Sunny but Chilly
Photo taken on Friday, February 18, 2005, at the parking lot fronting Dollar Giant: I may be casting a dark shadow, but this doesn't mean the weather was hot. Sun might have been bright and proud but so was the cold lash of the North American breeze on my face.
In the Philippines, the presence of the sun glowing bright and of cumulus clouds adorning the sky automatically means the weather is humid and hot; so people there always associate the sun with sweat.
Only after my first few months of living here in British Columbia, Canada, did I realize that sun and sweat do not always go together. In the Canadian province where I am, regardless if the sun is a blinding yellow glow in the sky, a bright sunny day can still get very chilly—at times even freezing that I would need to wear my bonnet and mittens.
Only in the summer months of August and September did I experience good ol' sweat nestling on my skin—and that was a sure welcome; but for the rest of the year, well, I always needed to wear my coat; and I made sure that the pants and coat I was wearing had pockets, where I could tuck my hands for warmth.
Where Have the Birds Gone?
A few days ago, Sunday, February 13, Grandfather and I were on our regular walk in the neighborhood. We thought that the day would be a nice time for basking; but as usual, the bright glowing sun had tricked us once again. We were already a few meters away from the house when the chilly breeze began to blow. Oh, the sun...conspiring with the wind...
Luckily, we were prepared—in coats and with bonnets and mittens, we continued our leisurely walk.
While walking, I was able to compose in my mind bits of verses for a new poem in my vernacular. Here's that poem which I finished as soon as we got back to the house after about an hour.
Nasaan Na Nga Ba ang mga Ibon?
Ang sikat ng áraw ay nakasisilaw;
Sa aming paglalakad siya ay tanglaw;
Subalit hindi madama kanyang init…
Malamig na hangin ay ihip nang ihip—
Malakas na hanging nagsisilbing walis
Sa mga tuyóng dáhong tumatalilis.
Mayroong úgong na nanggagaling sa langit;
Ako'y napatingalâ sa himpapawid—
Anungbilis ng salipawpáw na tumatawid,
Sa kaulápan ay malayang gumuguhit.
May-hangad-sa-mga-mata akong nanamlay…
Kaylan kaya sa ganyan muling makasasakay,
Pabalík sa píling ng mga mahal sa búhay?
Linga rito, linga roon ang aking lolo,
Panay ang masíd sa mga bubóng at punò;
Hanap-hanap, pakálat-kálat na mga ibon.
Malamáng sila'y nasa migrasyón, wari ko—
Naghahanap ng pagkaing maiipon,
Upang sa sandaling tag-lamig ay magbalik,
Sila ay handâ at di daranas ng gútom.
At maya-maya pa ay pagód na si Lolo,
Kaya sa paglalakad ay biglang sumukò.
Sabagay, ako rin nama'y giniginaw na.
Sa mga ulap, araw ay nagtatago na.
Ako kayâ—magtatago rin ba't susukò?
Kaya pa bang ikubli, luhang tumutulò?
– This poem will be included in my poetry anthology Pagpagpag sa Inalikabók na mga Pangárap (At Iba Pang Tulâ, 2003–2005).