Madilim ng langit at kay lamig ng hangin;
Waring nagbabadya ng bagyong paparating.
May hinapuhap ang aking mga mata;
Ang aking mga matang may bakas pa ng luha.
Hinagpis ay abot langit.
Pighati’y di marurok.
Ilang taon na nga ba ng ika’y lumisan?
Ang dalampung taon ay kay bilis na lumipas.
Ilang taon na nga simula ng magpaalam?
Ang aking lungkot ay sadyang di maparam.
Sing’ dilim ng langit at sing’ lamig ng hangin;
Ang bawat araw na di kita kapiling.
Nakisama ang langit sa ‘king pangungulila;
Paalam na Inay. ‘Gang sa muling pagkikita.
For many years, I have thought that money can buy happiness. That we can find its true meaning from things that glitter – new clothes, new bags, new jewelries. And for many years, the proverb “All that glitters are not gold” has proven me wrong.
I remember when I was in my early twenties, I would always visit a mall to window shop when I was sad or depressed. I never went home empty handed. If it wasn’t the mall, I would visit a spa and have a relaxing back massage or a facial spa. I’d always find comfort in things like a new manicure, a new pair of shoes, unbranded bags or clothes, or even in a new headband! No matter how invaluable things were as long as I bought something for my self, I couldn’t care less. Then I’d feel happy. You know that wide smile you see on a child’s face when she finally got what she had been wanting for a long time? I’ve mastered that smile. My happiness, though, wouldn’t always last too long. At the end of the day, I was as empty as my pocket.
When our family migrated here in Singapore, I learned to value the things that cannot be seen or touched: a warm embrace, a short text message from our relatives in the Philippines saying “how are you?”, simple gatherings with friends. I only have few friends here whom I see most of the time. Some are so busy living their fast paced life catching up with their tight schedules. Some are not always around but you will feel their presence at times when you need them most. I don’t need to buy their time. They’re FREE.
I am learning to love the smell of the rain because the rain here is not as natural as it may seem. I am learning to love the company of silence and the chirping of the crows in the background. They give me a feeling of serenity. Our home is my comfort zone and I always find solitude in it. I don’t need to spend money and travel away from the city. A blissful, solitary moment is always close at hand.
I’m currently unemployed but I work more than 12 hours a day, 7x a week, as a mother and a housewife. I go to bed so effin’ tired most of the time. But knowing that my family is comfortable because I make sure there’s a satisfying food on the table, or they lie on fresh linen sheets, I feel great. Taking these things into account, I couldn’t be happier.
A month ago I celebrated my birthday. The third time here since we moved in this country. It’s just a small gathering and only a few close friends were invited, including a blogger friend whom I’ve been dying to meet personally because I only get to chat with her online. Our house was jam-packed and was filled with laughter from people who have met each other only that day. One friend even commented, “grabe ang saya ang birthday party mo… as in! feeling namin, matagal na naming ka chicka yung mga visitors mo.. hehehe.. saya saya!!! =)”. Although there were people who didn’t show up, some foods have gone bad, and I was left with a broken couch and a center table, I couldn’t compare the happiness I felt that very day. It’s beyond words. Immeasurable, if I may say.
I know now what matters most. I know now that…
It’s often true, right. Just forget about the price tags. :)
Drawing/sketching used to be my favorite hobby when I was young and persevering in the way that I could freely express my emotions through line art or just by doodling around. Each stroke of the pencil gave me a different kind of feeling, always inspired and bursting with emotions. I had a box full of art materials – watercolor, colored pencil, paintbrushes, palette. Modesty aside, I was good at it. Until I got bored and took this talent for granted.
I recall the time when friends would ask me to interpret their favorite songs. I would draw figures on a piece of illustration board based on the lyrics of the song. It could be lovers cuddling and romancing in a park or under the moonlight, or a man and a woman who separated ways. Aside from being a hobby, it also became my sort of livelihood. I’d sell my drawings for P15-P30 depending on the size of the illustration board. I used the money to buy baon and additional art materials. My nanay was so supportive of my passion that she would even go out of her way just to buy all the materials I needed. Sayang nga lang at wala na siya.
I’ve been wanting to start drawing again and I think it’s about time that I should give it another try. So I picked up my sketch pad and drew a few lines. I was planning to put up my own clothing line so I made sketches of females wearing my creations. But it didn’t stop there. I was so inspired that I attempted to draw a self-portrait by looking at my own image in a mirror. Yeah, I was hoping I could draw my self again from the mirror just like what I did back then. But gee, I guess I’m getting old and my hand’s a bit shaky now so I’m not sure if I was able to give justice to my drawing.
I finished the drawing after less than an hour and the idea of look-in-the-mirror-back-to-sketchpad-and-back-in-the-mirror left me dizzy and nauseous. That’s the reason behind that stiff smile and not because I was mimicking Monalisa’s smile! :P I had to make sure I didn’t miss a single detail pero parang di ko pa rin kamukha yung sketch ko. Anyhow, I’ll share it with you guys and I’ll let you decide whether it looks exactly like me. Be my judge. :P
*Pasensya na po. Wala akong makitang picture na kahawig ng reaksiyon ko dun sa self-portrait. Lahat nakabungisngis :)
Matapos naming pumirma ng kontrata sa Star Cinema para sa aming pag-okupa sa bago (pero lumang) flat ay nag-umpisa na rin ang aming paglilipat. Marami pang kailangang ayusin sa bahay kaya paunti-unti rin muna ang lipat ng mga gamit. Another thing is that we’re requested by our friend who also happens to be the main tenant of our previous flat to extend our stay while he waits for the IT show on Sept. 10-11 so he can apply for a new account and enjoy the freebies to be given away to patrons only on the said event. Si Gard kasi ang account holder ng aming internet connection kaya tangay din namin ito sa aming paglipat.
Honestly, nag-uumpisa na ang aking disappointment sa bagong bahay. Naturingan akong metikulosa pero di ko nagamit sa aspeto ng pagbusisi sa bahay. Marami kasi kaming na-discover na flaws: sira yung washing machine, hindi gumagana yung kitchen mini sink, sira yung heater, nawawala yung stove hose, lahat ng storage cabinets/room ay puno ng gamit nila which they promised to vacate bago kami lumipat. Added to insult is the unresponsive land owner whom I’ve been calling and texting several times pero über dedma talaga. Naibubuhos ko tuloy ang sama ng loob ko sa aming agent. But for the benefit of the doubt, we’re still giving them until tomorrow to fix everything before we totally move in on Thursday. Gusto ko kasing maayos na ang lahat bago ako umuwi ng Pinas.
Here are some of the photos of the house. Still a bit empty but as soon as we fix everything, I’ll take new photos. :)
Tumaya nga pala kami sa Toto (tawag sa Lotto dito). Umabot na kasi sa $1.5M ang premyo o tumataginting na mahigit P49M! Ilan lang kami sa mga libu-libong tao dito ang nagbabaka-sakali na manalo sa Toto. Sa taas ng standard of living dito, malaking tulong talaga ‘yun. Sana suwertehin kami kahit ilang numbers lang ang tumama. Marami na rin makikinabang nun. :)
Love begins at home and it’s not how much we do… but how much love we put in that action. ~ Mother Teresa
Because life indeed has become so fast-paced, there are little things we tend to ignore or take for granted. Like the sweet fragrance of a flower in the garden, the butterfly that flies freely in the air, the cool breezes that kiss our cheeks. So little and yet so precious that if we only give them much attention, they are enough to delight one’s heart. We seem to be unaware of their existence because we are so preoccupied thinking about how we can make our family and ourselves happy, forgetting that life has simple rules to be happy.
In this complex world where living a simple life is almost impossible, here are some words for us to reflect on to be able to achieve lasting happiness and create a meaningful life:
1. Free your heart from hatred—forgive.
Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself. When you forgive you are not only putting things behind you but also freeing yourself from hatred and pain. Being unable to forgive is like taking a poison continuously and slowly killing yourself from bitterness, grudge, anger. Guilt and hatred bring stress. Stress are killers. Forgiveness is about generating your own healing. When we hold on to pain, old grudges, bitterness, and even hatred, many areas of our lives can suffer. It’s we who pay the price over and over. We may bring our anger and bitterness into every relationship and new experience. Our lives may be so wrapped up that we can’t enjoy the present. The bottom line is that you may often feel miserable in your current life.
Forgiveness can be very challenging. It is a commitment to a process of change. It can be difficult and it can take time. It may be particularly hard to forgive someone who doesn’t admit wrong or doesn’t speak of their sorrow. But keep in mind that the key benefits of forgiveness are for you. Forgive and start changing yourself.
2. Free your mind from worries.
“In every life we have some trouble;
But when you worry, you make it double.
Don’t worry, be happy…”
We’re all familiar with the song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin. When we hear it playing on the radio, we sometimes can’t help sing along with the music. We feel the energy flowing in our veins in every note and for a moment, we are worry-free. But how do we keep ourselves from worrying too much?
People tend to worry about even the smallest things in life such as dress to wear for a certain occasion; necktie that will go best with the new long-sleeve polo; nail polish colors, or worry about loved ones, and etc. What we don’t know is that when we worry, we clutter our minds with stress and anxiety and start to create a worry-filled nest in our heads. We sometimes find it difficult to free our mind from worries because of our responsibilities and obligations. At times like this, remember to see God in our situation and look at this today from another standpoint. We may feel discomfort, or may not have food in our tables, or no single penny in our pocket. But put in mind that once upon a time, God was tested and was given a lot of things to worry about and yet, He remained calm and looked for His Father’s hand in every situation.
I saw this article on the net. This might help when you feel like worries and anxieties are creeping in you. Please click here and see the ways on how to deal with worries. Worrying too much is depriving yourself from being happy or stress-free. Don’t miss the fun.
3. Live Simply.
I know that most of us want to live a simple life. But only a few have the guts to walk their talk. Some still want the complexity and constant drama of their lives (parang ako lang) and have a hard time leaving behind their complicated but flamboyant lives, in exchange for a simple one. On the contrary, we don’t really need to leave our belongings and go straight to the mountains to live a plain and simple life. We just need to determine the things that complicate our lives and identify which of them we can possibly avoid. Buy what we ONLY need and not what we want. Yeah, I know. Easy to say, but definitely difficult to put into action.
Let’s try to observe this: Slow down a bit. Read a lot. Spend more quality time with your family and friends. Eat healthy, think wisely.
4. Give more.
We always want to live a meaningful life. We are generally happy when we are making a difference in the world. We feel pretty good inside and we feel the surge of joy and the passion to give more.
The quote “it’s better to give than to receive” is true if we learn to give selflessly, not only financially but also emotionally. A little act of kindness is more than a charity work. It’s an expression of love. And we will only experience that “special kind” of feeling if we give without expecting anything in return.
When I read the story of Dylan Wilks, the rich young Englishman who gave up his wealth to start improving the life of many poor families in the Philippines, I was moved. I didn’t realize that in the time where corruption is eminent, there are still people like him, out there who are willing to give unselfishly for the sake of other people. It’s not too late for us to do the same. We may not be able to build a house for the poor, but we can share our hearts to the people.
“I don’t see it as a sacrifice. When you give charity out of pity, you feel pain parting with your money. But when you give charity because you love, you don’t feel that pain. You only feel the joy of giving to someone you love. That’s what I feel.” – Dylan Wilks (Interviewed by Bo Sanchez)
5. Expect less from people but from God.
Admit it or not, we tend to expect a lot from other people that we end up disappointing ourselves. Most of the time, we allow the opinions of others to control our lives, feeling desperate to please them. We neglect to see the fact that we’re putting a certain amount of pressure in us that if we fail to meet this goal, we become miserable. We become unreal.
Becoming real means accepting yourself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, acknowledging that in God’s eyes you’re a work-in-progress. It is not fair to expect another person to fix you, or change your life, or suddenly become who you want them to be in order to make you happy. That kind of behavior just causes stress and resentment, and an unhealthy dependency you’ll end up dealing with later. Remember that people aren’t your answer, God is. If He chooses to use a certain person to bless you, He’ll do it; if not He’ll use somebody else. So stop living with unrealistic expectations and ask God to help you live with His expectations.
Are you willing to follow these simple rules? :)
Happiness comes of the capacity to feel deeply,
to enjoy simply,
to think freely,
to risk life,
to be needed.
The Climb by Miley Cyrus
How do you describe your life? Masaya ba ito, maingay na kulang ang 24-hours para sa mga happenings o gatherings? Magulo na animo’y isang karnabal, maraming clowns na nagpapasaya sa iyo pero kasiyahang superficial lang? O di kaya ay parang roller coaster na puno ng ups and downs? Halika, ikuwento mo.
Lahat tayo ay may hinaharap na struggles sa ating buhay. Along the road, we meet mountains one after the other that we need to climb to be able to get to the other side. Mayroong madaling akyatin na halos walang kahirap-hirap, mayroon namang napakahirap na magbibigay sa iyo ng mga galos at sugat. Kung mahina ang loob mo at ikaw ang klase ng tao na madaling sumuko, hindi mo kakayanin ang pag-akyat. Baka sa umpisa pa lang ay bumigay ka na. Hindi ka pa man nagsisimulang tumapak sa lupa ay tumatalikod ka na sa bundok na iyong aakyatin.
Mula ng magtake-over ako sa responsibilities ng isang pagiging “nanay” sa pamilya, maraming bundok na akong inakyat. I would always experience feelings of anxiety. Some were obvious, some were totally unnoticeable. Tulad nga ako ng isang payaso na makulit at nakangiti, pero sa likod nito ay may nakatagong lungkot. Nasanay na kasi ako na i-project ang sarili ko bilang babaeng strong ang personalidad, palatawa, masayahin. At sa mga pag-uusap natin maging sa personal o messenger ay pupunuin ko ng “ha-ha-ha” at “lol” ang usapan natin. Ito ang isa sa paraan ng pagharap ko sa mga aking mga problema. But I feel that, if I weren’t able to fulfill my dreams for my loved ones, babalik at babalik pa rin ang mga anxieties ko. Naging malaki rin ang naitulong ng blogging upang mailabas ko ang aking mga agam-agam. It will serve as a time capsule as I journey through life. Gayundin sa mga taong nakilala ko na sa blogosphere na nagsilbing inspirasyon at kaibigan.
Sabi nga sa kanta ni Miley Cyrus, “there’s always gonna be an uphill battle… ain’t about how fast I get there; ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side. It’s the climb.” Ibig sabihin nasa atin nakasalalay kung paano ang gagawing pag-akyat sa bundok na masasalubong natin; kung ano ang mga paraan na gagamitin para malagpasan ang hirap, pagod at kapagalan ng katawan; kung paano natin pakakainin ang isip ng mga positibong ideya kapalit ng mga anxieties. Tuloy lang ang buhay ano mang pagsubok ang dumating sa atin. Lakas ng loob at talas ng pag-iisip ang labanan. Remember that there’s always gonna be another mountain, which may seem immovable. Our faith will be shaken and sometimes, we’ll be disappointed with the results of our own efforts. But what is important is we keep moving, we keep on taking chances and we keep our faith alive because our FAITH is bigger than any mountain.
God bless everyone!
The life of man is a struggle on earth.
But without a cross, without a struggle, we get nowhere.
The victory will be ours if we continue our efforts courageously, even when at times they appear futile.
Author: Boniface Wimmer
Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
~ Harriet Tubman
Marami akong pangarap noong bata pa lamang ako. Gusto kong maging isang pintor, o kaya ay arkitekto. Gusto kong maging isang nurse o kaya ay doktor. Gusto kong maging singer o kaya ay isang dramatic actress. Gusto kong maging brodkaster o kaya ay isang field reporter.
Sabi ng mga kamag-anak ko ay ambisyosa raw ako dahil puro pang-mayaman ang mga karera na gusto kong abutin. Ambisyosa pero kung gugustuhin ko ay maaabot ko naman dahil ako raw ay “MATALINO”.
Naalala ko ang pelikula ni Vilma Santos na “Paano Ba Ang Mangarap?”. Hindi ko napanood ‘yung pelikula pero alam ko na kasama niya doon si Christopher de Leon at may remake sina Jennylyn Mercado at Mark Herras ngayon. Hindi ko rin alam ang istorya kaya please wag niyo akong tanungin, pero gusto kong subukang sagutin ang tanong. Ewan ko pero naisip ko, madali lang naman ang mangarap di ba? Kung tutuusin lahat ng tao ay kayang mangarap. Uupo ka lang sa isang tabi at titingin sa langit at saka mo sasambitin kung ano ang pangarap mo sa buhay, tapos ‘yun na. Maging ang batang paslit ay may mumunting pangarap na maging isang guro sa kanyang paglaki o kaya ay Cinderella; anuman ang lahi at estado sa buhay ay may ninanais na marating at maabot kahit na mukha pa itong imposible. Sabi nga, LIBRE LANG naman ANG MANGARAP kaya kung mangangarap ka rin lang ay taas-taasan mo na. Huwag mong pakinggan ang mga taong sumusuway sa iyo. Buhay at pangarap mo naman yan. ‘Yun nga lang, kung paano mo ito tutuparin, iyon ang dapat mong pag-isipan dahil dito na magsisimula ang pagsuong sa mabatong landasin patungo sa iyong pangarap.
Isang malaking disappointment para kay tatay at sa aking mga kamag-anak ang pag-aasawa ko ng maaga. Ako kasi ang inaasahan nilang mag-aahon sa aming pamilya mula sa pagkalugmok nito sa kahirapan. Nagkasunud-sunod ang trahedya sa aming buhay at ako ang inakala nilang saving grace. Iyon ang pangarap ng mga kamag-anak ko para sa aming pamilya na sa tingin nila ay ako ang sumira. Ganun rin naman ang aking adhikain. Bilang panganay ay ipinangako ko sa sarili na pipilitin kong ilagay sa ayos ang aming kalagayan. Pinangarap kong mabigyan si tatay at ang aking mga kapatid ng magandang pamumuhay sa kabila ng aming mga pinagdaraanang pagsubok. Alam kong batid na nila ngayon iyon. Kaya nga ako nandito sa Singapore upang sumugal na rin dahil alam kong walang mararating ang kakarampot na kikitain ko sa Pinas. Isang pasasalamat na maunawain si Gard sa aking sitwasyon at patuloy na tumutulong upang matupad ko ang mga nais ko para kina tatay.
Binalikan ko ang lahat ng mga naging pangarap ko noon… ni isa pala ay wala akong narating. Nauwi lang pala sa kusot ang mga binulong ko sa bituin. Tunay na ang pagrerebelde ay walang matinong mararating kungdi ang daan patungo sa EDSA at Mendiola.
Sa aming magkakapatid, ako ang may pinakamaayos na buhay may-asawa. Maalwan ang aming pamumuhay at nakasisiguro sa kinabukasan ng aming mga anak. Kaya siguro bilang isang ate ay masakit sa aking loob na makitang hindi ko nagabayan ang aking mga kapatid. Ni isa sa amin ay walang nakapagtapos ng kolehiyo. Isang malaking kabiguan para sa aming magulang na nagsikap na maituwid ang aming landas.
Marami pa rin akong pangarap sa buhay kahit ako ay hindi na bata. Pero hindi ko na gustong maging isang doktor, o arkitekto, o isang sikat na artista o brodkaster. Matanda na siguro ako para doon at napaglipasan na ng panahon. Mahabang oras ang muli kong bubunuhin sa pag-aaral. Gayunpaman ay buo pa rin ang pangarap ko para kina tatay. Hanggang sa pagtulog ay dinadalangin ko pa rin na maisakatuparan ko iyon bago man lamang dumating sa takipsilim ang kanyang buhay. Ang pangarap na mabigyan siya ng isang maayos na pamahingahan sa panahon ng tag-init; matibay na kublihan sa panahon ng tag-ulan; masarap na almusal, at masustansyang tanghalian at hapunan. Ang pangarap na marating niya ang lugar kung nasaan ako ngayon at magbiyahe hindi dahil sa trabaho kungdi bilang isang regalo sa kanyang mga naging pagsisikap. Matatag pa rin ang loob ko na makakatulong pa rin ako sa aking mga kapatid sa kahit na anong paraan, maliit man o malaki. Gusto kong maranasan din nila ang mamuhay ng maayos at masagana kasama ng aking buong pamilya.
Paano nga ba ang mangarap? Madali lang at libre pa nga. Pero kung mangangarap ka, dapat ay GUSTO mo at hindi PARANG GUSTO mo lang. Dahil ang salitang GUSTO ang magbibigay sayo ng motibasyon para kumilos. At siguraduhin mong gusto mo rin itong tuparin at pagsisikapan mong abutin dahil ang ibinulong mo sa langit ay ibibigay sa’yo ng nasa Itaas kung sasabayan mo ng sikap at tiyaga. Naniniwala ako doon gaya ng paniniwala ko na sasamahan pa Niya ito ng isandaang porsyentong lakas.
I have learned, that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
~ Henry David Thoreau
*Isang pagbubukas din ang ang naging pakontes ni kaibigang Otep upang muli kong ma-analisa ang mga pangarap ko sa buhay maging ng iba pang bloggers. Hindi man manalo ang entry na ito, sa isang banda ay nakatulong sa akin ito upang lalo ko pang pagsikapang abutin ang nais ko para sa aking pamilya.
Kamusta na kayo?
Pasensya na po kung medyo napatagal ang aking pagkawala. Actually, blangko lang talaga ang utak ko nitong mga nakalipas na araw at wala akong maisip na topic na pwede kong ibahagi sa inyo. Dala na rin marahil ng pagiging abala ko sa aking job hunting at sa pabagu-bagong takbo ng panahon na nagpapasama ngayon sa aking pakiramdam kaya ang aking brain cells ay pawang humihingi na rin ng time-out. Huwag kayong mag-alala at ako ay negatibo sa H1N1 virus o swine flu kahit na nagkaroon na rin ng isang confirmed case dito sa SG. Gayunman ay ibayo pa rin ang aming pag-iingat at sana ay gayun din kayo saan man panig ng mundo.
Temporarily ay iniwan ko ang blogosperyo pero ako po ay dumadalaw pa rin ng manaka-naka sa inyong mga site at nagbabasa. Pasensya na lang po kung hindi ako gaanong nakakapag-iwan ng bakas dahil ewan ko ba kung bakit ang hina ng comprehension ko ngayon. Kailangan ko pang basahin ng paulit-ulit ang ilang entries para lang makuha ko ang nais nitong iparating. Kulang lang siguro ako sa s… syrup para sa aking makulit na ubo. :D
Kung napansin ninyo ay may ilang nabago sa aking bahay (uy, biglang kinilatis ang page ko…). Nagbago na ang aking header. Nawala ang aking tag cloud at na-update ang category list ko. Nagkaroon na rin ako ng munting decoration sa itaas at ibaba ng aking sidebar at naglaho na rin ang aking blogroll.
Nawala na ang aking magandang picture (wag na kayong umangal). Nag-disappear na rin ang makulit na alien/kengkoy na madalas bumulaga sa inyo. Ito ang aking pansamantalang pinagkaabalahan ng mga nakalipas na araw, ang pagde-decorate ng aking tahanan. Inaagiw na kasi dahil hindi ko nabisita ng ilang araw. Dala pa rin ng maraming restrictions sa WP kaya iyan lang ang kaya kong gawin. At huwag po kayong mag-alala dahil hindi tuluyang nawala ang aking blogroll. Dahil importante kayo sa akin ay iginawa ko na rin ng sariling page ang lahat ng nasa blog roll ko na tinawag kong “My Roll of Cakes“.
Sabi ko nga di ba you deserve a spot on this page, and I consider this site as my home and you are my guests.
Another day is over. Bukas ay sasabak ulit ako sa paghahanap ng trabaho. Kahit friday na dapat walang hinto. In between breaks (parang office girl na ah) ay dadalaw ako sa inyong mga bahay at pipilitin ko na mag-iwan na ng bakas. Oo nga pala, salamat kay Karen sa madalas na pagta-tag sa akin kahit na madalang ako makadalaw sa kanyang bahay. Thanks Karen for being a sweet lady! At salamat din po sa mga dumadalaw pa rin sa aking bahay kahit na walang bagong mababasa. Pagtiyagaan niyo na lang muna ang nasa aking archives at malapit na ulit akong maging aktibo.
Hanggang sa muli po! :)
Every house where love abides
And friendship is a guest,
Is surely home, and home sweet home
For there the heart can rest.
~Henry Van Dyke
It was 18 years ago when I last saw you. Chubby, vibrant and so full of life. You’re sociable you’ve made a lot of friends, old and young alike. That’s why you were envied by most, too.
I remember the sound of your laugh, especially when you’re teasing your friends. Makulit ka rin kasi na tulad ko. I remember the day you fought with our neighbor, that woman who used to own a sari-sari store. You fought with her because she scolded me when I bought the wrong laundry soap. I remember the night you waited for me at the school’s main gate. That was the night of my prom and you asked me to come home before 10 P.M. I remember your voice when you’re angry, and we’re all scared. Whenever you called me by my full name, I knew you were already mad and I had to run towards you as fast as I could. I remember every hit of Tatay’s belt on my skin. That was your favorite tool and the marks would usually stay until the next day.
I remember the time when the strongest earthquake hit our country in July 1990. You helped bring some of your colleagues to the hospital because they collapsed due to shock. A few weeks after, you got sick. I remember how stupid I was for ignoring all the signs; how ungrateful I was for leaving your side when you had fever. I remember how you would softly call me “anak“, because you wanted me to comb your hair so I would see your falling hair. I remember the day you showed me your bruises all over your body. All black and blue. I asked you why and you just said you need to be hospitalized. I was 15 and naive, I didn’t ask further. I remember the day you asked me to be at your side when you see the doctor. You wanted me to hear every word he’d say. I thought you’re just overreacting so I didn’t listen. If only I knew, I’d stay and held your hand tightly. You were a picture of a strong person despite your illness kaya hindi ako natakot o nangamba. I remember the day you were brought to the hospital, you were crying to tatay and you said you couldn’t see anymore. You were fighting for your life for four long days. My siblings and I were not allowed in the hospital. All we could do is to listen to our relatives’ conversations. Until one day, one of our neighbors picked us up at home. She was crying while we’re heading to the hospital. And when we were stopped by the hospital’s security guard, I heard her murmured “Malubha na lagay ng nanay nito. Kailangan na silang makita“. I got scared, not realizing that my hands were all shaky. I began to cry and when we reached your room, all your friends and our relatives were there, weeping. Your nanay was there, too, and she was was wailing hard. Yeah, your best friend was also there, not leaving your side. She was crying too and she was holding your hand. At the time, I wished I was her. She asked me to come near you and talk to you, whisper anything in your ear. Hindi ka na daw kasi makapagsalita. You wouldn’t open your eyes. Sabi niya pa, you’ve been asking for me since you got to the hospital. You were telling stories about me and my stubborness; how much you loved me and my siblings. Inilaglag mo ako ng bonggang-bongga. Gusto ko sanang mainis sa’yo pero hindi ko nagawa. So I sat beside you and whispered, “Nanay, eto na ako. Si Enjoy.” I saw how you were trying to open your eyes, and when you saw me, tears fell down from your eyes. Exactly one month after the earthquake, you gave up fighting. I couldn’t forget the people who cried because they lost a very special friend. I couldn’t forget tatay’s face because she lost not only a wife but also a friend. I couldn’t forget how hurt my siblings were because we lost a mother. I couldn’t forget the number of people who attended your burial. You were like a celebrity! That day I realized how much you were loved. Most especially, I couldn’t forget your smile when you heard my voice despite the agony that you’re experiencing.
I miss you Nanay… so much. Kung kaya ko lang ibalik ang oras and be a good daughter to you, I would. But it’s too late. It’s too damn late.
Minsan dumarating sa buhay mo ‘yung mga pagkakataon na naguguluhan ka at nagda-dalawang isip kung tama ba o mali yung ginawa mong desisyon. Gusto mong bawiin pero huli na, nagbitiw ka na ng salita; nagdesisyon ka na. Maiiwan ka sa sitwasyon na alam mong ikaw ang maiipit at dehado. Pero wala kang choice kasi dalawa lang naman ang kalalabasan ng susunod mong aksyon; (1) babawi ka para maituwid mo ang lahat, pero may siguradong masasaktan at matatapakan o (2) papanindigan mo ang desisyon mo at mag-suffer sa magiging consequence nito. Alin man sa dalawa ang piliin mo, alam mong hindi ka magiging masaya.
Minsan naiisip ko, masarap siguro ‘yung may power kang i-predict ang future. Alam mo na agad kung tama o mali ‘yung mga gagawin mong hakbang at mabibigyan ka ng warning para baguhin mo ang nasa isip mo ngayon. Masarap sigurong maging tulad ni Isaac Mendez ng Heroes na may kakayahang ipinta ang future. Ang mga pinta niya ang naging daan upang mailigtas ang buhay ng cheerleader na nakatakda sanang mamatay. O di kaya ang power ni Hiro Nakamura na kayang mag-travel through time. Pupunta ka sa future para malaman ang outcome ng aksyon mo, at babalik ka sa past para baguhin ito. Sana may totoong mga Heroes na tutulong s’yo sa paggawa mo ng desisyon. Sana may powers tayo na katulad nang sa kanila para maituwid ang tama at mabawasan ang mali. Pero mas pinili ng Dios na maging simple lang ang power ng mga tao. Ito ay ang power na gamitin ang utak sa pamamagitan ng lohikal na pag-iisip at pag-aanalisa ng sitwasyon. Para kung magkamali man tayo, matutunan nating bumangon, mag-move on at bumaling sa Kanya. Dahil wala pang nagsisi sa unahan. Lahat ay nasa hulihan.
Hindi madali ang maiwan sa gitna ng daan at pumili kung sa kaliwa o sa kanan ka ba daraan. Mahirap ang mapunta sa crossroad. Walang kasiguruhan. Ang minsang akala nating tama, lumalabas na mali rin pala. Ang akala mong safe, delikado pala. Kung ma-encounter mo man ito, sana makapag-isip ka nang tama bago ka magbitiw ng salita at gumawa ng hakbang. Iyon bang nasa maayos kang disposisyon – hindi lito, gutom, lasing, o bangag – para sigurado ka sa mga sasabihin mo at wala kang pagsisisihan.
Dahil mahirap ang magsisi sa huli.
More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.