Panay News

Like the church

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ONE HUNDRED-plus days into the year, and I still haven’t missed a single sunrise or sunset. You can check out my Instagram account (@ petersolis­nery) for the pictorial proofs.

And in a way, that’s how rich my life is.

I’m so rich that I only care about catching the sunrises and sunsets.

Like I don’t care anymore where my next meal will come from, where money will come from.

*** Having retired myself at 45, I’m just living the life I want.

Prayers, coffee, sunsets, travel, writing, movies. Occasional­ly, I have great sex. I hook up with strangers for sex. It’s not what I want, but it’s what I get; so I just roll with it. I would have wanted a boyfriend. But people think that I am out of their league.

And to be honest, I also feel that my crushes are way out of my league.

*** People think that I am super rich, highly intellectu­al, sexually insatiable.

Admittedly, I have contribute­d to the making of the myths and legend.

But here also is my truth: I am financiall­y stable because my needs are not many.

I probably cannot afford fancy food all the time.

I definitely cannot afford to live in a hotel. Unless, of course, it is my hotel.

*** On social media, I post a lot of travel photos.

Because I like traveling, and that’s what social media is for.

People see me in places, different cities, different countries.

They immediatel­y decide that I must be loaded because I can afford to travel.

What they don’t see is how cheaply I travel.

How I stretch $ 7,000 over a period of three months in six or seven countries.

*** Of course, I am an intellectu­al. I read a lot. I watch thoughtpro­voking materials.

I assess and analyze the news and current events.

Even if I don’t readily share them, I form my opinions.

I process informatio­n, organize my ideas, and make them structural­ly sound.

So when the occasion calls for it,

I can just be spontaneou­s, and smart-sounding.

My standards and values have long been formed. They are modified as I evolve. In a way, I am like the church. Strong foundation, slow to change, but a real force when action is needed because I seldom compromise. I do not easily compromise.

*** I don’t admire insta-celebritie­s. I see them, I recognize them, I acknowledg­e them, but I have no great respect for them.

I believe in merit, in real talent, in originalit­y.

I believe i n hard work, i n staying power, i n l asting contributi­on to the better world.

If insta- celebritie­s are only there for the money, I look down on them.

Maybe I shouldn’t, but I just do.

I mean, that’s what my belief system tells me.

*** If you need to be a politician to be able to help the poor people, I can’t really admire you.

If you need to be a movie star to be a politician, you know what you got.

I mean, obviously, you got an understand­ing of your voters.

I have such an understand­ing, too.

But I refuse to use that for my advantage.

If I am to help, then I help on my own terms.

In the only ways I know, and want.

*** I have written politics out of my life. I am not open to the idea. But for the sake of argument, and with a little imaginatio­n, I’ll say this:

I will only become a government leader, if the people want me, and carry me on their shoulders.

I don’t know what really drove Cory Aquino or Leni Robredo to run for the presidency. But I liked both their campaign. T h o s e c a m p a i g n s

transforme­d me.

If I see a movement like Cory’s Yellow and Leni’s Pink clamoring for me, I might consider running for political office.

*** However, I pray it doesn’t happen in my lifetime.

Because I am pretty happy now with what I got now.

I am so content attending to the needs of my age.

I am so happy admiring the sky at sunrise and sunset.

I am s o happy t alking occasional walks during the day, shooting clouds and roadside flowers, and just thinking about how the best things in life are free.

*** The church can be a simple 9-foot square, or even just a wall with an altar (like the ones I saw in Greece).

It can also be as majestic as the cathedrals all over the world, or the churches in Rome.

I identify more with the barest structures, and in that sense, I am also like the church—

Simple, solid, strong, and principled./

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