AT THE TOP OF THE APO

rogerb and joannaAT THE TOP OF THE APO

 BY ROGER M. BALANZA

SABASATARIV Island, Davao Gulf – I woke up early this mor to find Mt. Apo as clear as a mirror with all its splendor — its picture perfect peak unmarred by clouds.

APOTwo days ago, Sept. 18, the weather bureau had me worried.

My daughter Joanna was packing up her things for her second climb of the Philippines’ highest mountain – 10,000 feet at the boundary of Cotabato and Davao.

Weathermen had warned of bad weather but Joanna is not worried.

You are the best, Papa. Say it!

Joanna does not believe in weathermen.

Okay, okay. You are going to have fine weather, I tell her.

Sunday, Sept. 20, 6:00AM.

I woke up many minutes late of sunrise and missed the morning routine of greeting the sun my “good morning.”

Joanna could be right. I am his best weatherman.

It is a cloudless morning with a scene that elates the senses.

The Davao Gulf is calm. The bugaongs and salmonetes could be waiting for me and my fishing rod in the depths of Punta Dumalag.

The smaller Mt. Talomo, looming at the south with its awesome façade of green that cascades to the Gulf marred only by the silver glitter of a coal-fired power plant at its feet, is a beauty to behold.

The Davao Gulf is awesome blue up to the open sea.

In the east I can clearly see Punta Dumalag and the Badjao stilt houses in the sandbars of Matina Aplaya.

To the east is my Mt. Apo.

Its peak is clear to my eye even with my cataract and I thought I saw Joanna waving at me from the top of the Apo.

Joannaaaaaaa! Babyyyyyy!!!

I told you the weather will be fine!

joan and frederick

JOANNA BALANZA IN DINOSAUR ISLAND, MATI CITY, DAVAO ORIENTAL
JOANNA BALANZA IN DINOSAUR ISLAND, MATI CITY, DAVAO ORIENTAL

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