Sometimes I wish I still lived in Manila. It’s not that I want to live in the big city because I actually don’t. It’s just that there are so many activities and events I wish I could attend and participate in.
Over the last week I was invited to two events, one a cosplay convention thing by Kit Perez and the other a talk on Philippine comics by Paolo Chikiamco on April 6. There’s this zine thing that Adam David is involved in. I think I attended one of the very first of these things back in 2001. I really would like to attend one of those again. There’s signings by my friends in comics like Leinil’s signing at Glorietta last Saturday. So many more. I wish I could attend them all.
If I was in Manila I definitely would. I think it’s just one of those things I have to let go after deciding to settle here in San Pablo City. It’s not THAT far to Manila, but you guys have no idea how much of a hassle it is to make the trip, specially for me and my bum knee.
If I do decide to attend an event, it’s not just simply a matter of going there and get back home and continue working. I have to set aside an ENTIRE DAY even if the event is just a couple of hours. The trip going up to Manila, then take a connecting ride via jeep or bus or cab to the place, then the same thing going back. That all ads up. Ever tried hailing a cab at 9pm in Makati? GOOD LUCK.
Public transport in Manila, as you guys know, can just be a nightmare. I mean, just look at how insane riding an MRT or LRT right now is. The metro buses aren’t safe and it’s not just because of the hold-uppers. It’s the drivers and their lack of discipline.
If I was younger I could have easily dealt with this, but I’m not so young anymore. My bones aren’t so young anymore and it’s really difficult for me now. More often than not, I would just rather stay here in San Pablo away from the craziness that is Manila.
How can I explain to people that this is one of the big reasons I decline invitations? It’s just too hard for me. As I mentioned previously, one of my knees is giving me trouble and walking for long distances can be excruciating. That’s the bottom line. I really don’t want to leave San Pablo and deal with that.
But if I really have to go, like if it’s something important like KOMIKON, I don’t take the bus. I rent a van. It’s not cheap, but it’s very convenient, and it circumvents a lot of the hassle dealing with going to Manila and back. So I reserve van money specially for those events that’s important to me as a creator, and that’s the two Komikons within the year, FCBD at Comic Odyssey and a couple of signings here and there. That’s it. That’s also why I don’t go to Manila that often. Because it costs me a lot of money to go.
So I guess I’m pretty lucky that I have a job that I can do at home. I can do everything from my work desk and computer and I don’t even have to go out. With this kind of arrangement, I just continue on working even when I’m sick, even when I don’t feel like taking a bath. And I’m thankful for that!