A Thousand Summers 3

Saturday Evening Posts
January 24-30 Edition

A Thousand Summers 3

Happily, I got a four-day vacation near end November: two days off because it was Thanksgiving in the U.S. and weekends are our fixed rest days.

          My first stop was Manila. I circled Luneta Park from the National Library to Instituto Cervantes, both in Kalaw. I saw a lot of young students in different groups practising for their stage presentations in and around the towering Lapu-Lapu statue. I love children. It's always a joy seeing them in action - so full of innocence and enthusiasm for living.

          The next day, I was in Batangas City. Ostensibly, I was paying some debts but I, hands down, chose to make the trip instead of sending it via money transfer.

          I basked in the relative tranquility of the tree-covered courtyard of the old church. It was amazing to see all those sculptures and Masonic symbols

          Next stop was Lucena City. I like the people there in the same way that I like the folks of Santa Rosa, Laguna when I lived there in 1992. But I now avoid saying "The natives are friendly since I realized it's condescending. The fun part of Lucena is the plaza full of jam-packed food stalls in front of the provincial capitol. And the most intriguing is Benco, the old-fashioned stand-alone movie theater.

          It transported me back to another place just like it, also showing two bold films for the price of one. That was in Zapote some time ago. I was playing hooky from another high school I went into, in Las PiƱas. I was 13 years old. A stranger sat beside me. We were the only ones in that row. His hand gently fondled my knee. My heart pounding nervously, I felt his fingers beginning to caress my thigh...

            My next destination is Mount Banahaw. Before I got surrounded by communist rebels in Tiaong, I had almost died in Sariaya: our overspeeding bus almost overturned after skidding off the dirt road beside the Maharlika Highway.

            In some of my previous lives, I believe I had died as a samurai who committed seppuku on Fuji and as an Incan shaman on a vision quest in the Andes. So as far as magic mountains go, for thousands of years, things have remained relatively the same.


"The more one does and sees and feels, the more one is able to do, and the more genuine may be one's appreciation of fundamental things like home, and love, and understanding companionship." ~ Amelia Earhart
"Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." ~ Lao Tzu