all my years as priest in borongan i always move with a motorcycle. there wouldn't be any moment that i would be a 10-meter away from it. motoring has become a significant part of me, beyond the exigencies of transport and utility. riding on it was an expression. a statement. in nine years, i've got three of them. changing from one motorcyle to a new one was like graduating from the grades to the heirarchy of the educational rung.
but work, or better, commitment to my calling got the upper hand of me so that even my eccentricities have to be dislodged--some of them, at least. and motoring was one. in june 1993, i was called to work in manila. and that was the last time i ever rode on a motorcycle.
this evening, i had to go to my brain child, the radio station at baybay boulevard. but i could not use my car since the parking at the bishop's house was newly cemented and no car was allowed to get out, till the concret became dry. so i had to borrow a motorcycle from alex, my sacristan 15 or so years ago. at the first 100 meters, i felt so awkward and couldn't even manage to the third gear. but something deep inside me was happening. there was nostalgia. or something i couldn't figure out.
after two hours or so in baybay--at the radio station then at the seminary, we went drinking there actually--i came back to the bishop's residence with the motorcyle. but this time, i was over it. i could now manipulate it the way i expertly did 15 years ago. i drove all through the moonlit baybay boulevard past st. mary's (or st joseph as it was called during my motorcyle days).
driving was a homecoming. a revival. a gushing forth of memories, which i have successfully burried in the dustbin of oblivion. now they bloomed as beautifully as the moon overhead. the faces. even the smell of intimacies. the idealism. the fear. the adventure. and the breeze that formed as the soundtrack of friendships that slipped away in lieu of loftier pursuits--or so it seemed before.
but now i have the car. loftier, yes. stronger, too. but the motorcycles, i wish i stayed on with them.