BATU, Indonesia. Photo by Jes Aznar

Saturday, September 24, 2011

What Gets You Excited?

I stumbled upon the blog of Roxanne Krystalli, a woman with such a gift of soulful words and photographs  and the question she posed made me reflect on my own little dreams and everyday excitement; the passion, the love, the elements that put me in a trance, those little details that make my senses feast. What gets you excited? She asked in her latest blog piece, inspired by words from another amazing writer Akhila Kolisetty's post on what gets her excited. I was led from one writer to another and was driven to list my own stuff, the things that ignite me and move me to the core.

                                 Indonesia. By Iris Cecilia Gonzales

I get excited about travel like Soulshine Traveler Meghan Johnson.
I've traveled to more than twenty countries all over the world and I am still yearning to see more. I will forever be grateful to my mom for encouraging me to grab every good chance to travel and fill my room with dolls from all over the world as she did.

                                 Kazakhstan. By Iris Cecilia Gonzales

"That's my favorite," she would show me the doll from Sicily and would always challenge me to go get one from that famed corner of Italy. I haven't been to Sicily and I didn't get to collect dolls from my trips because there was never enough money.  I'd often tell myself, souvenirs are for those who cannot remember.

For me, I only have to close my eyes to see in my inner mind's eye the places I've been to. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Kazakhstan remains the best place I've seen.

Traveling, for me is not about earning mileage or taking photos for the pretentious Facebook universe to see. It really is a journey of self-awareness, of discovery, of feeling everything that is foreign, of tasting new dishes and seeing things for the first time as Elizabeth Gilbert did in Eat, Pray, Love.

                                 Portugal. By Diana Lungu

                                            Portugal. By Iris Cecilia Gonzales

As noted travel writer Pico Iyer said, “We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again- to slow time down and get taken in."

I get excited about work
Yes, I get really excited about Mondays because I'll be off to work again after taking a Sunday break. I love my job and don't think I'd trade it for just any other work. Journalism is not just about complying with the daily deadlines and covering the usual stuff. And this is what others never understand no matter how much they try. Some reporters live to beat a deadline. To them, news is commodity, like derivatives traded in the market.

To me, journalism is a way of life. It's drinking with sources or having dinners with them for no particular breaking news. It's about cultivating sources for years and years and trading information with them. It's even being friends with them just so you can get to the bottom of things.  It's about getting updated with showbiz news because these are stories that highly powerful and influential people never miss out on.

It's moving beyond the often one-sided stories that PRs and spindoctors dish out to understand the stories better. It's about going with the dirty ways of a beat to understand and be able to penetrate it. It's dealing with crap and getting over it.

I don't salivate over stories just so I have something to submit. What I really, really love about my profession is the ringside view that it gives me. It is the opportunity to record history in a hurry, to see things ordinary citizens will never see and the chance to make these things known to the outside world. I love talking to people especially the brilliant technocrats in government. Brilliance in a world of airheads is rare.

It's not easy and sometimes, I really get exhausted and frustrated. It's an industry of men and women with bloated egos and messianic delusions. It's a Lion's den and is never for the faint of heart but it's where I am truly at home.

I get excited about opportunities to help people
I have no God complex but I believe in maximizing opportunities to help others. I believe in channelling energies to do even the smallest acts of kindness. I believe it is better than just sitting by and watching the world crumble, than just complaining about how f)@cked up the world is or planking to protest the government 's endless follies. I am inspired by people who are genuinely good and altruistic.

                                 Mindanao. By Jes Aznar

I get excited about words
Because I cannot express and articulate my feelings verbally, I am in love with the beauty of words. I am moved by brilliant prose especially by my favorite authors, Truman Capote and Ernest Hemingway and the musings of Anais Nin and the insights from the brilliant gypsies around the world.


I get excited about being with the people who make me happy
Needless to say, I get excited about being with the people who make me happy. You know who you are and so do you.

                                 Cebu. By Baby Pumatong

What gets you excited?
Thank you again to fellow blogger Roxanne for giving me the idea to do this. I don't know her and she doesn't know me but I fell in love with her blog the first time I saw it. Her writing and her photographs are among the stuff that excite me. Thank you for the inspiration. Keep on writing.