Saturday, October 06, 2007

clean and grim

Chronicle no. 1: Clean
September 15, 2007


I am pretty sure you were the guy who woke up at five in the morning, when the light of the sun was barely seeping out of the thick grey clouds, but then slumbered back in bed only to be awoken the following hour by a thought that you must be present at the bus terminal by six-thirty sharp. Yes, you were the one.

I remember it was Saturday that you made haste and clambered out of bed and mechanically executed your daily routine:

1) Grabbed the big brown towel hanging from the wall and some necessary toiletries located under the wardrobe.
2) Ran down a few steps, followed some bending paths, and ultimately reached the bathroom.
3) Endured an ice-cold bath, dried, and went back to the room with a gazelle’s swiftness.
4) Sported a plain dark brown polo short, khaki pants, and then snatched the idle light brown bag from the cluttered table.
5) Waited for the earliest tricycle.

You looked so clean, so earthy, with all the nature-colored apparel you donned. It was as if the very essence of nature emanated from you. If you just had enough time to climb up an acacia tree, I might have mistaken you for one of its branches. All of these thoughts swam absently in your mind until a tricycle noticed you idle by the side of the road. You were lucky enough to catch an early ride that shakily went to the terminal. And all of a sudden, you thought of riding a bicycle, rather than a tricycle, since that would be the day you were to support and spread the word about SolarGeneration—Pilipinas at Bayawan. For in your mind, you shouldn’t be promoting vehicles emitting carbon and all that smoke. Go green!

Huh, bike all the way to Bayawan? That must be a joke, so you rejected the idea instantly. But what is SolarGeneration—Pilipinas or SolarGen? I’ve recently learned that this is the youth arm of a much bigger organization, Greenpeace. SolarGen aims to inoculate everyone with the importance of our natural resources and how we can properly use these. And as a first project, SolarGen promoted the “Simple Lang: Save the Climate” movement to various universities in Dumaguete and Bayawan Cities. The movement challenges everybody to be energy-conscious by integrating climate-friendly habits into the our lifestyle without compromising practicality and convenience.

Switch off the lights… Unplug all appliances… As simple as that! Everyone will be pleased, living in an eco-healthy world.

You were excited because, on that weekend, you were not tripping for pure entertainment but for an advocacy. You had a mission. In all honesty, your sole purpose why you tagged along with Razceljan Salvarita, Fiona Jade Lim, and Lyde Villuaneva was that you had nothing to do on that specific weekend, seeing as all of your usual partners-in-crime had gone out of town too: Boracay, Apo Island, and Bohol!

What had made you more interested in the occasion was the group had also planned on conducting a workshop on public mural art for budding high school artists. And you yourself were a self-proclaimed Mauro Malang! You instantly elated into a core group member of SolarGen.

And then everything proceeded in a blur: Upon arrival, all four of you headed off to City Hall, were welcomed by few local officials, and led to a hall filled with young people eagerly ready to learn the art of wall painting (not the carpenter’s job, though). After the workshop, you were introduced to the city mayor, German P. Saranya, and you were amazed by his plans of producing Jatropha Oil, to be extracted from a plant locally called “tuba tuba,” as a safe and effective alternative for any vehicles’ fuel. You had learned that the city wholeheartedly supported eco-friendly lifestyle that they launched a project on cultivating the Jatropha plant on their hectares of fertile lands.

Just when you thought you had had your day, sluggishly dragging your feet back to City Hall after you had a mandatory “photo shoot” for documentation purposes, you were surprised to learn that there would be a coastal clean-up activity the following day at the Bayawan Boulevard.

Yes! Yipee…
You were happy. By 8 o’clock in the evening, all four of you went to Toto Benjamin’s house and spent the night close to nature where crickets’ sounds and the rustle of leaves serenaded you. You felt so clean.

Chronicle no. 2: Grim
September 16, 2007


I am extremely sure you were the guy who didn’t sleep well that night. You were accommodated at Toto Benjamin’s, a family friend of the mayor. There was nothing wrong with the quarters provided, it was just that you were restless. You didn’t doze back, but stayed awake, until it was time for you to be present at the Boulevard at six-thirty sharp. Yes, you were the one.

I remember it was Sunday that you made haste and got up from bed and automatically mulled over your routine:

1) You must go get the big brown towel hanging from the wall and some necessary toiletries located under the wardrobe.
2) You would run down a few steps, followed some bending paths, and ultimately reach the bathroom.
3) You would endure an ice-cold bath, dry yourself, and run back to the room with a gazelle’s swiftness.
4) You would dress yourself up with the attire appropriate for the day.
5) You would wait for the earliest tricycle by the side of the road, outside the boarding house.

Boarding house? What boarding house? You totally forgot you were a hundred kilometers away from Dumaguete City! Out of the abrupt realization, you grabbed your bag from the floor, fumbled for objects that you direly need, and to your amazement, discovered nothing much helpful (behold, a discovery… a toothbrush!). The necessity of bringing extra clothes and toiletries had been entirely disregarded the other day, for you were so filled up by your enthusiasm. Fiona and Lyde noticed your long face so they lent you soap, shampoo, towel, and toothpaste.

Quickly shampooed your hair… Brushed your teeth… Splashed on some cologne… As simple as that! And you were a bit pleased, your spirits high.

Your excitement sparked up again because you were going to clean an area of the boulevard where young mangroves grew. Ironically, you had cleaned up yourself to clean up the Boulevard. That was not an everyday opportunity considering that in the first place, you attained adequate amusement yesterday just by ranting word upon word about poster-making practice and art aesthetics. But when you entered the room, you witnessed Lyde, Fiona, and Razcel in different get-ups while you were dressed in the same shirt and pants; the exact articles you had worn a few hours ago.

You tried ignoring them and focussed on the idea that the high school students you had deliberated with the other day would be present. You knew some of them, while others remained as familiar faces only. However, you thought, their company would always be fun and great so you settled on the comfort of this thought.

And then everything happened in a blur: Upon arrival, all four of you headed to the site at the Boulevard. The sun was covered by thick grey clouds. Before you started picking up trash, you attended a short fellowship. After glorifying the one above us all, you had an exercise session. Suddenly, it rained very hard; a downpour heavy enough to soak a body in a minute. How tragic, you were wet and you had no extra clothing! All of you went back to Kuya Toto’s residence and procrastinated there until it was time to leave the City of Bayawan. The clean-up drive was cancelled.

Just when you thought you had had enough being the green-eyed grim monster of the group, you were stunned to discover that there was spring nearby Toto’s house in which you could go for a dip.

No! Argh…

You were sad. By 11 o’clock in the morning, all four of you travelled back to Dumaguete City by a V-hire, spent the day in the ride wherein you can only hear the constant hum of the decrepit aircon until you arrived at the city. You felt so grim.


Anonymous said...


nice one. haha.

really had fun during that time.

Narcissists people.

imagine?! We got 400 pictures for two days!

for what?

Solar Generation Southern Negros Documentary.

Should it be that MANY?!

i don't know!

ask jordan!


Fiona Jade said...


im not anonymous!

Im fiona jade y. lim.