Wednesday, May 04, 2005


Looking back, I realize that life in those mountains was incredibly pagan. Superstitious beliefs surrounded us, the evidences of the spirits were everywhere. In the rice gods that the ifugao carved out of dark wood and offered up their sacrifices to, in the dances that they performed, in the portents that they sought in the innards of chickens and pigs, and in the presence of the ever powerful mumbaki.

Even the chapel that was built at the top of the mountain held an air of mystic. Climbing up the steep cement stairs that led up to the chapel, was like climbing up the stairs of heaven. Those stairs were so steep they were an invitation to vertigo. How many times did I climb those stairs imagining that if I stopped somewhere, I would topple over the edge and fall forever until I hit the ground in the valley below?

At Easter, we all hiked up to the top, bearing with us Tupperware boxes filled with warm and steaming puto, sandwiches, eggs and liters of juice. Like worshippers of the sun, we waited in the darkness before dawn. We waited, as prisoners in bondage waited, for the light to break upon us and for the sky to shatter into a myriad of colors, releasing us from the tension of cold and grayness, and heralding the birth of a new day.


Post a Comment

<< Home