Saturday, January 27, 2018

Melancholia in Cebu by Cecilia Brainard

Where did that melancholia come from, that grief that swept over me as I moved around Cebu yesterday?

I found myself remembering tinseled memories of this place where I was born and raised -- my first home. It seemed smaller then, and simpler, and more "homey" in the way we visited one another throughout the day to eat together, share tidbits heard here and there, weave the fabric that bound us together in this small seaside place.

Now, while Cebu remains small, it's crowded and busy and people rush here and there as they do in Manila and big cities. Most of the people are strangers to me. Even the idioms they use and their mannerisms are unfamiliar to me. And worse of all, many of the people I once knew are gone - moved to other places, to Manila or Canada or Europe or America as I did.  Some have died.

Yesterday, I looked for familiar landmarks but failed to find many of them.  Even Ayala itself sits on what had been the huge Magellan Hotel and sprawling golf course. Many lovely old homes that were part of my childhood have been destroyed to make way for condominiums and malls. The once-stately homes have decayed, some have crumbled to their foundations.

I remembered the people whom I knew who have passed on: my parents, my brother, all my aunts and uncle, old family friends -- even Tita Merced Franco who lived to be a hundred has moved on. Contemporaries whom we used to socialize with are gone: Cookie Escano, Nito Sala, Cora Seno, Cecilia Picornell, and many more. Many more. Beloved ones like Dingding Rodriguez, Inday Blanco and the writer Lina Espina Moore who took me under her wing to mentor me. Gone.

This early morning -- and the sun has not even risen yet --- the melancholia has subsided but the sadness lingers still.

(There are more pictures in the links below.)

Tags: #Cebu #Philippines #personalessay #goodreads #CeciliaBrainard
Read also:

School Life in the Philippines in the '60s - Description & Memorabilia photos
Post War Cebu Life - More Memorabilia photos
Where Have All the Young Men Gone? - Memorabilia Photos 
The Bachelor and Femina Days of Cebu- Memorabilia photos of Cecilia 
The Schools I attended, Part 1, St.Theresa's College
The Schools I attended, Part 2, UP & Maryknoll
The Schools I attended, Part 3, UCLA
Saying Goodbye to Papa
Where the Daydreaming Came From 
Death of a Carnival Queen

No comments: