Thursday, July 29, 2004

From Los Baños and Back

Almost two and a half months after I last breathed the Los Baños air, I got the opportunity to revisit the place I called home for around four and a half years. However, the “legality” (so to speak) of my visit was all about my last business there. Just the same, I savored every rainy moment I had in my former habitat.

The moment I stepped on the UPLB grounds, I went straight down to business. I got my PINK transcript of records and my PUNY diploma. OK, I admit. I had, plastered on my face, a big smile free from sarcasm while holding such life-long earned papers—well, at least for the first 30 seconds of holding them.

A pink transcript of records is fine. I can let it pass since I occasionally feel like flaunting my feminine side. But a puny diploma??? I didn’t work my ass off to college to get a piece of paper which can be read within the range of 0.50 meters!!

A few days later, I came to my senses. I like my puny diploma.

It’s sturdy since the substance of the paper is way above 24. It’s portable so I wouldn’t have to worry about ever folding it when I bring it to a photocopy center. It’s unpretentious. It’s neat. It’s practical. And most of all, it’s my pride.

I like my diploma!


Back to Los Baños.

Almost everything there is the same. Almost. The tent-like structure which was being put up when I left is already done. But it still is a tent-like structure. There were less familiar faces on campus though, but the Humanites Building remains the same.

The only element that held me back from my leaving Los Baños two and a half months ago was my friends. It’s quite immature but it’s true. It’s just that it’s hard enough to find people to trust. It’s even harder to leave the people whom you trust.

I got to spend time with them—the people whom I trust. Not as plenty of time as I used to but I did. For a few instances, I felt out of place. There were my friends, busy with school work while I was not. Usually, it is fun to see people suffer while you sit in the cozy side of the room, brushing your hair. However, I didn’t enjoy it this time around. It reminded me of the things I no longer have. My friends knew what they were supposed to do while I didn’t. They have things that will keep them busy while I don’t. They have a life. I don’t.

I am happy for them. Really, genuinely happy for them. I’m not happy for me.

* * *

While in LB I did my courtesy visits. You know, I had to make my presence felt to those who are dear to me (hopefully, I am dear to them). I was hoping to end my unfinished business in LB but I somehow failed. I simply could not get the right timing to correct the wrongs in the past—well, at least, to clear out the wrongs in the past.

My stay in LB had to end. I would have wanted to stay longer in the humanities steps but the incessant rain wouldn’t let me. I would have wanted to stay in Los Baños longer but my personal treasury wouldn’t allow me. Sometimes, things really have to end.

Unless I would earn my own money to bring me to LB and back, I am afraid I would never breathe the Los Baños air anymore.

Funny. I landed in LB because I wanted to run away from the chaotic city where I grew up. I left LB once because I missed my chaotic city. I returned to LB to plant a promising future in the chaotic city. And now, I am in the chaotic city—I am bound to thrive in the chaotic city and all I can think about is returning to Los Baños, my sanctuary.

Thus, my journey from Los Baños and back.