I’ll just do a gratitude list because today is full of L words.

  • Lakad: Filipino for the word “walk,” lakad can also mean a trip out of the house to meet with friends or do errands. Today I had to go do errands and am thankful to be able to do so with the company of a close friend who’s moving into our village soon. She had errands for their house and I had errands for our car so we accompanied each other to our lakad. I don’t usually get to hang out with friends anymore especially this summer break, so this impromptu lakad was a blessing even though it was full of errands. The best part was when we decided to visit another good friend in a neighboring village for late afternoon snacks and ice cream. Perfect day is perfect. 🙂
  • Love: My friend was talking about her new life as a married woman during our errands, and she was saying that it was so hard for her to understand her husband’s work because it forces him to stay at work until midnight. His work in a local candidate’s campaign keeps him busy, and while she understands that the campaign work was only temporary, she can’t help but worry when he isn’t home by 9pm. I realized that this girl–my friend–was sticking with her husband not because they’re already married and there’s no way out (no divorce in this country) but because of her love for him. They’ve had similar problems before and some which have caused her to cry buckets and buckets of tears, but through those oceans of tears she never once thought of leaving him. That to me was and is inspiring, and it reminds me that great love is also great work.
  • Laguna: I live in a province called Laguna, an hour south of Metro Manila. When my parents told us that we would be moving away from the city and into the province, I was heartbroken. I had already established close-knit relationships with friends and neighbors, and the thought of leaving was too much. I cried when our car pulled out of the garage one last time. Now, however, as I was doing my errands, I can’t help but say a silent prayer of thanks because my parents decided to move the family here. There’s traffic, yes, but nothing like the one in the metro. There are cars and commercial buildings as the province is slowly becoming more urbanized, but almost 20 years later the fields still outnumber the buildings here. I am grateful for the convenience of the newly opened malls, but I am also grateful for the fresh air and the kind locals. Even the migrants like myself have imbibed the ways of the people here. The villages are quiet, there are no loud videoke concerts in the middle of the night, and people are in bed by 9pm. The life here is both ideal and idyllic. As my colleague says, “I’m so glad I moved to Vacationland!”
  • LA Lakers: I’m no basketball fan, but even I know of Kobe’s achievements and contributions to the sport. I am thankful to the Lakers for taking care of Kobe and giving him opportunities to shine and show the world how the sport is also an art.
  • Line: This refers to the mobile chat platform. Similar to Viber but less annoying, Line has allowed me to stay in touch with friends from all over the country and even the ones abroad. I don’t like Viber because the notifications are usually delayed, and sometimes the notifications only arrive when you open the app. Line is just so much better. Plus the stickers are also better in Line than in Viber.