February 9, 2023

It is the month of March, and summer is knocking at the door.
The days are getting warmer, the chill lingers, savoring its last moments before heading back to Siberia, to await the next cold spell.
Getting a good night’s sleep is touch and go, all snug and comfy under the covers, only to be awakened in the middle of your slumber, your body temperature having gone up a notch or two.
Hot, but not feverish.


Warning signs that we could be in for a long, hot summer, the deceptive early morning drizzles and afternoon showers notwithstanding.
It’s like the lull before the storm in reverse when the rains dry up, the drought begins.
Fear not the sun but climate change, a disaster of our own making waiting to happen.
Dormant volcanoes unexpectedly erupting, the calm sea waters suddenly churning 100 feet high waves that could wipe out coastal villages if not sea life itself – a once beautiful fishing ground emptied of living sea creatures, with whales and dolphins ending up dead on beaches.
Am I looking and sounding like a bearded fellow brandishing a placard that says: “Repent, the world is ending.”


Whatever, have fun this summer, not necessarily your last. Your summer capital is only four hours away from Manila by car.
Never mind if Baguio, for all its weather like no other – cool, breezy, healthy, and invigorating – can only offer the same old routine.
Skating at the rink, around the oval, boating along the lake.
Or horseback riding at Wright Park to Upper Beckel or down Itogon trail. There are ponies for the children, with Benguet cowboys acting as guides and informal babysitters. If your kids speak perfect English, they will get along just fine.


For the pious, you Visitas Iglesias during Holy Week wouldn’t be complete without dropping by the city’s oldest religious historical marker, although the Cathedral that you once knew is now a bit different.
Strict health protocols, parking fees, sermons that will put you to sleep.
Hey, has the Pink Sisters Convent opened its gates to the Catholic faithful? Believe it or not, the nuns’ chants and prayers cleanse your soul of all sin.


After that, take a less than an hour drive to nearby San Juan town in La Union, and put the sins back in your hearts by ogling all the pretty girls walking about in shorts and swimsuits, cursing under your breathe because the cost of food and drink appears to have doubled, and if you are able to find a place to stay, you will need to keep your temper in check because of the exorbitant rates.


But it’s summertime, and the going is easy, the action and catfish are jumping. Join the fun – gorge on food, get drunk but not be unruly, go for a dip in the ocean, dance and play tong-its all night long, forget the Covid but don’t forget to pray, and put on your mask, and thank the Chinese with fingers crossed for their vaccine donation.
Have a truly great and wonderful summer!