Well, we've lived long enough in this apartment now for me to memorize the way the light travels inside and around it. (That is, until the sun's path changes again in the fall.) I found that there is barely any shade in the bedroom patio in the middle of the day so I've had to replace the plants that I originally had out there. I've moved the dracaena marginata and the bird's nest fern indoors, and in their place, I now have sun-loving (and drought tolerant) blue chalk sticks and fragrant rosemary. Four p.m. onwards is prime patio-lounging time. When we can, Imo and I bring drinks out there after dinner and listen to music, and we can hear the kids in their room (which opens out to the same patio). I have solar-powered string lights that automatically turn on when it starts to get dark at 8 p.m. The past few nights have been a little chilly, but we like to snuggle on the daybed, with one or two of the kids trying to squeeze in. The other night, while I lay there wedged between Imo and Yumi, I saw a star shoot across the sky.
I've been in Zamabales a lot (twice) for work. When we arrive, we go straight to work -- having no time to settle down and recover from jet (car) lag. Work happens at a power plant in Masinloc. There's so much data that needs to be processed and checked and double checked. I retreat. But my inner government employee, my persona that delights in lists and documents, is unleashed. I love it when things work -- when I see all this information that stops being information and is turned into a story. I swear it is the most exciting thing that happened to me since postcolonial theory. On our last day, I saw a girl by the bridge of our resort in Candelaria and asked her, "Ilan taon ka na?" "Hindi ko alam," she said. That made me happy. It gave me a sense of balance.