October 18, 2010

Mt. Batulao: Walking on the Shadow of Time

I was supposed to go to Batulao last August 23, 2010 for my birthday, but it did not push through due to unforeseen cosmic reasons. Ever since I kept wondering, “Had I conquered Mt. Batulao then, would the bloody August 23 Hong Kong bus kidnapping have been prevented?”

Sometimes one simple action could trigger an event with complex consequences. What if? Sadly, there are some things that are beyond my control.

But I'm happy I'm climbing again.

October 10, 2010

A Spanish galleon sails to present precarious time

Spanish galleon played an important part in Philippine history. Had it not reached our shores in 15th century, I’m certain our country would have not been subjugated under Spain, named Las Islas FIlipinas, and our history would have taken a different course.

So when I heard that the replica of Galeon Andalucia would dock in Manila, I went right away one Saturday to witness the ship that not only first engaged the country in galleon trade but also stirred it’s fate.

I thought it was an easy and fast public viewing. I was wrong. I was very wrong. The queue of people wanting to see the vessel rivals a Justin Beiber concert. Hehe. To make the long story, wait and agony short, I was able to see Andalucia after almost eight hours of standing under different weather conditions ranging from extreme heat to heavy rain showers accompanied with lightning and roaring thunder. Thank God I survived the ordeal, with my day energy only coming from the pandesal and Milo I had for breakfast.

I know the events organizer did their best to control, pacify and satisfy the maddening crowd… but they could have done better. Better. Due to non-assurance that everybody could get in because of the limited number of people allowed to experience Andalucia, I felt pity for the hordes of students who were so excited for their supposed to be educational fieldtrip that got cancelled. I felt sorry for those who waited forever but wasn’t able to pass through the gate, those who got soaked, and those who gave up. But I also take relish from the sights of a cute little girl stuck under a small umbrella with her mother and two siblings singing “rain, rain go away”, Pen Medina getting lost in the crowd, dripping wet-look Cecille Guidote Alvares appeasing the mob, to people chanting and cursing the guard who shooed away the tourists still behind the gate by lunchtime. Filipinos always try to find happiness under very blood-cuddling situations.

But it was really hope, my patience, persistence, M. Scott Peck book, and umbrella that kept me glued in line. When I want something, I am ready to part the sea if that’s the only way I could get it. No kidding. After all, eight hours of waiting is nothing compared to 500 years.