Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Brownout on New Year's

brownoutI left Davao City right before New Year's. As beautiful and magnificent Mindanao was, I could feel that it was necessary to leave, as things were beginning to attach to me. And I have learned not to get attached and be attached to the extent that it cripples my wings of liberty. I now weigh things more carefully, thinking thoroughly whether an attachment is wondrous enough to be worthy of one's sacrifice of freedom. Anyway, I bid Davao City goodbye early in the morning and returned to the more familiar Metro Manila.

I am still relatively a neophyte in terms of the places I know in Metro Manila and getting around, so I usually stick to places I know when my budget is limited. I often stay at the cheapest motels or apartelles to save money. For me, air conditioning, television, and other luxuries are not necessary, but a decent bathroom (with strong water flow and a working toilet) that I don't have to share with others is a priority. In fact, I don't mind sleeping on the floor as long as there is a private and decently working bathroom. If you are wondering why this is so, it is because I have a habit of taking baths to stay cool and to get the urban Philippine grime and pollution off of my body, which just sticks to you upon stepping outside within the city.

New Year's eve was non-eventful for me. I don't drink, I don't mess with fireworks, I don't like clubs and high-end parties, and I don't enjoy staying up late at night unless I am genuinely enjoying myself. And since I didn't have anyone to spend it with, I just decided to walk on over to the nearby SM City North Edsa mall to eat and do some lounging about (mag standby, haha). It was a 15-minute walk or so before I got there, but unfortunately, they closed early due to New Year's.

Hungry and with nothing to do, I decided to just head back to the apartelle and grab some food from the street-side. Andok's Chicken was one of the few eateries I came across while walking, so I bought some chicken, rice, and atchara (pickled papaya) and took it back to the motel. While walking, I felt quite peculiar--lonely I guess. Perhaps it was the holiday and here I was walking by myself just observing the people and happenings around me. Oddly enough, one of the karaokes I passed was playing Michael Jackson's "You Are Not Alone." I sang along quietly while walking.

A loud crack of fireworks jolted me. Some idiotic teenager had thrown some fireworks and it flared in front of me. Hungry and not in the mood to retaliate, I just ignored the incident and kept walking. A few moments later, another thing flared across the street and to my left. The transformer on one of the electricity poles blew, and it looked like fireworks as its sparks fell on the street. Perhaps the sight made a good show for New Year's, but the result was irritating--the whole street lost power, including the place I was staying at.

I arrived at the apartelle to pitch black darkness. What luck, I thought. Such is the life of the nomad. It has its own pairs of tradeoffs... Adventure and risk. Freedom and loneliness. One gets both ends of the spectrum.

It seemed I was going to stay up late after all--waiting for the power to come back. Fortunately, it returned after a few hours and I was able to eat my late dinner. Afterward, I sat in bed and listened as the Philippines welcomed in the new year. Tomorrow the sun would rise again--a new day, a new beginning.

1 comment:

the donG said...

i remember you sharing this. kakaibang experience.

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