Monday, October 12, 2009


Alug - Waterhole, San Vicente, Ilocos Sur

Abe V Rotor

Memories come easy on this foot bridge
Many years ago I built across a stream;
Stream in monsoon and pond in summer,
Alug, as the old folks call it - a waterhole.

It was my waterhole, I saw the world in its water,
Images of airplanes cruising, birds migrating,
Clouds in many patterns, many faces and hues,
The arena of wit and skill, fishing for hours.

And fishing not for fish but dreams,
Dreams about far places, of beautiful things,
Dreams almost real, even as they fade away
Into ripples and into the dusk.

One day I woke up and found my waterhole
Swallowed up by floodwater from the hills,
Washing away the air castles I built,
And down its path it tool summer away forever.

I walked the bridge to its far end and beyond,
And down the river to the sea I cast my pole.
It was a fight I fought, it was no longer game,
And it was neither fish nor dream I caught.

Waterhole in summer is the oasis in the desert. Life surrounds this vital spot, while beyond if dry, uncertain and dangerous.

Why move away from the waterhole?

But people do. They seek adventure. They renounce comfort. They want to search the primary source of that life that sustains this spot, like tracing the source of a river. In doing so, they risk their lives. They venture into the future.

Those who succeed find a bigger world where the rain brings life, and where the sun always shines after - giving life to that bigger world, and through the network of waterways and aquifers, share a part of that life-giving substance to that waterhole, the oasis in the middle of wasteland.

Few return to tell the story, but the legend lives on. The new generation gazes at the horizon once more like a cycle. Beyond the waterhole is a land that is dry, uncertain and dangerous. ~

Reference: Sunshine on Raindrops, AVR, Megabooks

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