North Luzon Monitor

North Luzon

The Old Shirt

Valred Olsim
Latest posts by Valred Olsim (see all)

There is a shirt in your rack that you will choose to wear for the comfort of home. It is not the most expensive one, not of any elite brand. It is not stylish. Not bold, nor flamboyant.

On the contrary it is simple, sometimes worn out. Faded from being that special old shirt used many days in a week, many weeks in a month. It is not the best in your collection, but it is indeed, home.

The complexity of life curated on our digital screens are exorbitant and flashy. We document our ‘celebrity lives’, enhanced by the magical apps, to be posted for the public eye. Perhaps to affirm our existence, and testify that our experiences are real. But also, out of that fear of fading like a dream, we present an exaggerated version of it.

We wear it like the best clothes we have, to show the best versions of ourselves. The experience is gratifying, pleasurable…but also, tiring. It is like a heavy dress of royalty that we suit up to be accepted, or loved. It is glitzy, and glamorous. But, at the end of the day, we want to kick it out for that simple old shirt we will choose over and over again.

They say the more we select complexity the more we invite trouble. Still, we choose the former to spite ourselves. Just like how women shave their eyebrows only to draw on them again, or how joggers run for miles to the nearest fast-food shop to regain their weight, we are species of contradiction and complexity prone to self- sabotage and stupid decisions. The mind will choose the struggle for wealth and glory, but the soul will always choose peace and simplicity.

Maybe that is why after a life of colorful adventure, a grind under that blinding city lights and carrying out that heavy armor to survive, we dream to retire for a simple farm or island life – stripped of the baggage that we carried for years.

At the end of the day, we will choose that old, faded, and worn-out shirt.


In celebration of the La Trinidad Foundation Day, the committee will be holding a local History Forum on June 10, 2024, 10am at the Municipal Gymnasium, featuring local historians and cultural bearers. This will be the 2nd history forum of its kind in La Trinidad (first was in 2018 with Ma’am Zenaida Brigida Hamada-Pawid as its main resource speaker).

The 2nd La Trinidad History Forum will have Dr. Stanley Anongos, a professor at Benguet State University and a local historian, and James Paw, a Golden Kayabang Awardee and Author of the Book “the Cordillera Valley of La Trinidad”, as presenters. Ironically, one of the issues that will be raised in the forum is the town’s Foundation day date itself as many local historians contend that La Trinidad was established in 1846 as a comandancia making La Trinidad, Benguet a hundred seventy eight years old (178 years old), contrary to the current celebration which was counted from 1950 (from RA531 which converted the municipal district of La Trinidad as a sub province of Benguet, Mountain Province, to a New Municipality).

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