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Up beyond those mining lines...

originally posted on friendster blog Nov. 13, 2006.

Salamat GOOOOOOGLE Earth!

Click the thumbnail images below for larger pics.  Better yet, download Google Earth and fly to these coordinates:  16 15.952N 120 38.31E.  That should take you over the tennis court at Main Camp. :-)

I always thought I’d have all the time to explore those mountains.  I’d wake up and watch the sun rise beyond Eastern Saddle and think, “tomorrow I shall save enough for a sleeping bag and a tent and Ritchie and I will hike as far as we can go and pitch tent wherever night finds us.”  Those days never came.  I always yearned for the future - that I would do this and I would do that.  Kids always want to grow up as fast as a lightning bolt.  The fact that I wasn’t going to stay in Philex all my life flashed too quickly to be noticed.  I thought I would be in Neverland forever and that this Peter Pan would never, never, never…

I never ventured beyond Sal-Angan river.  I never went beyond Tailings Dam # 3 - the closest place to Philex where I ever saw fireflies.  I never got to paint what Karlo and I always attempted to draw those early Saturday and Sunday mornings.  I never acquired the skills to do so.  Or if now I should consider myself having partly acquired it, I no longer have the pleasure of time to snap some images nor dabble on the spot in plein aire.

I never thought that Venus‘ setting early in the evenings over Upper Camp in 1993 was the most glorious days that this goddess would ever show herself on earth.  I distinctly remember that white, glowing orb slowly passing over Philex’s mountain peak night after night.    She was best seen from our house at the elementary school and from the side railings at Danny’s apartment in Central Saddle ruling over the house and street lights of the Villages and Upper Camp.  Those earthly lights all seemed to gather and point upward in homage to this awesome Aphrodite.    I can still feel how the shoulders would shudder at the sight as I looked
up while walking from the high school before the high ridge of the Capitol area covers her view.  She would re-appear from the elementary school area and would disappear again as one walks up and approaches Main Camp, where after walking a few more meters up, one would see her finally in full view.

I never thought that the flying powder will whisk me far beyond Never-never land…  These images are the closest semblance (for now) of gliding back to those boundless, magical  days.  I could almost feel the morning air as I look at the shadow on the west side of the high school ridge.  Do you feel that air too?  Doesn’t it invoke those cold mornings starting from the flag raising ceremony till before recess?   This was the place where, one day, Badad released a folded paper airplane over Tailings Dam # 1.  The plane had all the open air and space below to fly over.  It was the perfect place to release a paper plane where it would glide for more than a minute as it slowly flew down  -- diving then gliding, diving then gliding -- like it was huffing and puffing for air in its almost never ending flight down approximately one kilometer of unhindered flight path.

Haaay.  I don’t remember where the plane landed — whether it landed on the sands of the tailings dam or if it barely reached the Security Checkpoint area.  I think I am unable to recall the landing site because it seemed to fly on and on and on until, perhaps, the school bell rang and we had to rush to class — the piece of folded paper disappearing in the distance far below, diving then gliding, huffing and puffing…


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