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August 30, 2023

by Marinel Condino



—the digital clock calling at the top of its voice. The chilly breeze was whistling outside the window, doors were banging, and pairs of feet were stomping in the hallway. The orange radiance was slowly creeping out of the four-corner walls, kissing the horizon. It is morning! I still can’t kick the habit of expecting a rooster to crow every morning in the midst of a city.


Aside from that out-of-nowhere thought, yesterday’s scenery flashes right before my eyes. In a room full of students willing to bite the bullet to learn and be better, an imposing figure is standing in the middle uttering words that made the crowd go wild: “Long Weekends!” Those two words made the room filled with loud uproars in just a second. Everyone was excited like they’d been waiting for this moment for a long time. Of course, who would not be, right? People have this great fondness when it comes to the idea of long weekends. At times like this, some would simply unwind, take a break from work or school, and do anything that can pursue their motto of all time: living life to its fullest. At the same time, I hope that regret will not decide to take away the curve that is drawn by the long weekends on our faces at the end of the day.


Walking in a circle, thinking about what a student could do during those long weekends, a red-letter figure on a rectangular paper about twice a ruler wide and thrice a ruler long, attached to a wall, caught my eye. Those red-letter days on our calendars signify special holidays and fun festivities in our dear country. June has one long weekend, August has two, plus the magnificent 1-week festivity celebrated by the proud Dabawenyos – the Kadayawan Festival. The upcoming All Saints and All Soul’s Day are at the beginning of November, and the month will close its chapters with Bonifacio Day. Then comes the season of giving, the literal jolly day. This can indicate no class for students and no work day for the employees. Long story short, this can be the time to be cheerful and enjoy the companionship of our family, one-call-away friends, loved ones, or even ourselves.


Just like happiness has its ending, the sun slowly set, being swallowed by the unseen horizon, in someplace unknown. When darkness was still taking its time to unveil the place, I hurriedly departed. Upon taking a ride on one of the Pinoy’s creations, the classic jeepney, two women in their thirties, wearing office suits and looking burnt out, kept singing the blues. They were ready to drop any moment now, yet still thankful for the long weekends because they could somehow escape from working their fingers to the bone. Having been carried away by their far-fetched notions about long weekends, the jeepney stopped in front of a peaceful-looking house—our house.


Indeed, long weekends are a great time to take a pause on everything. Have a break to breathe a bit, unwind, and then, fight again. You can’t enjoy life when you’re always rushing. Just go with the flow of life, have a blast, experience feeling blue sometimes, hit the road, catch the sun—in short, LIVE YOUR LIFE.


Before I got completely drowned in my own memory, a loud snap from my brother’s fingers pulled me back to reality. Right! There’s no class today because of the long weekends. I was about to get back to sleep when my brother hurriedly shouted, “Tara, LAAG!”