June 9, 2007

Counting the Whys

My friends were totally floored when I decided to get out of the city. “Why leave?” they asked. “And why Sorsogon?” Years later, people invariably ask me the same thing. So why am I here? Let me count the whys…

Easy drives. The nearest beach is but 20 minutes away, and I don’t have to stew in traffic to get there either. On longer trips, I get spectacular views. There are no factories spewing poison, no smog blighting the landscape.

St. Joseph’s Church. The past calls out from the walls, from every corner of the Barcelona Church. It’s like being caught in a time warp: I expect Padre Damaso to pop out of the convent any time.

The twilight zone. Dusk from where I live is a truly magical thing. The air is nippy and carries now and then the smell of bonfire, of leaves and twigs and paper burning. Overhead, ridges of fiery orange and bright pink wash the sky before the pale gray, and later, the yellow-studded black take over. There’s the sky stretching on and on. Feeling lost in such huge, endless space is perhaps the best feeling in the world.

Bulusan Lake. Forever cool and misty and serene, Bulusan Lake invites solitude. In there, there are no deadlines, no pesky whispers, no politics. There is just me and the lake and our shared secrets.

P100 can go a long way. I don’t have to panic every time I am down to my last P100. I can always find my way home anyway. If there’s no food in the fridge, there’s bound to be some in the neighbors’…

The view from Pepita Park. Like a sparkling jewel, Sorsogon Bay glistens in the tropical sun. The view from the grotto is worth the steep climb: there’s the sea weaving its way through islands laced with coconut trees and tiny houses, nourishing Sorsogon.

Food, cholesterol-rich food. Never mind that it’s bound to show in the hips, or end in ugly bulges. The kinunot and fat, juicy, aligi-rich crabs are simply to die for.

Moonrise in Bacon. Full moon by the beach, with the gently swaying tide echoing through the stillness, is one of the best reasons for staying. How many full moons are there in a lifetime? Not that many, really, but in Bacon, it’s perfectly all right to let out the little lunatic in you and me.

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