Friday, December 11, 2009


“While he spoke these words, I drank from a bowl of the most extraordinary soup I’ve ever tasted; every briny sip was a kind of ecstasy. I began to feel that all the people I’d ever known who had died or left me had not in fact gone away, but continued to live on inside of me…The soup was filled with all that I cared for in my life; and while I drank it, this man spoke his words right into my heart.”
-Memoirs of a Geisha, Arthur Golden

I was half asleep on a bus, which sped through the dark road. My cheeks were ruddy from the cold, and the wind whipping my face roused me from my stupor. As we winded through San Juanico Bridge, with the faint rush of water below, I saw the breathtaking city lights at a distance. The cluster of lights looked like tiny galaxies against a crimson sky, alive and pulsating.

Something about its dark beauty put me in a pensive mood, and I got to thinking of my life’s trajectory. A sign of my impending 30th birthday next year perhaps? Sometimes I smile at myself when I hear of my classmate’s (who are ten years younger than I) antics like drinking vodka like there’s no tomorrow, sneaking out during school hours to watch New Moon, or hitching a ride from a random truck at dusk from a fiesta outside the city. In a way, I’m living my younger years through them, and I especially see myself in some of the young friends I’ve come to know the past four years of Nursing school. I’ve never seen so much eagerness in them as they celebrated the beginning of their twenties. I should know; I’ve made the most out of mine.

But of course things are different for me now, and not solely out of conscious choice. Sometimes you just grow out of certain things. You won’t see me in clubs every Saturday night, or maybe doing outrageous stunts (unless I’m drunk). I no longer see my favorite movies five times and never getting tired of it. It’s sometimes a point for argument between my beau and I- that I should act mature and not “one of the kids” when I’m with my mates, but hey I’d definitely say I’ve mellowed down. They should have seen me seven years ago.

Sometimes I think of how different things would have been if I never left for Diliman, or if I had the chance to migrate to the US with my family. Would we have been still together? Would Mama be still with us? I used to wait for the time the petition would be approved and I could work abroad, but I’ve stopped waiting. I can find my own happiness here, besides I wonder what kind of life I’ll be living elsewhere. Suburban streets, maple trees, and winters?

I’ve tried many things, and have never regretted the richness of my experience. My life was like a river, and it meandered, bled, and intertwined with the lives of people around me. Once, I had to return to UP to secure a document, and stepping off the ubiquitous Ikot jeep, I suddenly felt a wave of nostalgia, much like when the bus passed by the glass-and-steel RCBC Plaza along Ayala. It feels strange returning after all those years. Reminds me so much of the young man I’ve been, and how my days here formed me- every crevice, every nook, every mannerism I had, and even my tastes.

And it’s really true what they say, at a certain point in your life; you’d one day look for your niche. Settle down maybe, and inevitably age. As I took a last look at the bridge before the bend, I wondered where the strait flows to- somewhere unexpected perhaps, but it flows toward it with such fearlessness and certainty.

Moving, always moving.

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