A village by the river
A pristine and beautiful place!
A friend sent me these photos of a village in Holland. The title of the forwarded e-mail was “No need of seatbelts”.
Viewing the photos brought me back to my organizing work at the foot of Mt. Banahaw in
Quezon Province in Luzon, Philippines. There was a lagoon in the village where I stayed as I became a part of the growing number of people calling for a stop to the construction of a six-lane highway supposed to traverse Mt. Banahaw as the highway heads to Metro Manila.
While by the lagoon every evening I had the rare chance of watching the fireflies and their reflections on the lagoon. Here was a poem I wrote while at the foot of the mountain:
Mt. Banahaw in the Twilight
I am a traveler
waiting for the moon
to rise from your hair.
You are height
I am depth -
a contrast that ties you
to my eternal need for answers.
When I stare at the lagoon at your feet
I try to push away distractions –
sometimes a sudden fog
or a cloud that blurs the inner eye
who alone sees the vine
that grips the mind.
I am tired
of too much climbing
of too much listening
that puts me between cliffs.
Everyday your misty eyes teach me
that tears come from joy and sorrow
mine, more from sorrow
for not knowing how to hide
among the flowers.
On some late afternoons
You throw herbs at the lagoon
With your breath my suffocation ends
and I am a song among the weeds.
Tonight when the moon sleeps on your shoulders
and the fireflies are diamonds on your ears
I will be a child talking in my sleep.
With the photos of this village by the river I cannot but build the connection between
Mt. Banahaw and this village. Inhabitants of this village move about via water transportation, my friend said. “No need of seatbelts” was the title of the email forwarded to me. You would think that the village exists only in a dream. But it is real. I am still looking for the name of the village. Maybe a Dutch man or woman who is a member of hubpages can tell us the name of this village.
I couldn’t believe that a place as pristine and beautiful as this still exists. I thought I would only be able to see a river where I could scoop a drink after a long walk only at the foot of Mt. Banahaw.