A Thousand Summers (Episode 12)
Saturday Evening Posts
June 6-12 Edition
A Thousand Summers
So off we went. In San Pablo, Laguna, the town's biggest grocery, Ultimart, was dwarfed by the billboard of the local politicians pretending they're not campaigning.
It called to mind the years when I was a poll watcher as a youth volunteer for the Philippine Pastoral Council For Responsible Voting, the non-partisan electoral arm of the Catholic Church accredited by the Commission On Elections, and my eventual disillusionment with politics.
Also, I felt that the thrill of being in the countryside is somehow diminished when I hear Metro Manila radio stations, not yet knowing that their regional counterparts imitate the same format.
Or maybe I'm being too idealistic. I have an open invitation from a friend in Nueva Ecija, in the remote town of Papaya. The first time I was in that province was in the 90s, in a rest house in Cabiao where I was chased by a giant goose.
I told him I want to swim in a clearwater river; ride a carabao in the rice paddies; eat grilled fish freshly caught, with steaming-hot rice cooked on a clay pot then served over banana leaves on a long table outdoors. He said my ideas are old-school, romantic visions of an idyllic, pre-War past. I pointed out that the generation of our parents still remain married because they were able to find a love to last a lifetime.
So, I told him, it's cool to be old-school!
To Be Continued Next Saturday
Jonathan Aquino's Journals
April 10, 2015, Friday
I bought six books earlier this week. I finished Time Is An Illusion by the spiritual healer Chris Griscom and K-PAX by Gene Brewer. Right now I'm happily halfway through Nancy Nelson's Evenings With Cary Grant. I also got a special edition of an NIV Bible. I'm looking forward to Robert Parker's Spenser novel Mortal Stakes and the 1678 immortal classic The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan.