were finally meeting after 9 long months of relationship and many more of being together. Preparations were made well in advance. They gave huge attention to tiny details. It was, what the other one would like me to dress, what his favourite colors, what’s her favourite thing as gift. So, they started preparing with things one would love in the other. Shoes, shirts, cosmetics and gifts were finalized and bought. A day would not pass without them thinking what it would be like to meet for the first time in months. They would call each other to ease off on the excitement. But hardly could they stop it from building up day by day. The night before the big day was the hardest to pass. For them, it was like going to a job interview in Google. They would rehearse a hundred times how to react for the first time when they’ll meet the next day. And then boom! The next dawn appeared.
Both of them woke up even before the night could fade completely. Then final preparations were made multiple times, making sure they look absolutely perfect. At the pre-planned time, they both headed out to the place. The boy reached early and for them it was like, waiting for his trail in court. Excitement faded into anticipation. He would look around and thought, how would she look like, how will he react infront of her. The call then came from her that she arrived at the corner and waiting for him. He started walking with the heaviest sight. His heart was beating like it was pumping blood to the whole world; his eyes were spinning around crazy, trying to see his soul mate. He then stood under a shade and waited for her. And all of a sudden, someone tapped the back of his shoulder. His senses froze instantly. From his back appeared the girl of his life. His eyes got stuck to the face he waited this long to see. He wanted to cry out of joy but he held himself to try not to embarrass himself. And for her, she was standing infront of the man she fell in love with. She was too shy to look into his eyes. She was so hyped that she started sweating enormously. So, they had to find out somewhere cool enough to sit and calm down.
They went inside an air conditioned restaurant and sat beside each other. It took time for them to feel their new partner. He took every chance to turn to her side and see her. But she saw too nervous to make an eye contact. For him, she represented the most beautiful person and for her, he was the safest place to be with. Starting a conversation was hard. Even thou they knew each other for so long still felt like strangers on their first meet. He, lost in her face, whispered “You look million times more beautiful than what you do in pics”. She gave the most auspicious smile to him and replied, “Only because of you”. This broke the awkward silence between them and the air felt a bit lighter. Cute talks followed with nice food. They simply couldn’t believe they are finally together. They couldn’t believe all those times they dreamt of being together, arrived at-last. They took their time to endeavour each and every moment together. He then, held her hand. The soft contour of her fingers sank deep within his. It was like that Adam Young’s song with the lyrics- The spaces between my fingers are right where yours fit perfectly. He slowly held her hand tight and made sure she felt safe. The time there, was the very moment they waited and waited. After lunch they went out for a walk.
After few steps of walking side by side, she decided to hold his arm. She grabbed his elbow and held it tight. He felt a jolt of current flowing inside him. It is not because nobody held him before but he couldn’t believe his world that comprised of his life and her, were finally together. She felt the safest. When normally she would resist walking out in the sun, they were strolling happily under the summer heat. It was a slow walk, letting the busy world walk pass right by them. People saw two average Indian young couple walking down the lane. They saw, their whole world getting together for the first time. For the first time, it occurred to them, no storm can deter when they are together. But the time was a mean fellow. It didn’t stop for them. Slowly it was the time to depart.
He said her, “So when will we meet next!”
She replied “As planned, next year same time.”
Then they parted 450 kilometers to their respective lives only to wait for the next year to arrive. It is really tuff to wait for someone so long. And when you meet them, you stay with them for quite a while. But only they know what it feels to meet only once a year. Yes, only once in every year. Welcome the bitter truth. They are like every other couple of their age. But their love never stops growing. This idea of meeting only once a year never scared them. Their life keeps them away but their love made them a resilient human being. They learnt what it’s truly mean to stay away, how to be patient in difficult times and most important, what is a true love.
Many whine about long distance relationship. This couple made their weaknesses their strengths. They stood away from everybody else. They are unique to this world and special to each other. If you made it this far of the story then I am lucky to have a reader like you. Now, I have one more surprise to give before it ends.
Life is hard. We all are tied to responsibilities we can’t ignore. Reaching the pinnacle of success is what we all yearn for. But in this process we fail to realize what is beautiful. Beauty, as now in the society, is synonymous to being attractive and popular. And all these beauty hardly reflects the spirit of a human being. The liberation of a human heart from all sins and prejudice is the truest definition of beauty.
Water flow in reminisce sorrow,
Spool ticks in waves of noises,
the beauty folds in the sleeping sight
Tonight the sun rose again,
devoid by the winter winds,
when the stars found their light
in thee eyes.
Embers of paradise found thee,
where the sun rose in farthest dreams
No life born without love of thee
for what brings hope, hope to fly,
Blooms in eye of thy octave,
Serene hues brought us to unite
And ignite flames of our soul.
The bellow jasmine streams
a love in tune with the wings,
a feel of miles tide
screams fall down below,
tied to the stars in sight
yes beauty is in freedom!
Enough words cannot describe distance,
the crossroad never can seek serenity,
how unite been we in trust tonight,
Not a man am I of cursed crusade,
A face not could born to fear flight,
A smile not deprived of your kind kiss,
Remember me in taken off hazy hymns,
Evenings saw my eyes gazing whispering waves,
Those high water let inside me chaotic chills,
And leftover dew of morning lips lost,
Fear cannot fight, lies never love but you loved,
The heart inside saw this world with somebody’s sight,
I am now a moonlight draped in painless peace,
Happily given my nightly names and double delight,
Your was that sight and you were my night sky.