Last weekend, driving along the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) on the way to Mimosa Leisure Estates in Pampanga, I was taking photos through the open car window. It wasn’t a particularly sunny day but I did manage to get a good photo of Mount Arayat, a volcano visible miles away from every direction because it stands on a huge expanse of flat agricultural lands.
The sight of Mount Arayat made me long to photograph another mountain in the area — Mount Buntis. Andres Bonifacio, founder of the Katipunan and known in history as the Father of Philippine Revolution, was executed in Mount Buntis. Why the mountain has been given that name is obvious: from a distance, its shape is that of a pregnant woman lying on her back.
So we were chatting about Mount Buntis and, inside my head, I could see it the way it was the last time I had a good look at it when we were on our way to Baguio City and we stopped after exiting the expressway at Dau. It was around 7.00 o’clock in the morning and Mount Buntis was bathed in golden sunlight.
You know, you get a picture like that inside your head and there’s a certain mood that comes unbeckoned — a mixture of fantasy, nostalgia and an unexplainable melancholy. So, there I was, physically in the car but my mind had traveled elsewhere when Sam suddenly asked from the backseat, “Pwede ba manganak ang bundok (Can a mountain give birth)?”
I was jolted back to reality and Speedy and I exchanged a look that said, “What kind of a stupid question is that?” We told her NO, that wasn’t possible. We weren’t quite prepared for her rebuttal.
“Pwede kaya, Eh, kung mag-erode yung lupa dahil sa excavations, eh di flat na ‘yung tyan nya pati boobs (Of course, it can happen if the soil erodes from excavations her tummy and boobs would become flat).”
What the f..k?!?! Okay, she made me feel stupid.