Sunday, November 16, 2008

Stray Thoughts On A Cloudy Day

When angry winds buffet, timid and fragile sails are furled.

Or so we were told or saw in the many sea-faring movies of old.

Thus, too, this last Friday harried workmen started rolling up the giant billboard hanging on the roof deck of our building.

When queried why this new-found solicitousness over a coming little wind and rain, they cheerfully said that storm signal No. 1 had been hoisted by the local government weather forecasting station, aptly called Pag-asa (literally meaning hope in English), ominously presaging the rampaging onslaught of a good-sized typhoon expected to hit the area that Sunday. And from their explanation, one gathered that the weather station has now been tasked with informing billboard owners when storm signals are up to allow them ample time to take precautionary measures, like rolling up their tarp billboards. So caught a team of high-climbing trapeze artists nimbly clambering the steel structure to unhitch and secure their billboard. In less than an hour, the huge “sail” was securely tied up on top casting a very tiny profile for any angry wind to maul.

A good precautionary measure indeed in a country that is regularly visited by disastrous typhoons, which unwelcome natural calamities almost always bring considerable damage to structures and infrastructures. Blowing away very exposed billboards and their frames has been a commonplace occurrence, sometimes causing also human deaths.

As a relieving end-note, Sunday came and the sun shone mercilessly throughout the day, nary a drop of rain or a wisp of air to blow away a lit candle.

As usual, weather forecasting at its level best. No better, or worse, than a throw of the dice.


One’s face is usually unerring testimony to the ravages of time and the catalogue of deeply wrenching emotions felt over the years. Leathery or botched skin, wrinkled temples, furrowed foreheads, and more, are what we carry to our graves if we live to be of ripe old ages. These are inevitable and inherited signs of man’s living of life. We can usually not only tell a man’s age by these markers, but how easy, comfortable or difficult one has gone through life. And repetitively doing specific physical activities as part of one’s life usually leaves visible marks in one’s body. A stevedore, or mason, or a carpenter will typically show the accumulated results of their trades in their bronzed and well-developed arms. A doctor, especially a surgeon, maybe by his dainty and exquisite hands and arms?

Aside maybe from a gaunt overall physique, what else does a long-time inveterate jogger or brisk-walker exhibit?

Well, after over a score of years of jogging, here is what I can show to the body parts that I use most prominently running or jogging, usually on hard pavement.


When nuns gather for a noonday meal at some fastfood center in the mall, you can bet that it will be a happy and holy refection. Caught in a pancake place, of four Assumption nuns taking a little respite from their campus outreach ministry at Xavier University.

A holy meal of tossed salad and smoked fish, and of course, rice.

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