Today is the 5th year since Zambales and I got together. I could say that I have been all over Zambales, but I have not explored it that well… yet. I remember that day I left Zamboanga City, I hugged my then boyfriend goodbye, and I never really realized I wouldn’t be seeing that place in five years (and counting), which I am pretty thankful for at the moment, but I cannot say I don’t miss it. Because I really do.
For five years, I have met so many people, I have said goodbye to so many things, and my heart has been broken so many times. I know all of these are inevitable in somebody’s life, but then, I’m pretty sure Zambales has had something to do with it. Although, right now, I consider myself “all over the place”, I check out Manila once in a while, and I go back to Zambales whenever I get tired of the really tall buildings and irritable taxi drivers, and crazy three-hour traffic jams, I still love Zambales the way I loved it the first time.
I have learned so many things along the way, and here are the ones I’ve learned from Zambales…
Not everyone has their shit together.
I don’t know if you know, but people are just pretending to have their life together on social media. You don’t have to keep comparing yourself or your life to anybody else’s because nothing they say makes you any less of a person. Your life is wonderful as it is, no matter how small you feel or how fucked up you think your life is. You just need to learn how to appreciate even the little things, and you will be happy.
Changes are everywhere.
Last week, I was at the mall for the first time in a couple of months, and a lot of things have changed. I guess this is what every single person needs to learn as they grow older…. That nobody can stop the world from changing. That people need change. That change is good.
When I was still working in an office before, I would go out with friends almost every night, checking out the night life, being with all the young groups we feel we need to fit in to. As the years passed, I grew tired of it, but I’m still ecstatic to see friends once in a while, talk about whatever is new with them. I remember a friend telling me that this change is normal… It’s normal to want to be in a quiet room with a group of friends, just talking and listening and laughing at jokes. It’s normal to get tired of that loud and crazy party nights we’re all done with.
One of my good friends just had a baby. We were supposed to meet up, all three of us, before the baby arrives, but life just got ahead of us. I know we’d miss all of the things from before. But then, life is great the way it is. I guess we just have to accept that.
It’s not just you who’s having a horrible day.
Somehow, I have learned to smile at random people who I run into. This is nothing, if you think about it, but then, maybe I’d run into someone who was fired from work, or whose cat died two hours ago, or someone who lost his cellphone. A smile might not do anything about their problems, but it could give them a tiny dash of hope in humanity.
You have to see the good in everything (and everyone).
This is what I keep telling Hannah, my best friend. I know what’s all over the news: terrorism attacks, killings, bombings, kidnappings, rape, drugs, all of the crimes you could possibly think of. But I know everyone has a good heart. Sometimes, life just gets in the way and they get motivated to do bad things because they feel like they don’t have a choice. In a bad situation that you cannot change, you have to learn how to look at the bright side.
I lost my phone in a mall once. I know it how painful it is to lose something really valuable, something you use every single day. But get this… Someone who needs it more than you do could have picked it up. Maybe he tried to find you, but he was unsuccessful. Maybe he used it to do something that will change his life. This sounds pretty mental, and pretty optimistic, but really, try to see the good in every person and every situation… No matter how difficult it is.
Miracles happen everyday.
To be honest, it’s not really hard to not believe in miracles. Psh, miracles shmiracles. But then, hey, how about when you wake up happy in the morning, is that not a miracle? Zambales isn’t really small. You meet people everyday and you find yourself wanting to see the old ones you’ve met before. Sometimes, you just wait for miracles to fall into your lap, you look for it everywhere, you work so hard just to see its wonderful face. You just don’t know though, miracles are everywhere, and if only it could talk, it would slap you hard in the face and say, “You are such an unappreciative douchebag. I’m right here!”
Zambales has been my home for a while now. I know I keep on leaving, but I keep coming back every single time. I’ve met so many people, and I’ve done things I have only dreamed of doing back when I was still in my hometown. Life has been fun and shitty at the same time, but it doesn’t matter, I just try to live in the present.
If you’re reading this and you’re still waiting for a miracle to happen, this is it, my friend, you are able to read, and you are able to see the world outside, and your hair looks really pretty today, and even if you’re still asking for more, try to see the good in this very moment, and thank the Universe for it.
I love you, Zambales, here’s to five years of everyday miracles, and many more.
Author: Mary Elizabeth Francisco
A huge fan of chocolate chip cookies. Hypertensive. Loves ice cream and taking pictures of the sky. Believes that coffee makes the world a better place. Just a girl, not a hero. Not yet, that is.