Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Struggle is Real


This ad resonates like a lone gong in the chambers of my heart

Partner and I spent a truly lovely Sunday afternoon going to places in Manila that I've always wanted to see. First off was Arrocerros Forest Park, almost directly below Quezon Bridge. The gates were closed but the guards let us in, not before asking us where we were from. (We found that peculiar. Is this for Manila residents only?)

We strolled through the unkempt 'forest', which we had all to ourselves. It was a literal 'breath of fresh air', even by the 'promenade' along Pasig River (no stench!). According to the guards, it was undergoing renovation. Though from the looks of it, it was only the building at one end that seemed to be under reconstruction.

Next up was the National Museum. That was pretty hard to get to from where we were, despite being so near! Waze had me confused. But we finally got to the place and even had parking right on the ramp. Too bad the Spolarium area was closed off for an event. But we were able to enjoy some of the colonial pieces from the Bangko Sentral collection as well as the prodigious other works of Juan Luna and Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo.

After that it was Paco Park and Cemetery, yet another place I've always wanted to see. This was a lot better maintained, maybe 'too well-maintained'. I say this in reference to the newly-painted items, the Cross of Gomburza as well as the marker of Rizal's temporary tomb. The fresh coat of paint (of stark white) was totally off in the centuries-old backdrop of stone and gnarled kalachuchi trees.

But it was still a beautiful place to be. We even waited for the wedding happening at the chapel to finish. And in typical bitchesa fashion, we were making all the inappropriate comments about the guests. Lol.

That afternoon ended with early dinner at Apartment 1B inside The Henry Hotel in Pasay. That is just one of the loveliest dining places around.

Just seeing the beauty of those places made me with partner made me realize how unfair it was for couples like me. I really wanted to hold his hand while we were strolling. I wanted to hug him while we were seated by the fountain. It seemed the most natural thing to do. But it was equally natural NOT to do it. Just like most of the couples in the ad.

I cannot bring myself to express that simple act of intimacy with him for fear of judgement. Even when we are inside my own vehicle, we are sometimes conscious of being intimate because we might offend my straight-as-a-doornail, married-with-two-kids driver.

Will I ever be as brave as what the ad encourages me to be?

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