Oct. 3, 2007


One of the things one would notice about Panglao would be how far the water got pulled back during low tide. Or at least, this was the image that stuck to me two years hence, the shore extending a few meters more, exposing sand bars and shells.

My sister, who later turned out to be some kind of scientific genius, attributed the tide to the moon. “It’s all about the moon’s gravitational pull,” she’d said, explaining the phenomenon to me, her sister who couldn’t quite remember science lessons from ten years ago.

I’d always been fascinated with full moons; I discovered the fixation when I was young, and I couldn’t stop looking at its wholeness lighting up the sky, on nights I sat amidst my mother’s orchids in our Cavite house terrace.

When I entered college, it would be an even more glorious thing, especially if one would lay sprawled in the middle of the Sunken Garden at night, side by side with friends, lying atop copies of the Philippine Collegian, a cigarette between my lips.

I concede that the moon has this kind of power, especially when full. A kind of energy, a kind of hold on all of us. Wasn’t that why they called it ‘lunacy’? Luna, of course, being a term associated with the moon.

In folklore, there are beasts enticed out of hiding by this magnificent night light. Perhaps it is indeed a very feasible metaphor, what with the full moon bringing out all kinds of beasts in all of us – may it be PMS or libido or the most curious combination of both. Which brings me to the cheekiest interpretation friends and I have of full moons, back when I was single (elbows chief, naks) – Bilog na naman ang buwan, single ako, sayang naman ang energy. Hahaha.

I admit my PMS is hardest to get through whenever it coincided with the full moon. I get severely emotionally high-strung for no good reason, and the slightest provocation draws out the longest dramatic writings I couldn’t even look at the morning after.

And I wouldn’t even talk about that other effect full moons have for fear of incriminating myself. Haha.

My father, upon his retirement two years ago, decided he would like to be a fisherman, and full moons are sacred to fishermen. Something about the harvest, something I couldn’t quite understand at the moment. Do fishes scatter when they see the light, making it easier for men like my father to catch them?

If this were true, then perhaps this was what happened to me: her moon was full, the gravitational pull of her undeniable and strong. All she had to do was stand close to me and that would be it, the rush of body liquid quick, coursing through veins at a speed impossible to control.

Was this what the term, ‘head rush’ really meant? It’s more than adrenaline, more than endorphins, more than body water or even blood. I knew I should have listened better in my sixth grade science classes; maybe if I had, I wouldn’t run out of terms for this now.

And so I am forced to operate on terms I do remember, like tide and pull, to describe the way I give in, the waters in me rushing to her orbit as she pulls, pulls, pulls; my body breaking against the gravity of this thing between us, that which cannot be denied, exposing sand and shells and more.