Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sagada, Mountain Province – my last glance perhaps

If there’s a place worth traveling during Holy week – a must-go is Sagada. I was there actually with my friend (sorry she doesn’t want anybody to know that we’re together, hehehe) and a few of her cousins. T’was my fourth time to experience the grueling fourteen hours trip (huwaahhh! still have my butt-ache as of this time). But it was fun revisiting the place knowing the road going there indeed amused me. For the average trippers, they would definitely go for the famous hanging coffins and Sumaguing cave which are my usual itinerary for the past three times of my visit there. But this time, I broke my program. Though most of the members of the group are newbies (only two are timers), I decided not to join them (my best friend and a local guide tagged along with them). I instead went with Tan-ay, our bighearted foster parent in Sagada to help her gather head-size-cabbage and tomatoes in what she called garden which is actually the size of farm – as far as your eyes can see!. Tan-ay said that it’s just near her place but mind you, it took us 45 minute-walk before we reached the garden, hay..but it’s worth the walk!. I got the chance to pick fresh tomatoes, pull the cabbage out, cut it with knife and dropped it into the basket. I maybe slow while doing it, but I had so much fun.

The tiring part came when it was time to carry those veggies back to Tan-ay’s house. Ugh!, Heavy!, I can’t actually lift the basket full of tomatoes but I had no choice nor right to complain. Tan-ay was carrying a sack of cabbage on her head, much heavier than mine. So I carried the basket, managing its weight which is getting heavier and heavier on our way. I knew Tan-ay was worried about me. She was actually asking me every now and then if I can stand the walk with my basket on.. I just reciprocated her with a smile. And thanks God!, we finally reached the house. Truly, it was really tiring but a great experience that can’t be traded for anything else.

When its time to head back to Manila, I was surprised that Tan-ay had this box of cabbage carefully packed for us. Thanks that I did not vocally complain how weighty my basket was. Hers was far heavier just to know in the end that those cabbages are for us to bring home.

Upon reaching Poblacion, I visited the Church of Saint May the Virgin and utter this: "I pray that may this not be my last glance-slash-step of Sagada. I pray for more life experience, fun and serenity as well. Amen."

Sunday, March 9, 2008

My sanctuary, my safe haven

Moving from a place you have gotten used to since birth to a place which is wholly stranger to your eyes is such an appalling experience. I remember my first few months of struggling and adjusting myself just to fit in to this so-called highly urbanized metro. My life way back in the province was really far different from where I am now. I’ve been working in Makati for over five years but back then, I actually had my second thought of moving and accepting the job due to my would-be environment. I had the apprehensions that a certified “probinsyana” would absolutely have to dare extend an extra mile just to adopt the city-life.

Finding where to dwell was the first I considered. Though, I do have relatives where I can stay to, I opted to find a different abode. Yeap, they’re my kin but I don’t want to squeeze in myself and be an added burden, este, responsibilities since most of them have already children to look after to. I did find one (boarding house with two rooms) and compromised to pay the bigger share just to convince my eldest sister moved with me, since she works nearby my working place. I need someone trustworthy to ask and get an outright answer of the things that might draw my concern while living my life here, and that’s my ate (thou most of the times we argue over small things because she’s is so clever, peace sis! J) Sad to say after a year, she had to go back to the province because her company has to close and that ended me to be finally on my own. I even cried the first night I went home and saw her room empty. But what I can I do? She needs to leave and I need to get on with my life without her.
It made me realize that living all by myself will give me more time to assess myself, bring out the best in me, decide on my own, live my purpose without turning back, walk head up and face the challenges of life.

And during my downfall moment, the four corners of my room became my place of safety to release the pain of being single-handedly; my own sanctuary who have witnessed my everyday battle of missing my family while fiddling with my new milieu; the haven wherein I can totally take off my different masks and be of myself for real. Thanks Roomy (my room). You’ve seen the tears I cried, the number of times I smiled and how I’ve grown a lot here. You are my sole eyewitness up to this moment.

Seeing myself now after five years (that’s also an additional five years to my age, whew! I don’t wanna to get old yet, really.), I can say that I was able to surpass and agree with the flow of life here.