Togetherness and Solitude


Shrine of Our Lady of the Abandoned, Marikina City

One of the most common postings I have seen lately in Facebook is “Invest in Travel, not Things.” I could totally relate to it. I have experienced longer lasting joys, more learning and insights, photos and memories that last longer than things bought after visiting places rather than after buying and acquiring things. Travelling has opened new perspectives and realizations for me that no thing could even do.

Yet, many people who travelled also realize that, in their excitement to share their experiences, the sights they saw, the foods they ate, the adventures they went through, people would listen politely but are generally not interested. And the poor traveller wonders.

Consider another experience, this time shared. Yesterday, I spend practically the whole day with friends. We started in the morning with a Eucharistic celebration in the Adoration Chapel of Our Lady of the Abandoned Shrine in Marikina City. We gathered in thanksgiving for the successful bypass operation of Fr. Ety and the angioplasty for another friend, Romy Suarez. Then, we went to Rustic Mornings for lunch. And after a ligering lunch, we retired to the Rectory for more shared stories and memories, many of which we have shared before multiple times in the past. We finally parted ways in the afternoon, but not before we have agreed on our next get-togethers for the coming two months. Nothing extraordinary, nothing to write home about. And yet, we all went home with our hearts aglow.

I love being alone but these moments of silence and solitude need to be balanced with times of sharing and community. Travel, if solitary, in unrelatable to others and therefore, not truly interesting for them. Gatherings of friends and family for shared meals and moments, even of the most ordinary and commonplace, are most precious and happiest. Thus, I often love to travel in company. And when we travel we make sure we have friends or family to visit along the way.

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