Wednesday, May 09, 2007

away, sun, away

I swear, walking around the city during the summer months is just asking for trouble – from the sun. It’s crazy; the oppressive sun just beats down relentlessly and the possibility of heat stroke is high.

Which is why I make sure to duck into my favorite oasis – the nearest Coffee Bean, with its cool, cool air-conditioning . I sit there with something cold (right now, I gravitate towards the Honey Dew Ice Blended) and watch the world crawling outside.

I stay as long as my body needs to recover, dismayed at the thought of having to plunge back into the sweaty thick of things (for a moment I imagine everything vanishing in a white glare, like the entire world is a mirage and I'm hallucinating).

My only comfort is word that there are ten to thirteen tropical depressions lurking around the archipelago, waiting for a chance to strike. The thought of rain is invigorating.

And yet, suddenly I feel guilty for wanting rain.

These storms do not just bring rain but also devastation, and not just in terms of property damage. Every year the nation experiences heartbreak as television, newspapers, radio and online services and blogs bring us news of typhoon-caused tragedies.

Can’t there be a middle ground? Are we truly geographically stuck between the extremes of stunning heat and destructive water?

There can’t and we truly are. Heat and rain: even when it comes to seasons, we only have two compared to more exotic climes (who hasn't entertained an absurd fantasy of snow in Manila?).

But there is really no use in complaining or wishing it were otherwise. There are certain things we can’t change, after all.

So, being Filipino, we adapt and adjust and make the best of things. That’s our nature, our strength. That's how we get by. We think, "this, too, will pass" and rehydrate ourselves.

I look outside and wish I brought an umbrella.

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