It's a Monday morning in the city, and I'm sitting at my desk wondering why I'm not a hundred miles away, stalking my next postcard. My mind drifts to a recent trip, to a little boy who was also at his own desk-of-sorts, except that his desk was out in a verdant field and surrounded by an endless mountain range cloaked in fog. And did I say it was actually a pile of firewood overgrown with wild flowers?
We were on our way to Panipiason, Madalag, in Aklan, bouncing up and down on our motorbikes, when we came to a clearing beside the raging Dumalaylay river. We took turns crossing the river on a small bamboo raft, skillfully maneuvered by a pair of boys below the age of 12, and that was when we found this third kid on the other side waiting to be paid. The river crossing wasn't free of course, and it set us back twenty pesos per person per way (about 4 US cents.) But we were happy to pay twice the going rate for the locals, knowing that it helped the kids earn a living, and kept our socks dry for another day.
Could that little boy be wondering what it feels like to have a real job, on a real desk, in an air-conditioned room in the city? Keep the job kid. Just ask for more money next time. Enjoy.
(Pixel-peepers: My light meter chose the wrong time to run out of juice so I had to chimp my way to the correct exposure. Fail. Photoshop rescued this photograph.)
For those who've inquired about buying prints of my postcards, you may purchase them directly from master printmaker Arnel Murillo (email@example.com), one of the country's foremost fine-art printmakers. Arnel uses archival inks and museum-grade paper to ensure his prints will not fade. You will not be disappointed. (All my images are provided gratis to help showcase the beauty of our country. But if you feel generous, help me uplift the lives of the Children of Payatas. No donation is too big or too small. Get in touch with Fr. Aldrin Suan at firstname.lastname@example.org of the Vincentian Missionaries in the Philippines. As always, thanks and enjoy.)