On the other side of the planet, when you look up to the sky at night, you see a different star-scape. One noticeable configuration is the Southern Cross. The three stars in linear proximity might at first be mistaken for Orion’s Belt, till you discern the larger cruciform design.

Contemplating this stellar geometry, one could easily endow it with symbolic significance of a universal nature, as if it were Christ’s signature writ large against the black velvet void.

Then, closer, in the darkness, a firefly flashes & one is reminded of ephemeral existence, the minuteness of individual life in the cosmic context. This could be apt lucubration at midnight to carry thru well into the wee small hours.

Soon, however, the Sun rises again & all such thoughts are lost in the incandescence of clear, bright new light, the blue infinity of distance called sky, & nearer still a more intense electric-blue, the wings of a tiny butterfly glimpsed out of the corner of your eye.



Two other prominent features in the night sky are dwarf galaxies called the Large & Small Magellanic Clouds. They are named after Ferdinand Magellan, who famously 'discovered' the Philippines (though, of course, they were already familiar to the native inhabitants!) & was killed there, after arrogantly claiming the islands in the name of Spain.

Subsequently, the archipelago became a Spanish Colony & remained so for 3 centuries. Hence it was christened the Philippines & is, to this day, a very Catholic country. Therefore, 'Southern Cross' seems apt appellation.


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