Voice of Summer

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But for ongoing disputes between political parties severally claiming, under different campaign sorties the exclusive road-right-of-way that they are the candidates for the May election and whistling past the graveyard they will be voted by Cordilleran voters and domestic tourists as well, who, in the meanwhile have set politics aside and are instead out to enjoy the voice of summer in highland Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

Months of March to May are hottest three months in the Philippines, locally known as “summer.” Technically, however, the country does not have summer; it has only two seasons – rainy and dry and Filipinos commonly point to the dry as their summer season. 

These months make Filipinos scramble like mad  to become tourists and visit places in the Philippines, such enthusiasm CAR usually getting a fair share  of the mad rush before the wet season comes a-storming.

No need to wonder then why Local Government Units (LGUs) in CAR have prepped up, in anticipation of tourist influx, tourism being one of the underpinnings of the highland economy.

In Baguio City, Daily Laborer had observed one point where, not only visitors but residents as well, linger either in crowds or by their lonesome in daytime and especially at night.

That is the Rose Garden of Burnham Park, one of the most visited landmarks in Baguio City.

What do people see and feel being at Rose garden of Baguio City’s Burnham Park, a nagging curiosity and perked his interest that set off Daily Laborer Sunday last week to try and discover for himself what makes Rose Garden satisfy the fancy of both  residents and visitors to go swarming like ants  around it.

And Daily laborer complained to himself in visiting Rose Garden, “To you, goddess of Fancy, I address my curiosity!”

On Rose Garden’s terra firma, what struck Daily Laborer first was the presence of a school of flora, particularly Rosa Centifolia Muscosa.

“Well, well,” Daily Laborer thought by his lonesome, “Fancy the fertile imagination of Baguio City authorities naming the place Rose Garden and not by any other. They got good imagination. They could have named it by other names; but they didn’t.”

It tickled Daily laborer regarding city authorities on their impression stamped at Rose garden about imagination that teaches all to dive into the dark recesses of nature and philosophy led authorities to examine nature’s hidden works.

Probably, Daily Laborer mused, in the naming of Rose Garden, wisdom guided city authorities to a knowledge of their fellows, but it was to imagination to soar above all these and glide through the wide range of possibility.

Borne on the wings of the morning, wafted by the perfumes of the Cordillera highland air, probably even inspired by a heavenly muse, city authorities languished in the soft twilight, breathed in the sweet beauty of a moonlight vision – and came up with the words, “Rose Garden.”

Such is the imagination of man. Confined within the bounds of reason, what are we not capable of viewing or performing when we court its influence?

For the rose flower has ever been deemed the queen of flowers by ports, novelists, anybody or nobody. It is also their emblem of beauty and deservedly esteemed and prized.

As Daily Laborer fixed his gaze on the roses at Rose Garden, it came to him that all roses form a splendid genus, containing nearly a hundred species, with innumerable varieties. In their original state,  their flowers are simple, with five petals only, but can double easily, even without culture, and by long cultivation, many become crowded with petals.

Fragrance of the rose is proverbial and highly perfumed; other even afford an ambrosial perfume.

Roses are considered the emblem of female beauty

That being the case, Baguio city authorities who dreamed on giving  the Rose Garden the  name, at one time, on the verge of imagination, at another, traveling to the source of another time, scorched the fervent heat of a summer solstice  and came up with an excellent name of a part of Burnham park. 

There is a part in the city of Pines where simple genuine virtue receives public honors –with the emblem of a rose.

If Rose garden happens to be where the emblem of female beauty is cultivated, it happens too, that it’s there when one can discover a human seems formed for variety – be you visitor, resident or plain Pedro or Maria.

Whether we see anyone strolling at Rose Garden in a rational or in an animal light: a sameness of pursuit, pleasure, diet, habit or temper is no part of his/her character.

Different ages strolling at Rose Garden produce different sentiments. What give one the highest relish of staring at the flowers grown at Rose Garden, at one period, is totally flat at another human being. The trifle that pleases at three, would be cast into Rose Garden’s pavement at threescore.

While at Rose Garden, Daily Laborer met  and came  to acquainted  with a fine  lady in her mid-years years by the name of Darya  Coquisan (by the tone of how she spoke Ilocano, Daily laborer reckoned she was a local) who said,” I often came to Rose Garden during my teenage, age when I emptied  my purse.”

Darya Coquisan continued, “Now in my late thirties, the same hands that have been emptying my purse are rushing to fill it up again; I bend to the same religion that I laughed at in youth and the amorous tales that awakened the ideas of my youth in romping around Rose Garden, are lulling me to lullabies. But I am fortunate having experienced a lifetime at, at one time at Rose Garden. ”

And Daily Laborer gravely shook his head positively at Darya and explained that indeed, at Rose Garden, any human can be a time piece, measuring out a certain space. We see, in them, there, click, and perceive in their countenances the marks of intelligence. Their external appearances will inform us whether they are old-fashioned or not. But in caressing the soft petals of the rose there, they are neither old fashioned   or new fashioned. 

Yet one same thing remains when you see people loitering at Rose Garden; while in deep thought, a faint trace of softness in their faces, which if provoked, can burst into a smile.

Like what  Daily Laborer saw that Sunday  when he  went to Rose Garden, of  five rosy-cheeked  lasses sporting up and down the stairs of Rose Garden, almost as if they were summer butterflies expectant that summer at Rose Garden  will end soon enough.

Every now and then, as some little incident occurred, the lasses gave vent to their feelings in loud bursts of laughter.

The sound grated upon Daily Laborer’s ears. “Why am I tormented by this strange nose human call laughter which I can neither imitate nor comprehend? Why am I alone and denied the privilege of throwing the muscles of my face into that congregation of wrinkles which humans call a smile?”

“Why can’t I make that incomprehensible sound which humans give the name laughter? Why can’t I pucker my mouth like the way those lasses do and fling kisses to the Rose Garden Winds?”

Here, the unfortunate Daily Laborer, in a paroxysm of impatience, gave himself several and severe thumps on the head, as if to inquire why the organ of risibility had been jostled out of his cranium.

Daily laborer also gave several thumps in his chest with his fist, as if to know why his diaphragm would not vibrate spasmodically, like those of other people who go to Rose Garden of Burnham Park.

And he got his answer to his problem: that it would be nice for him to visit Rose Garden every time he gets the chance and frolic and hold the summer in the cusp of his hand.

For that is what the “summer capital of the Philippines,” could very well mean.