baguio has everything that i want except for one thing: the cold. i’m not a skinny girl, but the whole time i was in baguio for a planning workshop for the company i work for, my hands and the tip of my nose were cold. very cold.
we stayed at camp john, and had our brains turned to mush with all segmenting, positioning, and a lot more stuff we had to do for our mags.
baguio has something that made me really, really happy: the village of tam-awan. it’s a cordillera village restored by this person who loved art. i wasn’t listening to the tourist guide, thus, i can’t tell you the history of the place. it’s a village where you can rent out huts. there’s even a hut for fertility. my curiosity got the better of me, along with a colleague, and so we sought what was inside that fertility hut. i was expecting to find a god erected in stone or wood, or a shrine. what met us was a row of matresses on the hut floor. it was literally a fertility hut, for doing that thing you love to do.
my colleague was so happy (since she’s been clamoring to have a baby) to stumble upon that place. thing is, her hubby was in manila. and so we were joking that she ought to have his lifeline stream LBC-ed or FedEx-ed to her, ora mismo!
we crossed a hanging bridge (i was tempted to dive into the lake, but i had my period), and so i was contented to spy on the koi lazing in the lake. there’s a hut for infertility, another hut with a knocker that’s phallic-shaped (god, it’s hard to censor myself), there’s a hut built way back in 1885.
it’s a beautiful place. i want to retire there, commune with the artist-residents. there’s a painting session where three artists sketch drawings of faces of visitors, all within 15 minutes. no fixed rate, only donation is requested from visitors.
earlier, i was able to buy a necklace with a lizard pendant. when i got to the village, i saw a table with almost the same lizard painted on the table’s surface. i saw this as a sign. i’m a sucker for signs, i actually have the knack for overreading.
there’s a deck with the view of the south china sea. there are huts with paintings for sale. lovely paintings. i’d kill to have my teeth sinking into those paintings.
i told some people i’d be migrating to that place after five years, that they should just visit me there. i’d be with the artists and teach them how to curse like a pro. they’d probably teach me to drink more and hold the paint brush like a prim apprentice. we went there in the afternoon; can you imagine the immense number of stars exploding by night time, just almost within your reach? God, bring me to that place again. i want to see the artist again who sketched a drawing of my face. he got the hints of sadness in my eyes, the stubbornness etched on my jaw.
i imagine myself dying in that village, with my arms crossed over my chest and hints of a playful smile crossing my face. by that time, i would have learned to love the cold as much as i love the moon.
there will always be koi swimming in the tam-awan lake, wherever i may be. it swims around, seeming to wait for the time when i’ll finally be able to jump from the bridge. i would jump with my back facing the lake. it’s defying what lies underneath, it’s seeing the real color of the sky.