I'm back in Manila but have not quite completed processing all our findings from Panay. There is just so much to do, sometimes more than what is humanly possible. I also have to manage my health -- the headaches have been worse lately, and the very hot weather is not helping any.

I do have a few takeaways, in varying degrees of profoundness.

1. I should remember to bring sunblock during my next trip (to Biliran). Those boat trips to island barangays?  I am practically peeling now.

2. I really love seafood.

3. The most amazing people are the ones who don't advertise how awesome they are. The most generous ones are those who have nothing.

4. Politics is the bane of all the good intentions and best-laid plans.

5. The easiest way to get depressed is to think about the systemic, well-entrenched problems of our country and the vicious cycle that perpetuates these evils.

6. The fastest way to rid yourself of any affectations is to talk to disaster-stricken families who live from day to day with practically only the clothes on their back.

7. Never trust politicians. Even the ones who style themselves as God's gift to mankind. Especially them.

8. I really love seafood. But wait. I already said that.