On the eve of the 23rd, I rushed to the bus station to catch the 10pm trip bound to Baguio. While the traffic was heavy on the ‘main streets,’ the taxi driver made its way to a less crowded route.
I arrived just on time as manong from nowhere came out and offered his help to carry my luggage.
“This man can be trusted,” I thought.
“Sure, just that box. I’ll carry these two bags.” And together, we walked hastily to the 10pm bus. I reached into my pocket and handed him a P20 bill as I thanked him, “Salamat po!”
“Sir, wala bang Christmas Bonus?” he asked. I smiled and gave additional P15. (For a few meters of baggage transport (of regular weight) for P35, not bad,” I thought.) He thanked me back and walked away to look for another client.
As I get in the bus, I realized how his tiny help was a great help. (I hope manong enjoyed his Christmas.)
The dawn of 24th, I was welcomed by the cool breeze in Baguio. I immediately hopped into a taxi to La Trinidad where my sister and brother-in-law stay.
I came knocking at the door while my mother was preparing to go to the nearby church to attend the 9th Misa de Gallo.
After a short chit-chat, she said, “You can take your bag upstairs and get some sleep.”
“I’ll come with you for the mass.” (I decided to complete the Novena.)
After the mass, we went out to buy a few ‘stuff’ for Christmas Eve dinner.
When we came back, I dozed off as they prepared their ‘Christmas delicacies.’
Other members of the family came.
We attended the Christmas Vigil Mass and had another dinner afterwards. Some songs and stories were shared. Gifts were exchanged. The others went home to their respective roofs. Then I went to bed.
I woke up the next day, Christmas Day, to catch the 8am mass with my mother and brother. On the same day, we were invited to go to our cousin’s in memorial of our grandpa.
The next day, we went out to enjoy the chill at the Baguio Country Club’s Christmas village. After dinner, we dropped by the hospital to where my brother was rushed just an hour ago. Sadly, we were advised that he was going to be admitted. He was attacked by the dreaded dengue. (Three days after, he was discharged. I hope he’s well now.)
On the other hand, the very cold temperature and the drizzle the other night got me sick. On the 28th, I just stayed in bed still feeling cold even with four blankets on my embrace.
“I need warm temperature,” I claimed.
On the 29th, I decided to go back to Makati. With the help of my sister, I got to the station and was able to secure my seat in the 1:50pm bus.
The trip was like eternity. I was unwell. I was nauseous.
Finally, I arrived. I got off at Ayala Avenue at lined up for taxi a few blocks at the back of a mall nearby. After 30 minutes, I got into ‘my’ cab. I had to request the driver the roll down the windows for my ‘better breathing.’
I couldn’t have my dinner. Thanks that I found mango in the kitchen and had it as my meal. At least, I was able to take it in.
The night passed. And the next day passed. Mostly spent in bed.
For the past three nights, I had bad dreams. I was feeling down. Somewhat disconnected.
In some ways, I tried to encourage myself. I tried to pray. I tried to reconnect.
The next day, I woke up. I checked the time. 7:30 AM.
My headache’s gone while my nose can breathe a little clear now.
Looking through the window, I see the sun’s shining brightly. The sky is clear.
I went to the washroom. A few minutes later, I was putting on my running shoes. “I’m not going to go for a run but I’m going for a walk.”
I walked to the kitchen to get a glass of water. “That was refreshing,” I whispered as I drink it while Nanay busied herself so early preparing food for the (day and) night – for the New Year’s Eve I suppose.
Then I went down. A bit hungry, I grabbed hotcakes first at Mi-ki-dee (as my friend Mike E would call it). Later, I found myself walking around the arcade while reading a book. I entered the gym and rode the stationary bike while I continued reading. I went out, continued walking and reading.
In a way, that activity helped me ‘reconnect.’
At around 10am, I came up and decided to do some writing.
I apologize for missing two blog posts the past weeks, for missing to inform you of the updates on my book – it’s now out by the way. A number of friends already have their copies while some already finished reading it.
This moment, I pounded the keyboard of my laptop to share whatever you may call this. A Christmas lament – as Jeff Goins would call it.
In this random sharing, I’d like to remind you and myself that sometimes, we feel disconnected. We feel sick physically, emotionally, or spiritually. Or unsure what it is.
But whatever that is – let us strive…
To reconnect to our Source.
To encourage ourselves.
To stay in faith.
As the Christmas season concludes in a couple of weeks and as the New Year comes in a couple of hours, let us continue to stay in faith, hope, and love – amidst what seems to be mundane.
In Jesus’ name, we shall seize the gift. Amen.
Live your life, young mind!
Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!
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