i am a person who finds great comfort in being alone. while i usually find myself in the company of my thoughts and imaginations, i seldom find myself lonely. i do not necessarily crave for company, and i am in that way, extremely independent. my happiness, or fulfillment, do not depend on the presence of others. my mobility, most of all, will not hinge on the availability of my friends. i feel awful when people reject my invitations, because it is something i make very rarely. that is why i would rather be on the receiving end of invitations. those who are well aware of my kaladkarin nature can very well attest to my unfailing ability to say yes. although, sometimes, i really should learn to say no.
i shop for stuff alone. i do not need to drag people along with me to decide what to buy. i go out to see movies alone. i have watched theater on my own. making decisions is easier when no one else's tastes are in the equation. i have climbed alone. i have eaten in nice restaurants by myself. i have traveled alone: once to batanes, twice to sagada, once to camiguin, once to pandan island, once to boracay. but in all of these lonely travels, i have never found occasion to regret my loneliness, except maybe when i am arrested by so much beauty, and i think about how others may also appreciate the view. and there have been times when i started on things alone, but met people along the way. such is the strange blessing of solitude.
perhaps some of the things i will not likely do alone is to drink and to go to bars.
is this predilection to doing things alone a prelude to many years of solitude?
random rumination number 22 - xenophilia
while most people might balk at the idea of speaking to foreigners, i take particular delight in finding myself in the company of strangers from strange lands. i've always fancied cultures different from my own, and have a sincere interest in the ways of others. even when there are few good things to say about the government and politicians and poverty, i enjoy speaking to foreigners about my country. i guess the interest may be rooted in the fact that i was born into foreign relations. my parents had many foreign friends. in fact, my second name was given to me in honor of david, an american missionary to the philippines. i also have cousins who have foreign nationalities. i lived in singapore for a short period of time, and there met all sorts of people from all corners of the world. i always felt at ease with them.
i often say that i dream of marrying a caucasian, and spawn a generation of good-looking quiboquibo's. also, for a time, i joked about being the head of the united nations. in fact, i still think a career in international relations is a path that's wide open for me. i only need to walk towards that direction.
random rumination number 23 - bibliophile
just the other day, i bought garcía márquez's autobiography and a novel by josé saramago. the former has long been a literary force in my life, while the latter appeared interesting. right now, i have close to 300 books of literature, law, and criticism on my shelf. as i've confessed before, more than half of these, i have not read completely. in terms of percentages, i may have read more law books than i have my literature books, and that's disconcerting. i have a very specific interest in literature. i like authors who write beautiful prose, who take pains in description and exposition. i have little interest in plots and twists and surprise endings. i have never liked bestsellers, and consider them trash. other than tolkien's work and a limited number of classics, i stay away from sci-fi and fantasy books. i will never read a harry potter book. i also don't read self-help books. i absolutely hate it when people tell me that i "have to read this book" or that book -- that i am missing out on a lot of things just because i am not acquainted with this particular author's work. good reading is a solid foundation for anyone who wishes to write, and to write well.
i wrote an article in the collegian about a plan to implement a required reading list in the department: a list of 100 books, 50 to be chosen by the faculty, and another 50 picked by the student. i'm not sure if they've implemented this requirement, but i will admit i never read that many books even while i was a student. by books, i mean, novels. i have read stories, or parts of books, but only a few novels. i would've treated garcía márquez's novellas as three separate books for their sheer literary weight.
i am almost surprised that i've ended up loving books and reading. when i was in high school, it was even difficult for me to finish the abridged version of el filibusterismo and noli me tangere. we had a vast collection of nancy drew and hardy boys adventures at home, which i never bothered to open. i don't exactly remember what got me started on reading, except that it was required. or maybe because i finally realized that the only way i can pretend to be smart is if i actually did what smart people do -- which is to read.
random rumination number 24 - body of literary work
i have produced an insignificant body of work when i was still deliriously sold on the idea of becoming a writer. i submitted my work to magazines and folios with unsatiable hunger. i have seen many of my poems see print in such publications as the philippine graphic, the philippines free press, and in several lit folios of the collegian, among others. one thing i've noticed is that my poems are mostly prosaic, in that they consist of narratives, while my stories are very highly descriptive, employing many metaphors -- so in a way, my prose is always poetic. i have never managed to make much use of word play in poetry, but rely on the inner musicality of words and the images they conjure.
having majored in english, with a concentration in creative writing, i had a chance to actually try all sorts of genres. i felt particularly competent in fiction, the essay, and poetry. i did academically well in scriptwriting, but found the genre too reliant on actors and an actual production -- it wasn't one to be appreciated by reading alone. i wonder sometimes, whether i will ever get around to writing a novel.
during the launch of butch dalisay's book, penmanship, my friends and i asked our copies to be autographed by him. most of us had these generic scribbles from his exquisite mont blanc, saying best regards, thanks, or whatever. my dedication was this: "to alman dave -- whose own first book i look forward to." i've long planned to ask sir butch to write the foreword to my first book. but i wonder whether he would still be around once i actually put together mine.
random rumination number 25 - art
not many might know it, but i actually once considered shifting to fine arts. but i'm glad i just considered it, and didn't make the move. no, it's not because law is really my calling, but because i haven't got the talent for art. sure, i was interested in painting and illustrating and sketching and all that, and even joined fernando sena's summer art workshop in 1989. i still occasionally draw but mostly just to impress kids or to amuse myself or to make my notes more interesting. i think i started out drawing stick figures when i was aping my older brother, who is an architect, and who really has talent. he can really draw. i once knew how to use watercolors and oil pastels, although now i doubt if i can actually accomplish anything with these materials. i really should heed mosscake's advice to just stick to writing.