Foxy Nun of Sagada
gone to Manila to visit my friend Jonathan. He had some time off
so we went north to the Mountain Province and a village called
Sagada. The plan was to hang out there for a week or so.
Sagada is hard-core jungle inhabited by a handful of semi-reformed
headhunters. Decades ago the Episcopalians built a cathedral in
the settlement anticipating Sagada would become the gateway to
the north - as it turned out, no-one wanted to go north so the
cathedral sits like an oversized relic amidst a small barrio of
tin sheds. At the time of our visit the church's sole representative
was a nun who ran the local guesthouse.
visit Sagada is to get a front row seat to spectacular views of
raw heaving nature. Cradled in a valley, atop a mountain, enormous
clouds would hit the side of the range, pour up into the valley,
wash over it's length spilling out the other side - this and the
jungle serving hourly repo notices made Sagada a true frontier
as nature is, after a while I found myself distracted by the areas
lack of electricity and magazines. That, and I was finding the
nun's surly manner alluring.
understood deep down these things pointed to a personality flaw
in me. I had some reflecting to do and planned to spend the week
doing just that on the porch of the guesthouse. Jonathan had other
plans. Unburdened by any of this he launched into a deep communion
with nature, leaving me to my peccadillos.
was mid-musing on day 3 when the nun dropped dead.
put her in a pine box by the back door where she stayed for most
of the day before being taken away for burial under a pile of
rocks (frontier style). Dead at 30, turns out not only did she
have dewy lips, but also a dicky heart.
My mind had been in a malleable state before the nun died but
her death, so far from the things I'd like around should I have
a turn (like the IC Ward of Saint Vincent's Hospital) really set
me thinking about electricity, magazines and lots of other stuff.
original set of Ten Drawings of the
Jungle was done the day after the Foxy Nun of Sagada died
but here's the woman herself - and my guest-house room with a