Tuesday, July 10, 2007

evening walk

its 7p on a sunday evening. an hour in san pablo proved to be soul gratifying. after a languid day, lazing around in the darkness of my room, under the familiar scents of my malong, i figured i need two things. one, a decent meal, and two, some exercise.

times like these, i'd let my feet do the walking. so i made my way towards matina, passing by the small right of way pass from the church towards juna avenue. my stomach feels like a taps and decided that i would keep on walking until the familiar bouquet of hulongsilog is caught by my nostrils. the nearest would be mts.

upon reaching matina, the lights of ncc partly blinded my vision. they were too extreme, too noisy. thus, i resolved that i would not be visiting that mall anytime soon. and so i walked. trying to stay invisible as people young and old, seems to be hurrying towards the pedestrian lane that they should cross in order to get to the airconditioned air of ncc.

i breathed exasperation, shook my head, and reaffirmed that i do not want anything commercialized for tonight. i want my air, davao-y, my meal freshly cooked, not on styrofoam, nor on some strange containers of plastic before being laid in front of me, or at the least something born in davao.

the crowd and the confusing thinned as i approached ateneo high school. in my five years of this so called life, i have often passed this way, mostly inside a jeep. sometimes in a taxicab. more often than not i look at it from the other side of the road. after downing some couple of bottles of red horse it looks like a coffin that is not for the dead. it looks sad, and hi tech, and somehow dead. probably because i only get to pause in front of it in the dead of the night.

but this time, i felt a bit of life as i passed by the huge mango trees that stand guard outside its newly constructed walls. i never would have realized that they were mango trees until i have came close enough to see their leaves. i have never seen them get heavy with fruit. maybe they are sterile. maybe, they have grown old. that could probably be it, the body was an immense big chunk of wood. mortals like me need to join hands with another to hug its beauty.

there was another specie of a tree, that jutted out differently from the mango trees. i am not able to ascertain its kind. i am not a biologist, nor a tree lover after all. somebody mustve realized that they wanted variety. so out of nowhere, lets plant this seedling and see how it will blend with our mango line. and to punctuate it, lets put a nim tree at the end to keep away the mosquitos.

i am getting into the head of some imaginary gardener.

i pressed on, taps was closed in mts. there is one in illustre. the nearest would have been in gov. duterte along the line of jollibee and mandarin. but they closed it down, to give way to a grocery store that is frequented by many people. except me.

i am lost in this thought as i started to cross gov. generoso bridge. heavy traffic has been the daily face of this bridge of the city, ever since the other lane was damaged. so they had to tear it down in order to build a new structure. it has been so for the most part of this year. and they say, it would last until next year to have it fixed. i say, it is plain stupid. probably somebody thought that we should get accustomed to the traffic. and loosing on lane of the bridge, and letting the cranes sit by and watch over it without doing anything might be a nice way to do it. i say again. plain stupid. what about the commerce in bankerohan to the matina part of the world? what about the people from the lanang side wanting to visit their friends in the other side? i had to say again. plain stupid.

i saw the waters of davao river swirl underneath as i walked. it looks like they are agreeing with my angst. the tides join with the brown water from the depths of the mountains yonder. at this point it is not only fresh water and salt water, but fresh salt water. or salty fresh water. or brackish water. or whatever. the identity of one is now becoming a swirl. a reminder of its history as it blends with another body of water, similarly loosing its identity.

i guess it would not be a problem further on as both join the davao gulf. now, it is now gulf water.


i pushed on. my stomach is grumbling and here i am making sense out of the senseless. taps is just around the corner. hmmmm. wait, i think i will see if hkm carinderia is still open. its my favorite carinderia in the whole wide world. food cooked fresh (well in the morning), friendly staff, exorbitant prices (imagine me paying php79 for a meal... in a carinderia). no, it was not because of the sinful expense that i liked hkm. probably, it was because of the tradition attached to it.

we used to eat here in my agri-aqua days. gaga, before she left for the states also ate here. hkm speaks of something familiar. something like home. something personal.

after a meal of humba, sugbang atay, a cup of rice and 8oz coke. i paid ate, the cashier, and left.

and made my way home. this time riding a jeep.

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