The fire trees at the Madrigal Business Park in Alabang are in bloom, and this reminds me of what I loved most about going to UP. There was just so much space for nature and beauty!
Understand that before moving to UP, I was a freshman at DLSU.
In summer, there were sunflowers and fire trees in bloom. And how beautiful the lagoon looked with its resident ducks and geese, now long gone. There were large rocks and old trees, and the Sunken Garden would be mostly green.
In the rainy season, rain would fall onto the trees and grass, and not make mud, and there was fresh air to breathe from where we sat--along the AS Steps, or under our tambayan tents.
I loved leisurely afternoon walks across the shortcut from behind the Math Building to NIGS because at one point, you had to walk along what I fancied to be a little brook (more like a canal, really, but the water was clean enough for frogs and snails and little fish).
Having gone to DLSU for a year before I transferred to Diliman, I had felt how the City of Manila can completely crowd one out. Every corner was filled with concrete, and how the vehicles competed for space, even in the air! (Later, when I was back at DLSU for grad school, I marveled at how students could hang out at Starbucks Vito Cruz and not go crazy with all the noise from the traffic five feet away!)
I love living in Southern Manila for the same reason: space. There is still space for trees and bike trails. Last Saturday, I commuted to Asian Hospital to visit my best friend and her dad, who is confined there, and I almost decided to walk to the hospital all the way from South Station because of the trees lining the street. It had been a long day, but I felt energized. I could breathe.
This had me thinking about my own "space."
The past few months--or maybe the past year--I think I've inadvertently crowded my own self out. I've filled my time with lesser passions and too many people for whom I could have no strong affections.
It's entirely my fault for not taking the wheel. I enjoy what I am doing most of the time, and I'm grateful for what I have now, but how long has it been since I planted something alive or created something beautiful?
Too long, the fire trees tell me. Too long.