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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!

Comments

One Response to “I Get Around (not).”

  1. Paolo Chikiamco on March 27th, 2014 1:35 pm

    We understand sir, and we’re grateful the times you manage to make the trip — I think the last time I saw you was at the Filipino Reader Con, and we were really happy that you were able to make it.

    Even with all other issues aside, attending events takes time away from creating, or spending time with the family — anyone who has had to wrestle with that balancing act will understand that attending events involves a lot more than merely showing up, so personally I’d always understand a “no.”