Credits to Urbandub, the band that best describes every emotion I recently felt.
My head is still spinning, the bottle of vodka and rhum still lodge in my head while I painstakingly solve the giant maze of building and streets that is downtown Iloilo City. The Chinese and some non Chinese are celebrating their New Year, they own most of the commercial establishments so they get to shut the traffic down and make people walk, people like me who needs to be at a clinic before its four in the afternoon closing. For the first time, the city failed to enchant me, except for the building in front of the capitol which a big statue of eagle spreads mightily on its facade, I didnt notice it before. I rarely go there, I know the landmarks but that didnt help since I have to walk and I didnt know which street leads to which street. I’m lost in my own city. I have to make choices which way to go. Coincidently, my situation is a sort of metaphor of what I currently feel. I’m lost in a familiar place, my life.
Lately, I’ve been having existential episodes and its not the autumn yet maybe mood changes with the climate. I need a little time to breathe. And my whole respiratory system had gone resistant to meds. Or maybe I’m just stubborn and didnt follow doctors advise. I need to feel the wind in my chest.
When I was in college, we always go to a hidden beach resort just outside the city to plant mangroves, I remeber how the gentle wind violenty blows there because it faces the Iloilo straight. I dont know how to go there but I know where it is still we bravely set out to find it. After a jeepney ride, a tryke ride and few questions of directions we found ourselves being seduced by the serenity of the shore and the seabreeze. Suddenly, its easier to breathe. We sat and laid at a bamboo bridge that stretches out towards the sea. And contemplated about life. It’s magical how the wind blows the pain, the sorrow, the uncertainty, the stress all the unnecessary worries of the world. And when that Urbandub song played, we knew we’re ready to fuck the consequence and dive right in with no regrets.
When day disolved into darkness we left and ended up sitting on a wide mat among musicians, artists, foreigners and bums at an acoustic bar. It’s officially the best bar I’ve been to, it’s a room transformed into a place where music, beer and people who enjoy them gather intimately. It’s a huge jamming session where a band sits with you plays your favorite Rivermaya and Coldplay songs while you hand them a glass of beer(in my case the vocalist handed me Yakult). When they played Forever Young, certainly everyone felt the same. It’s amazing how you discover a person, you see them almost everyday then you walk in into a bar and you see them singing. Iloilo City is a place where everybody knows everybody, your friend surely is a friend of my friend. And just being there sharing your depression, making lame jokes about Green Bay Packers and Pittsburg Steelers and taking part in emptying the pitchers and the bottles is sort of divine.
We went home by dawn buzzed on people’s houses and ran like crazy after, walked on flyovers while avoiding being killed by speeding vehicles, watched our shadows walk on tall buildings and shouted profanities at the motorists who couldnt hear us. It felt liberating. The beauty of violating rules lie on the thought that you can do beyond what the society asks of you. We owned the world and the cops are asleep. It’s like First of Summer in a February.
It’s an eventful day, full of discoveries. But when morning comes we’re back at the front porch planning another soul searching. Maybe its true, all that we see, we know, and all we feel is temporary.