i remember in my jvp year a meeting of Baroy MPC in Brgy. Baroy, kadingilan, bukidnon. i remember that i have to rouse my weary body then from my hard, foam less bed. i went outside my room to see the wet roads and some fog forming over the busco (bukidnon sugar company) area. i donned a jacket and put on my shoes. it is almost giving up from wear and tear, but it would have to do since i do not want to dirty my feet.
upon arriving at baroy, i felt glad but felt a tinge of guilt as i looked at the feet of the people who've attended the meeting. some were wearing tong slippers, some wore no footwear at all, and i was wearing my black and gray nike with a red swoosh. but no matter where i looked, our feet looked dutisome. it was full of mud and all the things that would describe as dirty for a once-city-dweller-rapidly-turning-into-a-non-city-dweller like me.
when i got home, the image of the muddied feet (with or without footwear) was so strong that i had to write a journal entry for it. i entitled it "putikan man ang aming paa." basically it talked about the bottomlines of living and working in baroy. that even from whatever status a person is, when it rains, when the muds form, it cannot be helped that one has to step on it to go to where they want to go.
fast forward, three years hence. last week, i found myself walking on mud again. and this time i was wearing no shoes. i was wearing that trusty tribu sandals. the motorcycle cannot proceed from ranzo to sambag due to rains the previous nights. halfway through the hike, it began to shower. andiyan na sila!
coolness. the thing is i have to do it again. halfway through the return, my sandals turned useless, due to the mud that has accumulated all over it and up to my shins. thus, i did the only sensible thing, i took it off, picked it up and felt the squish-squash of my feet on the mud. i felt the softness of the mud as it embraced my feet. the land is alive, it has ceased to become mud. she turned into a lover of sorts. she made love with me as i proceeded to negotiate its terrain. she took hold of my consciousness and turned made it appear that she is the most important thing in the world. i had no choice, it was either that or falling on the mud with my butt.
next day, i felt pain at the back of my right knee. my muscles are sore, and my bones felt a little squeaky.
and how did i soothe it?
i did the whole love scene with the land... again.