One Sunday high-A A +A
By Mimi Olarga
Saturday, July 7, 2012
“CLIMB the mountains and get their good tidings”, John Muir penned. And this we do every time an opportunity comes.
And as most people trooped to the rivers, the seas and the pools on the Feast of St. John the Baptist, we took the opposite road instead - towards the mountain. Our destination - Maricon’s cozy place on top of the hill at Brgy. Igmayaan at Don Salvador Benedicto.
We took the trip after our morning mass. Our travel uphill was smooth, as the roads crisscrossing the trans-link highway are well-paved. And because most weekend vacationers stuck it out to the closer roads down the plains and towards the narrow rivers, the blue seas, and the swimming pools, traffic was not a problem for our three-vehicle convoy.
Truly, going up the mountain is a blissful experience. Nature’s peace seems to flow into us as we breathe in the crisp and clean air of the mountain. Moreover, the gentle rays of Mr. Sun are healthy streaks to our bodies. And the trails of the pines and other greens dotting the mountainside release our cares and worries.
Up the hill, the breeze turns gentle yet so cold when it rained. Good tidings. And true to what Maricon said, we were hugging our windbreakers and cardigans every time the heavy mist appeared and became rain. Thrice the rain blessed us up there, but the water drops did not dampen our spirit.
Much as the grasses and the trees thrilled to life when the rain pours over them, our coming together in the mountain was a time of communion with Nature and God, as well as thanksgiving for the gifts of life and friendship.
Misyel came with Dr. Ricky, Bea and Baba; Chari with Therese; Icon with Mari and Marianne; and Ann, Gra, Mabel and I completed the list of “primas” who took our weekend off to be together.
Together for what? To share our time, our life, our blessings, our friendship and perspectives. Together to be children once again, act and pose wacky with Misyel’s photo-booth accessories in front of Ann’s cam, sit on the hillside and marvel on the scenery below or the grand architectural designs of rest houses nearby, prance down the hill to the nearest neighbor’s gardens and ask for decorative hedges, or just frolic in the meadow and feel the gentle beatings of the breeze.
These are our good tidings, simple forms of happiness which have bound us, primas, together for the past twenty and more years. And with our usual potluck assignment, our food did not find wanting. Misyel brought her mouth-watering spareribs; Chari, her lechon manok; Mabel her pesto; Gra, her salad, cup cakes and cake; Ann, her bread and chips, Icon, her chocolates and I for the steamed crabs and fresh fruits.
Add to this list the nearby St. Therese’s famous “palitaw” (grounded glutinuous rice, steamed and cropped with sesame seeds and mascuvado sugar) and “combo” (sliced banana, fried in pancake style) with matching hot coffee and chocolate drink, and we can say we did not go hungry for our day on top of the hill.
And one of the other good tidings we experienced in the mountain is time. There we had the luxury of lounging around, reading, walking, sitting, talking, eating, staring and marveling at the shapes of the plains below and the mountains above.
One observable thing about the place is that it has become a haven for city folks who have bought a sizable measure of land up there and have come to build beautiful cottages and rest houses for their family to hide away for the long weekends or vacation. These folks have come to make the mountain their home.
Yet, with all this habitation, the mountain stands majestic, proud and true. And with the many sunrises it has portrayed, the mountain has provided warm companionship to us, by giving us a more contented, renewed and positive spirit, even for just a day. Thanks a lot, Maricon, and the rest of the “Primas”!
Robb Sagendorph wrote, “Climb up on some hill at sunrise; everybody needs perspective once in a while, and you'll find it there”.
Yup, and we got one perspective one Sunday high up the hill at Barangay. Igmayaan at Don Salvador Benedicto. Happy Sunday, everybody.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 07, 2012.