"sugat at pangarap"


"There are scenes that haunt us and imprint their images in our memory. They are not always familiar (we already come from different countries), but the sense of the experience that echoes our own remembering, engages our own looking into ourselves, leads us to wonder: Where and why is this place and this moment so - for want of a word - lovely?"
Marne Kilates, Dust Devils

Growing up, the sea has always been my source of comfort. It is the sea that I go to when I want to think or when everything in my life doesn't make sense and I simply want to breath.

This sea and this sunset, in particular, is my favorite. And coming back here after being gone for so long is like finding a missing part of me that I never even realized I had lost until now. Its so hard to explain it, my heart is too full. But perhaps this poem, written by Virgilio S. Almario, can best describe how I feel right now:

Tuwing Dadadalawin Ko Ang Dagat
Natutuhan kong bumasa't sumulat
Sa pamamagitan ng dagat.
Guri ko ang matiyagang alon
Sa ulit-ulit na pagbaybay sa anyo ng lupa;
Sa natutulog na buhangin.
Natutuhan kong basahin ang lungkot
Sa mga kulubot ng kabibe't korales,
Sa pagas na tiyan ng nakahimpil na bangka.
Sa ulyaning lambat na naghahanap ng asin.

Natutuhan ko namang isulat ang tuwa
Sa malikot na pagtatampisaw ng talampakan,
Sa malayang pusag ng hipon,
At sa banye-banyerang biyayang inaahon
Ng matitipunong mangingisda.
Tuwing dadalawin ko ang dagat,
Nagbubulung ito ng simulain
Mula sa sigasig ng nababasag na alon;
Natutunaw ang malibag na asim ng siyudad
At para akong baguntao
Na humahandang humarap muli sa sugat at pangarap.

For those non-Filipino speaking readers, here's an English translation:

I learned to read and write
From the sea...

I learned to read loneliness
From the wrinkled flesh of clam and coral...
The frayed belly of the tired outrigger...

I learned to write joy
Into the splashing of feet on the surf,
Into the leaping of the shrimp...

Every time I go to the sea,
It whispers to me the principle
Of the breaking wave;
It washes off the stale grime of the city

And I am reborn,
To face once more every pain and dream.

~

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