Friday, April 16, 2010

The White House

I almost lived up to my decision to keep my senses shut and keep quiet for the whole month of April by not posting even a single word in my blog. But, oh boy, I couldn’t help it; my mouth keeps on watering over stimuli around me. I tried to redirect my mind and keep hands busy over something not so important anyway, but the impulse is just so strong I could revert the current the way I want it. Now, here comes my fingers trying to type as fast as I could to capture what my brain dictates to write on the blank page of Word (Windows).

It happened yesterday, when by elder brother tagged me in his photo he posted in his FB (facebook). It was a picture I took through his camera almost two months ago during his vacation in the Philippines. To make this short story long, for the sake of storytelling, the situation went on like this as far as my memory (with gap) is concern:

It was a sunny morning of Tuesday sometime in February, I woke up with the sun up about 45 degrees in the sky. As I went out of my parents’ bedroom (where I slept all night long), my mother told me that my elder brother decided to have a road trip towards Extreme Adventure Park located in the middle of Bohol Island (Philippines), where cliffhangers, bungee jumpers and daredevils love to hang out. The town is named Danao, used to be a nest of revolutionary people because of its difficult terrain (forgive me for my description) that soldiers tried to figure out, but super splendid and marvelous. And the awesomeness of our place of destination carried me away, almost forgetting what had happened along the way. Anyway, my family and I jumped into our ride cruising the highway with Sitti and Nora Jones in the player, my elder brother loved steering the wheels with bossanova. Well, we talked and talked about things in the past and other stuff that popped up as the car winded up and down the zigzagging road up the mountainous part of our homeland. Suddenly, my brother stopped, and I’m baffled, only to find out that we were in the crossroad trying to figure out which way to go towards the Park. The moment of truth came when we realized that no one inside the car knew the way. Well, my elder brother asked a local who pointed us the way, then he started the engine without much ado. At first, the road seemed to be easy with few uneven sides and fissures. But my first impression didn’t last. After thirty minutes of driving, the road was getting worse, with more fissures and unraveled parts that our car seemed to give in from deep channels and rocky tracks (even boulders in the middle of the road). The roadsides were so cliffy; I did not dare to look. But persistence was the name of my elder brother’s game that day, so the rest of us didn’t mind; anyway he’s the one maneuvering the car.

After a while, the car stopped again. And I wondered again, asking several silent questions like was he giving up the fight with the road, or just kind of exhausted and rested a little bit but have not given up, or just simply feeling like peeing at the side? But, to my surprise that neither of the above was the answer. Instead, he asked me to take a picture. “Of who? What?” I asked, but he only pointed to the right side. There I saw a house standing the middle of the bushy meadow with no other house beside it. Not seeing the full view, I wondered, what’s with it? But when I got out from the car, there I have fully seen it.

Vintage looking, the house was concrete with tattered white paint and worn out roofing. The name was even more intriguing – THE WHITE HOUSE. Who could ever think of a name for a house like that in the middle of no trace of civilization? Plus, two flags – of Philippines and Australia – were drawn just immediately below the name, why? Well, those are two of hundreds of questions created in my mind that very moment. But no one was available to answer my queries because no one incidentally had passed by - not even a cow, a carabao or a dog had strayed in the place. The house seemed to be abandoned for several years and nobody took the maintenance and care of it. In short, the moment leaved us alone to enjoy staring and pondering and taking pictures with it since there were no security guards would tell us to move over, or no old folks to scare us to death of the tales and horrors about the house.

Anyway, I took pictures in several angles. My elder brother’s girlfriend even posed for a picture or two with that house. Staring at the building for a moment with the name and markings in it, I have appreciated the geographic background of the owner, letting me realized that I have underestimated civilization and awareness of current events of people living in this place several feet above sea level. Well, that's the beauty of adventure, it’s like ‘a box of chocolate, you never know what you're gonna get." (sounds familiar? Forrest Gump’s line you know!)

Then we proceeded hovering the long, winding, gut-challenging, and painful road to our destination. Thank God, after three hours of driving, we reached the park hungry and shuddering. There, as we rested for a while, we scanned the pictures in the digital camera and the intrigues in the house remained in our minds.

Well, we did not pass the same way again as we travel homeward bound because the road, as I have said, was gut-challenging and it was already dark. My brother was right, the moment should be captured, otherwise, we have missed the pleasure and mystery of the white house yet to unfold since we did not pass by it again.

After days passed me by I almost forgot about it, until my brother relived the memory through this tagged photo. Now, the house keeps on flashing in my head because of some unsolved mysteries behind almost every angle of it.

I wish someone could answer my questions.

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