The sun smiles brightly on this month of May, 2017. The atmosphere has since been an envelope of heat that’s been containing us. From place to place, from the mountains to the coasts, the air felt absent. Only the surrounding heat is present but despite the sting, I am able to see the real bright side of it.
This summer is lovely. In some ways still, it has gone out of my control. I have been unlucky at the same time I’m very lucky in my little choices and steps.
Thankfully enough, my beloved relatives draw me back to the shore before I drown. They give me the eyes to focus, the hands to work, and the mind to find a purpose. The belief that I was given such blessing meant a purpose and not because life is just a passing time in the vast Laniakea Supercluster.
Success is great as it gets that came before a recent resignation. Now, this short 2-month summer span is just a tiny thing being sandwiched by the struggled past and the impending future. Surely enough, it’s not going to be the best as there are no visions or signs of what is to come.
“Now is the best time to have a break,” I said yet I’m overthinking on the downside of life. This is what I continuously ponder upon while voyaging with my sister towards Pampanga. I disliked the repetitive responsibilities. I do not reject it but I am being deeply stabbed by it already. I am not lazy or a job-hater but doing everything is a suicidal move and what’s worst is that I’m permanently stuck to it. I need a fix and to reevaluate myself and my actions. That’s what made me travel miles to different places this summer season without a job – to figure out my next move.
All of a sudden, I had a wild reminisce of a similar event two years back. It was summer of 2015. One very dark year in my lifetime. Right after graduating a twisty college life, I met a deep sliding decline for the rest of the year. A job that never suits me and never brought glory to my own being. Though, what I couldn’t forget is another sandwiched event during summer right before I started my life in the working industry. The tiny event that eased the pain in my head.
Finishing college meant a great deal but with it came the defections especially in the final days. Along with it, came an ongoing responsibility with children inside a heat contained house. No one should ask but that’s how it is and no one would really listen to that. My headache was as bad as a strong bald man giving me a headbutt but the bald man was not really there. It was a crazy graduation day for me which was totally underwhelming. My headaches never stopped day in and day out and the hours of waiting never once eased the pain. What I have were my self-glory and greatness.
Once Holy Week came, our family had a tradition of going out of town. Thank dad for giving me a new phone before those days in order to take pictures. My favorite relatives from Pampanga came over to spend time with us. Of course, it wouldn’t be a family outing if some of us were missing. One missing person is already bad enough. As similar as today’s weather, it was like a stagnant flood of heat from the ground to the sky. So when we journeyed, it was constantly hot in the vehicle since the air conditioning was quite problematic. The first destination was Our Lady of Manaoag Church in Pangasinan. From our place in Manila, that took 215km. It’s an insane distance but for me, I enjoyed very long travels. I enjoyed it not because I was going to a new place but it means I could spend longer hours with the company I have.
In the middle of the expressway, we followed the Pajero which boarded other members of the family (which was very cold). During these trips, I always boarded my relatives from Pampanga in their van. It’s quite an obvious move since I’ve been always sticking to them since, not a long time ago, maybe 2007. On the rest of the road, we hardly saw other vehicles and mostly just the long and hot road. It’s no surprise that everyone else in the vehicle was bored however, I was excited to be on the road again with the best people I know. Even a stop in the middle of the road for the portalet was unforgettable.
Undeniably fast. Yet, the time was consumed so much on the road. The large expressways turns to smaller driveways turning smaller and smaller while the number of people became more and more until they were flocking. That obviously meant that we’re in the vicinity of the Church. Through the years, this Church was kept in its pristine condition due to its popularity. Many people come and go especially in the midst of Holy Week. The Church itself was huge that there were many sights to see but I would never forget the main entrance of the Church. The whole entrance was a courtyard that used white tiles while the front of the Church itself was painted white. Under the bright afternoon sun, it’s supposed to look intensely bright. So bright that it’s impossible not to wrinkle the face. We took a family photo last year with mom at the exact spot. In the photo, it was evident that everyone tried to shield their eyes. However, that was the last time where mom was out on a trip with us at that exact same location so I was not surprised when no one anticipated taking a shot there.
Shortly thereafter, we ate at a small eatery somewhere. It was the first time we dined at a very simple eatery. We had the main purpose to go swimming at a resort somewhere after the Church so we had some cooked food in our vehicles placed in microwaveables and pots. I wouldn’t forget the chaos at a dinner table. Everyone constantly moved around grabbing food and drinks. I bet many of us felt irritated by the experience but it’s unique in a way because we’ve never done that before in our lives. It’s very memorable in a way.
As I said, we planned to go to a resort but looking for one randomly was a terrible idea. Thanks to my google maps, however, I could just type the word “resort” in the search box and viola! We were trailing along the blue line in the app that led the way into a small dirt road. Curiously, my uncle asked a random bystander where the resort was. He said that it was closed because a child died recently. It was humorously awkward in my part but I still insisted on looking for another on using the maps. In the dark of the night, my lolo (grandfather) decided to go to Laguna to look for another resort instead. Bad move, honestly, since we are far north and Laguna was farther down south beyond our home. But, his order stands and we all kept our silence…
Can it be? A miracle? While following the Pajero on the way to the exit, they turned their vehicle to the left. My other uncle driving the Pajero opened the window and pointed to a sign that read “Spring Land Resort.” It is! They found a resort! And later, we found ourselves at a newly opened small resort. It was only recently opened and no one was there. We settled in because why not? The fees were cheap and the place was perfect for us and we practically owned the night. This gave us the chance to enjoy a nice night at the pool while the children played in the kiddie pool. We resorted to one of the cottages to dine our brought food. We also had the two air-conditioned rooms for us. There it is. We were in paradise.
It feels as if the sun has it’s unique ability to shift into a blue dwarf in the midst of the very early morning. The sky shines a deep blue and the air feels cold as if the sun loses its luminosity and its heat is dissipating. It’s only at these early morning hours where I experience a wonder such as that. We explored the main dining area across the swimming area just past the parking space. There were a few tables and one was exceptionally long. Perhaps it was prepared for us by the small number of staff. At the end of the dining area was a stage for a band with numerous traditional instruments. No one was playing so we played around before our breakfast was served which I always exceptionally loved. The tocino is a favorite breakfast dish. In english that can be considered as sweet cured pork. This time, it was not chaotic as the previous night.
The place was so small that it felt as if the whole resort was under our ownership. It fits the numbers in our family as a whole. In that little paradise, I felt that we were a magnificent single unit.
Hitting the pool again felt really relaxing. For the longest time, that was the perfect moment to clear a heavy headache and to ease every single stress. The feeling, and the sound of the splashes and the laughs of my cousins all morning in the pool sets a perfectly happy ambiance. If we’re tired, we just head out food at one of our cottages. It’s that simple and stress-free. Back in our childhood, we’ve done this almost every summer but I was too young to understand the full extent of a short staycation. Now, being a young adult, I see the substance of having this kind of company. That those short moments was a chance to see the full impact of a great family. I love those unforgettable days.
The final hours were spent once again inside the dining area for dinner. I wouldn’t deny that it can be melancholy but I always know it’s never obvious. The endless laughter from the corny humor and the made up jingles are a kind of staples only we understood. Every single minute was bright and beautiful as small fractions of gemstones. If only it would last longer but Alas. The great endings are always inevitable.
I am where I am right now. The road of woes that came ahead after that event have been cumbersome to the point that I’m not allowed to do the things I’m passionate and happy about. The combination of bad employment and home related stress were both overloaded that it too stressful to bear and led me to where I am now. A free bird traveling under the heat of the sun.
It’s what I’ve done. I oftentimes let myself be slain. June is just around the block and I keep worrying about the future but remembering the past tells me to enjoy the present moment as it is. This might be another sandwiched moment soon but for now, I should be thinking that I’ll be enjoying another grandeur moment with my relatives again. They help me grow back the youth in me without even knowing. I smile the way I used to with them. I wouldn’t let this one slide into stress. Life is very short and being youthful in 20-something feels rare in this generation.
There’s no other way to describe it. My family is amazing and awesome. What always happen is what we never expect and it’s great that way – to be excited about the future. I’ll sit here, see the beloved ones, and let God do the rest.
This blog is dedicated to God and many of my family members and relatives. Special mention to my closest relatives in Pampanga as well especially to my cousin-siblings: Mae, Mark, Martin, and Mathew.