REMINISCING IN THE RAIN

For a few weeks now, t’was raining often. And just a few nights in the news, PAGASA has announced the official rainy season. It’s raining today. In fact, it’s raining hard with a few lightning and thunder on the background. It started as a mist with the sky so cloudy, making the ambiance more gloomy along with my mood. Then the droplets became bigger and faster. Now, I can hear the thousand taps of rain drops on our window sill and roof, and the whoosh of the leaves of the trees while they are being swept by the strong wind. People below are running in different directions to find some shade to protect themselves from getting wet.

I remember when I was young, I also had different experiences of the rain. I was born in the province of Pangasinan and so I grew up with my grandparents there. I stayed with them from birth until I was five. At least, that’s what I remember. Theirs is a house made of wood and capiz for windows. Whenever it rains, we (together with my cousins) are asked to stay inside at the second floor and asked to take siesta or a nap in the afternoon. The air is cold so it feels nice to cuddle and wrap ourselves with wool or blanket. As I compare the weather today from then, as far as I can remember, then was colder. I don’t know if it has something to do with the weather change over a few decades or if it has something to do with my being adapted to the weather. Either way, rainy days today doesn’t seem so cold anymore.

When I was going to school already, rainy days meant that school is just a few weeks away. Summer is over and that another school year is along the way. It reminded me of using umbrellas and getting wet in the rain while on our way to school. I can smell the plastic used to cover my books and notebooks along with the cold and fresh air after the rain during the first few weeks of school.

Then when I was in 5th grade, we transferred to a village near our school. We stayed there until I was in Sophomore in high school. We (with my brothers and sisters) made new friends with our neighbors. And during rainy days, we would bathe in the rain. We would shout at each other when we talk because we can’t hear each other over the loud drops of the rain. We would run in the deserted streets and play ball games until the rain stops. I remember after it rains and we have to get inside and change, we would pass by our mini garden. I can smell the sweet scent of sampaguita and rosal along with the cold air. I can smell the freshly washed leaves of the fruit bearing trees that my Dad planted in the front yard.

However, when I became a few years older, rainy days became annoying. Heavy rains meant floods that would get inside our house which was ankle deep. The water stays for a few days until the floods outside subsides. Our furnitures were a wreck being soaked in water for how many days. Usually there’s no electricity during heavy rains so we had to use emergency lamps (if we have one) or sometimes we use candles or lamparas to provide us light at night. After the heavy rains and the floods and the water subsides, it would smell like molds inside the house. And it would mean a lot of cleaning both inside and outside the house.

When I was in college, I studied in Manila. Rainy days, from then on, became a nuisance. I remember dropping my heavy medical books once as I was about to board a jeepney on the way to school. My books ended up being soaked and dirty which pissed me because I just bought them a few days back. Also, rain means making all the dirt inside the jeep (which usually drivers don’t wipe their seats with cloth before their trip) wet making it easy to stain my all-white uniform, making me all the more pissed. Of course, I have also experienced getting stranded in school every after heavy rains. I usually end up in a 24-hour fastfood waiting for a bus to get home, or sleeping over a friend’s dorm. Sometimes, if I am fortunate, I end up being stranded with a company. Sometimes, I spend the night with my good looking professor or with my another good looking classmate. We kill the time by chatting or telling stories until a bus would pass by to get us home.  We got to know each other because of that.  This has been my fate for four years every rainy season.

After graduation, I ended up working in a call center. Rainy days have been, again, a bother. I end up getting soaked on my way to work, usually during night shifts. Whether I have or don’t have a small or big umbrella, I still end up wet. Then I would get inside a centralized air-conditioned room and stay and work there until 6 or 8 am of the next day. That is why jackets are call center agents’ best friend. I don’t know how I ended up alive for having this set up during rainy season for four years. Maybe I just have to be grateful that I have a strong immune system even with this skinny body of mine.

Then a few years ago, I was given a chance to work in a foreign country. Honestly, I don’t know when the rainy season of Singapore is. However, rain there means being secluded in our rooms even during our rest days. Sometimes, even heavy rains can’t make me stay imprisoned in my room. I would go out and spend my days-off outside, however, I would end up in a mall somewhere because I can’t stroll outdoors. Sometimes, the sun is up and shining so brightly it would burn your skin first degree, then after five minutes, it would be raining cats and dogs. There are days also when the sun is so bright while raining hard. It was such a peculiar weather.

And now, after my reminiscing, the rain has subsided. The air is colder and fresher. I can smell the leaves of trees but even that did not uplift my spirits. When it rains, it pours…and I say it really pours. I am back to square one. I don’t have a job for eight months now. Nobody replied to the countless jobs I found at jobstreet or jobscentral or jobsdb which I have applied for. I don’t have a career for now and I am losing my savings. I don’t have a love life either. But then, as I look outside my window and can still see a few raindrops falling, I can see that rain does not fall on one roof alone. Looking on the bright side, there are other people who have worse problems than I do. At least I am healthy, and I have my family with me supporting me in everything I want and do all the way. I really want to pursue my profession, not only because of the money I might end up saving or earning but it is also about my passion. It is my dream to work in a hospital preferably abroad. However, working locally will also do. I want to save lives…to change lives. Make a difference, whether big or small. Somehow, someday or maybe soon, I might find a rainbow after the rain and the sun would come up again and shine brightly as ever.

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