What will you get by squatting when you can live and breathe the same air as the natives?
Not that you forget your cultural inheritance or your tattooed ties but when you travel, it's way above the photos you upload to impress the IG community. A picture can paint a thousand words and living the portrait spells more adventures and FUN.
I've lived personally in Iloilo for three years. I started out as a naive Cebuano with a flexi diglossia: tagalog-english-cebuano. It's by the blood how tagalog is not a comfort zone for most Cebuanos. I personally didn't imagine myself riding my first jeep to Miagao with a bunch of weird painted accents from people.
I know traveling and exploring and they can be deeper pages. The music of Eagles and Hotel california were normal playlist tunes uproaring that single ride from Iloilo City to Miagao. (Repeat until fade)
I'd say, baptizing myself as a wanderer had its earlier toll on me: being away from home spelled homesickness.
Why in the world would you pack your bags to a foreign terrain with no sponsors to assure your survival in the hunger games? A crazy guy with no goals in mind and a broken heart were quintessential.
The impetus went on smooth. The lack of verdict and direction and the spur of the foreign feeling away from my homebase made me learn a different language and a totally different accent.
I wasn't really a die hard fan of selfies and that's surely factual and historical acclaiming technological deprivation. I ran with no photos and no instagram accounts.
It was a life-changing moment to live and breathe the ilonggo life. Tons of people, wonderful people who never shed a pinch of their angst--you know accents can be deceiving too.
The traveler that I was became a reality and not just the photographer's dream. I learned to differentiate the 'karon' in Bisaya and 'karon' in ilonggo which have very misleading connotations . You surely don't get this by staying for 3 days in the urban areas. Yes. I lived in Miagao and eventually learned to hiss Kinaray-a which was even more exotic and expletive in its tone.
Life was pretty easy yet costed much from my sponsors: my parents and no other people.
Imagine a town that plays the angelus at 6pm and thereafter, the Burger Machine and one all-around Bakeshop for crammers remain the only lights in the darkness. Rush hours linger until quarter to 6 where money centers for aliens like me aim to reach. It was a religious ruling and I had to bow to its rules. As if I had a choice.
The sweet people of Miagao, Iloilo remain beautiful memories. The awesome beach near my home and the darkness made me feel subtle with letting go of Tagalog and marking the Ilonggo attempt to communicate more with its locals.
The life of a traveler remains a mystery if you don't stay and live in it. You remain a distant gazer with nothing but desires to take glimpses. The mystery is unveiled if you learn to speak like them and know the cheapest places to eat and dine.
I am missing those tons of coloured accents and the hotel california tunes which I can only manage through youtube. It remains magical and floating that those 3 years were too fast to unfold.
I am missing Iloilo and the camaraderies I've spent time with and loved.
I remain a wanderer and a hybrid of Ilonggo and Cebuano by heart.