Touch Base With Ubec (Part One)

First, a note from The Author: Hi there. I know it’s been a while since my last post and I feel guilty for leaving this page dusting on my dashboard. I have been busy for the last couple of months, I know, with all the after-graduation parties and appointments. Nonetheless, I will try writing as often than not now that I finally have access to my account.

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I want the whole ground to swallow me up as the taxicabriole snakes its way to the harbor. The sky is bright and cloudy as summer ripens in the Western Mindanao skies. I remember my mom waving before I left, eyes red from crying. I remember saying goodbye to our dog whose name is a complete opposite of her character; her name is Sweet. I remember crying the night before, asking for absolution from my mother. And I remember spending time with friends, we partied all night at Danza Verano wearing our Coachella get ups.

I remember them…all too well.

The taxi turned left gearing towards the wharf. Along the way, we passed by my alma mater. Western Mindanao State University sits proud after another year of producing graduates prepared – more or less – to face their future. Graduates, half of which will not follow the path their degree dictates, a quarter of which will probably be unemployed for a period of time while the other half will take the risk. I am part of the half that will take the risk.

Another turn. Ten minutes before reaching the pier my face touches base with the boulevard; the sea is calm suggesting safe travel. Ten minutes full of sadness. It’s funny why I’m feeling all melancholic now when I was all determined to take this risk a month ago. Ten minutes and I am point zero ten millimeters close to giving up. How the tables turned and now I’m feeling chicken.

My mind is a mess. Reminiscing, my mind is flying somewhere in the past in search for that one orange sky when me and my college friends shared filming a documentary, in search for that stranger who turned out to be the love of my life but then broke my heart, in search for that memory eight nights after graduation.

I can’t remember stepping out of the taxi but next thing I know, I am already inside the ship leaning on the railings at the hallway on the left wing of the vessel. The afternoon stretched before me like the vast body of water which will be my companion for the next twenty four hours. Painstaking twenty four hours.

The following day, at around eight thirty we bumped into Dumaguete port and the first thing that hits me is the color of the sea. It’s clear blue and really clean, so clear and clean that you’d be able to see the sea floor and creatures that swarm and dominate it. Somehow, I feel a sense of hope that at least, this part of the country is still clean. An hour later, the vessel starts to make its way to its final destination, my destination, Cebu City.

I wake up from the sounds of rumble from below. At first I thought it was thunder and that a storm has caught us ashore. When I touch base with the window, the once vast empty space outside was already replaced by boats and ships anchored at the piers and in the distance, towering skyscrapers. We have reached Cebu City.

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By Juseph Elas

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