Sunday, August 01, 2010


A couple of chickens mindlessly clucked in greeting as I walked outside of the house in the early morning heat, their beaks pecking the indifferent pavement. (Are birds our original zombies?) Even with cut-off heads, I imagined that the birds would still chirp through the spray of blood that jetted from their former bodies and splattered the earth on which their skulls still rested. Sometimes the stupidest among us are the friendliest. And sometimes the friendliest of us are the wisest. Running through the streets, I am greeted by a "Good morning, sir" from another jogger struggling through a body's stubborn rebellion on a Sunday morning. Why am I being dubbed 'sir' by someone whose age is older than mine? Politeness to a foreigner seems decidedly odd, almost condescending, but no -- it is a form of welcome, a statement that declares that this country and its road are as welcome to me as to a native-born son. (This is the interpretation I choose.) Further along the road, past the hotel whose name I always (willingly?) forget, a horse is tied to a post while its owner eats at a tiny eatery with the humble sign of 'Samson's Cafe'. That such a tiny roadside chow shop, little more than an outside shack, deems strong enough, vital enough, to bear the name of Samson is a thought worth laughing about while simultaneously giving respect towards the bravado of its owner's ambition. Why not live large? And whose is the horse? In this area, there are horse rides given to anyone willing to hop on board and bear the bumpy ride. Something inside of me thinks up a secret plan. I will slowly sneak up the horse's side, unleash the rope, set the animal free. It will ride riderless through Baguio's hills. I will become a hidden hero to the animal kingdom. Instead I take note of the blue and yellow saddle that lies across its back, wondering what that number means, and if the horse misses home. On my own way home, I run by a young girl muttering to herself as she plucks petals off of a flower, leaving behind soft white traces of her tracks on the sidewalk, as if she were going on a long trip into the forest and wanted to remember how she got there, and how she would return.