Where is the Love?: Why Romeo and Juliet is NOT a Love Story

The “star-crossed lovers” that were Juliet and her Romeo in William Shakespeare’s most celebrated work never encapsulated true love. Upon all themes, tragedy prevails but in my opinion, there is an abundance of idiocy. Time and time again, the messenger, Friar John, takes blame for his incompetence in failing to deliver the crucial message to its recipient, which led to Romeo’s unnecessarily slaying the innocent Count Paris and poisoning himself to death. The untimely events should not impose blame on anyone except the rash decisions brought about by young love fostered in such a short period.

Having recently re-watched the 2013 remake of the literary classic opened my eyes to the shallowness of the plot. Veraciously I cannot tell all the facts, having not read the book (our high school reading list no longer included Romeo and Juliet, but has long been replaced with Merchant of Venice). Although, from what I’ve seen and the several synopses I have read, the love was not as pure as declared.

The ingrate, Juliet, so willingly left her parents after they wished for her to marry the count as soon as possible. Fleeing was one thing, but faking her death to escape the perilous match seemed a bit much. Eloping with her banished husband would have made a better statement of love than by deceptively pretending to die, causing her parents grief. Disownment is far more forgiving than death. She clearly had parent issues.

After his arrival at the Capulet tomb and the death of Count Paris, Romeo proceeds to kill himself through poison, seeing his love has passed away. If Romeo knew what love really was, he would have kept his life knowing that Juliet would have wanted him to live. But no, he felt a life without Juliet physically by his side was not worth living. True love transcends the human body so that the love stays with you even if your lover is no longer around. Romeo, daft as he was, did not take time to reflect on that during his exile. After dying, Juliet awakens and follows suit in her departed husband’s reckless and foolish decision to take his own life. Even Romeo’s mother kills herself after learning of his banishment. Did their own lives mean nothing else to them? They had no right taking a human life, even if it is their own.

The only consolation is the peace between the two families that good Friar Laurence aimed to achieve in the first place. I highly imagine, though, that they could have accomplished this goal without the six major casualties caused by one unthought-of and irrational “forbidden love”. One thing for sure is that youngsters should not take love cues from this Shakespeare tragedy.

Trekking Mt. Pinatubo: The Long and Bumpy Roads

Stubborn as I am, I hit the hay half past midnight, so when I woke up at 2:30 in the morning for our Mt. Pinatubo trekking trip, I was less than chipper. That morning, like most mornings, started out sluggish.  We all prepped and left the house at 3:45 to head for the meeting place at Lakeshore. There, we rendezvoused with the rest of the Lazatin cousins and formed a convoy to the starting point at Capas, Tarlac.

Upon arriving at Capas, we filled out some short waivers that we found tedious because as luck would have it, our party of more than ten brought only one pen. (I mean, really, who brings pens to a hike?) After that hullabaloo, we were assigned 4×4 Off Road cars and were off on the journey we were all thrilled about.

A little over an hour of driving on excessively bumpy roads and crossing equally rocky streams brought us to our destination, where the real physical strain would commence. The scenery, being a giant bowl of two decade-old volcanic ash, had more shades of gray than E. L. James’ infamous erotic novel. Though the weather graced us with pleasant winds and the timely absence of the sun, the dusty air swept us away and literally got into our every cranny. The long and winding path, if one may call it that, was tiresome and dangerously stony. A few shoes experienced some casualties but, luckily, we were prepared.

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Crossing murky waters in our 4×4

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The early morning drive there

 As I treaded alongside my older cousins, I felt inadequately out of shape for the age of 20. While there were stationed huts for resting, no one dared to slow the whole gang down so we kept going, except for the occasional bathroom break (Thank heavens there were also restrooms, that although filthy, still served their function). My heart beat unbelievably fast and I was out of breath as my cousins and I raced to the top, while pretending to do parkour. The path seemed to be getting smaller, but greener and lovelier as we went higher.

Finally, we reached some dilapidating steps that lead us to the crater and its lake. There was something definitely different in the air, and I mean that both literally and figuratively. The former is so because the thick atmosphere was refreshing and tolerably chilly and the latter as the feeling of reaching our goal had been fulfilled and brought out in us an energy we had only acquired then.Image

Started From the Bottom: A signification that we’ve reached our destination and all its majesty

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We set up mats by the shore and munched on snacks while enjoying the spectacular view. The light blue sky, astonishing ash laden mountains, and dark waters made us forget the weary voyage and provided a better mood for enjoying each other’s company. Pictures were taken, group shots and selfies alike. Laughs were shared. Talks of future outings were made. The way back to our 4×4 vehicles felt like nothing at all after being filled with the glorious prospect of reaching something so beautiful. Though we were dirty and dead tired in the end, we all got the exercise we needed anyway.

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The vibrant colors seemed so surreal