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By Icoy San Pedro ko

A long time ago, I used to borrow my nephew’s BMX and just casually bike around the subdivision in back of our family compound in Bajada. One time, while cruising down its main road, two large dogs suddenly jumped out from the bushes near an open gate and rushed at me, nipping at my heels and causing me to crash in the opposite sidewalk. Upon seeing me tumble, the two mongrels stopped dead in their tracks and, as though admiring their handiwork and thinking ‘mission accomplished’, silently trotted back to their post by the gate. (I could’ve sworn there were even triumphant smirks on those faces.)

At this, I am once again reminded of theater; calm, conflict, resolution, then back to calm. This is the same process we witness every year on post holidays like December 26 or during the climax of any significant event, as things return back to normal. The frantic rush leading up to the zero hour of Christmas day or any holiday. The avalanche of parties, shopping, filled-up malls and churches, vacays and public entertainment everywhere. 

Unceremoniously, all the above become mere memories the day after. The madding crowd goes back to their holes, and the highway monster called Traffic, turns to poof-the-magic-dragon. Just like that, it’s gone like a bubble. It’s like the circus has come to town, then packed up and left. As with other events at life, there’s always that slowly-rising anticipation that, along with its mixed brew of emotions, eventually reaches a peak in the end. From there, like spent energy gradually fading away, there’s that pause: much like those sated dogs back at their posts.

Each morning just before dawn, my partner sighs and leans to me, whispering another day at the office. Then sighs once more. Millions more around the world utter the same bottled-cry, back to the grind. Yet this awakening of stress is also felt everywhere, rising up at the same time with the alarm clock and unique with each individual. This replication, played a thousand-fold and acted on by diverse characters who all expect equally-diverse results’ is just the beginning of the ‘conflict’ stage in life’s theater. As such, the lights are on and the curtains up, so to speak.

Meanwhile, at the end of the day, the anticipated calm as each of us trudge home from the day’s work comes but correspondingly varies with each actor. The sated ones might get their deserved rest alright, while the bitter who think differently remain as jaded as when she woke that morning to meet the day. 

Last night on the way home, the entrance to the subdivision seemed oddly different. Then I noticed the absence of the lights coming from the Perya and the towering Ferris’ Wheel. Our fiesta is over and the city’s founding anniversary’s celebrations are likewise slowly coming to an end. I just wish that soon, Poof the magic dragon will have packed up and be on his way south too.



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