I’m currently in Iloilo City for work and having a great time so far. It’s clean and airy. The giant river that snakes through its length is almost as blue as the sea it empties into. It is modern but steeped in centuries of history, evident in its grand, well-preserved Spanish-era churches. You can find fantastic local cuisine in every bend and the loveliest, friendliest people who speak a language that’s often compared to your ear being cradled like a baby.
I’ve always loved Hiligaynon — the melodic language of the Ilonggos — ever since my father amazed me with his command of it when I was a kid. I’m surprised I can still understand it even after all these years. I can still parse together some sentences but I can’t perfectly imitate the wonderful super-lambing accent. Manila has hardened my tongue it seems. I feel I speak my already tough-as-nails native Cebuano even harsher, more forceful.
But even just after a full day spent here, I am immediately calmer. I’m here for business, but I feel some force step on the brakes of the speeding roadster I call my current life. The next 2 days will be a good time for reflection. It’s like the time in between the resulting massive inertia and the moment my back will be pressed hard again on the seat — head surely hurting from whiplash — but ready to ride again into the great unknown.