House of Light

After an extremely busy two weeks of writing (and teaching and speaking and  facilitating a seminar, etc.),  I was blessed with a fancy-free day at the rest house of my friend, Luz (Spanish word for light). It was literally a house bathed in light!

Luz is one of 8 to 16 (depending on individual schedules) Rotary Anns with whom I have lunch at least once in two months. We try to give meaning to these events by calling it a celebration of someone's birthday. Luz' birthday isn't till September, but we missed celebrating it last year so we decided to do so mid-stream. She invited us to Puerto Azul (the resort in the 70's).

This time there were only nine of us, but numbers don't count when one is raring to have fun. The one-hour leisurely drive from Alabang gave me another glimpse into the serene and idyllic rural life. Animals, trees, flowers, rivers, hills and mountains of all kinds mimicked my hometown. 

Puerto Azul seems like an old world now with aged flora and fauna, along winding concrete roads hemmed in by green mountains lit by a cloudless sky. 

The rest house of Luz was breathtaking.

“This isn't a house, this is a palace!” I told her. But what awed me was not the huge size of the rambling house on a multi-level lot, but the feeling of being outdoors indoors!

No curtains blocked the all-glass, all-around picture windows of all six floors that made you enjoy nature at its most glorious at every turn. The breeze came in and out freely, while birds sung and leaves rustled.

Luz served us countless dishes, but what I remember most were the fresh pandan (lemon grass) and tarragon tea, and the turon (thinly sliced bananas and jackfruit, dusted with brown sugar, rolled in spring roll wrapper and fried) dipped in sesame seeds and served in gold-gilded wine glasses.

I was not told that there would be a group ballroom session with a DI (dance instructor), so when everyone was putting on her dancing shoes, I was stuck with my bakya (wooden footwear). Except for one who was nursing arthritis, we all tried the steps, which (hopefully) got rid of the consequences of a sinful lunch. 

Dancing with a bakya is excruciating, but among friends, one can only laugh, not whine.

And one can only praise God for His grace of creation in which I basked for one blissful day in the house of light.

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