[Day 14] A non-fictional book

I recently picked up ‘I should have stayed at home: The worst trips of great writers’. It’s an anthology of anecdotes from different writers on the worst trips they’ve ever been on. Among the writers featured are Pico Iyer, Isabel Allende, Paul Thereoux, and many more.

Isabelle Allende writes about going around Europe on $1 a day, while Pico Iyer and a companion dodge sexual predators in Egypt. In another chapter, a writer talks about an impromptu trip around the world by a US president and the toll it took on his press corps. It’s more than little cautionary tales while on the road, it is, in essence, the best of the worst.

After all, as Mary Morris says in her introduction, “But it is not our comforts we remember–or that anyone else cares to remember for that matter. What is memorable is misery. It is our dismay, our disbelief, and the fact that we made it through. There is some perverse natural law that makes adversity lead to inspiration.”

Oh whew, finally reached the halfway point of this meme!

Part of the 30 Day Writing Meme. Next is Day 15: A fanfic.


Keep WOW Philippines alive!

In the aftermath of the tragedy, it will be more than the hostages lives that will be taken. Thousands of international tourists have already cancelled their trips to the Philippines. This is not just some vain concern. There are regions and villages that are entirely dependent on tourism to put food on the table and send their children to school.

What happened at Luneta is despicable. Luneta itself is ridden with crime, but even this incident is an extreme exception more than it is a norm. There is a need for an upheaval in the system, yes. And we should demand for that change.

At the same time, there is a little something we could do to make change, and a little brighter future for our country.

I was based in Jakarta when the bomb went off in Bali in 2002. I have seen Kuta, Bali entirely deserted of tourists when I visited later that year. I have also seen how it was locals and other Asians who helped bring Bali back to life. It took a few years, but Bali got back on track.

I call for Filipinos to do the same by travelling locally. This is the time to help our country and kababayan out by exploring the beauty of our own shores. There is so much to discover in this country, and the antics of one madman and the ineptness of our police should not destroy our local treasures and heritage. While the rest of the world is scared to visit, it will be the courage and love for our own that will bring them back.

It’s just one little thing that will be a big help to so many others. Pass the thought on.