8/04/2018
This has to go on Snapchat

"Is it still rainy there?" I asked Camille.

"Yes," she said.

"That's great," I said, sarcastically. "I was expecting thunderstorms here, not there."

It was rainy when I arrived in Davao the night before, but the forecasts suggested the rains would keep throughout the next day. It was gloomy, but the waves crashing by the beach near my hotel weren't getting aggressive.

"Today lang nag-start," she answered.

I saw that on the morning news. EDSA was flooded. Only one lane was passable near Santolan, meaning a worse-than-expected bottleneck. How that is relevant to the people in Davao watching, I'll never understand.

But I write this on the final descent of my flight back to Manila. It's bright up here. It's so bright I stopped writing for a moment, the sun proving too much for my eyes. The aircraft breaks through the clouds - meaning that slightly scary moment of turbulence - and you then see the roads and the houses and the buildings and the rice fields, and they seem not as dreary as you expected.

Maybe they are once you land, when you notice the tarmac is wet and the rain begins to fall again. You'll leave the airport and the traffic is worse, worse for Friday night rush hour, because the weather is temperamental and the roads are snarled. But from up here, several thousands of feet up - I wasn't listening to the captain, even if I did not have my earphones on - it's bright, and you don't want to quite leave, because who doesn't like even just a bit of sunshine?

"Ayan na 'yung Aura," the passenger behind me gushes, as the plane makes its final approach to the runway.

The lady beside me - around my age, I think, and definitely flying on vacation - surreptitiously takes a photo of me writing these words on a notebook. No, it's a video. Her mobile lingers longer as I write these paragraphs. She thinks I don't know. She doesn't recognize I'm writing about her now. She doesn't recognize I think she's fascinated that I, a guy looking all business-y, is writing something not particularly business-y on a notebook. People still write on notebooks? This has to go on Snapchat, she probably thinks.

I resist the urge to tell her that I know what I think she's doing, and that these words will be published online, like, right now. She can read them here if she likes.

And your responses...

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