Was asked by Tsutsugamushi to come with them in their Binondo food trip a few weekends ago but I had to decline and when she asked why, I screamed over my dysfunctional cell phone, “Kikimo! KIKIMO!!!” Obviously I meant I would have to do chemo for all the charity patients that week, but I did get a couple of glances from passersby.
This, apparently, is the bucket lists time of the year, as before we knew it we are counting down the seconds till the last days of hellowship (!!!), and my friends who’ve been staying in Manila since medical school days ten to twelve years ago are now sort of cramming up the things they need to do before leaving the place forever. “You may find it hard to believe, but there’s a huge world there outside of PGH!” Omar Mejia once told us. We believe him and this plane cannot fly fast enough.
“So what do you want to do?” Tsutsugamushi asked in reference to my bucket list, without realizing that I don’t have such a bucketlist, as I intend to dread only one day at a time. Struggling to come up with an answer I said, “I want to go to… to… to… The National Museum!”
Almost twenty years ago, back in elementary and high school, we would go to the following spots year after year: The Planetarium, The National Museum, CCP Complex for biking, and some factory like Coke where you are allowed to drink buckets of free Coke. Occasionally we would be allowed to go somewhere fun, like… Harrison Plaza. I was able to go to The National Museum only once, and I remember staring in awe at the Spolarium. I didn’t know anything about art, but just the size and grandeur of it kind of amazed my totally innocent mind. Looking back, now that I’m old, arthritic, and balding, it would be nice to have the innocence and sense of amazement that kids have. But these are offset by the things we don’t envy and would never ever want to experience again, such as having to get circumcised, or experiencing chickenpox, or BOTH at the same fucking time.
So tomorrow I’m going to… The National Museum. I might get bored as fuck, but who knows. Maybe I’d somehow recapture that old sense of wonder that has been destroyed by years of seeing death, suffering, and the general nastiness of life.