|Waking up in this room during my four-month assignment in Batangas always heralded a good day.|
One question I find hard to answer these days is ‘Where are you?’ Y’see, I change locations almost every week. When I’m in Benguet, I could be in La Trinidad, Kapangan, Kibungan or Buguias. When I get tired of the mountains, I take a little respite at my brother’s apartment in Laguna, or my sister’s in Cebu or back home in Leyte. My previous job as roving supervisor still sometimes makes me feel like I'm in Angeles, Baguio or Batangas. Some of my friends have learned to put the word ‘now’ at the end of the question. And it makes me feel amused at how ‘unnormal’ I have become.
There have been many mornings when I’d wake up to the sight of a familiar cabinet or the sun rays piercing through the curtains of the window. And the sight signals a certain routine for the day. I’d look for the stairs and expect Tatay Sabido to be preparing breakfast only to realize there is no flight of stairs. Then I’d guess again, maybe I’m in Daddy Marzan’s house in La Trinidad. Then I’d hear a dog sniffing through the gap below the door. Only then would I realize I am in Laguna. It takes a few minutes for me to gain full consciousness of my location after waking up.
It makes me sad a bit when the realization sinks in—the realization that today, I won't be slacklining in Canyon Woods, or that I won’t be spending time with Frenzel—the perky little boy who would jump over me in bed asking for my smartphone for games or for my laptop for movies while Daddy Marzan prepares breakfast.
But I think this is a preview of the belief I adhere to—Pantheism—in which I am everywhere at any time. I have defied the limits of time and space. I have contained and retained in my consciousness the presence and the ‘presentness’ of the people I love and the places I’ve been to. I always feel like I’d be with them any time I want to. And this turns my nostalgia into a happy deep thought.