La Union Photo Diary

We left Manila at its most quiet time, before the din and chaos of traffic, before the swell of harried commuters shoving and pushing against endless waves of people. We watched the city disappear behind us, just as deep hues of orange and pink crept into the edges of the landscape, revealing silhouettes of objects and living things previously cloaked in darkness.DSC_6960

We sat in the van, entranced. My friend, Adriann, pointed out that there is an expression in Tagalog that captures this moment beautifully: “Nag-aagaw ang dilim at liwanag.” Hearing the phrase, it implies that light and darkness are in a kind of tug of war, a struggle for the possession of the sky. Watching it is an altogether different matter. The moment is peaceful, almost private, and it seems less like a struggle than an appeal:

“Let me stay a few more minutes,” the night sighs. “Alright,” daylight whispers back, its rays peeking in unobtrusively, tingeing the dark night as delicately as an artist painting and blending in the colors with a paintbrush. They both know that the change is necessary, that they cannot do anything to stop it, but they hold on to the moment a little longer, transforming the sky into a spectacular gradient, before the night finally gives in and melts into the bright, golden light of the sun.

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There is nothing quite like being on the open road. It isn’t the most comfortable, but there is a certain thrill in seeing trees, houses, and fields fly past you, watching the lines of the road blur as you whiz by. On this particular morning, my mind was foggy and I had a migraine (I had no sleep prior to the 4AM call time), and I was just nodding off when my companions called my attention to our old friend, the rising sun. A bit grudgingly, I pulled the pillow from my face and wiped the sleep from my eyes.

And there it was – the gentle giant, its soft, warm light greeting us a beautiful morning, signaling the start of another wonderful adventure. 🙂

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