When I first started this blog in August of 2006, I did not expect to be still at it almost two years hence. At most it would have been considered at that time an experiment of sorts, a stab in the dark if you will, one person just trying to make sense of what was happening around him by writing about it on the Internet.
There were days when I would fired up will all sorts of ideas of things to write about and I would be trembling with excitement while I boot up the computer, much to eager to start putting ideas into words while hesitant at the same time knowing fully well how inadequate my words often were. Weaving magic out of words and sentences is a skill and art of the first order and I am, sadly, not the artist I want or wish myself to be.
Then there are the slow days when I would be sitting by the computer table staring blankly into the monitor screen willing myself to write something while the void in my mind screams in protest that one cannot make something out of nothing. Where there is no passion, no anger, no fascination, no admiration and no awe, among other things, there is essentially nothing.
But somehow I persevered. The reason for that is that my blogging has rewarded me in so many unexpected ways. Foremost among these rewards are the people I have met through this blog, whose e-mails and comments have touched me and inspired me to go on writing inspite of my inadequacies at this rather arcane and difficult art.
Most of the e-mails and comments I have received are from people from Lianga or who have lived in the town in the past and forced by work, family obligations and other circumstances to live far from it. They tell nostalgic tales of childhood memories of the town and long lost friends, relatives and acquaintances. They ask for tidbits of local news and beg for more pictures of the town. "Continue to blog," they would say. "We miss Lianga so much."
I also get comments and inquiries from foreigners who have lived in Lianga or had visited it in the past. They ask about the beaches and resorts, the places they remember and the people they met. "A beautiful town," one would write, echoing so many others. "I wish I could come back for another visit."
Then there are those who have heard or read about Lianga and this part of Mindanao and who want to come for a visit yet remain apprehensive about the local peace and order situation or the state of visitor accommodations and facilities for tourists. They beg for information, bus schedules and details about what to do, where to go and how to get there.
Answering their comments and e-mails have been both a joy and a challenge for me and I make it a point to do try to answer each and every one I get.
It is heartwarming to know that this blog has it in its small way "connected" with so many people from all over. That is something I never expected or even hoped for. And, in more ways than one, the messages have help me get through those dull, discouraging times when the mind is empty and one is assailed by doubts and uncertainties about the wisdom, practicality and the "worth" of this thing I do and whether this is really blogging or merely just silly affectation.
So keep those comments and e-mails coming please.