Monday, September 24, 2012

Chapter 9: The Fugitive



I was lost.


-


A few years ago, Michael Scofield was the ideal leading man. He was smart, good-looking, and filled with tattoos. Determined and courageous, he had a goal and he didn’t stop until he achieved it. He was such a great leader, too. *Spoiler Alert* Even if meant dying to save his loved ones, he took charge when it mattered the most (literally). 

In addition to the amazing storyline, he was the reason I got hooked to Prison Break. He was very intellectual and he proved that nothing can indeed stand in the way of a thinking man. Everything he did was well thought of. Every move was calculated. Every risk was measured. He had an else to every if and he always knew where to go.


-


After she left, my outlook about my beloved homeland started to devolve. I grew up fully accepting all of my country’s issues: corruption, poverty, feudalism, and all others. But since she moved to a different part of the world, I slowly realized that life may truly be better somewhere else. From a man who was happily enjoying his comfort zone, the Philippines began to feel like a penitentiary.

In my eyes, the government was filled with hardened criminals and the streets were littered with thieves. Traffic was synonymous to living in congested prison cells and the rising price of commodities emptied my pockets like gangbangers. Though we sent daily email journals to each other and talked for hours over Yahoo, I thought of them as conjugal visits. Simultaneously watching dvdrips with her wasn’t enough. I had to get out of the country. I had to channel my inner Scofield.


-


In front of me was my mom sobbing. She wasn’t ready to let me go. It was still all new to her. I should have informed her of my plan a few months ago but I didn’t want to jinx it. I was determined to escape and there was no way anyone could have stopped me. I embraced her tightly and whispered to her that she will one day see me again. With an assuring smile, I told her that nothing will go wrong. I walked passed her and exited my cell.

My dad and my brother were waiting inside the getaway vehicle. They were as anxious as I was. I had to arrive at the extraction point in one piece. We took off at midnight and never looked back.


-


Inside our transport were countless people like me. Sharing the code name “kabayan”, we all had the same tired and exhausted look. Some were blindfolded and some were holding prayer beads. As an air of uncertainty crept among us, the sound of our cries were louder than the deafening roar of the engine. 

A turbulence was ahead and we stood no chance of avoiding it. Head on, we braved the storm. Freedom was a thousand miles away. We had to keep moving forward. We just had to.


-


After traversing unknown regions, we finally reached our destination. Qatar was just a door away and she was waiting for me on the other side.

I was lost. 

Where was the freaking exit?



picture in doha numero uno


picture in doha numero dos



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Daily Email: 11 September 2012

Mahal ko.
Magandang umaga po sa iyo.
Mahal na mahal kita.
Lalo na at mansari din natin ngayon.
 
Sana po ay hindi ikaw pumasok.
Hindi ko po ito masyado hahabaan kasi dapat ay wala naman ikaw sa ofis ngayon.
Pero nonetheless e mahal na mahal pa din kita.
Ang gusto ko kasi mahal ay gumaling na ikaw.
Hindi ka po gagaling agad kung papasok ikaw kahit may sakit.
Kung liliban ka ng isang araw para magpagaling, mas mabilis ikaw makakabalik agad.
Saka halata naman sa opisina nyo na may sakit ikaw ngayon.
Ilang araw ka naman na po malamang inuubo.
Ayun po.
So sana po umabsent ikaw.
 
Hindi na kita pakakainin ng ice cream.
Kung sakali man ay hindi ko na din iyon ipapaubos sa iyo.
Iiwasan po kasi natin un mga makakadulot ng karamdaman sa iyo.
Mahal na mahal po talaga kita.
 
Salamat po sa baon mahal ha.
Masarap talaga lahat ng gawa mo.
Sana housewife na lang ikaw para hindi ka pagod tapos lagi tayo may oras.
 
Mahal na mahal po talaga kita.
Gusto kita nakikita lagi.
:)
Miss na po kita mahal ko.
Hapi mansari po let.
 

Robert Arevalo Jr.
SME - Continuous Improvement
Customer Care
Vodafone Qatar Q.S.C


11 September 2012
  
kit and her nurse




Thursday, August 30, 2012

Kung Bakit May Pancit Bihon Tuwing Ika-28 ng Agosto


1. kamukha ko daw ang Papa ko.

2. hinde ko matandaan ang mukha niya from memory. sa mga litrato ko lamang siya nakita.

3. nakahiligan din daw ni Papa ang pagtugtog ng gitara.

4. mahilig rin magluto si Papa, gaya ni Mama. mana mana lang. :)

5. matalino daw si Papa. valedictorian siya nung High School sa Lyceum sa Pangasinan.

6. mahal na mahal daw niya sina Papang, Mamang at kanyang mga kapatid.

7. masugid daw na manliligaw si Papa. nadala ata ng kanyang pagpupursigi si Mama.

8. maraming kaibigan si Papa. marami rin siyang mga baril.

9. ginigising at nakikipaglaro daw si Papa sa amin kapag dumadating siya sa bahay kahit madaling araw na.

10. puro kulay puti ang mga gamit namin noon sa bahay dahil kay Papa. masinop, organisado at malinis siya sa lahat ng bagay.

11. parati daw ako dinadala, kinakarga at pinagda-drive ni Papa para makatulog.

12. paborito ko ang puting kumot niya galing AFP. kahit brownout no'n, nakatalukbong ako kasi malamig sa balat yung kumot na iyon.

13. idol daw ni Kuya si Papa. sa kanya lang daw siya sumusunod.

14. gusto daw ni Papa na siya ang nagluluto at nagpapaligo sa aming magkapatid.pinipilit din ni Papa na ubusin ni Kuya ang hinaing mga gulay sa kanyang plato

15. mapagmahal at makapamilya daw si Papa. kapag walang pasok, gusto niya na lahat kami ay nasa kwarto lang at nagkukulitan o nagkkwentuhan sila nina Mama at Kuya o nanonood lang ng T.V.

16. mabuti at mapagmahal daw na asawa si Papa sabi ni Mama. minsan daw nagmamahjong lang sila para maglibang; pinayagan niyang magtrabaho si Mama dahil bored ito; tig-isa kami noon ng taga-pagalaga para hinde mahirapan si Mama; at ang gusto ni Mama ang madalas na nasusunod.

17. gusto niya daw maging abugado si Kuya. pangarap niyang makapag-aral ito sa Ateneo. ako naman, plano daw na ipasok nila sa Poveda. yaman. (pangarap nga eh. haha!)

18. bidang-bida ang kuya ko sa bayan nina Papa sa Pangasinan. mananalo siya malamang kapag tumakbo siyang kapitan ng barangay. mahal siya ng lahat gaya ng pagmamahal nila kay Papa.

19. ninong ko si Sen. Gringo Honasan. pareho kami ng pangalan ng isa sa limang anak niya (Kit).

20. matulungin si Papa sa kanyang pamilya at mga kamag-anak.

21. isang araw noong Agosto, taon 1987 sa gitna ng kaguluhan dahil sa kudeta, kinutuban daw si Mama. sumagi daw sa isip niya na baka hinde na makabalik si Papa sa bahay.

22. Sniper Rifle.

23. mahirap mawalan ng asawa. mahirap mawalan ng makakasama sa pag-taguyod sa mga anak.

24. hinde na nag-asawa muli si Mama. wala na daw kasing makakapantay at maaaring pumalit sa posisyon ni Papa sa aming tahanan. tumayo siyang ama't ina naming magkapatid. tinawag niya iyong wagas na pag-ibig.

25. noong maliit pa ako, natatandaan ko na may ilang mga okasyon na pumapalahaw ng iyak si Mama. ang huli ay noong isang tanghali na kumakain kami sa mesa. bakit daw kami iniwan ni Papa. hinde ko alam kung yung ulam ba namin ang nagpaalala nito sa kanya o ang pinapanood naming programa sa telebisyon. hinde ko ata naubos ang pagkain ko sa lungkot at pagkabigla. pero yun na ang huli kong nakitang nag-breakdown si Mama.

26. paulit ulit ang kwento ni Mama sa akin tungkol kay Papa hanggang sa ngayon lalo na tuwing bago kami matulog hanggang abutin na kami ng liwanag. good times.

27. gustong gusto ni mama na nagbabakasyon kami sa Pangasinan. marahil dahil naaalala at nabubuhay si Papa sa kanya kapag naroon kami.

28. pinagtapos ko ang isa sa mga pamangkin ko sa side ni Papa para ituloy ang pagtulong niya sa mga kamag-anak.

29. ang pagkawala ni Papa ang nagpalakas sa aming tatlong mag-anak upang itaguyod paren nang masaya at kumpleto ang pamilya sa kabila ng kanyang pagkawala.

30. tuwing anibersaryo ng kamatayan ni Papa, nagluluto si mama ng pancit bihon --- para Long-life. :)



Papa, mahal na mahal ka namin.
relaks ka lang diyan ha.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Chapter 8: Yes


On Walter White’s 50th birthday, his life drastically changed.


---


Back in 2008, I was having the time of my life.

I was a few days away from my first day in my new role. I played paintball for the first time. I attended Incubus’ concert. I was on restday during weekends. And, on top of it all, we were constantly sending SMSs to each other and were watching movies almost every week. I was extremely happy.

Now, though I knew that we were only friends, I just kept going. I was having such a great time anyway. I knew she was, too.


---


On Walter White’s 50th birthday, his life drastically changed.

He found out he had an inoperable lung cancer. He only had a few months to live. He lost his job. He had no savings. His wife was pregnant with their second child.


---


Back in 2008, I was having the time of my life.

It was some time in March when I found out that she finally decided to leave the country. She was to work overseas for the next few years. All her papers were processed. Worst of all, she wasn’t allowed to watch Incubus’ concert because her flight was only two days away. I felt lost; so lost that I didn’t know what to do anymore.  

In fact, though we were together on a bus a day before her flight, I didn’t even had the strength to tell her how much she meant to me. 

When her head was leaning on my shoulders, I didn’t even had the guts to say a single word. 


---


On Walter White’s 50th birthday, his life drastically changed.

He found out he had an inoperable lung cancer. He only had a few months to live. He lost his job. He had no savings. His wife was pregnant with their second child.

And that’s why he decided to manufacture methampethamine. Being a chemistry teacher, his product was equal to none. His was the best crystal in town.

A few kilograms after, his cancer was cured.


---


Back in 2008, I was having the time of my life.

The clock was ticking. Her flight was a few hours away. I was running out of time. I wanted to embrace her. I wanted to hold her hands. 

Though I wanted to be with her at the airport, I had no choice. It was my first day of my new role in the office. 


---


On March 11, 2008, my life drastically changed.


“ Yes.”


She sent me an SMS.



March 10, 2008




Monday, August 20, 2012

Chapter 7: Promdi


I am a proud promdi (man from the countryside). Where I’m from, mass transportation ends at 7pm and shops close before dinner is served. Neighbors know each other very well and kids stay at home once the sun sets. Even as we speak, most houses still do not have cable TV (including ours) and the only famous store is Dunkin Donuts. There is literally nothing exciting to do aside from gossiping and eating porridge.

During Holy Week (week before Easter), the town takes boring to an extreme level. The townspeople stay at home 80% of the day and most of the shops are also closed for the week. There is nothing but religious shows on TV and Dunkin Donuts isn’t even open. Ironically, this period is one of my most anticipated time of the year. Since Internet and cable aren’t readilly available back in the days, it is the only time when I can sit in front of the tube for hours and have my 7th Heaven fix. I just find the simplicity of country life during that week as the perfect complement to a 90s show about family and values.

Now, even if these doesn’t sound exciting (which they really aren’t), I surprisingly miss the place. In fact, whenever I’m in the Philippines, I make it a point to visit my friends and relatives in the area. Sometimes, I stay there for a couple of days to rekindle my childhood. I go to the river, I walk in the rice fields, I gossip with neighbors, and eat porridge at the town square at night fall. It’s my way of evaluating my life and reflecting about where I came from and where I’m headed to.

Being promdi may not have given me an adventure-filled childhood but I am really proud  to be one. Because of my boring town, I appreciate the simplest things, I enjoy technology more, and I strive to be one of the more successfull porridge-eating promdis. Also, if I had a different background, I may not have liked 7th Heaven after all. Living in an era full of soaps and reality tv, who watches shows about values these days anyway?


---


Being a promdi sucked when it comes to rock. When I was young, I often heard people tagging my choice of music as satanic and ungodly (jeez, it wasn’t even metal). Aside from that, I didn’t have access to live performances and the only bands I’ve embarrassingly seen were the no-names who perform during our town’s annual feast. Though there was an improvement when I was in college (I finally attended concerts of local bands), I didn’t have enough cash to watch foreign artists.

Thus, when I heard that Incubus will be in the Philippines that March (2008), I immediately invited her to watch it with me. Knowing that she’s a fan, there was no way that she was missing this. And decline, she did not. She was as excited as I was and she was already planning how to ask for her family’s approval about it. (it was required).

But then again, life had its way of screwing things up. Apparently, there was this superstition about going out at night that gave her family a reason to not allow her to leave their house. I was fuming when I heard this. All the excitement that I felt quickly changed to frustration. I was devastated.

Fortunately, being a promdi taught me that the most sincere of suitors were the most persistent in times of dating adversities. A ridiculous superstition wasn’t going to stop me from seeing Incubus with her. 


----


The show ended at 12mn. My voice became Bonnie Tyler’s. My phone credits ran out.

Throughout the whole show, we screamed and sang to evey Incubus song. It felt like 7th Heaven.

I managed to bring her with me that night. Well, over the phone, at least.




Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Waterproof Pride?

Nakakalungkot isipin na ilang araw na ring binabaha ang News feed ng Facebook namin ng mga pag-uulat sa  lakas ng ulan at patuloy na paglaki ng baha sa ilang lugar sa Pilipinas. Kahit medyo kampante naman ako na hinde babahain ang mga pamilya namin pareho sa Bulacan at Laguna, andito pa rin ang pag-aalala na baka madulas ang Lola ko sa kanyang nilalakaran o baka na-stranded na ang ilang mga kaibigan o kamag-anak sa daan. Taimtim kong pinagdadasal ang kaligtasan ng lahat lalo na ng mga mahal namin sa buhay. Subalit para sa akin, ang pagbaha tuwing may bagyo sa buhay ng Pilipino ay parang init sa tag-araw o kaya'y lubak sa mga kalye sa Maynila --- Nakasanayan na.

Ang kalyo ko sa kanang palad ay hinde parin maalis-alis kahit babaran ko ng ilang container ng petroleum jelly. Malamang habambuhay nang bakas ito ng aking kabataan. Sa lugar na pinaglakihan ko sa likod ng SM North sa Quezon City, mahabang ambon man o malakas na bagyo e hinde pinalagpas ang bahay namin na pasukin ng baha. Kabisado ko na ang mga matitibay na bato at tubo na aking luluksuhin (kahit nakapikit pa) sa tuwing ilulubog ng maitim na tubig na pinaghalong kanal, ulan, ihi ng aso ang aking dadaanan papunta ng pinto ng aming bahay. Hinde na rin supresa na sasalubong sa akin ang tubig baha na lulusungin ko sa aming sala papuntang kusina. Pagkababa ko ng aking school bag sa taas ng mesa at suot lamang ang panloob na shorts at unipormeng blusa e tila automatic na sa akin na dadamputin ko ang dustpan at ilalabas ang tubig sa loob ng aming bahay (Nakabuo pa ako ng mabisang paraan no'n upang hinde agad mangalay ang kamay at braso sa pagdakot ng tubig-baha palabas ng pinto). Yun e kung mejo mahina-hina na ang ulan. Kung malakas lakas pa ang buhos nito e itatabi ko muna ang ilang mga gamit, papatayin ang mga appliances na nakasaksak, iinspeksyunin ang mga pamilyar na mga tulo galing sa butas ng bubong namin at maglalagay ng mga palangganang may basahan sa loob (iwas talsik ng tubig sa sahig), paaakyatin ang mga alaga naming pusa at aso sa mga kwarto sa taas ng bahay o kapag naiinip ako sa paghihintay ng aking maaksyon na paglilimas e gagawa muna ako ng assignment. Mapalad pa nga ako no'n kung may kuryente. Kaya kasama rin sa paghahanda ko ang ilang mga kandila at posporo kung mamalasing mawalan ng ilaw. At pucha kung malakas ang trip ko at talagang naiinip e lumalabas pa ako ng bahay, maghahanap ng sasagiping mga pusa na aampunin sa araw na iyon dahil sa bagyo o kaya'y tuluyan nang maliligo sa ulan. Walang makakapigil sa akin dahil ang Mama ko e nasa opisina pa at ang Kuya ko naman ay gabi pa ang uwian galing eskwela.

Marami-raming gamit na rin namin ang nasira dahil sa ulan at sa baha. Mismong ang bahay namin, kahit ilang beses pang ipagawa ng Mama ko e sadyang bumibigay minsan sa hagupit ng mga bagyong dumaan taon taon. Sa mumunting gulang ko no'n kahit mapagod ako kakalimas ng baha pagdating sa bahay e inaasahan ko paren ang pagbisita nila para i-suspinde ang mga klase. Siguro ang tangi ko lang kalungkutan na nararamdaman e yung hinde ko makuha lahat ng mga hayop na nasa kalye na posibleng nanlalamig o walang masilungan sa lakas ng ulan. Batid ng aking murang gulang no'n na dahil wala kaming pera upang makalipat sa mas maayos at mas mataas na lugar na hinde binabaha, kailangan ko lamang magtiis at ikibit balikat ang normal nang dinaranas namin no'n tuwing umuulan (uulitin ko, malakas o mahinang ulan.. binabaha kami). Kahit ipalinis o ipakalkal pa ni Mama ang kanal malapit sa aming bahay na umaapaw sa bawat pagbuhos ng ulan, nandiyan paren ang pagbaha. Hinde rin naman kasi kaya ng mga halamang tinanim namin ni Lola na inumin ang lahat ng tubig-ulan sa buong barangay namin. Ano pa ba ang magagawa di ba?

Sa paglipat namin sa unang bahay sa Laguna nung 4th year hayskul ako, malaking ginhawa rin na sa tuwing umuulan ay hinde ko na kailangang maghanda ng sarili upang sagupain ng buong lakas ang paglimas ng baha at pagdisinfect ng buong kabahayan pagkatapos. Tulo na lang ng bubong kung minsan pero bukod don e kuntento na ako. Sa aking unang trabaho e naranasan ko na rin ang lumusong sa baha sa lansangan. Wala nman nang bago doon. Parang bumabalik lang ang dati nang nakasanayan. Naranasan ko ring ma-stranded sa daan pauwi galing ng opisina. Nabago man ang aming buhay (at bahay), may mga bagay pa rin na sadyang permanente: 



1. Madalas pa rin umulan o bumagyo sa Pilipinas.
2. Binabaha pa rin ang karamihan sa mga lugar na tinatamaan nito.
...  


Pwera na lang kung sama-samang itutulak natin ang Pilipinas patungong Africa o sa mga bahagi ng mundo kung saan bibihirang daanan ng bagyo, malamang hinde na natin mararanasan ang hagupit ng kalikasang ito. Kaso hinde na mababago ang lokasyon ng bansa e. Dadaan at dadaan ang panahong Tag-ulan sa buhay natin. Para sa akin, bibihira ang pagbaha kung tayo lamang ay handa.

Hinde ako turuan nung bata pero isinabuhay ko ang simpleng utos na pagtapon ng kalat sa basurahan. Dinala ko yun mula bata, habang nag-aaral hanggang sa ngayon. Kung walang basurahan sa paligid, binubulsa ko ang ticket ng bus o balat ng sinisipsip na kendi. Kung naaalibadbaran ako sa kalat na nakikita ko sa daan, kahit hinde sa akin, ay pinupulot ko at tinatapon sa natatanaw na basurahan. 


Napaka-basic at civilized na panuntunan sa buhay: Huwag magkalat. Sa kasamaang palad, hinde lahat ng tao ay sensitibo sa kapaligiran nila. Banyagang kaalaman pa nga ang pag-recycle. Ang alam lang ng mga ninuno natin noon e mag-siga ng dahon.



Umuulan lang naman dahil ang tubig na galing rin sa mga ilog at dagat ay bumababa galing sa mga ulap. Elementary Science. Wala namang surplus ng tubig na kinuha ang kalikasan galing sa kalawakan. Hinde maco-contain ang tubig-ulan kung hinde rin tayo nagpaulan ng mga basura na siyang nagbabara at nagpapalubog sa atin ngayon. Dagdag pa dito, hinde na nga nagtatanim ang karamihan sa mga tao, mas marami pang mga pagkalbo ng kagubatan ang nagaganap para lamang sa pagdevelop ng mga lupang pagpapatayuan ng mga malls, condominiums, subdivisions, etc. 


3. Hinde pa rin sensitibo ang mga Pilipino sa kanilang kapaligiran / kalikasan.

Hinde paninisi sa gobyernong kadalasang nabubulagan na sa kanyang mga priorities, kung hinde mismo tayong mga Pilipino, collectively, ang dapat sisihin kung bakit sa lahat ng mga bansang dinaanan ng bagyo e ang Pilipinas mostly ang masamang naaapektuhan. Hinde naman tayo paboritong i-bully ng inang kalikasan na kung maisipan niya na magsabog ng bagyo e ang Pilipinas ang unang naka-lista sa kanyang handy dandy notebook. Maraming dinadaanan ang bagyo pero sa ibang lugar, pinaghahandaan ng gobyerno at ng mga mamamayan ang nakaambang hagupit ng kalikasan na hinde kontrolado ng kahit sinuman. Hinde kasi ito tipong *poof!* um-appear agad sa mapa ng Pilipinas yung ominous red colored thingy na pinapakita sa mga weather reports ng PAGASA. 




Boring na usapan, oo. Pero sa totoo lang, tanungin ang normal na Pilipino tungkol sa konsepto ng Sustainable Development e mapapakamot na lang siya ng ulo. Pero mas striking sa kanya ang coincidental na pagtugma ng petsa noong isang araw sa Genesis 8:7-12. Diyan tayo magaling. Tsk tsk. No wonder napapa-smile na lang tayo sa gitna ng mga trahedyang tulad nito.  






Chapter 6: Rod Serling

Facebook is weird. Whenever I scroll down my news feed, I feel like I’m reading posts from a different world. Aside from the mandatory blabs about recent purchases (items from thimbles to shoe laces to paper bags) I barely recognize the Philippines from the updates that I see. Here’s why.

1.       Talent shows have less contestants these days.  – On a daily basis, there’s always a food photo (scrambled eggs, <beef, chicken, pork, seafood> pasta with hotdogs, and fried rice) where a friend comments something like “you deserve to start a food business” and the owner of the photo discreetly agrees with him. Generally, we only aspire to be any of these three: actors, singers, OFWs. Facebook tells us that if we can follow recipes then we can be successful restauranteurs, too. No audition/placement fee needed.

2.       The Philippines is now the most blessed nation. – From chocolates given by superiors to scheduled annual bonuses to cheap airline tickets, there is a drastic increase of blessings in our country. Gifts, salaries, Starbucks planners, and post its are now tagged as graces from Heaven. Following this trend, if  we surprisingly voted for the right Barangay Captains (which we’re expected to do anyway), we’ll probably be on our knees singing hymns of praise. 

3.       There are no prodigal sons and daughters left in the world. – There are no bad offsprings on Facebook. We all live in ideal homes where kids and kids-at-heart (20 and 30 somethings who are still dependent) are their parent’s dreams. Honestly, there’s too much “I miss/love/thank you <insert relative here>” being posted online that I freaking feel bad about trying to be the best son offline.

4.       What happened to rice and pancit? – SLRs have replaced rice and pancit as the staple of every Filipino event. From birthdays to weddings to funerals, there’s always a Canon or a Nikon with a battery grip hanging from  a guest’s neck.  While I’m all for quality images, I do think that it is awkward for a photo of a coffin to have a photographer’s watermark.

Facebook is changing my beloved country. And if it goes on like this, I might lose my sanity.

Cue “The Twilight Zone” opening theme. 


---


The past few hours were surreal. For someone whose phone was stolen, I felt relief. I realized that she had a soft spot for me. I found comfort in knowing that she felt bad I got robbed. The attention she was giving me was driving me crazy.

After the event, I asked her if she could have breakfast with me before going home. She agreed. We had fun. She was very kind to me. Thank you, pre-teen snatcher. Being with her was driving me crazy.

We parted ways. We boarded buses going to opposite directions. I kept seeing her. She was everywhere. She was the bus driver. She was the other passenger. She was the traffic cop. She was driving me crazy.

When I reached home, I waited for her sms. 2 hours passed, there was still no SMS. Did she forget about me? Was that our last date? 3 hours passed. She sent an SMS. She was about to sleep. The uncertainty was driving me crazy.

I didn’t sleep. I was awake for almost 36hrs. I kept thinking about our next date. I was excitingly planning how to enjoy the Incubus concert with her. It was a few weeks away. The anticipation of being with her again was driving me crazy. 

I waited for her to wake up before I fell asleep. Love was driving me crazy.

Cue “The Twilight Zone” opening theme. 



Jollibee Breakfast. Kit was wearing the UP Shirt I bought for her.



Saturday, August 4, 2012

Huwag Kang Matakot





sa lahat ng tao na makikilala ko, may isa o dalawang beses na naitanong ko sa sarili na kung bakit napangasawa ko pa ang taong hinde kapanalig ng iniidolo kong eraserheads. nire-respeto naman niya ang aking pananalig sa kanilang musika, sa banda at sa mga taong bumubuo nito. pero kung bakit ba hinde siya nag-conform sa boto ng masa na ang e-heads ang pinakamagaling na banda sa pinas, e hinde ko na alam. pinagbigyan ko rin naman ang pwede niyang maging dahilan: siguro "too mainstream" na sa kanya na tipong nakakasawa na na lahat na lang ng tao e puro ely buendia at e-heads ang bukambibig noon. pero para sakin, kahit kumontra sya habang nakatalikod ako, sila paren ang beatles ng dekada 90.


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isang gabi nung nakaraang linggo, may pinaguusapan kaming seryoso ni rob. seryoso, na tipong nakakasira ng araw. yung magpapatahimik sa akin ng hinde lang sa buong gabi.. kundi ilang araw. ganun kaseryoso. tapos bigla niyang nabanggit na marami na daw siyang hinde pinaniniwalaan sa mundo. napatigil ako. tinanong ko kung anu ang ibig nyang sabihin. 

sabi nya, marami na daw siyang nagawang kabalbalan at kagaguhan sa buhay nya. mga pagkakamali. pero  magaan ang buhay nya ngayon. maayos ang trabaho.. na-promote pa sya. wala siyang problema sa pamilya. nabibili niya ang lahat ng kailangan at mga luho namin. rakenrol lang ang buhay, maginhawa at higit sa lahat, may nagmamahal na asawa.

ako daw ang pinaka-mabait na taong nakilala niya sa buhay. malinis. walang ganid at masamang intensyon. ni walang ginusto para sa sarili. lahat para sa ibang tao at mga mahal sa buhay. pero bakit daw ako ang may sakit na walang gamot. bakit walang natitira sa sahod ko para sa sarili. bakit demonyo daw ang amo ko. bakit ako pa daw ang nasisigawan at hinde natatrato ng tama. bakit parate akong may problema sa pera. bakit wala akong pangarap na pansarili. bakit ako daw ang pinuputakte ng kalungkutan at problema. bakit daw ako pa ang nahihirapan. bakit hinde yung ibang taong puro kababawan lang ang ginagawa at iniisip sa buhay. o bakit hinde yung mga taong walang puso gaya ng amo ko.

tumulo ang luha ko. sinabi nya at narinig ko yung miminsang pinagtataka ko rin sa buhay na sinasarili ko lang. ayoko naman kasing paniwalaan na ganun ang sistema ng buhay. na kapalaran ko at gusto ito ng diyos sakin.

pero naiyak din ako sa kung gaano kasensitibo ng lalakeng nasa harap ko no'n na mugto na rin ang mga mata. na higit na nasasaktan kapag nasasaktan ako kahit hinde ko sinasabi. na alam nya minsan yung sinasabi ng isip at nararamdaman ng puso ko. sa mga katahimikan ko e nakararamdam siya ng pagkabalisa, minsan ng galit, at kadalasan, ng impulse na gumawa ng aksyon para masolusyunan ang anu mang problema o bumabagabag sakin. pero isa lang ba dapat ang maging magandang aspeto sa buhay ng tao. anlabo e, aniya.

nawawalan na daw siya ng pananalig sa fairness ng buhay. sabi ko naintindihan ko siya.. pero sana kung naniniwala pa ako, samahan nya ako sa tiwalang yun. niyakap niya ako ng mahigpit. matagal. sabi nya, mahal na mahal niya ako lalo.



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hinde man siguro panatiko ang asawa ko ng eraserheads. pero siya ang naiisip ko kapag naririnig yung pamilyar na chorus ng "with a smile". sa kanya ko rin naia-associate yung lyrics ng "huwag kang matakot". kinanta ni rob ang "ligaya" nung nagvi-videoke kami dati dahil puro e-heads ang sinalang ko (hinde ko naman alam na hinde siya fan no'n). si rob lang ang naiimagine kong kasayaw sa saliw ng "huling el bimbo" at "kailan". siya lang rin ang magiging kasama ko sa joyride sa kung saan habang ang "sembreak", "overdrive", "alapaap", "torpedo", at iba pang kanta nila ang bumabayo sa loob ng kotse namin.


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" Ikaw ang Diyos at hari ng iyong mundo
Matakot sila sa 'yo."

- linya sa isang kanta ng e-heads.
- turo ni rob.

 



Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chapter 5: The Optimist


I pity the kids of this generation. While I do appreciate all the technological advancements that are available today, I still feel that mine and my parents’ childhood are more exciting and more fun. We may not have pawned anyone in DOTA/DOTA2 but at least we flew kites and ran across rice fields. We may not have swiped angry birds on smart phones but at least we played “Patintero”  under moonlit skies. We may not have watched movies in 3D but we at least had The Neverending Story, The Land Before Time, and all the other movies that that have been remade to blu-ray for the sake of this era. 

Music during our time was also was better. Bieber and One Direction don’t even amount to a hair strand of the singers of our years. Today, MTV has Jersey Shore. Back then, we had Beavis and Butthead, Daria, and Celebrity Death Match. How cool, right?
Lastly, I pity the kids of this decade because they don’t have any action heroes left. Forget the cast of The Expendables; the children of the year 2000 and up don’t even have a Richard Dean Anderson. 

MacGyver is one of the most kick-ass shows of my childhood. Up to now, I can still remember how I fervently waited for his show to air on RPN 9. Every episode is a classic family bonding moment. They way they applied science to the series is entertainingly educational, too. Also, he is a guy who only held a gun three times for seven seasons and escaped every situation with just a Swiss knife and duct tape. No sex. No violence. Pure awesome, I say. On top of all this, he taught me a very important lesson in life:  


 Another day, a whole 'nother set of fresh possibilities ... I'm a sucker for mornings”


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She said no.

After a number of movie tickets, coffee cups, and restaurant menus, I ended that January night with an “L” on my forehead. She still had a lot of other priorities and we were better off as friends. A relationship was not on her plate that time. It was the dreaded “Nothing against you but I’m not ready yet. I’m sorry”. I was crushed.

I always felt that we looked good together. We had this chemistry. We laughed at the silliest of things. We even chatted until early morning during our rest days. She was the first person I was really comfortable talking to. In fact, the day before I got promoted, we spent a good amount of hours planning what to discuss during the job interview. She was also the first one I texted when I found out that I got the position.

That night, I decided to move on. Staying friends with her was difficult for me. I just sucked at accepting defeat. Nothing against her but I was not that good back then at handling rejection. I had no reason to continue pursuing someone who only saw me as a friend. It was also the mature thing to do.

Or so I thought.

It started with a poem. And then another one. And then another one. Until one day I realized that I have sent her a poem every single day for the past month. There was no particular theme. All of them had a different concept. But all of them were for her. From cooking to music to constellations,  I was so inspired by what happened that my friends were also impressed by the things that I wrote. I didn’t move on after all. Rather, I unconsciously tried another route to her heart. 

And it worked.

I marked my calendar: February 16. UP Fair 2008.

A date at her Alma Mater.

Thank you, Angus MacGyver.

Anagram: Ruby Rachelle Camba