Sunday, June 5, 2005


I haven't even enjoyed my vacation--something utterly short-lived--and the prospect of the beginning of classes is already looming into my horizon.

Not that there's nothing wrong with that. I enjoyed my week-long vacation, a time spent inside the transient room we occupied because Yakal, the dorm where I and my brother live, closes during semestral breaks, though I could only surmise that I could have enjoyed it better had I gone home to Koronadal. I did a lot of sleeping because it had started to rain, and it was always tempting to take frequent naps when the temperature lowers, something that happens rarely in the Philippines. My brother Ralph a few days before we stayed at the transient house had bought two Gabriela Gracia Marquez's books for 50 pesos each, a rare find, because the Colombian author's books are always bestsellers and sold at such high prices. I had a marvelous time reading the books, which are really short story collections, and I did the reading during most of my waking time. My favorite to this day is the Sad Tale of Innocent Erendira and Her Heartless Grandmother, the last and possibly the longest story in the collection. I also read John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, an exceptionally-written piece about two friends bound by one goal: to own a patch of land they can call they own. So you get the picture: I read really good books.

But I'm excited about classes, not so much because attending classes gives me unequaled happiness (more often than not, it tires me), but because I feel like a wide-eyed freshman again. The reason is I am now an MBB major: I have a new course, a new college, and, well, new subjects and classmates. This newness is exciting, is it not? It is like marching into an unknown jungle where surprises cease to be surprises because you've already gotten used to them.

The University looks, more than ever, the way it had looked when I enrolled as a freshman a year ago. So many places have begun to transform--or rather, have transformed--into the very likeness of that scene stored in my head: the red fire-trees, the falling leaves, the rustling bamboos, the humid, damp air. Deja vu--that's what the French would call it, but I won't use that term: I think "a cyclical tranformation" is more like it. Perhaps that's what really happens in UP, that when classes open in June, the whole of nature encapsulated in the university compound releases its true glow.

I haven't enjoyed my vacation: did I really say that?


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