A Secret to Living Life Fully

11 November 2012
Sunday in Apeldoorn home

I went to church that day. The service was in Dutch, no less, and caused me more blood for my already bleeding nose because of the cold.

Black, white, asian, middle-eastern, dutch. The church was full of colors, even sizes. My 10-month old nephew could probably understand the homily more than I.

Day before was my brother-in-law’s birthday celebration. The house was full of all characters–karaoke singers, dancers, Filipino couples, Filipino-Dutch couples, Filipino couple soon-to-be married, Filipino teenager raised in Holland, a short Filipina with a tall guy for a loverboy, an Elvis (japorms and all) and then “there’s this fish…” (an inside joke I can’t really explain).

I clearly remember everyone in the celebration speaking in tongues–Dutch, Bisaya, Tagalog–of which only the latter I could understand. Everyone came together, bonded by one fact: that they were Filipinos. That instance made me realize that wherever one is in the world, you’re kind of inclined to go back to who you are. You also try to find who you are in wherever you are.

Living in a place other than your country makes you live life more excitedly, at least in my opinion. You put more life into your everyday, knowing that the moments are temporary and that you will not be staying in the same foreign land all the days of your life.

Maybe this is one of the secrets to living life fully: to keep on moving, such that you cherish every place, every person you meet, every food you eat, every handshake of a stranger, every new word you learn. Every experience, every moment, is a moment that’s gone by.

I want to make photographs, but not just still photographs. I want to make moving photographs.

You might say I want to make films. But I just really want to create moving photographs, or shots of moments. Not movements, but moments in milliseconds, to catch the blinking of the eyes, the fluttering of the lashes, a smirk, a short smile, the flair of the hair, tiptoeing legs of a baby, a moment to sit on the pavement, a glance, a sweet glance, a pair of eyes looking up a stranger, the quick hurt caused by a glaring light, a soft touch on someone else’s cheek, eyes that water from laughing, growling of the coffee pot, a kiss from a rose.

Moments that define us, moments that burst of happiness, moments that don’t last forever and therefore moments which we cherish.

About the Contributor

Joie Villanueva is a freelance writer, IT and Marketing Consultant based in Manila, Philippines. She used to be a purist, blogging without photos, until images invaded the world. She does consulting, diving, and globe-trotting to keep her updated, curious, and grounded. Read the rest of her before-30 reflections here. Write to her:

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