Past six in the evening, second night of the year, I stationed myself at the fourth level parking of the mall. The sun has already set and a soft, cool breeze was blowing in my direction. The buildings in the city have just switched their lights on and I was treated to the view of Makati, Mandaluyong and Manila skylines. Upon turning my head and vision to the right, something caught my gaze.
The sky was light gray, with a generous flow of pink underneath. From my perspective, the horizon appeared as a natural quilt with the simplest of designs. It was a sight to behold and for several seconds, I was at a loss to describe the scene before me. It was a panoramic shot of the vast expanse, darkening but not quite, the pink being so vivid and beautiful.
The setting served as the backdrop of the train station a hundred feet away. A train was shooting its way from the horizon – piercing the grays, passing thru the station lights, marring – for some brief seconds – the layers of pink. Then the machine stopped, its pink background fading unhurriedly into the night that was slowly crawling over and enveloping the city in its bosom.
Originally, I came to the parking lot to do an inventory of my losses. To acquaint myself with sorrows – real and imagined. I would have wanted to be alone with my thoughts, to take stock of my pains and to commiserate with my hurts. Instead, I was mesmerized by the picture that unfolded before me. I was conquered by the landscape. I was speechless.
That night will be different then. It will be etched in my memory – a post-sunset scenario of the city. The train station, the buildings with their lights just on and the rush of the people on the street – unmindful because unaware – of the beauty above.
Normally, a sudden vista of the sky and the sea turns people inwards, urging them to contemplate their smallness, insignificance and helplessness, in the face of so huge and splendid a prospect. But for me, that experience on the second night of the year was singular, because during those moments, I felt I was part of all that grandeur, simplicity and evanescence.