Mornings at Masferre Restaurant were the best part of my trip to Sagada. Mornings spent sipping deliciously brewed coffee while gazing at the lifting fog on the hill behind the restaurant – a view most enjoyed by the window.
In the morning, I love the feel of sunlight on my closed eyes as water flows down my head.
Sunlight warm on my closed eyes, cool water down my back.
The sound of water cascading down my body.
Of water hitting the tile floors and splashing my toes…
In the morning I love the sight of my skin,
rectangular orange patterns visible in the semi-darkness of the washroom.
Faint orange sunlight coming in through the wooden splats of the small rectangular window just above.
Semi-blinding orange light peeking through green leaves, glimmering against the grayness of the sky.
Water coming down. Cool and welcoming. Not cold but cool.
Nothing like a bath in the right time of the morning.
What a way to go about starting the day.
Not smoking black coffee.
Not scrambled eggs and fried rice.
Not bread and butter or the day’s newspapers on the table –
but a cool semi-shower from the tabo in my hand that I hold right above my head in the semi-darkness of a washroom where warm orange sunlight shines in through the wooden splats of a rectangular window set high on the east wall.
Written August 16, 2005
This post first appeared here.
It is possible to be stressed anywhere, I thought, even as I sat quietly staring into the nothingness dotted by small lights out in the distance. I have always wished I could go to the beach any time I wanted, to listen to the waves gently crash on the beach and watch them, waves upon waves, in leisurely succession rush towards the shore..
Five days we were stuck within the confines of our house as torrents of rain lashed onto our tin roofs and heavy winds whipped branches about, blowing fallen dry leaves against our faces, past our doorsteps and into the house.
This morning, I was exultant to open my eyes to better weather conditions, knowing full well that for a change I am going somewhere else aside from the four or so corners of this house – I am going to work. And work I did. Earlier this evening, I went out to sit on a tree trunk by the shore and drowned myself in the sounds of waves and motors of boats going out to sea to fish. I lifted up my face, closed my eyes when a gentle breeze blew. When I opened my eyes, I saw nothing but the grayness of the starless sky …and yet…
The pain in my right temple throbbed persistently and yet…
I have always thought I would try giving up so much, just so I can live where the sea rushes in to meet dry land, thinking it would make me happy. And now in the stillness of the night and the tremors deep within my heart, I have my little piece of happiness.
Written August 8, 2005
I always forego writing anything, for lack of time. I am so busy. I am exhausted most of the time. I am always running after time and I barely have a moment to catch my breath. Today, I will take a moment â€“ just once in the freneticity of my days, to write down, after six months, pieces of my thoughts.
Two days ago, I came up the overpass to cross to where my village is, and looked up to see a glorious sunset. Much like my sunsets of old, my sunsets in El Nido – though less spectacular, glorious nonetheless. It was not as red, nor as pink, nor as deeply hued. I could not see the purples, violets, or fuchsias. It was a patch of colors in a sea of galvanized iron sheets.
I can hear the sound of waves coming one after the other; rushing to the shore, even as I lay in bed with my ear against the pillow. It is in my head. This sound of waves. This sound of the sea that Iâ€™ve always loved, even as a child.
I woke up this morning with this thought, I am giving you up. Not for any reason but that. I woke up this morning feeling and thinking I am giving you up. Not because last night you said you do not want me anymore not once, but three times with complete conviction. Not because you said you have always wanted to break up with me, that you had wanted to for an entire year, that you wanted to let me leave on that airplane knowing full well that there isn’t any you I am coming back to and it hurt like hell, but because this morning I woke up thinking and feeling I am giving you up. Not I should give you up, but I am.
This afternoon right about one in the afternoon, the wind picked up, and blew and howled. I stood firmly on the ground as the wind whipped stray fine hairs into my eyes and I watched gray heavy clouds drift swiftly past above the densely green hills. A thousand tiny knives borne out of the loneliness of my heart, surged and pricked me in a thousand sundry ways as deliberate diffident tears escaped from the pools I collected from the corners of my eyes. The leaves rustled, twigs flew, branches were broken and torn, tumbled down the bleakness of the grass bowed low. The wind commiserating with the turbulence in the depths of my heart roared silently. I know this sadness. I have felt it over and over again countless times. It is as familiar as my smile, the smell of my skin, and the feel of my hand against my cheek. In the grayness of early afternoon, something was sticking out tenaciously against the willful wind, vivid still – one lone crape myrtle flower, that gave me hope, gave me joy.. Just as in the past, there was you, now there is only this purple flower, now there is only me. No one else but me. Steadfast. Resolute. And as I always have been, will always be, stubborn though weak.
The rain fell in torrents tonight, unfalteringly wicked. It fell on the tin roof, spit-spattering like Morse code, and made me wonder if somehow it was trying to send a message across that I because of ignorance just couldn’t get. Somehow I will know, sometime. I am slowly, painfully learning, though crawling through bit by bit.
So this is how coming home really means, my coming home to me. There is no one to come home to anymore but me. In this island far from home, far from the people I loved most, cherished the most, treasured the most and the things I deemed most important, I found me. Beautiful and ugly in more ways than two or three or even ten, but decidedly real.
Written August 9, 2005