I Take The Weather Personally, Teddy

"Do you feel as useful as the letter g in the word laughter?"
- from a local radio station

"The lighthouse has made me a better person."
- Mang Ruben, Lighthouse keeper at Burgos, Ilocos Norte
PAGASA says this is not the hottest climate the Philippines has experienced. But this is the hottest I have experienced.

A fragment of "Owning the Maze":

My sister took the window seat. She always did. I strained to see the view outside. There were buildings, the highway, billboards. We were still in Manila. As the view changed into trees, mountains, streams, and the sky became wider, I knew we were near to something to what now I would call, digression.

In childhood, that digression was clearly a place: Baguio and its horses, Vigan and its pink sand. Until I grew and figured that all I had been wanting, all I was waiting for at that long trip, straining, looking at the window, was a moment of amazement.

A bit older, I thought that the place had little to do with that feeling of magnificence, but whom was I fooling?

The place itself shapes the very episodes important to my stories, although it doesn't have to be as far as I used to imagine.

Precisely because of its noise, mess, crime and indulgences, I have learned to love Manila. I walk along Roxas Boulevard with all consciousness that I am the next target for a pickpocket. I feel the same whenever my mother and I would go to Divisoria and Baclaran to shop for Christmas gifts, bargain clothes and chocolates.

Perhaps it is because I was born and raised in the city that I feel this fondness for this crowded, polluted and often pretentious place.


And then there's the heat.

Of all the problems we already have, there's the heat to boot.

Most checked out

A stranger who’s a friend

Peak of perfection

Retrograde

Sun-shower

Weekend (sort of) double bill

I'm a friend of Matthew's

Electric shock

The soul of Wit

Painlessly instructed: Notes on ‘The Consolations of Philosophy’

Delighted to meet her