Thursday, August 09, 2007

and then it comes thundering down

The rainy season in Manila is both harsh and silky. With the first rumor of rain, decaying buildings leer and shanties yawn upwards to welcome the free shower. Tricycle tires unabashedly displace puddles of mud, splashing them against the Benzes and BMWs of the affluent or the pretentious.

Cusswords are exchanged on the street like pleasantries as holes the size of moon craters magically appear on asphalted roads, further screwing up the already screwed up traffic and inducing armpit sweat despite the cold weather. Half-naked boys with their soapy rags clamber up cars and frantically wipe their windshields until they become dirtier than they have originally been, and then they ask for some loose change.

Children cavort in the streets as only children can, dancing, shrieking, calling each other names in a language that is a cross between cherubic parlance and thuggish slang. It is like a pagan celebration, a paean to the rain god for relieving his bladder onto the parched earth.

The rain has its own language, too. It murmurs sweet drizzles that tickle galvanized roofs held in place only by huge rocks, pieces of hollow blocks, and spare tires. When its fickleness reaches its peak, it thunders and pounds and stomps with a deluge of malicious words that pour down and rid the gutters of cigarette butts, candy wrappers, and used condoms. It does not relent. Like a matron in the throes of menopausal lunacy, it charges on and on, lashing at everything on its way until what's left are tiny, crystal droplets on fresh leaves that trickle down if you so much as breathe on them. Clear water streaming down the gutter like a virgin brook. Fresh, pristine puddles that hold the luminous sky on their greasy surfaces. And crinkled, mucus-filled noses that release their wards in passionate and intense sneezes.

Ah yes, tomorrow will be another rainy day.

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22 Comments:

At 5:09 AM, Blogger The Unintellectual said...

And tomorrow, I will still see you in the office eh? Ü

 
At 8:25 AM, Anonymous Paris said...

Lucky for us, we have transient buildings where we could stay so we do not have to go home in this kind of weather condition.

 
At 11:43 AM, Anonymous jet descallar said...

i'll try to see the rain in a different light now. all i see a few moments ago was just water, water and more water...

 
At 1:20 PM, Blogger pat said...

i exchange cusswords with myself when it rains just because i have to get to work. hate it with me.

 
At 1:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope in the next few days it'll only rain in areas where we need more water like the dams and rice fields. You know why? --- my car's wipers aren't working, hehe.

 
At 8:39 PM, Blogger Jigs said...

I think Harsh has completely overpowered the silky definition. We can't really get a common ground with the weather, especially with the climate changes. We will always get the extreme. We want heat, here comes El Nino, we need rain, here comes a slue of Typhoons. But you simply can't blame it all to nature...

 
At 12:31 AM, Blogger rmacapobre said...

there was news one time describing how over population has over consumed (eroded) the water table deep below the city of manila. this has caused parts of it to sink. and now we see the effects of it in floods.

 
At 2:45 AM, Blogger slim whale said...

the unintellectual -- and you did. or did you? i don't remember bumping into you today

Paris -- i don't think i would like htat. i still prefer my good old bed. but yeah, it can be comfortable to have living quarters near the office

jet -- i just love water. if given a choice, i woudl want to become a sea creature.

pat -- LOL! what does the other you say? who wins, eventually?

anonymous -- yup yup. but rain is good anywhere. as long as it's not too much. it replenishes the underground water supply. dysfunctional wipers? then you really need those boys who wipe windshields on rainy days.

jigs -- this is a country of extremes. and i don't blame nature for it. believe it or not, i love how nature works. amazing and terrifying.

rmacapobre -- c'est vrai? dans l'avenir, nos îles n'existeront plus, ils vont couler dans la profondeur de l'océan, nous envoyant Au-Dela. je ne suis pas sûr s'il une mavaise image. :)

 
At 8:09 AM, Blogger claire said...

ahh! what a perfect description of a rainy day.. you either love it or hate it.. either way, rain will always come as a force to reckon with.

 
At 9:04 AM, Blogger aryo said...

Blessed are you who see more than what our eyes can simply view. Blessed are you who could express more than what our lips could mutter. Bow to the Whale!

 
At 2:20 PM, Blogger Jeff - Reiji said...

"Like a matron in the throes of menopausal lunacy..."

- OMG. The figure of speech.... naman... grabe... I'm speechless... Amazing! =)

 
At 12:50 AM, Anonymous bingskee said...

the rain has its bliss only in the confines of a room... i hate walking in the rain!

 
At 10:44 AM, Blogger jet descallar said...

hala! ask permission muna from ems! hehehehe :)

 
At 7:58 PM, Anonymous Major Tom said...

As you said---rain having its own language---the rain has an existence of its own, like a thundering giant sleeping at times, and comes barging in some other time.

 
At 10:10 AM, Blogger Sidney said...

Nicely written! This time the rain was needed. Not too many people complained.

 
At 11:51 AM, Blogger joyfulchicken said...

So I can stop doing the rain dance? Yay!

 
At 5:22 AM, Blogger slim whale said...

claire -- this time, i love it. only this time. i hate to run out of water to flush the toilet. thanks for dropping by

aryo -- goodness, thanks for that, aryo. now i'm speechless.

jeff-reiji -- was hesitant to include that line, actually. it sounded a bit politically incorrect. thanks so much for the compliment.

bingskee-- right. but i'd love to try to actually walk in the rain and get soaking wet. liberating.

jet -- but i am already a sea creature! in fact, i always bump into her down there, she's still a mermaid, right? or is she a sea horse? now i don't remember. how's she?

major tom -- and it doesn't care who gets hit. awesome. i just love the rain.

sidney -- hey! you're back! how was your vacation? yup, i'm not complaining this time. bring it on and let us all dance in the rain

joyfulcihcken -- nope. we can still do the rain dance, this time, to revel.

 
At 5:19 AM, Anonymous doy said...

"trop/bcoup des couleurs"! like the way you write about rain. I lurv the rain, problema lang ang metropolitan discourse, at traffic at mag utaw na walang pakialam sa baha! :p

 
At 8:42 AM, Blogger jet descallar said...

she's a mermaid in her past life, probably hanging around the area of Atimonan in Quezon Province, out to the Bicol area where she would dance with Mayon...

on other times though, i think she was a sea urchin... but that's just me.

:P

 
At 8:10 PM, Blogger slim whale said...

doy -- thanks. i love the rain too. it's only now that I've started to realize its importance.

jet -- great, then we would probably bump into each other in the pacific ocean. i texted her back. dunno if she got it.

 
At 4:49 AM, Blogger ie said...

this made me wet. your words invited the rain to come inside my room.

 
At 5:18 PM, Blogger Sarah Hall said...

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