Monday, August 2, 2010

Ripening Like Carabao Mango

Even as this blog is not yet the mesmerizing path you wanted to follow to go somewhere, we will continue blazing the trail... we will keep pursuing our dream... we will go on remembering

"Two roads diverged in the woods... I took the one less trodden." [Sinagat, Dupax del Sur, Nueva Vizcaya circa 2008]

I know it's par for the course if a blog, specially the those-were-the-days kind like isinay-bird, is not getting traffic. After all, it's not a starry, starry world, and certainly not made for people like you, Van Gogh.

Moreover, as a writer, I'm already immune to getting my pieces and publications ignored, no matter how I thought I poured all my "nagbabaga, nagdadamba, naghuhumiyaw, at walanghiyang damdamin" to their creation.

I can only take consolation from the fact that in the Philippines where this blog's poison emanates, we have this saying: “Pag may tiyaga, may nilaga.” Literally: if there’s patience, there will be boiled goodies (like corn, potato, plantain, meat, peanuts, or whatever).

And so, even as this isinay-bird.blogspot.com is not yet one of the mesmerizing paths you wanted to follow to go somewhere, we will continue blazing the trail... we will keep pursuing our dream... we will go on remembering!

Mango as Metaphor

But just you wait till this little corner's case becomes like the famous Philippine carabao mango.

You know how it is with the mango: Its fruits, when young and green, appeal only to conceiving women. But give it some time and let the sour plums get bathed by the April showers and the tropical sun.

Pretty soon, the green and dangling fruits start to get streaks of yellow.

Then in May and June, the birds that months earlier used to ignore the tree, would come flying in. One by one, and tentatively at first, then in droves.

Before long, if the mango lover in you is not yet so seduced to go pick the now lusciously pink-golden plums,  pretty soon the gloriously fragrant and salivatingly delicious mango would be gone!

Of course, this blog can never surpass the allure of ripe mangoes that used to be part of the childhood of many of us who were born or had the chance to grow in rural Philippines (like Dupax and many more mango-rich towns of Nueva Vizcaya, Pangasinan, Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Tarlac, La Union, Zambales, Cagayan, Ifugao, and the Ilocos provinces).

Nor can it even approximate the appeal of the sweetish-sour version of the fruit when it is in the marasaba or manibalang stage.

But what this blog lacks in form and color, may be made up for by -- ahem -- the variety and range of the posts it offers to the ladies and gentlemen out there who pine for those plain and undiluted days when...

  • mango trees were literally exploding with their overload of fruits that one could get for a song
  • sun and rain and moon and stars were integral parts of the pure joys and wonders of rural life
  • fireflies, grasshoppers, dragonflies, tadpoles, and beetles were normal toys for girls and boys
  • grassy hills and gentle meadows were child-friendly playgrounds for kite-flying and hide-and-seek
  • fields and farms didn't have "No Trespassing" signs or even barbed wires to discourage visitors
  • church bells were music, announced the time of day, and told the news about someone who died
  • the crowing of roosters at dawn and the roosting of chickens in the afternoon marked one day

Going Out Yonder

We're not yet complaining. Yet one little bird just whispered to us that maybe from time to time we need to give readers an inkling of the whys and wherefores of this blog site, and what keeps us going.

So now then, among the things that keep us surviving are inspiring snippets like this one from nature writer and former forest and parks worker Edward Abbey:

Do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am -- a reluctant enthusiast… a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. 

Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. 

So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends... ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers....

Breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air....

Sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. 

Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive. 

And I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. 

I promise you this: You will outlive the bastards. 

You will live to piss on their graves!

--CHARLZ CASTRO

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