To be honest, I cringe whenever I have to go back to Manila, either for work or even for pleasure. Not that I don’t like the place, really. Other than I still find that other side of the Metro very busy–too busy indeed–and crowded, the reason why I really find Manila easy to hate has to do with memories.
Today, however, I joined Kai, Janna and Jem on a photowalk in Manila with an open mind. For one, I really wanted to use my camera more now that I don’t have a class that requires me to use it. But most importantly, I wanted to take a time off on being alone. I want to spend more time with people, because when you’re already graduating in a little more than two months from now, you really don’t want to be spending your time alone or with the company of school work.
We originally wanted to take a photowalk, and while we did that, we also took photos of each other. We all brought cameras so it’s a potential-Facebook-profile-picture-taking frenzy. It occurred to me that while I like taking photos of cobblestones and historical ruins, a smile is still my favorite thing to capture through the lens.
My brother and father would always tease me when I force my smile. Because it’s forced, I look absolutely ridiculous. They would then tell me to practice my smile better, not knowing that smiles should never be forced.
I am a firm believer that a smile is a natural overflow of authentic joy that comes from within. You can easily detect a fake smile and a forced smile, but a genuine smile, especially nowadays, is hard to find. What has become of our generation–my generation–that smiles have become rare specimens? What for are all our endeavors if, because of them, we forget to smile? Worse, that we can’t get ourselves to smile?
I see the world in all its brokenness, but I don’t see why we shouldn’t smile because of it. Shouldn’t we all the more smile because the world is broken? Because maybe a smile is all it needs–joy that overflows from one person to another. Finding joy in the smallest of places, in the most humble of people, and in the most unconventional of situations is a challenge, but is doable as well.
I don’t see why we can’t smile, especially because the world, despite its brokenness, is still full of surprises. It’s still full of mysteries and love, of miracles and friendships. If we only know how and where to look for them.
If we will only smile. 🙂