Sari-sari store: A small step

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Friday, January 17, 2014

TOMORROW, people will be swaying two steps forward and then one step backward to the tune of the Sinulog beat. Drum and bugle will keep the streets wide awake, and the lovely dance presentations will keep beauty-watchers quite interested to bear the heat (or maybe rain).

It is easy to be caught up in the dance of daily existence—Sinulog included even if it is a yearly thing—as we fulfill our daily tasks to the exclusion of one or two precious activities.

Lately I have been trapped in the blender of routine, and my thought process for this column has suffered from too much fiber and sugar. I know this sounds like a yogurt berry mush, with me mixing up too many metaphors in one energy drink. Maybe I am back to form: irritating intellectuals; boring masters of letters; and exasperating those who are interested in current events.


I can get roasted for writing about air—nothing, but it is there—with a small saucer of chili dip for reprimand. Or maybe just to keep my fans—”How assuming,” my non-fans might say—keyed up to continue giving me my dose of rah-rah-rah today.

It is during this time, the so-called burnout, that I start playing with words, with the possibility of becoming a salad of mixed emotions. Since I stuff my column with nothing, I could also become a vegetable lumpia with no other purpose than to temporarily stave off the reader’s hunger for opinion or information.

Since what I am writing today is pink cotton candy, the reader will soon become hungry again and will forage around other meatier columns in the neighborhood.

Although today’s game has nothing to do with food or tomorrow’s Sinulog, it reflects the state of our nation’s affairs.

Bingo! I have a teaspoon of yeast: I am starting to see the dough of an idea rise and if I bake this idea, I am sure I will have bread-of-an-issue to discuss. I just hope I will not be half-baked bread.

Really, as a nation, we can take two steps forward and one step backward when we delay food for places that have been hit by typhoon Yolanda.

It’s two steps forward and one step backward when we deny ourselves the privilege of having free measles vaccination.

Life is a dance, and we can get caught up in its fanfare and display of color. As we blend our daily schedules with the spice of life—problems, worries, defeats, pains—we feel we are moving two steps forward. In reality, we are only taking one small step towards the future because we also take one step backward.

Astronaut Neil Armstrong nailed when he said, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Although NDTV reported that it is an iconic misquote—Armstrong said: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”—our daily small steps can become a giant leap for mankind if we have the welfare of mankind in our mind when we do things.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 18, 2014.


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