I am still surprised when I see college students going out and about this summer. I often forget that major universities in the Philippines have already implemented academic shift. Classes now start in August and ends in May. This also means that summer breaks which used to be from April to May now fall on the not so summery months of June and July.

As a kid, I would always count the days until summer break. I felt 10 months for a school year was too long. Time also went by too slow. Summer meant I could wake up late, laze around for the whole day, and bury myself in the comfort of my books. I remember devouring shelves and shelves of books. It came to a point my mom would scold me because she had to keep my books in boxes under my bed.

Summer also meant lots of sunshine. We would go to beaches around the Bicol Region. Back then, sunblock was not yet a fad. Instead, we were forced to apply baby oil to protect out skin from the sun. And since I hated applying any form of oil in my body, by the end of summers I would end up so dark than my usual color.

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I was in my hometown two weeks ago for the Holy Week break. It’s an annual practice—going home during Holy Week, All Soul’s Day and Christmas breaks.  Apart for the reason these are only periods I get to spend time with my family, these are also the only periods I take long breaks from work.

A favorite habit of mine when I am at home is to sit in our terrace during sunset. Because it faces our gate and of the almost 1.5-meter elevation of our house above ground level, I get a good view of the setting sun, the road in front of our house, and railway that bisects the road.

During my recent stay, there was a day that I was suddenly overwhelmed by the utter calmness of my surroundings. There were hardly any cars passing by. Children were happily playing on the street. I could vividly hear the sound of chirping bird and insects, and even the sound of the blowing wind.  It is a fact that in some places like my hometown, life can still be slow and uncomplicated. Yet, it still amazes me I am still able to experience how slow and uncomplicated life can be.

Continue reading “Relativity”

All About Time

Excerpt from Dr. Philip E. Humbert’s “The Innovative Professional Letter”:

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It was the invention of factories that made people began thinking about how many hours they worked, and it wasn’t until after World War II that the average person owned a watch.

Think about how life has changed because digital watches now tell us it is 9:57, rather than “about 10 o’clock”. I typically have clients call at exactly top of the hour, and if either their clock, or mine, is a few minutes off wee we end up apologizing to each other for being “early” or “late”.

Imagine living any time in the past 10,000, before you got your first watch. When the sun came up, you got up and went to work. When the sun went down, it was time to quit. In the winter, there was less light, and workdays were short. In the summer, with more light, there was more work but also more time to swim play or plant and harvest.
Continue reading “All About Time”