June 9, 2023

I needed this academic break more than I ever thought to be so. I needed the resignment of all my duties, quizzes, assignments, and Zoom meetings. For a while, I felt the world around me slowly drifting, leaving, and freeing me from all my obligations. First, I got to fix my room, do laundry, and had naps in between. I ate proper food and had snacks while I spray water off the dry spell from my unmaintained plants and succulents. How could I miss them this long! I did some cuttings, clippings, and rearranging to suit my mood.
I went out in the market with my mom and saw how busy the world was. The vendors were tireless arranging and selling their goods. The buyers are bursting from different directions. Even with the mask on, people around are speaking, shouting and talking more and more. The next day I went out with my friends, we went to the mall and bought some pretty stuff, enjoyed walking under the sun while sipping a refreshing milk tea then visited some open book stores. We went over different young adult/romance titles but we avoided the academic section.
Due to health restrictions, I and my neighbor friends decided not to go to popular hangouts. Instead, we went out the city border and visited the roads in Long-long. We had a short run from Tam-awan early morning, passed by the creative wall painting, saw pretty tattoo artists from Kalinga preparing for their sessions, and stopped to eat batil-patong at Miko’s.
As the sun rose, we continue to walk down the road. Under the electric posts, the long wires draw the unmistakable lines in the sky and we wondered how could the adult world is full of concern. The tall trees and undiscovered paths are seen from afar and beyond that is the horizon of blue, dark and fading sea that met the sky in view.
As the sun chased us, we still ran even more, went down the road to see Admiral’s Park, which was hidden under thick trees. It was kind of a retreat for me and my friends. The part-time students and workers served us hot coffee and bread and we join them in the counter. It was a family park, there were animal paintings surrounded by various colored plants and wide ferns dotted the place. We stroll around the carpet of plans and our smiles reflected in those beautiful flowers as we reach out to touch them.
We went deeper in the park but we were quick to find our path and hiked upwards and reached the top of the mountain. It was there we meet the scorching sun, for it was mid-day. The implacable rays we let it warm our bodies. It was on top that we saw the higher ground, higher than those long electric posts that dared to mark out our lives. Down there are roads, winding paths, shadowed by trees and we decided to forge another path back to Long-long road.
We spent the afternoon visiting small stores and plant shops. We let the time drift and had long stand-bys at random waiting sheds because we were waiting for the sunset. It was there we saw a beautiful sunset, the clouds gathered splendidly and burst in colors. It was beautiful to stand between day and night, between the sky and the sea, between the city borders, between young and adult. Bet- ween the present and the future, we break off to find our axis. (RICHARD A. GIYE)