We never got to switch off for Earth Hour. It seemed impolite to do so. We had guests paying respects to my uncle, my dad’s eldest brother. We were at Loyola Chapels Guadalupe for the second time this year. It would have been creepy.
Last I saw him alive was at my aunt-in-law’s funeral. His hands were shaking badly because of Parkinson’s disease. Articles on the internet point out that while there is treatment for symptoms, there is no cure yet for the disease and I hate the doctor who told my dad and my cousin otherwise. My uncle lived with my cousin’s family. He had not married. My nephew, the eldest of my cousin’s sons from my father’s side, had been taking care of the old folks who have recently passed away. His life practically revolved around them and now he seems to be cast adrift.
My uncle did not recognize me when I took his hand then. While I have seen this happen with my aunt, my mom’s sister who lives with us, (when she meets people who knows her but whom she does not recognize anymore.) being on the receiving end of the blank stares still hurts. I’m at that age (my parents married late.) wherein I’m surrounded by senior citizens with failing bodies and memories and I’m afraid for them as I’m afraid for myself should I ever get to their age, especially since some diseases are hereditary.
The bishop who officiated the mass that night said that there were a lot of deaths recently due to the extremely warm weather. He was right. That day alone an Facebook friend posted pics of her own relative’s wake while the remains of the husband of our barangay chairman was at our neighborhood’s chapel. Loyola Memorial Park Marikina was abuzz, you’d think it was a week before All Soul’s Day.
I’m all for sunny skies but an average temp of 34 degrees Celcius is not cool. Especially after learning from GMA meteorologist Nathaniel Cruz that that translates to a body temp of 36, as if one has a low fever. People throw around the word “climate change” as if it’s an entity that’s causing high at times crazy temperature and floods, conveniently forgetting who created said entity.
I’m one of those who feel strongly about littering. In spite of my last name and being teased because of it when I was a kid, I’m anything and everything but someone who makes a mess of things. It frustrates me to think that for every wrapper I dispose properly and sometimes recycle, there are thousands out there who could care less about throwing their trash anywhere. I’m thinking if my efforts are worth it. Is Trinoma just your way? If so, scurry over to the activity center to a column near Red Ribbon and Tokyo Tokyo and you will see a clear plastic box intended for donations being used by people as a trash bin. Argh!
Looking over at the plot of land over the other side of our street often helps. Initially paddy fields, it was supposed to have been developed into another subdivision. Several house frames have been put up but were never completed. It is now a wetland of grass, swamp spinach, waterlilies, trees and vines, home to a lot of birds. One can hear them cawing at dusk and dawn and at times before and after a storm. We get to see them fly in flocks over our heads at our terrace. Not sure what kinds of birds but there was this one time long ago when a man was selling dead wild geese supposedly caught from the wetland. There were times when we’d hear what seemed like gunshots coming from the wetland, also long ago, maybe from people catching geese.
We’ve had summers when we were kids when we would trek the paddy fields to get “ninja darts,” black seeds with what looked like white hearts drawn on them using liquid paper from tomatillo-like plants, pods that explode (mini explosions really) when placed in water, bulaklak ng araw (they look like those feathery, wispy flowers in cartoons which characters blow at and which would scatter in the wind) so we could make wishes, and cattails. I am not particularly fond of insects but the fields had lots of those. Most kids would catch dragonflies, spiders for wrestling matches, and beetles particularly salagubang or June Bugs. June Bugs mostly come out in May. Over the years, the insects have dwindled. I have not seen a tutubing kalabaw (a large dragonfly) in years, only tutubing karayom (a skinny dragonfly, like a needle). A firefly did got lost in our yard once.
I’m afraid the birds would go the same way as the insects should the weather change the map of the land. Or should people change the map of the land. I don’t think a subdivision will ever be put up considering that our area is flood prone. But what do I know? Over MacArthur Hiway, what was once a fishpond is now a gasoline station. What’s worse would be trash finding themselves in the wetland. I hate to think what happened to a classmate’s fishpond which was connected to the Meycauayan River last time we were at her place. Less than twenty years ago, Meycauayan River was alive. Then came the murky water, then the water lilies. Now, when you pass by NLEX, right after the Meycauayan Tollgate going to Metro Manila, it’s a river of trash. I would love to ask people running this May election about environmental issues among a host of stuff swirling in my head. Only, they seem have made themselves scarce. No one’s going house to house in our subdivision. Maybe I should find them in the internet.