19 February 2013

Beautiful Pig

Originally posted in http://precious127.multiply.com/journal/item/15/Beautiful-Pig

I have no problems with my weight, it is you who has a problem with it. I don't care what others may think.Time and again I have proven people wrong of their prejudgements of me, despite my weight.

It is you that is my problem. You and your obvious loathing for what you see in me.

I have enough confidence for me to survive. I may be how I am, but I have a face that is pleasant enough with a personality to kill. I am likeable enough that no one would criticize me openly just because I am fat. And I don't care about what they say behind my back.

FAT. That's the word for it. I AM FAT. Not overweight, not hormonally imbalanced, not metabolically retarded. I. AM. FAT.

Stop projecting your frustrations on me because it doesn't work. Stop comparing me to anyone else because I DON'T CARE. I will lose weight when I want to, on my terms. I am beautiful, and no amount of calories will ever take that away. I know that if I don't control myself I might be too fat to haul my ass off this floor in a couple of years. But even then, I will still see myself for what I really am. I am beautiful. A beautiful pig.

This is my life, not yours. I am not you. Stop trying to turn me into something you want to be but couldn't. Stop forcing me to live a life that is not my own. Stop making me repress who I really am! This is who I am, right here right now. I don't want to be anyone else.

Someday, I'll make you proud. But it will be on my terms, in my own way, with my own methods. Regardless of my weight. You know my potential, what I could be in the future if I just work it. I know you look forward to that day. That day that you'll be proud to say that I am yours - smart, savvy, and with a really sexy body.

Why can't you just love me for who I am now, instead of who I could someday be?

Of Friends, Music and Lots of Words

Originally posted in http://precious127.multiply.com/journal/item/22/Of-Friends-Music-and-Lots-of-Words

You say, I only hear what I want to.
- Stay, Lisa Loeb

16 August 2008, 23.51
     This day ends, for me, with a very pleasant thought. I am gaining friends. It may be too early yet to say that these friendships will be as meaningful as the ones I have, and am, experiencing from the Laudrichites or The Ten/Orange Circle/The Fraternity (once again, special mention to Selah for giving so many names to our female-dominated barkada), but maybe, just maybe, they will be.

    I don't know. Maybe I shouldn't even be thinking about this. But just a few months ago (I am shocked at how time flies), I could barely pick out guests for my debut party (NOT ceremony). The plan was to have 50 guests rocking their heart out on the eve of my 18th birthday, and so far, I could barely think of 20 people whose presence WOULD NOT ruin that night for me, and with the departure of some of those friends to places beyond our timezone, that reduces my "circle" even more to a size i could easily count without using up all my fingers and toes.

    No, I know it is impossible that by the time my birthday comes up, these new friends I've made will be able to achieve what those dearest to me have. I have too many walls and hoops that they will have to break down and jump through to get to the very core of what I am. Walls and hoops that only my friends and not my family have managed to somehow overcome. But maybe, just maybe, the imperfect mix of our various backgrounds and current (and hopefully, future) shared experiences would be enough to bind us together that in four months, these people will still be around to form my group of the 50 most special persons in my life. ê

The Pensive: Preparing for Hell

Originally posted in http://precious127.multiply.com/journal/item/28/The-Pensieve-Preparing-For-Hell.-D
(Made before JPIA 50 hellweek, circa 2009)

A very appropriate title, since our hellweek will officially commence in two days. In the midst of my preparations, many thoughts surface in my mind, and to be quite honest, it's a bit more than I can handle right now. This situation I mainly attribute to the recent conclusion of yet another bloody examination period (otherwise known as the weekly torture caused by Econ 100.1 and BA 99.1,which suppressed all my thoughts),  and thus they are all just rushing in. That being said, I've chosen to enumerate as many thoughts as I possibly can.

1. Why do foreign shows dubbed to the Filipino language seem to lose their original quality? I mean, it's more or less the same dialogue, and the same story line, so why the degradation of the show in whole? Not only that, but why isn't there anything original on local television right now? I'd hate to think that this is all that our artists could come up with. Then again, this sabbatical from quality television can just be in response to the demand of the masses which once again makes me reevaluate my standards and realize that they are probably too high.

2. Why does Chinese Star Movies have to be in pay-per-view, while the other Star channels are already part of the package? I really find it unfair, especially since it seems too much of an expense for us to pay an additional monthly fee for that ONE additional channel because our television's   usually tuned in to the cartoon channels anyway. But still, I want my Asian movies fix!

3. How come the longer a guy is into a relationship, the more he takes on feminine traits? It's not that I'm actually complaining, but it's just a bit puzzling. As for this matter, I feel it more than I think about it, so there isn't really much I could say or do but sigh and miss that one person who's making me think thoughts that I myself do not understand.

4. Who is the tambay princess? I've checked the list of unique characters and there is still no Precious Tandoc, just me and Presh, and the only person with the last name of Tandoc is Darryl. Now, unless one of us got married to him [which both Presh and I vehemently deny], the only possibilty is that it's one of us, or that our tambay hours got combined [as well sa our lst names: Gan + Platon = Ganton or Plagan ], which would make it no wonder that whoever that Precious Tandoc is became the tambay princess.

5. Why do people want things? Why do we aspire to achieve our dreams? Why do we dream at all? What purpose do our dreams wish to achieve, aside from giving us purpose, and if a person doesn't dream at all, then what will happen? Will time stand still? Will he just die? Is there actually anyone who doesn't have dreams at all, consciously or otherwise?

6. What does life have in store for me before I turn 18? In the coming months, will I lose weight, will I grow taller? Will I have greater confidence in myself, or perhaps a greater sense of responsibility? How will my personality, and who I am change? Will I change at all, or will I just stagnate and be the same when I am 18, or 28, or 68 as I am now? I have no fears of growing old, I look forward to the challenge, to its perks and its rheumatisms. But what if I grow old but not change at all? What will happen if I stay in 2008 while the rest of the world moves on?

7. And of course, my all-time favorite: Paano naglalakad ang sirena?

Song: Nothing

Originally posted in http://precious127.multiply.com/journal/item/30/New-Song-NOTHING

Today is, supposedly, study day. But I got sick, and I got a new Jem track, and my sisters got me to watch Camp Rock. So now, I'm trying to study, but I got a few words stuck in my head. Sayang naman if I don't use it. So here it is, another original song. I've got the lyrics nailed and a basic tune, but once again, no accompaniment whatsoever. Jeez, I so need to improve on using instruments. Music writing sucks when it's just in a capella... especially when your nose is shock-full of snot and what-have-yous and your voice is coming out all crazy. Adiway, here id is. Adyone cawes to put some music into it? :p [p.s. will anyone please be honest enough to tell me if it sucks??? please, please, PLEASE do..]

Precious Rochelle O. Gan
An Original Work

These are my words
This is my song
The longer you listen
The more you'll know
I am nothing
I am no one
I am fine
I am fine

Looking in the mirror
I see my face
I'm invisible
I am nothing
Walking in a dazed crowd
No one even bothers if I'm alive
If I'm alive

These are my words
This is my song
The longer you listen
The more you'll know
I am nothing
I am no one
But I'm fine
Yes I'm fine

 How do you define ordinary?
What is normal?
What is not?
Living with my own mistakes
Never giving any mind to what is there
I don't really care

These are my words
This is my song
The longer you listen
The more you'll know
I am nothing
I am no one
I am fine
Mighty fine

From this second onward
Listening to what others have to say
What have you got to say?
No one really matters
Stand up from the shadows and take your place
No more time to waste

These are our words
This is our song
The longer you listen
The more you'll know

These are our words
This is our song
The longer you listen
The more you'll know
We are nothing
We are no one
We are fine

The Worst Thing


They say it's better to have loved and lost than not to have loved at all. But the worst thing in life is not having loved, but being made to believe that you're actually capable of being loved, when the truth is that you are not capable of being loved by an person or creature, regardless of your affinity and sphere of living, for any extended period of time. To be made to think you were ever worth something, when you truly never were. Not now, not ever, not at all. That is the most painful thing at all.

Not to have loved and lost, but to realize that there was nothing for you to lose in the first place.

Leave Me Alone

Originally posted in http://precious127.multiply.com/journal/item/35/Leave-Me-Alone
(Most Multiply posts will be coming from 2009. Forgive the misery in all 2009 reposts.)

These battle scars are proof of my pain. Maybe, just maybe, if I could materialize how much it hurts, the pain would cease. It doesn't matter what's the reason, I don't want to bear my heart out to the world. I just want to breathe again without my chest getting tighter and tighter. Still, all this time, I know the one thing I want, but I can never have it. I had it once, but you cannot insist a square to fit into a circle. One has to change its shape, but that's not the way for people. Right now, if I just had a choice, I'd throw my heart out and feed it to the kids begging on the streets. Hearts are for humans, and humans are social beings. Right now, I just want to be anywhere but here.

Quote for the day.

"I don't know what's sadder. This, or the truth that I actually feel freer and more relieved that it's now over between us."

Not everyone may understand what I'm saying, but the few who do, I hope you get what I'm trying to say. Please don't force me to come out. I don't want to be anywhere but in my own jail cell. I caused this to happen, I dealt the final blow to what marked the most meaningful times in my life. The worst thing about this is that though all this time he insisted I was not a burden, at the end I proved that once again I was right.

Delusion was never  good thing, but maybe if I had deluded myself a bit more he would have turned around. But I can't take anymore, so I gave him the reason he needed. My life as I know it is officially over. Please give me time to figure out if I still want to proceed.

Pre's Top 3 Pitfalls of Common Courtesy

Originally posted in http://precious127.multiply.com/journal/item/39/Pres-Top-3-Pitfalls-of-Common-Courtesy

There are just some things that I fail to understand why we, as supposedly logical beings, keep on doing. thus...

Precious' Top 3 Pitfalls of Common Courtesy

Disclaimer: This entry will be in Taglish so as to simulate actual day-to-day conversations.

1. Injured girl is running late for her next class. Takes time to go up the stairs, to walk, and is basically mobility-impaired since she's injured. duh.

   Friend 1: Oh, ano nangyari sayo?

   Girl takes at least 30 seconds to explain.

   Friend 1: Ah. So hanggang kailan ka ganyan?

   Girl takes at least 15 seconds to explain.

   Friend 1: Ah ok. Sige, ingat ka ha.

   Kiss kiss, hug hug,  beso beso takes at least 5 seconds. Girl passes Friend 1 and meets Friend 2.

   Friend 2: Oh, ano nangyari sayo?

   Girl takes at least 30 seconds to explain.

   Friend 2: Ah. So hanggang kailan ka ganyan?

   Girl takes at least 15 seconds to explain.

   Friend 2: Ah ok. Sige, ingat ka ha.

   Now, imagine if the hall was filled with at least 5 friends of Girl. That would be nearly five minutes of conversation, notwithstanding the minimum 10 minutes to walk up the two flights of stairs (since she's injured. duh again). Girl would only be in time for attendance, but our time  computation hasn't yet included the time it would take Girl to pass from friend to friend and from (for this example) friend number 5 to the classroom.

2. Imagine something similar to the previous dialogue in a situation where you really, really, REALLY need to pee in the middle of a very stressful, time-consuming exam.

   Friend 1: Girl, musta na!

   Girl takes at least 30 seconds to accomodate Friend 1's innocent, caring inquiry.

   Friend 1: Ah. May class ka pa?

   Girl takes at least 15 seconds to explain "Yup, exam sa ________. Magsi-CR lang ako."

   Friend 1: Ah ok. Sige, good luck!

   Kiss kiss, hug hug,  beso beso takes at least 5 seconds. Girl passes Friend 1 and meets Friend 2.

   Friend 2: Girl, musta na!

   Girl takes at least 30 seconds to accomodate Friend 2's innocent, caring inquiry.

   Friend 2: Ah. May class ka pa?

   Girl takes at least 15 seconds to explain "Yup, exam sa ________. Magsi-CR lang ako."

   Friend 2: Ah ok. Sige, good luck!

Such conversation uses up at least one minute, depending on whoever Girl may be talking to. Now imagine if there were 3 friends on the way to the washroom, and 3 friends on the way back. Also take into consideration the travel time which we will right now set at 5 minutes back and forth from the washroom (since it would be fairly safe to deduce that if the washroom was too far away, a student would not dare to go there in the midst of the examination), as well as the minimum time a girl takes in using the lavatory, which is around 3 minutes. That will cause Girl to lose at least 14 minutes of her essential exam-taking time, which we all know is like having your toes pulled out.

3. Now, imagine an injured girl who has to pee really, really, REEEAAAAALLLLLYYYYY badly in the middle of a very stressful exam. Need I say more?

Of Blogs and Lies

Originally posted in http://precious127.multiply.com/journal/item/41/Of-Blogs-and-Lies
(Forgive the masochistic post. This was a dark time. Haha.)

Since I've gained a mind of my own, I've stopped believing in blogging every little thing that happens to me. I've stopped dwelling on too many emotions, or zoning into any specific events.

A blog is like a window into the blogger's soul. His heart, his mind, is opened up to the entire world depending on how much information he decides to divulge. If that person says one thing too much and the entry is read by someone whose intent is to do harm, then the blogger has given that antagonist the most powerful weapon: the blogger himself.

I, for one, do not like being put on a pedestal. I do not enjoy the limelight, and the shadows is enough comfort for me. Even in high school productions, though my acting skills are competent, I'm much more comfortable working behind the scenes, despite being in charge of mostly everything with only two to three other people to work with. The only time I put myself in the spot light are voice and theater workshop recitals, and that was only to please my folks who paid so much for my moment on stage.

I do not wish to wear my heart on my shoulders, and though I am quite relieved that there are people now who can tell what my most basic emotion is at some moment in time, it also scares me. I do not know these people. At least,  not as much as I'd like to. That scares me.

Secrets, emotions, feelings. All these things are the most basic weapons traitors use to dismantle their enemies. With each passing day, these are the weapons I give out to the world. But I cannot live any other way. I feel like an even bigger person than the (big) person I already am right now. Like there's always a new idea, or a strong emotion that's trying to burst out of me. So uncontrollable, that it often leaves me at a daze.

I can't trust my emotions right now. Whatever I think, whatever I feel, if it's not definite, then I must not take it for such. Happy is happy, sad is sad, the middle is nothing. Stop thinking too much of things, stop hoping and wishing, stop caring. Just stop.

So when I say I'm okay, sometimes I am. Sometimes, I lie. Sometimes, I really can't tell. No matter what, I will say I'm okay, and I'll continue to aspire to reach that level of okay-ness that society finds acceptable.

Then again, I may be lying.


Originally posted in http://precious127.multiply.com/journal/item/49/PAMANA

“Isa nga hong baso ng yelong nakababad sa coke at isang pandesal na siksik sa keso.”

“Aba, isang bata lang ang alam kong umoorder ng ganyan.” Lumingon si Manang Elena sa upuang bago kong inokupa. 

“Tino? Tino, ikaw na ba yan? Ang laki-laki mo na, iho! Siguro’y mayaman ka na ngayon, ano?”

Sampung taon na mula nang huli kong nasilayan ang bayan ng San Rafael, ngunit halos wala pa ring nagbago.

Nariyan pa rin ang tindahan ni Mang Igme na paboritong tambayan ng mga lasenggo dito, at itong karinderya ni Manang Elena na amoy usok dahil sa dami ng imported na tabakong pinapadala ng kanyang anak na nagtatrabaho sa States. Mabuti nama’y kahit papaano’y umasenso na si Madam Josepina, rinig na rinig ang ingay ng may kalumaang aircon ng beauty parlor niyang dati’y small-time lang na barberohan.

“Heto na ang order mo, iho.” pumukaw ang boses ni Manang Elena sa aking pagmumuni-muni, “Ano nga palang ginagawa mo dito ngayon sa bayan natin?”

“Wala naman, ho. Dinala lang ako dito ng trabaho ko.” Kahit kaila’y hindi talaga ako magaling makipag-usap sa mga taong nakakaalam sa nakaraan ko. Hindi rin nawala ang pagiging mahiyain ko kapag nakikipagkuwentuhan sa mga nakatatanda sa bayan namin, lalo na kay Manang Elena. Palibhasa’y hindi ko makalimutan ang kahihiyan ko nung nahuli niya kami ng matalik kong kaibigang si Cris na kumuha ng pagkain sa karinderya niya ng walang paalam noong grade 1. Hindi lingid sa kaalaman ni Manang Elena na bihira lang kung makapagtanghalian kami, at dinaan na lang niya sa tawa habang pilit na binabalik sa aming mga munting kamay ang dalawang piraso ng tinapay na sinubukan naming nakawin. “Manang Elena, si Cris nga po pala, kamusta na siya? Nandito pa ba siya?”

“Oo, di naman siya umalis. Ayun, hindi pa rin nagbabago. Tulad noong bata pa kayo, ang dami dami niyong pangarap sa buhay. Gusto mo ba siyang makita? Madalas yun nagpupunta dito para maghapunan. Hintayin mo na lang, ha?”

Una kaming nagkakilala ni Cris noong pitong taong gulang ako. Dalawang taon ang tanda niya sa akin ngunit hindi ito pansin dahil sa pagiging maliit at patpatin niya. Bagong lipat sila noon, dalawa nalang sila ng kanyang ina mula nang iniwan sila ng kanyang ama para sumapi sa rebelde at hindi na muling binalikan. Maliit lang ang San Rafael at walang nananatiling sikreto, kaya’t alam ng lahat ang sitwasyon ni Cris. Madalas siyang tuksuhin ng mga kalaro namin, iniwan daw siya ng tatay niya dahil natakot ito kay Cris na mukha daw kalansay. Madalas siyang mapaaway at ang mga sugat niya mula dito ang dumadagdag sa pagiging nakakatakot ng batang si Cris. Ako lang ang hindi nanukso sa kanya, palibhasa’y hindi ko rin halos kilala ang aking ama. Bihira ko lang siya nakikita at lagi niya kaming iniiwanan dahil sa kanyang trabaho. Kung saan-saan kasi siya nadedestino para makipaglaban. Kung nasaan ang gulo, nandoon din si ama. Sa mura naming edad, hindi namin naisip na maari pa lang magtagpo ang aming mga ama sa labanan. Mahiyain ako at mahinang bata, siya lang ang kaibigan ko dito noon. Kung tutuusin, noong panahong iyo’y ako lang rin ang kaibigan niya.

“Cris, bata ka!” nagising ako sa pag-iisip-isip ng garalgal na boses ni Manang Elena. “Haliko, iho. May naghahanap sayo.” Dahan-dahan akong tumayo mula sa aking kinauupuan. Kamusta na kaya si Cris ngayon? Madami na kayang nagbago sa kanya? Naaalala pa kaya niya ako? “Tino, ikaw ba yan? Pare! Ilang taon ka na bang nawala? Bakit ngayon ka lang bumisita?” Isang malaking ngiti ang dahan-dahang lumitaw sa mukha kong kanina’y puno ng kaba sa muli naming pagkikita ng tangi kong kaibigan.

“Isang dekada nang nagdaan. Buti nakilala mo pa ko. Eto, mabuti naman ako. Wala pa ring asawa. Ikaw, siguro nakatuluyan mo na yung nililigawan mo nung third year tayo, no? Ano nga ba pangalan nun, Jenny ba?” matagal na nga akong nawalay kay Cris, pero dumadating pa din ng natural ang pang-aasar ko sa kanya.

“Tol, alam mo namang ikaw gusto nun e. Pareho lang tayo, malaya pa rin.” Tawa ni Cris, “Anong pinagkakaabalahan mo ngayon, Tino? Anong nangyari sayo mula nang umalis kayo ng ina mo? Ano bang nangyari? Ang bilis niyo kasing umalis tapos wala man lang kaming balita mula sa inyo.” Parang wala pa ring nagbago. Magaan pa din ang pakiramdam namin sa isa’t isa. Sa sandaling iyon, pakiramdam ko’y nagbalik kami sa pagiging kinse anyos at tila isang iglap lang ang lumipas na sampung taon.

Gabi na’t nag-iinuman kami sa tinitirahang kubo ni Cris sa gitna ng palayan. Tahimik dito, marahil kaya’t dito niya napiling tumira. Kahit kaila’y pareho kaming hindi nahilig sa ingay. Pareho na din kaming ulilang buo ngayon, siguro kaya’t mapapansin ang kalat ng lugar. Binatang-binata pa nga talaga.

“Hoy, Tino. Kinakausap kita. Ano na namang nasa isip mo?” Napatingin lang ako’t ngumiti, senyales na hindi ako nakikinig. Kamot-ulo na lamang si Cris at inulit ang tanong, palibhasa’y sanay na siya sa dali kong mawala sa usapan, “Tinatanong kita kung anong dahilan ng biglang niyong pag-alis ng Ermats mo.”

“A, namatay si tatay. Alam mo namang hindi namin kayang bayaran yung upa dun sa bahay namin kung wala ang sweldo niya.” Kibit-balikat ko siyang sinagot. Mahirap mang paniwalaan, wala lang talaga sa akin ang pagkamatay ni Tatay. Di ko naman kasi siya halos nakapiling para mangulila noong nawala siya. “May mga kamag-anak si Tatay sa Maynila, doon kami nanirahan ni Inay. Naging malungkutin si Inay at di nagtagal sinundan niya si Tatay. Tumigil ako sandali ng pag-aaral pero nakapagtapos naman ako. Sa katunayan, isang taon na akong nagtatrabaho.” Yung mga huli kong salita’y kinailangan kong ulitin, sumabay kasi sila sa pag-hikab ko.

“Ang aga-aga pa, inaantok ka na, pare? Napagod ka ata sa biyahe. Saan ka ba nanggaling?”

“D’yan lang sa kampo namin sa San Ignacio. Pahinga ako ngayon, pero babalik din ako sa susunod na linggo. Galing akong Tarlac, yun yung huli kong destino bago rito.”

“Kampo? Nagpulis ka ba, Tino?”

“Hindi, nagsundalo ako. Tinyente, di tulad ni Tatay na hanggang Sarhento lang.” Tumaas ang kilay ni Cris, siguro’y hindi makapaniwala sa sinabi ko. Palibhasa’y siya ang matalik kong kaibigan. Sundalo ang lolo ko, sundalo din ang tatay ko. Yun ang dahilan kung bakit bihira namin siyang nakikita. Gayunpaman, wala akong galit sa mga sundalo. Kung naging absent man si Tatay sa buhay ko, pinili niya iyon. Madami akong kilalang kapwa sundalo ngayon na linggo-linggo nagpapadala ng mga sulat sa kanilang mga anak, at tuwing uwi’y nag-iipon para malibre ang pamilya. Hindi katulad ni Tatay.

Nagbalik sa normal ang mukha ni Cris, at mukhang may mahalagang sasabihin. “A... pare, tutal naman isa ka na palang tinyente, baka pwede mo akong tulungan?”

Sus, yun lang pala. “Oo ba. Anong problema? May nanggugulo bang mga rebelde dito? Hindi pa naman ligtas itong tinitirhan mo. Mag-isa ka sa bahay na ito sa gitna ng bukid, malayo ang susunod na bahay. Huwag kang mag-alala. Magpapadala ako ng ilang tao ko dito. Di mo ata natatanong, big tim na ako.”

Natawa si Cris, bihira kasi ako magyabang noon. “Hindi, ayos lang ako dito. Bago ka lang kasi sa kampong ‘yan pare. Hindi mo pa alam ang mga baho ng ibang sundalo niyo.” Ano daw? “Tanungin mo ang kahit sino dito sa bayan natin. Kumakain sila sa mga karinderya pero hindi nagbabayad, kinukuha nila yung mga paninda ni Mang Igme na walang paalam, ginugulo ang mga kustomer sa parlor. Mbauti sana kung iyon lang...”

“Teka, teka, pare.” Nagugulumihanan kong sagot, “Sobra naman yata yung mga binibintang mo. Saan mo nalaman yang mga yan? Tanod ka ba dito?”

“Ah, parang ganun na nga.” Simula ni Cris, “May binuo kaming samahan dito, tinawag naming ‘Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Mamamayan’. Hindi na kasi maaasahan ang mga alagad ng gobyerno dito, wala nang ginagawa kundi magpalapad ng papel sa mga mamamayan, pero wala naman silang nadudulot ng mabuti. Kami ang gumagawa ng trabaho ng mga tanod, kami din ang nagpaparating ng mga hinaing ng taumbayan. Kami ang...”

Wala akong namalayan hanggang sa nasuntok ko si Cris. “Walanghiya ka, Cris. Rebelde ka pala!”

Nanlaki ang mata ni Cris at bigla siyang tumayo mula sa pinagbagsakan niya sa sahig. “Hindi ako rebelde, Tino! Isa lang akong mamamayang nagmamalasakit sa kapwa!”

“Anong nagmamalasakit? Hindi ba’t kayo yung nanggulo sa kampo namin noong isang linggo? At binugbog pa nga isang kasamahan mo yung isa sundalo namin noong nagpunta siya sa karatig-bayan! Ano bang problema niyo, ha?”

“Wala kaming problema! Yung binugbog ni Kaloy, sinubukang halayin yung kapatid niyang dalaga!”

“ Sinungaling Puro ka palusot! Akala ko ba hindi natin tatanggapin ang pamana ng mga ama natin? Bakit hindi ka tumupad sa pangako?” binuhat ko ang upuan at binato kay Cris, hindi siya nakailag at bumagsak siya sa parehong lugar na binagsakan niya kanina.

“Hindi ako nagpapalusot, Tino! Hindi talaga ako rebelde!” Kung ano man ang sinasabi ni Cris, wala na akong naririnig maliban sa aking paghinga at ang mahinang tawanan sa may di kalayuan. Inikot ko ang lamesa at lumuhod sa harap niya, at pinaulanan ng suntok. Noong una’y hindi siya pumatol, nang biglang may nagbago sa paraan niya ng pagtingin sa akin at muli siyang tumayo at sinipa ako ng malakas. “Tino, gumising ka nga! Hindi lahat ng aktibista ay nagiging mga rebelde!” Binato ko siya ng isang boteng nahulog mula sa mesa, at pagharap muli sa’kin ni Cris ay dumudugo na ang kanyang ilong. “Tino! Hindi kami rebelde! Hindi ako rebelde! Hindi ako gumaya sa Tatay ko, gaya ng hindi ka gumaya sa Tatay mo. Alam ko yun. Sundalo ka, pero hindi ka gumaya sa kanya, dahil iba ka. Iba rin ako, Tino. Ibahin mo ako sa Tatay ko!” pinatid ko si Cris at bumagsak siya sa sahig, hindi siya umiimik ngunit hindi ako natakot. Nawalan lang naman siya ng malay, hindi nakamamatay ang pagbagsak sa sahig.

Sa gitna ng pag-aaway nami’y hindi ko namalayan ang tatlong lalaking nagtatago sa anino ng isang malaking punong mula sa bintana ng bahay ni Cris. Sa sandaling katahimikang sumunod sa pag-aaway namin ni Cris ay naalala ko ang mga nagtatawanan noong nag-uusap kami. “Tingnan niyo nga naman yan. Nagpunta tayo dito para dukutin si Tinyente de Guzmn, e handa na pala silang magpatayan nung pinuno ng SNM,” sabi ng isa sa dalawa niya pang kasama. Kasing bilis ng paglitaw ng galit ko kay Cris ang pagkawala nito. Nangibabaw ang pagiging sundalo ko. Tungkulin muna bago emosyon. Hinila ko ang nakahandusay na katawan ni Cris habang gumagapang malapit sa bintana at sinampal siya para magising. Bumukas ang mga mata ni Cris at sinubukang tumayo ngunit pinigilan ko siya. “Huwag kang gumalaw!” pabulong kong sinabi, “May mga tao sa labas. Tignan mo kung kilala mo sila.”

Sumilip si Cris sa bintana at muling sumalampak sa puwesto namin. Parang namumukhaan ko yung matangkad. Yun si Ka Ambo.” Noong huli akong nasa San Rafael, si Ka Ambo ang isa sa mga pinakamatagal na nagsasaka sa lupain ni Don Salazar. “Tinanggal siya sa trabaho tatlong taon nang nakalilipas. Nahuli kasi siyang nagnanakaw ng bigas. Dalawang araw na kasing hindi kumakain yung mga apo niyang iniwan ng namatay niyang anak,” pagpapatuloy ni Cris. Ngayong pansamantalang tumigil ang paglalaban namin ni Cris ay bumalik ang pagiging parang magkapatid namin. Sumandal ako sa tabi niya. “Bakit hindi sila nakakain?” tanong ko. “Pinusta ni Ka Ambo yung lahat ng sweldo niya sa sabungan, kaso natalo yung mga manak na pambato niya. Kalagitnaan pa yun ng buwan kaya hindi pa sila sinuswelduhan uli.”

“Kasalanan naman pala niya,” simula ko. Umiling si Cris, “Kasalanan niya man, hindi ganoon ang pananaw niya. Kahit man lang raw sana limusan siya ng ipapakain sa mga apo niya, imbis na tanggalin siya sa trabaho. Para kay Ka Ambo, responsibilidad iyon ni Don Salazar. Hindi din siya pinautang ng kooperatiba dahil marami na siyang utang dito. Namatay yung dalawa niyang apo matapos ng isang linggong walang kinakain. Pagkatapos noo’y hindi na namin siya nakita pang muli. Sayang, kung nakumbinse sana namin siyang sumapi sa samaha’y malaki sanang naitulong niya, madami siyang mga kilalang maimpluwensyang tao dito sa atin. Kaso hindi niya man lang tinanggap ang alok namin ng pagtulong.”

 “Kung ganoon, bakit nandito siya ngayon? At bakit hindi siya tinulungan ni Don Salazar?”

“Dahil pareho kayo ng inisip ni Don Salazar. Kasalanan naman talaga ni Ka Ambo kung bakit wala siyang mapakain sa mga anak niya. Pero responsibilidad pa rin naman ni Don Salazar na tulungan ang mga nagtatrabaho sa kanya, lalo na ang mga tulad ni Ka Ambo. Sa mga sweldo nila galing kay Don Salazar nanggagaling ang pang-araw araw nilang ikinabubuhay. Ang mga katulad ni ka Ambo ang dahilan ng pagbuo namin sa samahan, para makibaka para sa pangkalahatang ikabubuti ng mga kababayan natin. Kung papapiliin kami’y hindi kami mag-rarally o manggugulo sa kampo ninyo, ngunit hindi kami makapapayag na may mang-aabuso sa mga mamamayan ng San Rafael.”

“Tino, hindi mo ba nakikita? Hindi ako nagrerebelde. Nakikiusap lang ako at ang ibang miyembro ng samahn na huwag sanang tapakan ang mga maliliit na tao. Hindi mo ba naaalala ang pangarap natin noong bata pa tayo? Sabi natin ay tatanggihan natin ang pamana ng pagpapabaya ng mga ama natin at babaguhin natin ang mundo. Iyon lamang ang–” Hindi ako makapagsalita, hiyang hiya ako sa hindi ko pag-intindi sa matalik kong kaibigan. Niyakap ko nalang ng mahigpit si Cris. “Hindi kami rebelde, Tino,” pagpapatuloy niya na mas masigla ngayong bati na kami, “Masdan mo ang mga lalaking nasa labas ng bahay ko, may dalang mga armas at handang makuha ang gusto nila sa ano mang paraan. Sila ang mga rebelde. Sila ang mga kalaban mo, Tino, hindi ako. Tulad mo, hindi ko tinanggap ang pamana ng–”

Hindi ni Cris natapos ang sinasabi niya dahil sa sandaling iyo’y dumungaw si Ka Ambo sa bintana kung saa’y sa ilalim kami nakaupo ni Cris. “Mga ginoo, kamusta?” kita sa kanyang ngiti ang nabubulok niyang mga ngipin, “Tinyente de Guzman, nandito ka pala. Halika’t sumama ka sa’min.” Hindi ko namalaya’y kumuha na pala si Cris ng isang kutsilyong tumalsik mula sa mesa noong nag-aaway kami at sinaksak niya ang braso ni Ka Ambo. “Tino! Tumakbo ka na!” tinulak ako ni Cris papuntang pinto, sa kinatatayuan ko’y natatanaw ko ang mga papalapit na kasamahan ni Ka Ambo.

“Cris! Anong ginagawa mo? Halika na, tumakas na tayong dalawa. Magpapadala ako ng reinforcements.”

“Tino! Huwag na! Umalis ka na, at ako nang makikipag-usap sa kanila.”


“Hindi kinakailangan ng dahas para masolusyonan ang lahat. Papakinggan ako ni Ka Ambo. Hindi man niya alam, kinauutangan niya ako ng loob. Hindi niya ako sasaktan. Umalis ka na!”

Tila ba isang panaginip ang gabing iyon. Sa mga sumunod na araw ay lagi akong bumabalik sa karinderya ni Manang Elena, ngunit hindi ko nakikita si Cris. Huli kong nabalitaa’y kinuha siyang hostage ng mga rebelde, ngunit hindi namin sila mahanap. Matapos ng ilang buwa’y pinalaya rin nila si Cris dahil wala naman daw siyang naging atraso sa kanya. Nasa Mindanao na ako noong mga panahong iyon.

Pagkatapos ng sampung taon, isang gabi ko lang muli nakasama ang matalik kong kaibigan, at nauwi pa iyon sa isang engkwentro. Gayunpama’y masaya akong maalala na pareho naming tinalikuran ang mga pamana ng aming mga ama na pagkawalang bahala at paghahamak sa kapwa.

Cris, siguro nga hindi tayo tinadhanang magkasama ng landas, pero magkakabangga pa tayo muli. Madaming beses pa. Magkaibang panig, ngunit pareho pa rin ang layun. Sa ngayon, diyan ka na muna sa parte mo ng mundo, dito naman ako sa parte ko. Baguhin natin ang mundo.

Countless Thoughts On Another Wasted Night (Hopes for a Future Far Far Away)

Originally posted in http://precious127.multiply.com/journal/item/64/Countless-Thoughts-On-Another-Wasted-Night-Hopes-For-A-Future-Far-Far-Away
[Finally pushing through with the posts migration.]

I hope I won't grow up to become yet another totally capable person who's managed to teach his or herself to become blind.

I hope that whatever pains I've gone through and will go through in the future will not destroy me until I've fulfilled the things I've defined as my mission.

I hope that the difference I've set myself to making will come about eventually, and that the lives I help save and the changes that spinoff from those children's new lives will someday cumulatively make a small niche of the world a better place.

I hope to wake up one day and learn to accept myself for what I am and not insist to earn other people's affections, and to accept the fact that I will never receive the love and friendships I desire without having to work hard for it.

I hope that one day I can admit that life will never be easy and though I was luckily born into a good environment, I am all the more indebted to serve those who were not so lucky.

I hope to someday find peace in myself, to be content to give love and to feel happiness in the joy of others, and to be immersed fully in the act of giving love that I will never again have the time or opportunity to hope to be loved as well.

11 February 2013

This Piece Sucks But At Least I'm Writing Again (Valentines Day Edition)

Studies show, incidents of suicide are the highest during the yuletide season. Which kind of makes sense, especially when you're forced to spend extended periods of time with people you've known your whole life yet still have the ability to get on your nerves, or when you're forced to spend it alone, or with practical strangers forced upon you by circumstance or loneliness. Any way you look at it, it makes sense. I hear the crime rate's quite dizzying too.

What I've recently been thinking about though, is that perhaps there's one more celebration involved in making people want to hurt themselves: valentines day. Timed precisely when you were just about to get over your Christmas depression and have just started losing the weight you gained over the holidays.

Don't get me wrong, I think any day celebrating love is great. But why we must assign one single specific day for everyone to celebrate love all at the same time is beyond me. Birthdays, anniversaries, fathers' days and mothers' days and all those other days when we devote some extra time proving how someone is so special to us. Days that actually make sense and mean something - now those days are wonderful. But Valentines day?

Couples scrambling to make plans or get reservations, struggling to fit a date in their busy schedule, stressing over traffic jams and long lines just to say that they were able to celebrate. Then there are those caught between being single and being in a relationship, paying exorbitant prices just to prove they really like someone. Meanwhile, the three categories of single people are merely trying to hold it together. Those who refer to V-day as an economic holiday will roll their eyes and laugh at the silliness of it all, those who say they are perfectly happy being single will be frustrated that their friends don't believe them, and those who are miserably single will likely get drunk or eat until their bellies are just as heavy as their hearts. Really, where's the good supposed to be in all this?

Speaking from a single person's point of view, I see how this particular day could really hurt someone's delicate ego. Somehow, the words of the Desiderata are often forgotten during this time. "If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter." But how can you help it? You walk along the street, or watch television, or surf the internet, and it's as if the whole world is telling you, more than at any other time of the year, that you are an outcast because you're a table for one instead of a table for two. Somehow it doesn't matter that statistically there are more single people out there than there are couples. As far as the universe is concerned, you dared to defy its ruling that everyone should be paired up this season, so it punishes you by reminding you of the fact every chance it gets.

The sad thing is, the hidden messages almost always get to you. And as the beautiful prose warned, you do become quite bitter. You can't help but wonder, "Why is she wanted by someone but I'm not? What makes her better than me?" Total idiocy, because you know love is no contest, and love isn't about who is better or more beautiful or slimmer. Love is love, it's complicated and it requires work and either you find it or it finds you.

But somehow, during this time, all your reason eludes you. Only the choking reality that you are again to be alone on this wretched holiday will keep you company in the early hours.

All you can do is wait for this season to pass, as it damn right well should, so that you may return to your otherwise perfectly adjusted self and dismiss your fatalistic thoughts for more productive reflections.