Written on May 10, 2023, Huni Sicogon
Tonight, I saw so many stars my neck hurt from looking up. The last time I found the night sky twinkling like crazy was in Siquijor, nine years ago, on an anniversary trip with my now ex-husband. It was so long ago, I realize now, like so many things.
On this starry night in Sicogon, I was taking a quiet walk on the beach and relishing the joys of solitude when a voice broke the silence with a passionate rendition of Ella Mae Saison’s “Till my heartaches end,” a staple in every videoke bar in the Philippines. Who the hell would sing that here?! And I laughed. How very Pinoy this is. Away on an island, you think you’re free from the neighborhood videoke queens and kings, but here they are. I remember the last time I sang my heart out in a remote videoke setup: I was again with my ex, shuttled off to another island in the middle of the Sulu Sea for an exclusive travel feature.
It’s funny how memories spring up like this, out of the blue, on breezy summer nights. Oddly, they bring no huge emotions with them. No sorrow or anger, just a sense of calm and relief. I am glad I had what I had but I am much happier where I am now. It’s a place I never thought I would find myself in but it is, still and always, a place of grace.
These stars, these songs tell me that God is a God of do-overs. He can bring you to a place that’s better than wherever it is you are coming from, however good or bad that is. As I walk along the shore (searching for that videoke), I am comforted by the cosmic reminder that God is not yet finished writing the story of my life. It does not end where one thing ended; it just changed its course.
I don’t know where this road leads — I only know that from now on, a starry sky and a love song have taken on new meaning. #