Almost every morning, this past school year, that is if the weather is fine, I walk from our house to school, naka-tipid na ako, nakapag-exercise pa. Our humble abode is near the school, and it would only take about eight minutes for me to arrive at my workplace.
It is a part of my daily morning ritual, one way of preparing for my work.
As I walk, my brain and body starts to work, as if it is a diesel engine heating up for a long journey.
Walking from our home to school is a bit interesting. Once, I set one foot outside our gate, I have to play deaf, because my son would definitely cry and wail, thinking he could stop me from leaving. It always breaks my heart, but it must be done, I must leave my family for a while.
Once, I set one foot outside our gate, I have to be very careful, I should be cautious, I have to walk with care, forthere’s a lot of bad smelling, disgusting dog poops in the street.
But the bad part stops at that.
On my way to school, I will cross a foot bridge over a creek. The stream, puting tubig creek, cuts through a small part of the city. In this section of the creek, its west bank, where our house is located, is a part of Bayog, now barangay Lapidario and the east side belongs to barangay San Agustin. It is called puting tubig because, during the old days its waters is crystal flowing clear. But those days are gone, today the creek is dark, and garbage floats in what were once clean pristine waters. Even tough it’s a far cry from what it’s used to be, I still like the creek, because memories come back to me whenever I pass through the bridge.
The stream reminds me of my Itang, my grandfather. From him, I learned the virtues of kindness to others.
When I was young, Itang owns a kubo situated beyond the west side. It is where he works, planting corn, rice, and fruit trees. He also maintains a paligawan, where herd of cows are allowed to roam freely.From the east side, Itang crosses the stream – there’s no bridge then, every morning going to his kubo.
Itang crosses puting tubig from east to west; I cross it every morning from west to east. Kung buhay pa si Itang hanggang ngayon, we may be rubbing elbows as we cross this humble creek.
After the creek, is an upward street, where familiar faces live. As I pass through the street, some greets me with smiles, others chats, “kamusta ka na kambal? nasaan na yung isa? May asawa na din ba?; diyan ka na pala nakatira ngayon; titser ka na rin pala tulad ng tatay at ate mo?”
Then, after the uphill, is my workplace, my school, my second family, my second paradise after home.
A walk to school is like life itself. From our comfortable home, with our loving family, we have to go outside and venture into a non-ideal world. From the comfortable womb of our mother, we have to go outside and live in a not so perfect world.
Pleasant, beautiful rivers will accumulate filth and pollution, and will eventually become unlikable. Good, almost perfect way of life will become unstable.
In life, there are down-hills and up-hills. There are golden pasts, a not so wonderful present and a future full of endless possibilities.
Every morning, equipped with the love of my wife and children, I walk with full of enthusiasm. Every morning, I walk, outfitted with the lessons of my past in my backpack, trying to get through the imperfections of the present, very eager to arrive at my workplace and see the inspiring delighting faces of my students… raring to arrive at my workplace and work for a great wonderful future.