Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Place, Product, Price, Promotion

The fundamental P’s of marketing are just the tip of the iceberg.  There is much more beneath the P’s and I’m sinking in the deep cold waters to see just how much I can understand. Why is there just so little that is readily exposed whereas the fuller picture lies buried cold?  Like in free diving, there is need to gasp for air lest one drowns and die of lack of oxygen. This sudden need to write is me gasping for air from all the P's and what lies beneath it.  It is a needed respite from the suddenly heavy weight of the week ahead.  Exams. Designs. Papers. Work.  I don’t even want to expound.  Yikes! I’m being eaten alive by the system.  Actually though, it is a welcome change.  But, I’ll leave the P’s for a while for some recollection of C’s and A’s, CLIMBING and AIKIDO. 

2013 marked the beginning of a few changes.  Climbing wise, the new summer of the snake slithered fast away.  I was able to finish a boulder project that I’ve put off for sometime.  The “Avenger”, a short, crimpy, and overhanging boulder problem at the Kambingan Boulder at Wawa, Montalban now has a 2nd ascent.  It feels awkward stating the fact.  It is not as if it’s a huge momentous event and it’s not even high on the list of 5-star boulder problems to tick-off or finish.  Still, it was a highlight I want to remember and to my perception, it still is one of the harder problems in the area.  Sweeter to think too was that the ascent was filmed by Gameplan, a now “webisoded” format of the old production that it was.  It’s now on its nth web episode, probably on the 61st?  It was a fun day.  Three episodes of Gameplan and one for Green Living were shot that day.  Aside from that the summer just faded.

The rains came shortly after.  Boulders got wet, approaches got muddy and the motivation to get out and get dirty just dwindled fast.  The cold mornings weighed down the blankets that pressed me down flat on my back.  The comfort of the dark soulfully tasted like the hot and soothing chicken soup I remember from back from when I was ten years old.  Climbing in the gym, the solution to wet weather, rapidly became monotonous.  I needed something new.

It was time to get into something I’ve put off again and it came like a cool breeze on a hot humid day.  Aikido, the martial art of harmony, was sunrise to the canvas of gray mornings.  The time I started climbing was the time I stopped practicing Aikido.  After 14 years, the pull towards it again became hard to ignore.  The first time I stepped into the dojo, after more than a decade of absence, I hesitated donning my hakama for fear of not remembering anything I have learned before.  The urge to relearn, however, was big.   Soon, I got my techniques back. 

Aikikai Hombu Dojo sent the new Waka Sensei or the young sensei heir to the founder of the art, O’Sensei, to conduct Aikido seminars here in the Philippines.  The timing was perfect.  When it comes, it comes, and it fed my decision to further pursue the course I was glad I started again.

I now teach Aikido classes in Ateneo de Manila every Mondays.  On other days, I just practice.  I’m amongst teachers, philosophers, students and other fellow aikidokas, all "yukyusha" or beginner by heart.  On the eve of a hot humid February 9th, Seki Shihan 8thDan, granted my Nidan.  After a hiatus of 15 years, getting my form back, and after enduring hours and hours of practice, it felt reassuring that I was moving in a direction I wished for.

The summer of 2014 is now fast approaching.  The end of the P’s will give way to new C’s and A’s.  I have my fingers crossed.  I now ride on the catapult of previous climbing trips to Atimonan and Baguio, and the new responsibilities of a Nidan.  P’s … Why is there just so little that is readily exposed whereas the fuller picture lies buried cold?  Seek and you shall find?  Where there is darkness…light?  Perhaps it just needs to be that way.  

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