Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Happiness and sunset walks in Borneo

Today, here in Borneo, I took my Mac and my iPod to the beach at sunset and walked the entire length of one of the island's best fine sand beaches  as the sun slowly set on the horizon, resulting in a flurry of pinks, purples and oranges. It was a most magical hour to myself that I so needed, both for thinking time and for a little bit of exercise.

Yes, I'm really happy I'm still in Kota Kinabalu spending my afternoons taking long walks by the beach, watching the incredibly beautiful sunsets and talking with my companions about life and love, instead of being in Manila today where so many people seem to have spent the afternoon watching TV and turning the miseries of another human being into a spectator sport.

I've just been reading the reactions on Facebook and, frankly, it's horrifying. This issue has completely divided by the country and used up so much of our public resources with such counterproductive results.


Also, last I checked, the Philippines followed the American justice system wherein a person -- whether a real criminal or just someone unjustly accused -- is innocent until proven guilty. This is why we have supposedly impartial senators to render judgement based on evidence provided by both sides. Instead this human being has been already deemed guilty by at least 50% of the public via a trial of publicity, and so many people are actually gleeful about his troubles.

When did we become so judgmental? And when did we lose our empathy as decent human beings? I don't know whether this person is guilty or not, but until the hopefully impartial verdict is handed down, IMHO he should be considered innocent by the spectator public unless they personally have witnessed or know of an actual crime he has committed.

Gossip, watching TV, biased newspaper reports and text messages don't count, and it's very sad to see people treating this all as a sport at someone else's expense.

I'm sure we would all hate to be accused by someone and then labeled as guilty by a mob without due process of the law. This is quite a precedent with implications for us all. Unfortunately, history is full of such cases of human folly so it must be the dark side of human nature.

Anyway, with all this happening in Manila, I was very happy to be as apolitical as possible, and to just be on a peaceful Kota Kinabalu beach with my iPod.


The eclectic mix playing on my iPod:

Cross My Heart
Everything But The Girl

Oh Danny Boy
The Irish Tenors

Falling in Love
The Corrs

Jet Lag
Natasha Bedingfield

Corazon Partio
Alejandro Sanz

Don't You Forget About Me
Tears for Fears

The weather was fine and the day had started to cool down, and, for some reason, there was almost nothing and no one else on the beach but me and my music -- for kilometers and kilometers as far as my eye could see.


I don't know why, but as I was walking on the beach today, I remembered my walk on the golden sands of Colombo's beaches last year, on the last day of my first trip to Sri Lanka. Back then, I was in a mixed mood, satisfied with my life and with the world in general, and feeling incredibly lucky to be living the kind of life I want to live. But one part of me didn't know if I was to be happy or sad about a certain realization, and that weighed on my mind as I walked Colombo's beaches listening to songs on my iPod.


Today, it was slightly different. I simply felt happy and lucky to be alive. It's truly been an incredibly sweet and amazing Travelife, full of adventure and discovery. It's not been perfect, but it's truly been the kind of life that's almost too good to be true. I realize that not too many people can say this same thing with conviction, so I never take a single minute or a single hour or a single day for granted.

And when I'm not laughing about something or enjoying the moment on some trip or at some event, or with some person, I'm working very, very hard to make sure that Travelife Magazine, the Philippines' leading travel and lifestyle publication, is the kind of magazine people will always want to read and to keep.

This trip to Kota Kinabalu has been very enjoyable. It's just another notch in the bedpost of a our never-ending travels for 2012, but I'll certainly remember it for a very long time. We have a great team onboard for this trip, and when we're not furiously working, we're talking philosophy or laughing our heads off. I don't think I've made any of them laugh yet, but I've most definitely exploded in laughing fits because of someone's antics or someone's one-liners too many times to count.

Just another day in our never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.


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