The typhoon Frank of June 2008 left the island of Panay devastated and lost, a small sitio in Ibajay was lost from the map leaving only bad memories of that fateful day. Not far from the erased patch of land is my grandfather's small piece of land which we called KAYAMA (the meaning I just figured after countless times of questioning was Kay Ama, a versatile phrase meaning "for our father, our father's, or from our father") which happened to be my grandpa's nickname.
It was a miracle that the piece of property of Kayama was left unscathed inspite of the high winds and strong waves that swept the nearby houses to nothingness. It was until my trip there last week when I realize the power of nature to destroy and to heal, tons of coconuts and logs were scattered on the beach and my mind just lost its composure and went beserk of how to clean the beach and bring it back to what it was when we left it last March.
The big logs cover the view of the horizon from the beach house and the beach looked smaller and the sea wider - it felt different sitting on my freeform piles of driftwood I call my easy chair like being in a new world from the one I have loved months ago. Different it looks but the feeling of belongingness is still felt. I met new workers for the landscaping and cleaning drive and lost one memorable face of the caretaker of the beach who lost his father in the great flood as he lost his grip on the coconut tree and fell imto the muddy waters. The caretaker was so depressed that he would take refuge in alcohol until fluid was found in his liver. He lost the will to go on maybe life is always cruel and so is nature.
Nature has the greatest power to change everything. The landscape of Kayama was transformed as the view of the sandbar that separate the river and the sea has been washed out and all is left is a vast wide Sibuyan Sea where one can see an occasional leaps of big fishes swimming away from the jaws of the biger ones, the calm sea doesn't give one a hint of how ferocious it can be with a few hours of high winds and strong waves can alter one's life forever.
The changing landscape of Kayama is a view for all of us who come there, the sandbar that washes away with the May winds and the wide seascape in August reminds us that nothing is permanent except change itself and it reminds us of the small things that we enjoy today and be gone tomorrow like the haunting and warm nod from a familiar stranger you meet every afternoon as you wait for the sunset. You seek for the familiar in a different atmosphere of a familiar place yet you find nothing but fragments of memories or faint warmth in your heart.
Nature is a great force for it changes everything - even our memories.