This reminds me of the room in the house of my hosts, where they let me spend the night whenever I was doing field visits. I remember that the windows granted me sweeping views of the Cordillera mountains in the direction of Mt. Pulag. After dinner at 6 or 6:30 PM, it was straight to bed (the house didn’t have electricity then). I normally slept just before midnight and to lull myself to early sleep (I didn’t want to be the household’s sentry for the night do I?), I followed the movement of the heavy fog through the windows, playing a solitary game of ‘guess what the shadow is’. Before daybreak, I watched the movement of that side of the earth as it emerged from shadow to light. Sunrise was always a glorious event especially that I was witnessing it unfold on the mountaintops, and never the same sight twice.
It’s almost a decade since and I’ve been to a lot of rooms but nothing has rivaled that room. I had only candles and the reflection from the clouds for light, the inside of the house was already eerily quiet at 8PM, the toilet was outside the house and I didn’t ever try to go at night and yet the feeling of bliss there is incomparable, unforgettable. I guess when you’ve had a personal experience with nature, you’d do everything in your power to preserve mountaintops, maintain enough trees, and keep an unobstructed view of sunrise and sunset to remind people that the most spectacular show on earth is free and accessible wherever they are. Once you’ve known your rose, you’ll always feel responsible for it.