Last updated March 7, 2024, from Ninoy Aquino Wildlife Park.

"Sometimes, a person reaches a point in their life when it becomes absolutely essential to get the fuck out of the city."
— Becky Chambers, A Psalm for the Wild-Built

It recently struck me that while I identify as an introvert, I am not a homebody.

I am the type to go out of my way to a thoughtfully designed coffee shop, to get joy out of discovering the most cost-effective commute to a new spot in Manila, or, in today's case, to walk for forty minutes from my condo unit to a protected area. I'm writing this under a tree that called to me as I looked for a spot to sit down. I laid my cardigan out on the grass, opened my laptop, and used my tote bag as a pillow while reading the first chapter of Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

One of the park dogs walks by, looking over at me curiously, while teenage laughter drifts from a table nearby. The sunlight is as gentle as the breeze. What a luxury it is to have space to just be.

I'm here kasi tila pinipiga ko yung utak ko over these past few weeks. Prefacing this by saying I am so grateful to do the work that I do—February was proof that the seeds I've been planting since high school are now bearing fruit. I'm feeling so much more creative and self-assured than when I spent all my evenings training as an athlete. My challenge now is making my growth sustainable. Between academic papers, startup work, and Bisita inquiries, I have been spread thin. I've pulled myself out of the grind culture of sports, but my inner rushedness remains, informing not just my actions in fitness but my work as a technologist, too.

Nature has been a great powerbank and teacher. Sitting here, the urge to do everything and be everything now softens. Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.

I've been thinking about how so/ul is a convergence point for years of groundwork in my paths in tech, psychology, and philosophy:

  • Engaging with the community at Developh shaped my critical lens towards technology and introduced me to facilitation work, which I'll be doing a lot more of now.
  • Even before I started Bisita, I made an board called towards a soft web design practice. I've been revisiting its contents to prepare for a gathering with our waitlist members on mindfulness and technology.
  • Navigating the huge jump of working at tech startups as an individual contributor, to now leading one—figuring out how to use its tools and logic to subvert an industry that historically ignores spirituality and communal care.
  • Hopping around coffee shops while daydreaming of building my own third space, and now nurturing partnerships with cafés to host our future events at. That's wild.

The opportunities are steadily flowing in, and it's up to me now to manage them so that I don't build my own cage. The last time I was at this park, I spent some time writing out a new definition for success:

Having enough time to work out, read, write, reflect, dream. Time to tend to myself, to do whatever nourishes me in that moment. Being connected to the land, my physical surroundings and community. Doing soul-aligned work that contributes to Filipino well-being. Being fully present with people I love and admire. Constantly learning about myself and others. Building a kinder, more sustainable world.

I think I achieved that vision, at least for today. The trees and the water do not insist that I prove myself; I don't need to strive to be anything more than I am now. It's moments like this when I ask: Could this be enough?


February 2024
January 2024