Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Call me a nerd but I don't call a calendar a good calendar unless it has markings of the lunar details from the new moon, the first quarter moon, the full moon, and the last quarter moon.

It's now November, two months before the year ends, and this is the beginning of my calendar shopping in malls, grocery stores, banks, in search of my item - the bigger one with naturally bigger numbers and bigger pictures of the four faces of the moon- the better. The simpler (no lavish trimmings please) -the best choice for me.

The calendars I used to hang or display at my bedside, beside a mirror, near the dining table, or near my study table when I was a child, were no different from those I choose today which I hang in the most conspicuous places around the house where I can regularly keep watch of the days the moon would begin to show. As a child, I liked to look at the calendars doggedly the way my father would look at them while he waited for his pay days on the 15th and the 30th of the months.

At least, I congratulate myself today that it is a win-win habit I have never outgrown and pays off once in a while. For example, I know that the moon affects the tides. That rivers swell more during high tides when the moon is full. I use it as handy reference to gauge levels of the floods that affect our barangay annually.

So you see, with my childhood lunar obsession you may call me a lunatic, just as you call a fan obsessed with an idol- fanatic, an artist obsessed with his artwork- artistic, etc. I wouldn't mind it at all, really. I just couldn't resist the beauty of the moon.

There was the moon- a full moon, this child, and her dreams. I laughed at how the whole world prepared to catch the historic glimpse of the the first ray of the millennium sun in the year 2000. What difference was there over what I did and still do today, as I anticipate every month, every year ever since the day I could recall, for the glorious burst of the moonlight? The full moon continues to excite me, connects me to my happy innocent childhood days.

You might think it was crazy, but I used to quarrel with my siblings assigned by my mother to prepare dinner and set the table at the time when the gold linings of the majestic moon slowly broke out from the horizon. By then, I would be outside either in our front yard or at the barangay main road with other children to catch the very big moon peeping out, as it illuminated a silent fishpond nearby giving it its awesome sparkling gurgles and gave lively colors to the plants, the trees, and everything including the clear sky. I often got real spanking from my siblings or received a hurtful paddling from Mother for that! It was only me who understood, I was sure of that.

With the glorious light flooding the darkness of the night, I would stand with my back facing the moon, and looked at my shadow. I would wait until the shadow was clearly that of me- the child- neither very long nor very short. So time was important to me. I would stretch out my arms flexing them by the elbows and saw to it that the shadow would look like a bird on its wings, feet close to each other so they would look like a tail, looked at my shadow with intense concentration memorizing every line thereat. And I would look quickly up the sky.

There in the clear moonlit sky, I would soar like an eagle on wings. Although it would only be a fleeting image, I knew that I had fulfilled a dream, to be where all children longed to be- the wide wide sky, where I could stay still, kissed by the silvery clouds and wondered where all the stars, the planets, and the rainbow could be hiding.

I could transform myself in many forms I wanted to. It took my childish creativity and persistence to do that. I could be the skinny scarecrow standing in an immaculately white cotton field. Among my favorites were the winged eagle in its flight to faraway lands and the dreaded man-horse (half-man half-horse) we call "tikbalang" in Philippine folklore seated with knees as high as the chin in wait for bad children to punish. I wasn't afraid of the "tikbalang", you see? I was the good one always on the look out for the bad. I could mimic shadows of my dreams plying the wide sky until my eyes got tired and the shadows began to confuse me. It was then that I would decide to go home, hit the bed, and dreamed of the next full moon to come.

Those were a child's lofty dreams I held on to and cherished all those years, dreams to soar high, dreams of a heroine on a night watch looking for bad boys and girls who pry on the weak and the innocent, and harass them to no end.

In my later adult years, the full moon continues to bring magical inspiration to me, although I refrained already from standing outdoors on moonlit nights for the shadows I loved to create. I just savor the pristine beauty of the moon outside in my garden or in my bedroom through the wide-opened steel windows. At this point I've got a funny experience to tell.

One night, I woke up to see the outside world bathed in moonlight. I was all alone in the house and decided to fix myself a glass of my milk Glucerna. Once done, I heard voices outside which I followed until I came to the main road which is a few yards away from my house. I came upon some youngsters in whispered conversation. Upon seeing me, and after saying our exchange of greetings, I joined them. I thought I noticed we were alone and no vehicles were in sight, the whole neighborhood was deep in its sleep, but I felt lighthearted for this which I had not done for years. It was cold and there was a bonfire. What a night, I told myself! I was lost in our conversation, oblivious of the time.

Then I decided to leave the youngsters, all boys. As I walked on home I noticed that the moonlight had dimmed. Groping for the doorknob, I entered the house, switched on the light in the living room. I happened to look at the clock. It was 5:00 in the morning! That was the moon's mystery and my misery combined! The full moon on its ebbing phase cheated me. ha ha ha!

My childhood dreams to soar high and be the good sister to the least among my brothers never left me, and the child now a senior debutante has become full fledged lector in the Roman Catholic church- a proclaimer of God's Words during Eucharistic masses. I had woven a child's dreams in the silvery moonlight. Those dreams will never last, not only for as long as the moon - the full moon- shines at night, but until the day I breathe my last. Shalom my friends!

Photo by Tina1111


  1. You describe the pull of the moon perfectly. Such mysterious beauty!

    One evening I was jogging towards the sunset, it was a gorgeous sinking sun, and I adored it. I got to the turn around point and pivoted around to see the MOST BEAUTIFUL full moon I have ever seen, brightly glowing and reflecting on the river water. It, literally, took my breath away.

    Beautiful post!

  2. Yes, the mystery of the moonlight can never be fathomed nonetheless, it can be felt and appreciated like we do.

  3. So many poems and song lyrics written about the moon! One of my favorites:
    "I'll be looking at the moon...but I'll be seeing you."

  4. Etier, you're the great photographer, lyricist, and- dreamer! Thanks for the comment and the follow.



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