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March 17, 2010

Finding Peace At The Zone of Peace

Yesterday I came back to Candoni burdened with some heavy thoughts. Despite the euphoric feeling of being inspired by the talks of HLMP Fellows last weekend, I felt so wearied and fatigued. There have been some incidents in Candoni that made me think of second thoughts and pushed me to even verbally declare that I was quitting. Before I even arrived in Candoni, my staff already knew about it. During the emergency meeting I called yesterday morning, the staff was quiet. Although the meeting was about our SIA against Measles, they could not bear but think about what I told some of them. In the middle of the meeting, Vice Mayor Jimmy Tiaga asked if we could both talk.

It was a private conversation and there are some details that I could not openly share. But the Vice Mayor was asking if I could delay my plan of resigning.

Earlier that day, I already piled up my books and arranged them inside old boxes, cleaned out my office at the health center and even my quarters where I spent my last 2 years working for the municipality.

That morning also I decided to go to Cantomanyog and join the Vaccinator Team. Cantomanyog is one of the far-flung areas of Candoni and while it is accessibly by vehicle, the road is definitely not welcoming. In the 1980's, Cantomanyog was declared a Zone of Peace at the height of the insurgency conflict.

There in the zone of peace I made my own reflections as well. Talking with the people and my elderly barangay health workers who welcomed me with an overflowing table of native delicacies. I was able to taste what they called "Piking". Of course, when they heard that I was coming to them, they hurriedly prepared adobong manok, which they eventually found out to be one of my favorite dishes.

Before going back to Candoni, we dropped by May-ang and also gave anti-measles shots to some of the kids, literally in the middle of a sugarcane field.

We went back to Candoni at around 4 pm and I slept for an hour.

That afternoon, SB Dolores Tomol also rushed to the Health Center and basically told me to defer my plan indefinitely.

This morning, Sir Clint Saril, the municipal administrator also talked with me and basically begged for me not to go. My midwives were almost teary-eyed as well.

I am giving myself some time to think, and to reflect. Somehow, the brief moment I had in the far-flung sitio of Cantomanyog also made me think. I am saying my prayers more fervently now and seeking for signs on what to do.

So far, there are 100 reasons to quit. Hopefully, there are 101 reasons for me to stay.

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