SHORTCUTS – Nine Lives by Mikko Mahinay

I’m never really the kind to actually post, moreover subsequently, anything personal that was a result of a fleeting temporal feeling- eventually regretting that I wrote something that doesn’t necessarily have any concrete contribution to some current social situation.

However, as I previously said here, an artist always has the need to express themselves in the various mediums that they have come second nature with.

And perhaps, I am just suffering from extreme exhaustion from shooting non-stop campaign and commercial work for a week- one way or the other, an artist also knows their ways around the bush to validate their output- just as I am sort of finding some sort of justification for posting this. But this is, I repeat, this is not drunk texting/calling or drunk blogging, in this case.

Let’s cut to the chase, shall we?



One of the frequently asked questions I receive from anyone, apart from the common joke of “how to be you po?” is why I preferred Cagayan de Oro as my base of operations, when I was previously residing in Manila for years; or I do have the liberty to relocate myself back to the big bustling concrete jungle. Ayala Land recently did an interview and feature of yours truly for their Pursuit of Passion lifestyle section for Avida (click here to read it and for me to avoid having to repeat my answers) and this post is probably a more profound rewriting of the material- without the commercial writing suited for the masses, per se.

I could have chosen things differently, or even in the present tense of it all, to take the easier way in life. I could have continued to reside in Manila, or immediately transfer my base of operations there; where most opportunities for anyone in my field, are much open: more brands to work with, and heck, even a plethora of human beings to select from in terms of romance. But I chose the other way around- again, with the aforementioned supporting reasons to validate my decision- and chose someplace else that was developing. But at the very least, when the time comes when my hometown is up in the ranks of more urbanized cities (optimistically, without the accompanying traffic), I could tell myself that I contributed to society: by being one to proudly represent and contradict the common probinsyano identity most people frequently typecast anyone not from the metro. And secondly, by actually being more than just another pretty face in the crowd, or by just being another normal employee- at least I left a legacy for others to gratify and bask themselves in when the time comes.

Also, in the context of romance, one topic I do try to refrain from talking about so publicly, even hate thinking about- I could have also taken things differently. I could take shortcuts, too, and just relocate back to Manila where there’s a million fish to play bait for, or to some extremities perhaps, and hopefully, never, even download the Tinder app on iOS. I could cheat through the grand scheme of life and just play cute with some random Caucasian who would think my tan skin and fine Filipino features as exotic, and then call it a happy ever after. But I still choose to wait for the right person, anyway. Again, as I once said here, I’m not a millennial, or am I in the age of haphazardly falling in to the arms of anyone. If I have to wait for what I know or who I know I should end up with- then by all means, it’s worth the wait. No shortcut could ever reel in for me that (ideally a Filipino) individual who shares the same affinity for substantial conversation about Gaudi’s unfinished art, or acknowledge and heck even properly pronounce a designer or label’s name. Someone who’s mature and level headed, because anyone pragmatic would just be terrible. Someone who is open to communication so that we don’t exactly need to be together everyday as we continue to realize each other’s goals, but basing the relationship on trust and support for one another. Someone who would be the constant focus of my camera’s lenses as we would travel the world together, fleeting from Marrakesh, to Cappadocia, or even New York in the pursuit of somewhat adventure in curated photographs as we both figure out how to speak in Greek or Mandarin. In other words, someone whose soul is a fraction of mine, too. And I sound like I make a pretty darn good Instagram husband. Haha!

So kids, taking shortcuts isn’t exactly cool.


If you believe in something- a career or even romance, in this world where everything is instant, from coffee to printing and to some extent, even how life is completely lived- make decisions like as if life were a business deal: learn to invest in the right things and learn to wait, patiently, for it to grow and for you to harvest what you sow.






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