Publisher's Note

  • Publisher’s Note

    Dear Readers, Maligayang Bagong Taon po sa inyong lahat! I hope you all had a great holiday season this past December and were able to spend quality time with your families and friends. It’s hard to believe that it’s now 2020 and that we are already starting the third decade of this century! Last December 27, 2019 [...]

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Page added on August 26, 2019

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Erwinism: Living Spaces

“We have to live in the moment, so the moment can live in us.”

-Erwin D. Maramat, Erwinism

The home is where the heart is.

Our home breathes itself in us. It is a place where we don’t wear masks. Whenever our spirits are weary, it is where we take refuge and we are broken, it brings us comfort to heal. There are certain scents that will bring us back in time; however, all we could do is weep or reminisce for we are far away. Long has the road been and at times we tend to retrace back our footsteps hoping that it may lead us to our old selves when we didn’t have to chase paychecks and deadlines. We find ourselves clamouring over fancy restaurants where wine is served on chilled glass and the steaks are delectable and tender, but there is always something that makes as hold on to the enticing vibe of a home-cooked meal. How we see ourselves reflects our homes and how we live is embodied by it.

We step out into the world and we go places to distract us from the loneliness and we fill the void with trinkets of a pretense hopeful that people won’t see the nature of our melancholy.  We tend to be absent in a moment where we are presently confined. We let the lens of our mobile devices become the extension our souls so the world could fall at our feet seething with envy and if no one bothers to take a glimpse of our artificial memories, let alone give us a blue thumbs up or a much-deserved heart, we feel empty inside. Our minds are but museums of moments and we are swashbuckling adventurers collecting them in our experience catalog, but we are to blame for depriving those pleasure from ourselves. All there is left is to go home.

“Home is a shelter from storms-all sorts of storms.”

-William J. Bennett

My two children were sitting on my lap and while my hands were wrapped around them, my hands were holding a number of plastic bags of sorts that we bought for strolling in the market. My ears had to bear the weight of people having lengthy conversations to ease the boredom of traffic. Some eyes were glued to the screens of their Nokia phones wasting away in a game of snake, while others were simply devoid of life meeting the thin air with their glassy stare. This is nothing out of the ordinary. It’s just a regular day inside a Jeepney ferrying us to our house in a crowded community.

We dreamt of escaping it. If we had a piggy bank that could store dreams, it would be filled with prayers and hope, and we will be spending hope well. That chapter of our lives elicit emotions that serve as our driving force where we are. We had to say goodbye and give up our lives and our little home for another. The prospect of living abroad was alluring, yet are very hearts think otherwise and are deeply seated to their cradle. Isn’t it true for most of us who are here?

“Leave home, leave the country, leave the familiar. Only then can routine experience- buying bread, eating vegetables, even saying hello-become new all over again.”

-Anthony Doerr

I remember when walking doesn’t use to be a recreation and a calorie-burning activity, it used to be an option and the only one at that and the only google map I knew comes exclusive with getting lost and finding your way back. We grow complacent at times, but if you had go-eff-yourself money in the old country there is nothing much you can do there and now that we are in a place that equally rewards people for the amount of determination and hard work they put in, they tend to think little of the consequence down the road and as many of us would, we take life for granted.

We lived in a cramped apartment, when we first moved here. It was mostly furnished with back-alley and hand-me down pieces of furniture, but more importantly it was furnished with opportunity for a family to grow closer. The rooms were filled with Legos and laughter, and as leaky as the pipes underneath the sink were, our hearts never were. We were penguins walking and hauling grocery bags from Walmart in the dead of winter because we lacked the basic science of taking the bus. We were a Value Village poster family since the malls did not offer anything within our means. None of us were willing to admit this to our families in the Philippines, we are either too proud or too embarrassed, but who can find fault in our silence?  Through it all, we endeavoured to have something tangible, a place to call our own. When the time comes, we become first-time home buyers and that five percent that the banks require of us may be a fraction for them from faces unknown; however, it represents blood, sweat, hope, determination, time, and love for us. You are richer than you think…so they say…but whatever is making you a tad rich is not yours to keep. Be cautious, everyone is trying to get their hands deep in your pocket.

“A house is an investment—not! How you enrich your lives is.”

-Erwin D. Maramat, Erwinism

We all aspire for the best to a fault and to an extent that we sign our lives away to acquire a dream house. Don’t think about a dream house; think about a dream home. A house is not an investment; you are an investment of your house. It is not an asset; the hours you put is as good as how the banks see you as an asset. The paint job may be beautiful, but it is you who would bring the living colors in every room of the house. Never trade the opportunity to experience the beauty of life for the beauty of life according to marketers. Sometimes in our desperation to pay our mortgage, we begin to miss out on the more important things. We turn our workplace into our very lives and our homes into a bed. In a spirit of indulgent irony, our houses becomes far-reaching than those who dwell in them.

“A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.”

-George Moore

A hundred years from today or even less, that house you are in will be torn down unless history decides to preserve it and no one you know now will be in it so a house is simply where we live, but our homes are the people with whom we share our lives. The vicissitudes of wind and weather that is life is fickle and it flickers as though it were a candle in the breeze, so we ought to value what matters on the top of our list. Our families are our real homes. When we go home to rest our weary bodies, it is a must that we leave stress at work and be our best version with our significant others after all, this is what launches as to face the world again. It is because of them that every room of our houses no matter what the size becomes a universe of happiness.


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