She pulls her long skirt up as she skips from rock to rock avoiding the ankle-length deep water of the silent gushing river on her way home.
Her knees sunset red for kneeling hours until she reached the Fifth Glorious Mystery her Wednesday routine with the Virgin of the grotto outside the church.
It was a rather peaceful evening save for some old ladies trying to tell her fortune of a strong man husband and healthy children by Her intercession.
Full of grace she hails the remnants of the day ending in pink violets and orange reds as she carefully climbed the bamboo stairsteps waking up her aging Tagpi from its afternoon siesta.
Then just as the crickets’ and kamarus’ chorus signal her to cook the dinner rice her Tiyo appears banana leaves on shoulders wrappings for tomorrow’s lunch at Junjun’s first day of school.
“Mano po,” as she brings her Tiyo’s calloused hands to her forehead smelling of sun sweat and the lingering image of a carabao pulling her skirt.
Rory is currently based in Petropavlovsk, Kazakhstan and dreams of going home one summer to Davao Oriental.