Wednesday, April 11, 2007


During the height of the Dukat hostage crisis sometime in March, I happened to have an appointment with the Dean for an interview that day. As I make my way home after the 1530 meeting, I got stuck in traffic caused by the hostage crisis. After some 2 hours of futile attempt to get home, I finally gave up, turned the car around and decided to go to the SM Mall of Asia and stayed there trying to wait till the entire brouhaha to settle down (after all, Dukat did promise to surrender at 1900, primetime that evening). As I got there, the first thing I did was to go to the back end of the sprawling mall and try to catch a glimpse of the world famous Manila Bay Sunset. And I did. I’d always wanted to see the sunset for myself but somehow I never got to. Well, there are a dozens of reasons as to why I wasn’t able to and not the least of them is the distance from where I lived and worked. Of course, there is this thing called the “daily living” that I never seem to get away from. Anyway, by some “funny” turn of events that day, I was able to see at last the famed Manila Bay Sunset. And oh boy! What a sight to behold. When I got there, I saw the sun began it’s descent on a not too distant island within the horizon (Corregidor perhaps). As the sun slowly descends, the once blue sky turned bright orange so as the few bits of clouds hanging onto that piece of sky. The color however wasn’t all monotonous orange. Instead, the shade varies as the sun moves away. Farther away from the bright red orange sun, the bright orange sky faded in redness until it turned into the bright yellow sky just above my head. And on top of the sea, one could see the long sparkling shadow of the departing sun painted over the blue watery canvass. The colors though strikingly beautiful are never constant. The yellow sky seemed to chased after the beautiful sun, who is trying to hid behind the shoulders of Corregidor until………. the bright reflections over the sea vanishes and the entire sky over the horizon turned yellow. One could visibly see the bright red silhouette of distant island. Is it as if there instead of an island, a volcano suddenly appears over the horizon and ready to spew out its anger but it didn’t. On the outer fringes, the sky returned to its natural blue but not for long, for the darkness would soon engulfed heaven and covered my eyes with a blanket and there will be nothing. I didn’t wait for that to happen and left………. Sometime on Easter Sunday, I came back to where I stand just a week or two before and witness again the Sunset that I again longed to see. To my surprise, it was a very different sunset from the one I saw a week or two back though it was the same sun, the same piece of sky, the same angle, the same island. In that Easter afternoon, the sky was littered one too many clouds, the low hanging dark types. Because of it, I couldn’t see the different hues of bright orange sky. Instead, everything seems grayish except for the sun, which is dull red. Dull, since it wasn’t that blinding bright but rather that type of red that is pleasant for the eye to see. Unlike the dazzling view weeks before, this sun quickly slipped behind the curtain that is Corregidor. If I would compare the previous Sunset to a symphony orchestra, the Sunset last Sunday was simply a concerto of its own. Quiet, elegant, and nonetheless beautiful. After the sunset, I was confounded with an ancient question posed by a Chinese poet a long time ago, “at what angle is the Sunset, most beautiful?” (Ji tu si yang hong). Well, I can never tell for each sunset is different from the previous day not simply because of the condition of the sky but also due largely to the beholder’s………. I always have this notion that it takes the whole afternoon for the sun to set and scientifically speaking it does but the Sunset that I saw on both occasions lasted only a few minutes, 15 – 30 perhaps. And all the while, the scene changes until nothingness prevails, which reminds me of another ancient Chinese couplet, “Si yang wu shien hong, cher ser jing huang hun”. “There is something inexplicably beautiful about Sunsets, too bad, it would be nightfall soon”. True indeed, the words of a sage. Learn to enjoy every moment…………

P.S. Based on my view, there are about two places one could enjoy the beauty of Manila Bay Sunset, one is at the backyard of the SM Mall of Asia and the other, well, is at the 21st floor of DLSU – Taft, Brother Andrew Gonzales Hall, where the office of the DLS – Graduate School of Business is located. From that vantage, one could not just only see the beautiful Sunset but entire Manila Bay area as well.

Sunday, April 08, 2007


I was vacationing at the beach somewhere in Subic this past Friday – Saturday and during my late afternoon “soak” (I can’t swim) at the beach waters, a funny thing happened to me. There I was all alone minding my own business, sitting in shallow waters with the sea water up to my neck and admiring the beautiful landscape in front of me while enjoying the “cool” afternoon sun when all the sudden somebody jump onto my back and grab my neck pulling me down to the waters. All along I heard “Papa, papa, papa………..”. It was kid, a boy of 5 maybe who thought that I was his father and he wanted to ride on “his father’s” shoulders. Good thing I’m sitting in shallow waters for I didn’t get drowned and good thing also that it was a kid or else I would have broke my back. The kid kept on pestering me to carry him until both his mother and wet nurse came and took him away from and telling him that I’m not his father. The poor kid was sobbing while still looking for his father afterwards. Things actually happened so fast that I didn’t know what hit until much later and by then, I was still “dazed”. I was particularly dumbfounded that some kid called me his “Papa”. Geez, the last time I’ve checked I’m still single, definitely unattached and I don’t remember siring a boy, legitimate or bastard. Honestly speaking, I don’t really mind that the little boy called me his “Papa” after all he does have a very hot and sexy “Moma”……………. Anyway, as I went back to my “contemplative soaking” at the beach, I can’t help but asked a question or two based on the incident. Wouldn’t it be better to carry something else on your shoulder other than the weight of the world or burden of your dream? Perhaps something like a little boy. Or wouldn’t it be better to just have something other than worries of life and responsibilities wrapping around your neck, choking you than say the arms of a woman you loved or perhaps something better like that (the arms) of ………………………………Paris Hilton? Now, that would be a great vacation.