Doon sa Maharlika. Masarap. Yung lalaki dun.
Something didn’t sound right, that coming from the mouth of a middle aged lady vendor selling cigarettes and coffee near a jeepney terminal just beside Burnham Park in Baguio. But she was actually giving me directions where to buy binatog, that steamed corn kernels snack that is sold here, specifically from a male vendor. I was just too early, at around 0730H.
Binatog. That was just what was in my mind when I arrived early in this mountain city. 0600H, just a few hours ago and after praying for strength at the cathedral, went down Session Road and walked to the edges of the park. I needed something light yet filling and warm enough to warm the belly.
Balik ka mga 9. Nandoon na siya.
Come back 9 AM. He’s there. She continued.
Baguio. I’ve been here countless times and I’ve always loved the cool weather, either during the summer months where Mines View Park can be a gigantic tourist trap, or even during the wet season which is as beautiful yet different.
While my primary purpose was to meet and do an ocular survey for a client shoot, I was more than willing to go up here, to nurse a broken heart. It’s just ten days since we mutually agreed to end five days short of celebrating our anniversary. But we had to do it. Problems are there and they proved to be irreconcilable.
I was wandering aimlessly from Burnham Park and went back to Session Road. Not knowing where to go. I want breakfast. But not in the usual fastfood chains. I visited a diner but didn’t like the food. People were passing me by, students in clean and crisp uniforms waiting for the traffic light to change.
Did I really made the right decision to end it? After the breakup, strangely, we were still together for the next four days. As if nothing happened. The sex was just great. As if nothing happened. The text messages, the talks were weirdly comforting. As if nothing has happened.
But yesterday was just stressful. I wanted to scream, silently. I cried buckets. And then, the full weight of the breakup started to sink in. I wanted to be alone. I wanted to go far away. I wanted to distract myself. I thought I was strong. I was in denial. I was hoping that we will be together again. But it was just wishful thinking.
And Baguio was calling.
Travel is a palliative. And the long bus ride from Manila to here was something that I’ve longed for. The deluxe bus’s seat was wide, plush and ensconced me wonderfully. My thick jacket was enough to warm me from the chilling airconditioning.
When does love die? Does it slowly wither if left unattended? Did I not see the danger signs? Or we were looking for something that both of us can’t fulfill? Was I blind? But it had to happen. Sooner or later. You enter a relationship with another person because you love that person so much and you find a future together.
There’s always that element of hope. But people are people. Each has different needs and expectations. Dreams are dreams. Sometimes they come true. Most of the times, they don’t.
Baguio is always wonderful in the morning. The mist. The scent of pine lingering in the atmosphere. The nippy weather touching one’s cheeks and nose and forehead and lips. But today was wet. It rained the night before and according to weather reports, a coming storm off in the Pacific.
Session Road is where I always gravitate to. This short and inclined strip of road is a magnet of sorts. Walking up, the sweet scent of sampaguitas wafted. After a few steps, an unknown perfume. And several steps more, the natural scent of pine.
…where no matter how crowded such a place may be, a space is clearly dedicated for you… where air breathes loneliness and happiness into one; where being a stranger brings you and many others to a new yet familiar ground. — i wrote this for something else, but this is what i feel every time i go there; walk with the crowd and let their shoulders soothe the heartaches.
– Daryl Leyesa on Session Road. She’s a Facebook contact who was an angel to me while I was doing this blogpost in Zola Cafe.
I’m now in Baguio. My refuge to a weeping heart, even before in past relationships. Now, I just want to be alone here and probably distract myself with work. Later, I’ll be off to the pits of the earth, to the rugged and steep fastnesses of this part of the Cordillera.
For the meantime, while waiting for my client, I will just have to let this all out and unburden over coffee. Hope springs eternal. I will get over this. This is just part of living. Someday, someone will come and I will fall in love again.