The view from here

It is hard to fit everything on my schedule these days. Good thing is that there are fixed weekend day-off. Enough time for some rest, exercise [which is terribly lacking] and recreation. And speaking of recreation, I plan to visit a museum tomorrow.

My first week in office was ok, my mind is a bit divided lately but I still enjoyed the week. I’ve met a lot of great people and the place continues to impress me. I don’t know if it’s because all of these are new to me but things are good so far. The learning part is challenging and I’m sure there will be bumps ahead as the situation gets complicated with sudden changes that you normally expect from this industry. I’m excited to see what’s in store for me in my new role. Its going to be tough I know.

The highlight of my shift is the breaking of day. Observing sunrise over the hills of Morong while the historic lake reflects its glory makes me feel good, nostalgic even – it provokes memories of my youth. When we moved to Muntinlupa in the early 90’s, I commute from our new home to Arellano University daily. I had to leave early, usually around 5 in the morning, because of the skyway construction [started in early 90’s] that causes terrible traffic during rush hours, if it were not for this, I would’ve attended college in Letran after my secondary studies in Arellano. When the Lawton bus pass by Sucat Bridge I’m always greeted by this post card scene, the most picturesque sunrise one could ever see in Manila. For awhile you forget how polluted the lake was becoming due to human invasion.

The office where I now work is located several floors up and it allows a great view of the whole Muntinlupa area, I could even see our small village. Thick smog often blocks visibility but it’s still a sight to behold, I could see as far as Calamba on a clear day. I was talking with a French colleague [in English of course] and told him about Jala-Jala, a town that was once part of La Laguna, how it used to be a farmland administered by a Frenchman in the 17th century. I was trying to show him where it was located in the lake, I’m not sure if I made sense but I tried, maybe I should learn French instead. The French haciendero, Paul de la Gironiere was an exceptional writer, who wrote about his adventures here in our country. As he himself indicated in “Voyage a Majaijai”, he had an illness and it is believed that he went back to die in France. Curiously, another foreigner took up the farm tenancy. Peter Vendi, his name suggests that he’s European possibly of Armenian descent, he abandoned the estate [during the revolution I think] and nothing was heard from him again. There is much we could learn from Laguna de Bai, the towns around it and its people. Sadly, hardly anyone is interested in studying history. If only we can  learn how to respect Laguna de Bai’s historical significance, maybe we would value it differently.


3 responses to “The view from here

  • Pepe

    There used to be bull sharks in Río de Pansipit (Pansipit River) all the way to where it opens up to the Lago de Taal (Taal Lake). The last one caught was in the mid-1900s.

    But today, sharks are everywhere. They even had important roles in the Maguindanáo Massacre.

  • De AnDA

    @ Brian – It could possibly be the biggest ‘caught’ but the only way you can tell if you caught the biggest is when you’ve caught them all🙂 Its sad that these crocodiles were hunted to extinction. In Danao lake in Camotes Island there were crocodiles until mid 1900’s, and in Pasig there were accounts up until the late 1800’s. Filipinos probably thought that coexisting with these reptiles is impossible which is of course untrue. We need the political will to implement drastic changes in the lake.

    I’m not an Almario fan but I think his version is something that i would want to read in the future. The best translation of Noli for me is that of Sra. Locsin, and its in English. Yeah, I hope we get paid reading, we’ll be millionaires brotha!

  • the showroom manager

    There’s an account by de la Gironiere in his book about a huge crocodile that he and the locals caught in Majayjay. It’s said to be the second biggest crocodile in the world and it’s now on display at the Peabody Museum of Harvard.

    Laguna de Bai is polluted. One of the main factors that caused this are the fish feeds that are insoluble and also the fish pens that have proliferated in the lake.

    You’re right. There is so much to learn. I’m making time to read the Noli translated in Filipino by Virgilio Almario after finishing some books that I bought or borrowed😀

    If only one can earn money just by reading books, life would be better. Hehehe.

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