My curiosity about what could be seen at Nuvali, Sta. Rosa, Laguna got the better of me. To once and for all let me experience for the first time running in Laguna’s fast becoming commercial-residential-business district and now outdoor activities venue I registered at the running event, 2nd Valley Trail Challenge 2012 which will be held in Nuvali on July 1, 2012. The only obstacle I need to resolve is to find out how to get there if I am going to commute all the way from Manila. Thus the day that will alter my previous notion about taking 1 flag to unite people, that popular religious experiences and practices can only be done in their proper places to be powerful in delivering the effects such practice is expected to produce, that scientific facts serves no other practical purpose except to prove they are demonstrable.
This is my train-ing day. I called it such because it began when I decided to take the 7:45 a.m. Philippine National Rail Train at Dapitan Station bound for Alabang that would serve as my gateway to conquering Nuvali, Sta. Rosa. If you are probably dying to experience how it is to join the Black Nazarene procession every January 9 but you balk on donning the mandatory maroon shirt with stenciled face of the “mahal na patron”, or you don’t want the sun pouring down on you, then the closest to the experience you will ever be is by taking the PNR train. Just make sure you do it on a weekday. See to it that the train scheduled to arrive prior to the one you are actually catching up with is terribly delayed. Then you will probably have the perfect condition for the perfect storm.
My experience that faithful day of April 11, 2012 is like being in the eye of the storm. I saw the whole of mankind converged and literally became one people in those tiny confined spaces of the train car. No flag, had ever united any people under any circumstance that would rival that moment. Cold freezing temperature was not even a prerequisite to solidify the mass. Not even a working cooling system these train cars are supposedly equipped with is needed. If your kids could not quite grasp that solid objects are made of tiny molecules pack tightly together, then you should bring your kid to the same spot where I was in that God forsaken moment. Every space of the train was filled with human parts. There wasn’t a room to jostle each other. Even the air got stuck between bodies of the passengers who became intimate with each other during the course of the travel.
Nature has full of wonderful phenomenon except that it does not have the monopoly on how these phenomenon can be replicated. The simple human invented machine like the PNR train has the same awe-inspiring capability of nature. Take for instant the earlier solid mass that that mass inside the train had become, at the slightest twist and turn of the train as it cruises along the curvaceous tracks, turns the former into coagulants whose form conforms to the forces of inertia and centripetal.
One of the common vista in the Black Nazarene procession is the waving and throwing of “good morning” towels. Don’t even consider thinking you don’t need one of this towel in this re-staging of the popular procession inside the PNR train cars. No, you need those towels too. Not to throw at someone else although such urges rises up from time to time. You need those towels to wipe away the perspiration oozing down your body whether it’s yours or someone else’s. Even the face you wipe with doesn’t necessarily have to be yours since the proximity of other faces to yours is so uncannily too close for comfort. For a meager 20 bucks the whole 24 hours of the original Black Nazarene procession could be experience in as little as 1 hour in the tiny confine and safety of the coaches of the PNR train. You don’t even have to be trampled upon under the feet of devotees or fear of losing your balance. There wasn’t simply a space for you to fall under.
By the time the train made a stop at Buendia Station, as if the climax of the love-making had already been reached, slowly everything seem to contract and relax giving way for spaces to finally began sprouting as people alight the train. Perspiration can finally flow downwards freely while people rediscover the proof that ones body is made up of 70% liquid which substantial amount of if is now hugging their office attires.
As the train slowly snake its way to the final station in Alabang and the Leg 1 of my journey is about to end this thought came to me: Train system are suppose to be like blood vessels. They carry with it blood that contains the vital oxygen which the whole body needed to function and live. The oxygen rich blood, are people. If people going to work are mangled the way I felt I was, how can the people delivers the oxygen to other parts of the body. Bad blood causes disease and death if not given proper attention.
Postscript: Leg 2
From Alabang, I took a jeepney bound for Balibago. I alighted at Sta. Rosa Exit. Excited upon seeing a directional board stating that Nuvali is mere 5 kilometers away, I thought to myself, I run 21km in 2 and a half hours 5 kilometer is just a drop in a bucket. But it was 10 a.m. with sun pouring down on me harshly. It was not a drop in a bucket that I expected. It could even be kicking the bucket if I were not as fit as I happened to be that moment.
Training is just a reenactment of a much bigger act yet to be experience