Saturday, March 05, 2011

The Wonders of Life

Even in the ripeness of time, I find I still am not quite immuned to or saved from the many “wonders” so common and prevalent during innocent youth.

Everyday as I continue to expend the time allotted me on this slowly ebbing mortal coil I continue to wonder about many things I witness in the scenic vistas unraveling before my most acutely inquisitive mind. I cannot be content as passive witness to the march of events as they unfold. I have to know more. It is almost like an addiction to a kind of curiosity that could be bordering on morbidity. It does not compute like it is natural for a person to be so in rapt with such mundane preoccupations. But much though I want to get rid of it or not accept its reality, it is cravenly still there. As big as life, and twice as demanding for attention.

Thus, alone with my thoughts during unencumbered moments watching the busy intersection defining the little neighborhood where our little building is, I absentmindedly observe the gaggle of people and vehicles at almost perpetual near collision in the streets and sidewalks that comprise the cross-road. And my thoughts start racing with the usual wonder-ment.

This lady has a brisk gait tethering a bit in her high heels, with neatly-pressed and mini-skirted rust-color uniform revealing a well-toned body, and long wet hair waffling as she strides. I wonder where she works since I see her quite often walking toward the same direction. I wonder where, since she is heading south and away from where the offices would typically be located – in the poblacion. I wonder if she maybe works in a small office tucked away in some big building located in that area.

Along the intersection where many jeepneys tarry to create an illegal terminal, there is always a boisterous group of shabbily dressed kids, crowding around jeepneys and almost manhandling passersby into riding a particular jeepney. They are called dispatchers, who for a pittance will assist jeepney drivers get people to ride their jeepneys. I wonder where these truant kids come from since they do not look like they come from the neighborhood. I wonder what they make each day and whether it is enough to sustain their daily living.

Observing the parade of people each day, especially women, one wonders if one is inside a big candy shop bursting full with all kinds of goodies. You see all sorts of ladies pass by, and I admit I tend to notice more the nubile variety. All tightly wrapped up in curvaceous packages of assorted clothes wear, and typically all looking fresh having just come out of a shower or bath as evidenced by still wet long flowing hair. I wonder why Filipinas always appear to take baths or showers in the mornings before venturing out of the house. I wonder if they realize that they can be cleaner for a longer period if they instead took baths or showers in the late afternoon or night after returning from work or running chores. I wonder if many do take two showers/baths a day, the second one at night. But then why bathe in the morning before leaving? Does not make sense, you wonder.

And I definitely wonder aloud if these women realize that the common thread (nice pun, eh?) in what they wear is so apparent – they all seem partial to tight almost second-skin type of jeans leaving no living space between body and clothes. I wonder if many have to literally force themselves into those body-hugging attire. The struggle seems to continue all day this time with gravity since the pants sit not on the hips but under where body anatomy starts to taper off. And this coupled with equally tight blouses or t-shirts that almost always never meet up with the uppermost part of the pants. Thus, even for the remotely modest there is the constant tug and pull to keep a moving body covered when sitting down, stooping to pick stuff up, or doing any upper body movement that requires some stretching. And I wonder why the womenfolk have to go to such lengths when there are readily available more functionally logical clothing. And I do not mean those abbreviated shorts which could be considered as appropriate wear only inside the privacy of one’s abode or in a picnic event.

Having described it thus, I curiously wonder how these women now purchase their clothes wear. I can just imagine the Herculean task involved in fitting tightly all these women who come in a dizzying array of different sizes and dimensions. It can’t be simply off the rack material. I wonder what happened to the standard sizing so common during our youth – one was either a small, or a medium, or a large, or if none of those, an extra-large. I was dismissively told that most jeans are now stretchable. Yeah, right. Stretchable but definitely up to a certain point. Unless many of them are pushing tightness in clothing to unequaled heights. Or maybe, all these women make their own personalized alterations to store-bought jeans having learned how to hand- or machine-sew from their doting mothers. Yeah, right. And Cagayan de Oro has very good traffic. Anyway, what happened to the familiar sight of ladies in skirt and blouse? Now one has to be inside an office to see it. Or in school. Maybe at home women still wear “duster” to ease up on the day’s tug and pull, err, hustle and bustle? Don’t see any.

And wonder of wonders, I wonder if we can still say that men wear the pants in the family.

But there is no wondering that humor is still the best medicine.

Ah, the wonders of life!