Nothing wrong

(This article was first published inmy column at Sun.Star Davao on February 10, 2019. []. But to make it more fun for this blog, I’m posting here some file photos of my adventures and misadventures).

Whitewater kayaking on Davao River when the Davao Crocodile Park was still checking out if whitewater rafting is possible there. When I tagged along with the group of explorers, I didn’t even know what a kayak was. I couldn’t back out.

THROUGH the 15 years as editor-in-chief and eight years as some other kinds of editor of Sun.Star Davao, friends and acquaintances would often say, “You must be very brave to be in that job.”

Most often, I’d say I’m not. Simply because, I’m not really brave.

Okay, I admit, the lifestyle I chose would make other people believe I am.

Rock climbing is more difficult when you’re short and chubby… here we are at the Montalban Rockies.

As a freshman student, I joined UP Mountaineers I filed my application soon after viewing their photo exhibit. That wasn’t the norm. The norm was, friends signed in, not clueless individuals.

It was only as an applicant when I realized that if you want to take those photos, you have to be fit, and I wasn’t an adrenaline junkie, thus it was a major effort. That didn’t bother me. My focus was on the views not on my body and the speed by which I see the view.

As a student activist, I occupied the frontlines, but that was because I was tasked with growing the membership but I felt responsible for all my recruits. Being at the frontlines was more of a consequence than a choice. I, again, didn’t mind the added responsibility.

Taking a nap during a coverage of communist rebels in the late 1980s in the hinterlands of Davao City when the city was still known as the urban laboratory of communist rebellion.

Bored out of my wits after leaving Diliman, I ended up being a journalist covering insurgency because those were the days. I risked being caught in a crossfire many times, and also earned the ire of both sides. It’s scary to be in that position, but I focused on the job.

It has been that way hence. There’s a job, there’s an objective, I go, I do.

Does that mean I was never afraid? N-O, NO!

Believe it or not, I’m afraid of depths. And that’s why I learned scuba diving.

I have been afraid, very afraid… whether it was as I inched up those craggy rocks of Montalban, Rizal for our rock-climbing training and realizing that being short and chubby has its disadvantages or as I stood in yet another hinterland village where gunfires can still be heard from afar. Or even when some angry military officer thought he can bully his way against the news written about him and brought with him a gun to threaten me with or when libel cases just came pouring in or some politician thought it worth his while to send off some death threats.

Being afraid does not mean you cannot do the task or activity that you fear. I’m even afraid of the sea and that is why I’m afraid to swim in the sea. But I scuba dive.

Bottomline, there is absolutely nothing wrong about doing something even when you are afraid. For as long as you know the task and objectives and you come prepared, then just do. You’re allowed to cry or tremble, you know.


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