Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Last Guardian of Matukad


This piece is based on a legend on one of the scenic islands of Caramoan in the Bicol Region of the Philippines. Pristine white beaches, ancient caves, breathtaking diving spots and overwhelming land masses. In the island called Matukad, there can be found a beautiful lagoon but you can't see it unless you climb a steep wall of jagged rocks. The story goes:

"According to the locals, once upon a time there were 2 giant milkfish, each about 2 feet long, that were residing on the hidden Lagoon inside the island. These 2 milkfish were considered sacred by the locals and were believed to be guardians of the place. One day, a fisherman went to the Lagoon, caught one and brought it home for his family to eat. Right after eating, everyone in that house who ate the fish died. Since then no one dared to go near the remaining giant milkfish." (courtesy The Backpack Chronicles)

I was lucky enough to see the lone fish in the mysterious lagoon and wondered what went on its mind, now that it is the last guardian of Matukad. And hence I wrote:

"Am I to swim these waters forever alone? The shadow of my being, cast against the basin floor by the high noon sun constantly reminds me of you. But my shadow pales in comparison to you, for it can never mimic the grace and fluid elegance of your movements as we danced the mystical dance. I am mere words and thoughts, but you were poetry in motion... I am creation embodied, but you were inspiration personified... I construct the world around us, but you enhanced it beyond imagination... I am just strong, but you endured... until that fateful moment the mortal captured and consumed your sanctity. It is bliss to live in these magical waters with you by my side, but with you gone forever? It has become eternal hell. Nature has lost its balance and this lagoon that we have been destined to protect together will no longer be hidden. I must endure but I will diminish... The sadness of losing the innocent beauty of our world is great, but I am willing to accept it, if it means that we will be together again... reunited in a time and world where men will never ever seek and destroy us..."

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