Friday, August 27, 2004

Green View, Cool Weather, Full Blue Moon, Quiet Moments at Tirad Pass on the Eve of 2002

A mouthful for a title but that's how it was tracking the path of Tirad Pass on the last day of 2001. When the rains have watered the mountains at the 3rd and 4th quarter of the year, the flora shows off its lush greenery at this time of the year giving a refreshing green view. Also at this time of the year, the Siberian cold front from the North East blows its way to the island slamming at high altitude resources as the Cordilleras. You'll need your technical clothing and equipment to keep you warm.

The full moon shone brightly the whole evening, the second time on the same month. Weather bureau calls it the blue moon occurring once every two and a half years. You can read the ingredients of your favorite corned beef risotto under the naked sky without the aid of a flashlight.

This eve of the New Year is an unlikely time to expect a quiet moment. But not at Del Pilar according to the residents. New years are quiet. There was hardly any man-induced sound in this small town even on that day. True enough while camped at the ridge of less than 1,000 m ASL, there was no sound of chain saw, motorized two and four-wheel vehicles, explosions nor people talking. Not even dogs barking. Only the sounds of crickets and other unidentifiable insects and the wind gently sliding at the solid mountain creating a rustling sound with the leaves and twigs.

Deep in the night inside a secure tent in the company of friends, it sets you up to ask the important introspective question for the moment, "What's in store for me in 2002?" "No expectation," if you are in Manila. "Nothing drastic I hope," if you've been reading the papers and watching the late afternoon TV news coverage.

But in this setting in Tirad Pass, it counters all the apathy and cynicism of the city to prod "if deeply rooted in the earth, there's a lot still to live for." If only we can firmly imprint this always so we can also be hopeful of our future.

Before 9 PM Monday 31 December 2001, we were down in Manila after several interconnecting and adventurous bus and jeepney rides to welcome the New Year ready to face what's in store for us. Chito Razon with Jonnell Tan, Chris Platten, Gigi Rodriquez

Chito Razon 31 Dec 2001

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