Saturday, February 24, 2007

A letter to my Manila

In all my life, I've never known anyone or anything meaner, colder and more bitter than Chicago's weather. Alright, I may be exaggerating, but you must understand where I am coming from.

Last weekend, I feasted on a few spring clothes and indulgences. Long, flirty skirts that swirled just below my knees when the wind blew gently; a walk downtown at close to midnight while actually holding Patrick's hand and not his gloves. See, the simple pleasures of spring unanimously belittle the pristine color of winter ... so why did it go away? More importantly, where did my springtime go?

Since yesterday, winter has been teasing us with its deviousness. A temperature drop of at least 40 degrees in 24 hours will tell you Chicago weather is not the friendliest among its brood of 50 states.

But, like Lizzie always says, c'est la vie. I still think of you, Manila, my Manila (to quote the late Nick Joaquin, one of your beloved sons). You will never leave my heart, because despite your heat and noise, I loved you like a sister. A child. A parent. A friend. Remember last Easter when all of the city left you for the beach? I stayed with you; we drove around together at 100 mph, and we reveled in the quietude of your usually rambled life. I knew it was our last Easter together, and since then, you had been the one that got away.

And I guess I must love Chicago now. It is the air I breathe, the language I speak, and the home I build. I must love Chicago now, because when I roll down my window, I start to feel a warm sensation rising from my bones despite its bitter chill. Chicago is my adult self, and I admire what it is becoming.

Still, inside me, there remains a hope that you and I will meet again, and you will embrace me as though I still belong to you and you had missed me. Because I miss you terribly Manila, my Manila.

Photo notes:
Above: Manila Bay Sunset
Taken from the window of the hotel where I spent my last New Year's Eve in Manila:

University of Santo Tomas, the Royal and Pontifical. Also where Patrick and I first met. This walk was where we knew:

And finally, Eastwood City. A place that means something to all of us. Tell me about our Eastwood memories, please. Remind me, eventhough I don't forget.