Tuesday, January 28, 2014

So, what happened in the last SEVEN years?

Written in: Calgary, Alberta, CANADA
Previous Post: I'm Back!

The other problem about memory is not just how you may not recall things exactly as they happened, but that new experiences may influence, cloud, or even completely alter the original experience. At the very least, for the purposes of this blog - this whole story of my 4 and a half month exploration of my country of birth - is that I actually took concrete steps to understand what I went through. So now, whenever trying to narrate and explain what had happened, I'm not just drawing from the original experiences, but also everything else I have encountered and learned since.

So, what happened in the last SEVEN years?

After I came back April of 2007, I immediately went through a slump. A deep depression. A longing for the Philippines. After a long, enjoyable vacation, I then tried to read everything I could about traveling. Why was I so depressed? Why did I hate my life here in Calgary? Why did I want to go back so badly? Slowly, things started to make sense. Turns out, I was experiencing "Re Entry" - and it is one of the most difficult things to come back to.  Words like the "Honeymoon Period", "Negotiation", and "Adjustment Phase"  also started to figure in my vocabulary*.

Late 2007, I had an invitation to attend Cousin Mireille's wedding - in Boracay, no less. I really wanted to go, but I knew that if I did, I may never come back. So, I just wished her well, told her I cannot go, and just to ensure I wouldn't depart at the last minute should I get a really strong sudden desire to go, I bought a car - thus exhausting any spending money I may have.

September 2008, I then went back to school for a four year degree in Development Studies. In part, also because of my experiences in the Philippines, though mostly because of my personal hero, my Mom's older brother, my Uncle Pete, is a graduate of the University of the Philippines Los BaƱos' Development Communication program. He has worked for the UN's FAO and various other international organizations. In some way, I guess I figured that since I already had a Broadcasting Diploma (2004) under my belt, an additional Development Studies degree would somehow replicate his path.
Photo courtesy of Dylan J.
So far, all I have to show for relating that degree to what I experienced overseas is


... what I experienced overseas is a paper article (page 6), a few TV news segments (here and here)**.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-N3T6gIHXbmk/Uua6DdQ87TI/AAAAAAAAAxs/NIGyyLhR7lo/s1600/167522_1628706192688_506916_n.jpgChristmas 2010 to January 2011 I went to the Philippines once again for a one month vacation. I used my Cousin Ging's wedding in beautiful Davao as an excuse, but I really just wanted to see a few beaches and get away from the winter. I was at the mid-point of my Development Studies Degree (I'm class of 2012), so I really really needed a boost in motivation. It worked! I came back to Canada more reinvigorated.

2012, newly graduated, I started gathering Filmmaking/Photography equipment for the purpose of becoming an Independent Documentary Filmmaker.

Interviewing Pat Richard


http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-6D8H_UYB2i0/Uua6X-uEc7I/AAAAAAAAAyM/T9HSTpAgWfw/s1600/10374436853_0275250331_o.jpg...in the Philippines...? Maybe. Certainly was what I had in mind. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), I delayed it because I wanted to gain experience being an independent filmmaker here in Canada first. I am now currently working on my first feature-length Doc - being only a crew of one, I've been working on it full time since 2012. Targeted release date: 2015? (That's what I was hinting at in this entry).

Right now, I am not entirely sure whether this was a good idea. More than anything, I feel as though because my public fundraising FAILED, I should have abandoned it then and there. One (Alberta Provincial Government) funding source did greenlight me, but I have yet to cash it in... So, for all intents and purposes, it is always under threat of being abandoned.
So there you have it... That's what has happened in the last 7 years. 

Drifting photos by Ian G.

Next Post: Social Hierarchy, Menial Jobs, and Fastfood in the Philippines.

* Honeymoon Period = For the record, I didn't just read that linked Wikipedia article - I read MORE than that. I just put it there for your benefit, in case you aren't sure what I'm talking about.

** My Work = I obviously did MORE work in different topics. I just meant to say that those three works are the only ones related to my travels in the Philippines. I actually feel that I was one of the more prolific NUTV contributors (though I was only an occasional writer for The Gauntlet). I figured back then, when I was still in school, that by this time I would be globetrotting, like my Uncle Pete - that's what I mean by saying "all I have to show for it". I feel like I should be further ahead by now... y'know? Like I should have been around the world, solved its problems, etc...

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