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Friday, October 29, 2010

I'm your Papa DB


Meet my sons --Elmo and Conrad!

Conrad is the elder one. He came to me in 2003. I was a delegate then for NAMCYA International Music Festival and for its entire duration, we had to stay in a hotel near the Cultural Center of the Philippines. I was lonely then coz I'm missing my family so much plus I got a real good skinning from our conductor. Ikaw na ang murahin sa loob ng Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo dinig ng mga delegates at technical people, di ka pa ma-depress? Hehe

That night I saw him at Robinson's Manila and since then, lagi na ko may kayakap pag may nangaapi sa 'ken!

Elmo, on the other hand, was actually given to me by a textmate. The same textmate na dumurog ng todo-todo sa puso ko at siyang dahilan kung bakit muntik na ko masagasaan sa harap ng Quezon City Hall (wag lang echosera, pwede pang bumaba noon dun). Galit man ako sa totoong Dad nya, love na love ko naman sya. Dinala ko pa nga siya dati sa school eh. Ayun, binati tuloy ako ng crush ko kasi nacute-an sa kanya. hehe.

Actually, gusto na  daw nila magkaron ng mommy. Pwede na din daw daddy (as if may choice sila).

What do you guys think?

HAPPY LONG WEEKEND EVERYONE!

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Malungkot ako

May tatlong araw sa isang taon na pinakamalungkot ako. Isa sa tatlong 'yon ay paparating na naman.
___

Ngayon pa lang humihingi na ko ng paumanhin sa 'yo. Taon man kasi ang lumipas, halos wala pa ring nabago. Eto pa rin ako. Mahina, nadadapa...iyakin. Isang bagay pa ang hindi na nawala at hinding-hindi mawawala --ang pangungulila ko sa 'yo.

January 21, 1999, masaya akong umuwi noon galing eskwelahan. Hindi kasi ako umuwi kaagad dahil nakipaglaro pa 'ko sa mga kaklase ko. Takang-taka ako dahil ang daming tao sa bahay natin. Wala naman akong maisip na okasyon. Kaya gayon na lang ang gulat ko ng makita kita.

Para akong sinaksak noon. Walang nagawa ang mga taong nagmamasid noon kundi tanawin at maawa sa isang batang walang tigil sa pag-iyak. Tumatawag sa isang pangalan ng paulit-ulit, nagmamakaawang tugunin man lang siya nito kahit minsan pa, ngunit wala. Takot na takot ako noon habang galit na galit. Hindi ko alam kung kanino ko ibubunton ang sisi. Kay Lola ba dahil hindi ka niya nabantayan ng husto sa ospital? Sa mga doktor, kung nagpabaya ba sila? Sa Diyos? O sa 'yo mismo, dahil sumuko ka't iniwanan ako?

Ayokong maniwalan Alam kong hindi mo magagawa sa 'kin yun. Ako na paborito mong apo ay hindi mo matitiis maiwan mag-isa. At nangako ka. Nangako ka sa 'kin noon na lagi kang nandyan basta tawagin lang kita.

At ngayon nga. Hinahanap at tinatawag kita ngayon. Pero saan? Paano? Hindi ko nga alam kung naririnig mo pa rin ako.

Sana Lo andito ka ngayon. Ang dami ko kasing gustong isumbong sa 'yo. Natatandaan mo noon, kapag ayaw akong isali ng mga pinsan ko sa laro nila dahil masyado pa daw akong bata, pagagalitan mo sila at papaluin para pasalihin na nila ko. Sana ganun din ngayon. Gusto kong awayin mo sila, silang mga nananakit at nagpapaiyak sa 'kin ngayon. Gusto kong pagalitan mo din sila at paluin. Gusto kong itayo mo ulit ako, ngayong nadapa na naman ako. Pagod na pagod na kasi ako Lo. Hirap na hirap na. Ngayon kita higit na kailangan para palakasin ang loob ko. Kung nandito ka lang, alam kong sasabihin mong kayang-kaya ko 'to, dahil nagmana ako sa 'yo --matapang. Pero tama ka nga ba? Matapang nga ba talaga ako?
___
DB and his Lolo

August 16, birthday mo. Hindi pa rin ako papayag na walang handa. Kailangan may cake. Kailangan may ice cream. Pero ang hindi ko magawa, yung kailangan masaya. Gusto kasi kitang yakapin. Gusto ko pa ring kumandong sa 'yo at ipakita sa lahat na ako talaga ang paborito mo sa lahat. Pero paano?

Ngayon Lo may trabaho na ko. Mabibili na kita ng kahit anong regalong gusto mo. At alam mo ba, pwede pa kitang i-surprise! Magugulat ka dahil babatiin ka nila ng Happy Birthday sa TV. Pati din sa radyo. Alam ko, magiging masayang masaya ka. At lalo kang magiging proud sa 'ken --ang paborito mong apo.
___

Dati 'pag November 1, wala naman akong dinadalaw sa sementeryo. Pero eto na nga. Kailangan ko pang tumakbo sa sementeryo lagi-lagi pag namimiss kita. Pasensya ka na. Sabi nila namamahinga ka na daw. Pero eto 'ko. Sa 'yo pa rin ako nagsusumbong.

Pasensya ka na din kung narinig mo pa ko nang pagmumumurahin ko yung isang pamilya dati nung abutan ko silang nakaupo at nakatayo sa ibabaw ng nitso mo. Buti nga't di nila ko nireklamo dahil hinagisan ko sila ng hawak-hawak kong pang-alis ng damo sa galit ko. Takot lang nila. Marami ka ng pulis na apo ngayon Lo. At isa pa, sabi nga nila, sa 'yo ko namana ang pagiging masungit at topakin ko. Tama ba Lo?
___

Masakit pa din. Ang sakit-sakit pa din Lo. Ang daya mo. Ako ang pinakabata kaya't ako ang may pinakamaiksing panahon na nakasama ka. Pero yung pagmamahal na binigay mo sa 'ken, alam ko, alam kong hindi kayang sukatin sa maikling panahon na 'yun. Kaya ipinapangako ko, habang buhay ako, meron kang isang apong laging nakakaalala sa 'yo. Tandaan mong may isa kang apo na laging nagdadasal para sa 'yo. Isang apong hindi mapapagod sa pangungulila sa 'yo.

Wag ka na din masyado mag-alala. Nahihirapan man ako ngayon., umiiyak pa rin gaya ng dati, kakayanin ko. Sabi mo nga, dapat matapang ako. Kaya kakayanin ko. Para sa 'yo.
___

I love you Lo.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Comedy is Over

Fini La Comedie/ C'est Finili La Comedie is a popular French song originally sung by Dalida and is composed by Palmer, Ricanek, La-Bionda and Delanoe. I was introduced to it during my chorale attempts back in high school. Instantly, I fell in love with it. Here's a performance by the Philippines Madrigal Singers featuring it as arranged by one of the most respected figures of Philippine chorale scene, Prof. Robert Delgado.

Here's an English translation of the lyrics:

Everything is over,
The comedy is over
Everything began
As a brilliant representation
In blue scenery
Of a suburban theatre
(Where) there was only the two of us

And we loved each other so long
Almost forgetting about time
Which in all our stages
Transformed pleasures into a pain
And time has defeated us
It is glad
To see us, both on different sides
As strangers
Nothing more connects us
Except threadbare words
The scenery has not changed
But the actors have nothing more to play
Time to lower the curtain.

Everything is over
The comedy is over
We part well
(And) Eternity is ours.
We are alone in the world
On waves left our from love
But nothing more remain of our forbidden feelings.

And time has defeated us,
It is glad
To see us, both on different sides
As strangers
Nothing more connects us
Except threadbare words
The scenery has not changed
But the actors have nothing more to play
Time to lower the curtain.

Everything is over
The comedy is over
Everything began
As a brilliant representation
In pink scenery
Of a suburban theatre
(Where) there was only the two of us

Everything is over
The comedy is over...

26
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Friday, October 22, 2010

Missionary Impossible

Umpisahan natin sa tatlong lame jokes na nagpatawa sa 'ken ng husto kamakailan. Eto, sana matawa din kayo:

Joke #1
Q: Ano ang nagkakabukol kahit hindi nauuntog?
A: BRIP!

Joke #2
Q: Sino ang nanay ni Robin Hood?
A: Eh di si Mother Hood.
Q: Sino naman ang tatay ni Robin Hood?
A: Siyempre si Father Hood
Q: Eh ang anak ni Robin Hood?
A: Sino pa, eh di si Child Hood
Q: Eh ano naman si Robin Hood bago siya naging tao?
A: Tam...

Joke #3
Sa isang ospital...
DOC: Ilan po lahat ng anak nyo ale?
MISIS: Labinglima po lahat.
DOC: Andami naman ho. Hindi po ba kayo gumagamit ng PILLS, CONDOMS, WITHDRAWAL o kahit IUD?
MISIS: Ay naku Doc! Cross my heart TITI lang ho talaga!
___

I'm sure dalawang bagay lang ang naglalaro sa utak mo ngayon. Either walang magawang matino 'tong si DB o sadyang tag-libog lang siya ngayon.

Sa totoo lang wala sa dalawa. May nakapagsabi kasing lately eh parang ang bigat-bigat ng mga naisusulat ko. So sabi ko, sige, bilang ako ay likas na crowd pleaser (ehem) gagawa naman ako ng something na light lang ang tema.

Ang problema, wala naman akong maisip na central topic. Puro kagaguhan at kamanyakan lang ang pumasok sa isip ko. Kaya heto, isang walang kwentang post ang kinalabasan. Hehe.

Hindi ko din kasi alam kung ano ba yung something light na yun na gusto kong sulatin sana. Pag gumagawa naman kasi ako ng post hindi ko pinaplano na, ay dapat ito light lang...eto naman magpapanggap akong pa-intelektwal. Walang ganun. Although kaya nagkaro'n ng Sequence 2 ang blog na ito ay dahil napansin ko nga noon na puro ka emo-han na lang ang pinaglalalagay ko dito, maski ako nasuya na.

Walang nakakaalam sa mga kaibigan ko na may ganito kong blog. Alam lang nila yung isa, yung blog kong temang politikal. Am sure matatawa lang sila at di maniniwala pag pinagtapat kong ako'y may alter-ego, si Desole Boy. Tamad kasi talaga akong magsulat. Hate na hate ko ang writing. Mas gusto ko ang makipag-debate, makipagbalahuraan at maghubad sa entablado (kahit pa mukha akong butete sa laki ng tyan).

Wala lang, nakwento ko lang naman. Minsan kasi gustong-gusto kong ibida sa kanila na may mundong kagaya nito na nageexist. At astig ang mga tao dito! [Walang halong bola] Na mali ang konklusyon ko noon na ang mga blogger ay pawang mga pathetic loser na walang social life at punong-puno ng frustrations sa buhay.

Hindi naman pala lahat yun tama.

So pa'no? Pasensya na't imbes na "something light" ang maisulat ko eh "something stupid" yata ang kinalabasan. Hehe. Sana kasi ang ni-request mo na lang eh tula, o kaya kanta. Mas madali din kung tinanong mo na lang kung sino ako sa XTube para napanood mo na sana ang mga kalibog-libog kasuka-suka kong mga sex videos. O kaya inaya mo na lang ako gumawa tayo ng scandal. Mas madali yon, di ba?

Oist! Biro lang yun ha. Hehe. Mwah.
___

Wala ng kinalaman 'to sa naisulat ko sa taas. Gusto kong lang i-share yung natutunan ko sa isang blog na nabasa ko kanina habang bumibiyahe galing Bulacan. [i-klik mo to para mapunta sa sinasabi kong blog. pero mamaya na. dito ka muna sa blog ko.]

Alam nyo bang mas madali daw madistract ang matatalino dahil madaming nareretain na information sa utak nila at mas nakakarelate sila sa mga nangyayari sa paligid? Mas aware sila kapag may nangyayari sa paligid nila kahit may ginagawa silang iba dahil kayang mag-multi task ng utak nila. Pero dahil nga maiksi ang attention span ng mga matatalino, kadalasan ay hindi nila natatapos ang ginagawa nila dahil
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The case that was never close

The circus came to town in 1991. I was only 4 years old then. Everyone was feasting over something I could not head nor tail. There were shows featuring them freaks. People are yelling all over, edging the performers to do more. But never that they held their head high. They looked down on the ground avoiding the spectators gaze. There is the main actor. His name is Hubert Webb.

Che-Che Lazaro's documentary is supposed to present two fathers in their quest for justice. There is Lauro, a man who lost his wife and two children in one of the most celebrated crime tales of the country, the Vizconde Massacre. Then there's the basketball star of the 70's and 80's, Freddie, a man who lost nothing but his family's name. 

June 30, 1991, in a master's bedroom of a certain house in BF Homes Paranaque, a massacre case which would run for the next 20 years took place. Three bodies are found dead: Elizabeth Vizconde, 45 years, stabbed 13 times; Jennifer Vizconde, 7 years old, stabbed 19 times; and Carmela Vizconde, 18 years old, gang raped and stabbed to death 17 times.

Two hundred and seventy one (271) suspects are invited. Jessica Alfaro, the star witness, a self-proclaimed former drug addict, with his 2 contradicting testimonial affidavits resulting to a huge rift within the NBI itself, named Hubert Webb and 6 other men, including her former boyfriend, as perpetrators of the massacre. All in all 7 prosecution witnesses. Add up the consultations of Lauro Vizconde with psychics and clairvoyants plus the two movies hosting conspiracy theories. On the 6th of January 2000, Judge Amelita Tolentino ruled Hubert Webb, Antonio Lejano II, Peter Estrada, Michael Gatchalian, Miguel Rodriguez and Hospicio Fernandez guilty beyond reasonable doubt with a sentence of life imprisonment. The Court of Appeals affirmed this ruling on December 16, 2004.

For almost two decades, the Philippines, I believe, is resting on the other side of the coin. There is the murderer and rapist Hubert Webb. He's a maniac, a drug addict and a son of a corrupt politician. The triumvirate of gospels says so, television, radio and newspaper. Upon proclamation, the congregation replied a resounding 'amen.' Hubert Webb is guilty beyond reasonable doubt. The people did not see a suspect. They saw a criminal. And they want his blood.

Hubert Webb was never given a chance to prove himself innocent. Heck, he's not even treated as one before proven guilty! There's an Araneta Coliseum packed with people shouting obscenities and rude words, chanting "Vizconde! Vizconde!" on Hubert's brother, DLSU's Jason Webb during a basketball game, to prove that. Elizabeth Webb, Hubert's mom was almost denied of service when she tried buying some stuffs at the drugstore. Freddie Webb lost his senatorial bid, branded as a corrupt politician and cuddlier of a criminal. And Hubert Webb, on the fated day that his verdict was laid down, upon stepping out of the vehicle, was drown with curses, plastic bottles and spits --a louder thud of gavel than that which is given inside the court.

But years of imprisonment is not enough to tear down Hubert Webb. Thoughts of just throwing the towel haunted him. But he survived the fleeting selfishness. His eyes pierced with hunger. In his words, you can sense a burning weapon of hope. Here is a man convicted many times. In his mind, nothing's changed. He is innocent!

Thirteen years ago, he was denied of his request for a DNA testing of his own semen which hopefully could be used to compare with the semen found in Carmela Vizconde's body. The Philippines, they say, is not yet ready for such kind of technology [during that time] and that the evidenciary semen might already be tampered.

April of this year, the Supreme Court finally gave in to Hubert's plea of DNA testing despite the prosecution's attempt to halt the motion. But luck seems to be evading Hubert's palm.The NBI and the Court are now arguing as to who kept the evidence in question. The semen sample that could be Hubert Webb's final stroke for redemption is now missing!

Indeed, Lauro Vizconde and Freddie Webb are both fathers in search of justice. The Vizcondes are victims. Hubert might be guilty of this massacre after all. It just happened that in this rare occasion, someone chose to hear out the latter's story.

The circus actually never left. It grew silent for years, what with the spectators doing their own respective shows and doing other judgments with other deals. But the freaks never rested. Every Sunday of the calendar, every holiday and special occasion, they would trip down to the circus tent surrounded now by heavily armed men, concrete walls, barb wires and prison bars to visit a wounded clown who's now a saxophone playing member of the Sputnik Gang. The freaks could do nothing but wait for more verdicts. But for now, their Acts are limited within the confine of themselves. Away from a brutal jury. Away from the other freaks.
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Thursday, October 14, 2010

My Series of Comedy: Purgatorio

Sa panahong tila ang lahat ay nanlilimos ng pag-ibig bagama't kataka-takang karamihan pa rin ay bigo, hayaan nyong bahaginan ko kayo ng isang kwento na nagpasalin-salin na sa bibig ng aming angkan. Isang lumang kwentong galing pa sa aking mga ninuno. Oo, kwento ito ng pag-ibig. Kwento ng pag-ibig na parang hindi naman talaga. Matapos mong basahin ang kwento, pwede kang sumang ayon na kwento nga ito ng pag-ibig. Maaari din namang hindi. Basta isa ang alam namin. Ito ay kwento ng pag-ibig.


para sa mga may alinlangan
___

Kung ikaw ay ka-barrio ng mag-asawang Joselito at Armida, siguradong wala kang maipipintas sa pagsasama ng dalawa. Si Joselito ay masipag maghanapbuhay. Nangingisda sa gitna ng laot sa bawat gabi. Si Armida naman ay larawan ng butihing maybahay. Nagtatahi siya ng mga sirang lambat sa umaga bilang pandagdag sa kita ng asawa.

Ngunit may mas malalim pang kasaysayan kung bakit hanga sa pag-iibigan ng dalawa ang kanilang mga ka-barrio.

Araw ng Linggo nang pagtagpuin ng kapalaran ang kanilang mga landas.

Sa hindi rin niya maipaliwanag na kadahilanan, may kung anong pang-akit kay Joselito ang malansa-lansa at maalat-alat na tuyong hangin na dulot ng dagat. Hilig nyang maglakad-lakad sa buhanginan. Ang hilig na ito ang nagdala sa kaniya kay Armida. Nakatanaw na nakaupo sa may pondohan ng mga bangka ang dalaga. Ang mapula-pulang dampi ng papalubog na araw at ang mahinhing pag-ihip ng hangin sa buhok nito ay lalo pang nagpatingkad sa taglay nitong kagandahan. Sa pagkakatitig ng dalawa sa isa't-isa, nagsimula na silang humabi sa isip nila ng isang kasaysayang magtatampok sa kanilang pag-iibigan.

Sinuway ni Joselito ang pamilya. Hindi siya sumama sa planong paninirahan nila sa New York. Kung gayon lumayas ka na. Wala na akong anak na lalaki simula ngayon! galit na wika ng ama ni Joselito. Si Armida naman ay ulila ng lubos at nakikipanirahan na lamang sa mga kamag-anakan.

Mahal kita. Ang mga katagang lalong nagbigkis sa magkasintahan. Hindi nagtagal nagpakasal ang dalawa at nagsimulang mamuhay ng payak doon sa may tabing dagat.

Sa mag-iisang taon na pagsasama ng dalawa, naging mabait ang tadhana sa kanila. Wala silang pinag-awayang mabigat na bagay. Wala problemang hindi nadaan sa mga katagang Mahal kita. Ang kulang na lamang talaga sa kanilang pagsasama ay mga anak. Hindi naman nakapagtataka iyon kahit pa sa mga tsismosang taga-Barrio. Paano'y gabi kung pumalaot si Joselito. Sa umaga nama'y tulog ito habang naggagawa ng lambat si Armida.

Ngunit tadhana na ang gumawa ng paraan. Ayon sa transistor nila signal number 3 sa mga lalawigan ng Laguna, Cavite at Batangas...pinapayuhan ang lahat lalo na ang mga mandaragat na huwag pumalaot at manatili na lamang sa kani-kanilang mga bahay. 

Bagama't malakas ang hampas ng ulan at hangin na dulot ng bagyo ng gabing iyon, masayang naghapunan ang mag-asawa. Masaya ding sinariwa ang ala-ala ng kanilang unang pagkikita at ang mga plano nila sa hinaharap. Hanggang sa magpasya na silang magpahinga. Nagtapos ang gabing iyon sa mga katagang Mahal kita ng walang nangyayaring pagsisiping.

Mag-aalas tres ng madaling araw, naalimpungatan si Armida sa pagkakatulog. Gayon na lamang ang hilakbot na naramdaman niya ng mapansing basang-basa ang higaan nilang mag-asawa. Amoy na amoy ang lansa sa kanilang sapin at kumot, paano'y hindi lamang basa ang higaan. May mga nagkalat pang mga kaliskis!

Agad ginising ni Armida ang asawa. Anong nangyari? Maski si Joselito ay takang-taka't hindi maisip ang paliwanag sa hiwaga ng basang-basang sapin at kumot na may kasama pang mga kaliskis.

Ipinagpasya na lamang ng dalawa na ipagikibit-balikat ang pangyayari. Maaari daw na sa lakas ng bagyo, pumasok sa bintana ang tubig dagat na dala ng malakas na hangin kasama ang mga kaliskis na nagsabit sa mga lambat sa labas.

Ngunit ng sumunod na gabi, ganun na naman ang nangyari. Naalimpungatan na naman si Armida at nakitang basang-basa na naman ang kanilang sapin at kumot. May mga kaliskis paring nagkalat.Takang-taka man ang mag-asawa, wala naman silang magawa kundi isiping bunga pa rin ito ng malakas na bagyo.

Kinagabihan, hindi pa rin nakapangisda si Joselito. Kasagsagan pa rin kasi ng bagyo. Hatinggabi na ngunit gising na gising pa rin si Armida. Kaya't gayun na lamang ang pagkagulat niya ng biglang tumayo sa higaan ang asawa. Tinawag niya ito sa pangalan. Mahina sa simula, papalakas sa bawat muling pagtawag. Joselito. Joselito. Ngunit tuloy pa rin sa paglakad si Joselito. Nakapikit na tila nananaginip. Joselito Joselito. Nakalabas na ng bahay nila si Joselito ngunit patuloy pa rin ito. Joselito. Joselito. Lumabas na rin ng bahay si Armida at sinundan kung sa'n patungo ang asawa. Joselito Joselito. 

Nang marating ang dalampasigan, huminto nga si Joselito. Sa pagkakataong nasayaran ng tubig ang mga paa nito, bigla itong napaupo hanggang sa tuluyang mapahiga. Nakapikit pa rin at tila nananaginip lamang. Lalapitan na sana ni Armida ang asawa ng biglang nagbagong anyo ng mga paa nito. Unti-unti, tinubuan ito ng mga kaliskis. Papakapal ng papakapal hanggang sa hindi na rin makita pa ang mga binti at hita nito. Sa paa nama'y biglang tumubo ang isang malaking buntot gaya ng sa isda. Takot na takot si Armida. Hindi malaman ang gagawin kung tatakbo ba o lalapitan ang nagbabagong anyong asawa. Pumasag-pasag ang buntot nito. At maya-maya pa, tila hinihilang dumausdos papunta sa dagat si Joselito. Unti-unti, hanggang sa tuluyan ng nilamon sa kailaliman ng karagatan.

Joselito. Joselito. Umiiyak na tawag ni Armida sa asawa. Joselito Joselito. Umaasang muling lilitaw ang asawa't lalabas na isang biro lamang ang lahat. Joselito Joselito. Huling pagpalahaw pa't walang dumating na Joselito.

Umuwing luhaan si Armida. Hindi na nakatulog at naupo na lamang sa may tabing bintana habang patuloy pa rin ang malakas na ulan. Nakatanaw sa may baybayin, umaasang muling iluluwa ng dagat ang pinakamamahal na asawa.

Hindi nga nabigo si Armida. Alas dos y medya ng madaling araw, natanaw nyang papalapit sa kanilang bahay ang asawa. Nakapikit pa rin na tila naglalakad ng tulog. Wala na ang buntot. Mayroon na uling mga paa. Nang makapasok ay walang anu-anong nahiga na lamang sa kanilang higaan. Doon nasagot ang kaniyang mga pagtataka. Sa paghiga ni Joselito, naglaglagan ang ilang mga natitira pang kaliskis sa mga binti nito. Basa ang damit at katawan nito kaya't nabasa rin ang sapin at kumot.

Dali-daling ginising niya ang asawa. Sa salit na mga hikbi't pagyapos dito, inilahad nito ang lahat ng nasaksihan. Kung paanong tila naglalakad ng tulog itong pumunta sa may tabing-dagat, nagbago ng anyo at nilamon ng karagatan. Hindi makapaniwala si Joselito sa narinig. Anong gagawin natin? alalang-alalang tila nagpapasaklolo din na wika niya sa asawa.

Buo na ang isip ni Armida. Walang maaaring makaalam nito. Sa darating na gabi, may plano na siya. Gagawin niya ang lahat mapigilan lamang ang asawa na lumapit sa dagat.

Ikatlong gabi, bumabagyo pa rin. Malakas na tila sumisipol ang hangin at ang hampas ng ulan ay tila nagngangalit. Nakatarangka na ang mga bahay. Magkatabi nang nakahiga sa papag ang mag-asawa. Halos wala silang imikan. Walang anu-ano'y hindi lumilingon na nagsalita si Joselito. Mahal kita. Hindi na naitago ni Armida ang pag-aalala. Lumuluhang yumapos sa asawa sabay sabi ring Mahal kita. Sa puntong iyon, unti-unting hinila ng antok ang dalawa at napaanod sa himbing ng pagkakatulog.

Gayon na lamang ang pangamba ni Armida ng magising. Wala na sa tabi niya ang asawa. Pasado alas-dose na noon. Dali-daling nagsuot ng panyapak at humahangos na sinuong ang ulan, sa isip ay tiyak ang patutunguhan. At hindi nga siya nagkamali. Narooon sa may buhanginan, sa tabing dagat, nakahiga na namang tila walang malay ang asawa. Unti-unti ng kumakapal ang mga kaliskis sa hita't binti nito. Walang anu-ano'y naglaho na ang mga paa nito't napalitan ng malaking buntot na gaya ng sa isda.

Joselito. Joselito. Said ang lahat ng tapang na meron siya, hinila niya ang asawa sa dalawang mga kamay nito. Tuloy naman ang pagdausdos ni Joselito patungo sa dagat. Nakipagtagisan si Armida ng lakas sa kung anong pwersang hindi naman niya nakikita. Humahampas na sa mukha niya ang pinaghalong tubig ulan, tubig dagat at malakas na hangin. Hindi siya papayag. Hindi siya papayag na lamunin muli ng dagat ang asawa. Paano kung hindi na ito muling magbalik?

Ngunit nanaig ang pwersa ng karagatan. Nilamon ng gayon na lamang si Joselito.

Nanghihinang napaupo na lamang si Armida sa buhanginan. Pumapalahaw na tinatawag pa rin ang pangalan ng minamahal na asawa maski hindi tiyak kung naririnig pa ba nito. Tumingala siya sa langit na tila ba naghahanap ng sisisihin. Ang sarili ba? Ang dagat? Ang buhangin? Ang bagyo? O ang mga tumubong kaliskis at buntot sa asawa?

Maya-maya pa'y isang tinig ang kaniyang narinig. Hindi na magbabalik pa ang iyong asawa Armida. Nagulat man ay napalingong hinanap ang pinanggalingan ng tinig. Sino ka? Sa kabila ng takot ay nakuha pa ring magsalita. Hindi na mahalaga kung sino ako. Ang mahalaga ay ang sinasabi ko sa 'yo. Hindi na babalik ang asawa mong si Joselito. 

Sino ka? Nasan ang asawa ko? Ibalik nyo ang asawa ko. 
Hindi na babalik ang asawa mo. 
Joselito. Joselito. Nasan ka?
Bahagi na ngayon ng karagatan ang asawa mo. Hindi na siya babalik pa. 
Kinuha nyo sa 'kin ang asawa ko. Ibalik nyo sya. Joselito. Joselito. 
Nagpasya na rin ang asawa mo. Hindi na siya babalik pa. Paalam. 

At naglaho ng gayon na lamang ang tinig.

Kinaumagahan, wala na ang bagyo. Masikat na ang araw at payapa na muli ang dagat. Natagpuan na lamang si Armida na mag-isang umiiyak sa dalampasigan. Tinatawag pa rin ang pangalan ng asawa. Paulit-ulit. Walang sawa. Tila wala sa isip na nakatanaw lamang sa malayo habang walang tigil ang pamimisabis ng luha.

Ang sapantaha ng mga taga-barrio, sinuong ni Joselito ang bagyo upang mangisda ng nagdaang gabi. Maaaring sinawing palad, lumubog ang bangkang pangisda at di na nakabalik pa. Tanggap na nila ang istoryang ito bilang bahagi ng buhay nilang mga mangingisda. Isang mapait na katotohanang, kasinungalingan naman para kay Armida.

Sa mga darating na panahon, magiging normal na tanawin na sa barriong iyon ang isang babaeng nakasalampak sa may dalampasigan. Paulit-ulit na umuusal ng isang pangalan na sinasalitan ng mga katagang Mahal kita. Habang sa isip ay patuloy na isinusumpa ang mandarayang dagat na nagnakaw ng kaniyang pag-ibig.


WAKAS
____

click here for My Series of Comedy: Inferno
____

"O ye spirits purified, 
you may not enter by this stair
except the fire hath licked you.
Through its flames ascend 
heeding the chant beyond."
-The Divine Comedy - Purgatorio by Dante Alighieri
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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Three point shot

I was quietly sitting on a bar at that time. The 'tender just took my 3rd bottle of beer only to return with my ordered 3 shots of tequila. I lined them up in front me, like those front liner pawns in a chessboard. Suddenly, I heard a faint cough like someone is trying to grab my attention. If I didn't know it's just my 3rd bottle, I would think its the tequila shots grunting or something. It is only when this guy took the seat next to mine that I realised whom it came from.
HIM: Hey! What's your name missy?
ME: My name is Miss-Mind-Your-Own-Fuckin'-Business.
HIM: Haha! You always do that.
Damn! That super sexy laugh of his, how could I forget? Of course I knew the guy, or I thought I do. He's been gone for a long time and I must admit I kinda missed him a bit. But of course am lying. I missed him a lot!
Anyway, I continue pretending not to mind him at all, instead I took the first tequila shot, then continue staring at the remaining two. 
HIM: Sorry I've been gone for too long. I miss you though. 
ME: Fuck you!
HIM: Damn! That mouth of yours always brings me a hard-on. 
I felt my wall of defense started to crack here. I let out a small laugh.
ME: What? Literally or figuratively?
HIM: Here, why don't you find out for yourself?
And he grabbed my hand directing it to his crotch. 
ME: Put down my hand or I'll fuckin' shove it down your throat.
After he let go of my hand that I took the 2nd tequila shot
HIM: You're already drunk. Why don't we go somewhere else and catch some air?
ME: I would be able to catch some air when you leave. So, thank you very much. 
HIM: (As if he didn't hear me at all, he continued) Or we could go to my place! My dorm mates are gone for the weekend. I know you're not really a heavy drinker so you can go lie down there.
I stared at him. He met my gaze with that wide boyish grin on his face. Jeez, I wonder where am I getting the power to resist this guy. Those sharp eyes which felt like I could stare at in like forever...hell, there's no other word to best describe them - astig!
ME: What do you want?
HIM? What's that question suppose to mean?
ME: I'll re-phrase it. You want to fuck me, don't you?
HIM: What?
ME: I said, you want to fuck me!
HIM: I don't know what you're talking about.
ME: Say it! Goddamn it! 
HIM: Alright, I do wanna fuck you! Happy?
I drank the 3rd tequila shot, left some money for the drinks then got up.
HIM: Hey! Where are you going? Alright, am sorry I said that. But you forced me! 
Traces of worries are now etched on his face. I thought, gosh, what a total jerk.
ME: You said you wanna fuck me right? 
HIM: Uhuh.
ME: So what are we waiting for? Unless you want to do it right in here...
HIM: You serious?
I thought again, oh my god, am gonna be fucked by a moron. I didn't speak anymore, instead I just smiled at him. That kind of smile which could be interpreted as "it's alright baby, take me home with you." It's only then that he again broke into his familiar grin, although this time I saw in his eyes a glint of hunger, one would associate to that of a predator watching his prey. Before I could think of anything more, I turned my back on him. He stood up, then followed me all the way down to the exit.

We hailed a cab but once inside, his hands begun to wander around. I protested.   
ME: Get. Your. Damn hands. Off. Me. 
I felt his warm wet lips on my ears as he whisper:
HIM: I'm having a real hard time down there, if you must know.
This time, he didn't have to direct my hands anymore. They already know where to go. 

To be continued...
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
or not.
___
"Sex is one of the nine reasons for incarnation. The other eight are unimportant."
-George Burns

Monday, October 11, 2010

My Two Cents: The Reproductive Health Bill

I've been wondering. People are agreeing and disagreeing left and right. Debates are all fired up and it looks as if the nation is on the verge of splitting into two. Or make that three actually, as others seem to be lost in confusion while others simply do not care. Some politicians are using the issue to gain exposure, taking advantage of media's hunger for sound bite worthy lines. Others see it as an opportunity to attack the opposing camp. Really, where are we amidst all these? Where am I?

First question: am I pro or anti RH Bill? Honestly, I don't know how to answer that question. For one, I would have to ask you which RH Bill are you talking about. There are about six or seven pending RH Bill in the Lower House as of this writing. Now, the most popular, and I guess what you would be picking is Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman's bill, which sadly leads me to few questions and doubts.

The House Minority Floor Leader's authored bill, for me, is too vague. It needs to be trimmed down to arrive at a concrete point which would tell what the bill really wants to point out. I fear that its lack of precision would lead to same demises that our current Charter imposes and is still imposing on us. Being too wordy would lead to many interpretations which sadly can be easily twisted by well trained debaters [lawyers]. Take for example the confusion on whether Mrs. Arroyo should be allowed to seek electoral office and the subject of whether her nomination for now Chief Justice Renato Corona is allowable, all prior to the expiration of her term. My point is simple and is one of the basic rule I've learned from political science --laws must be written clearly, definite and deliberately in detail.

Another point, which I would divulge anyway even on the verge of being called a cynic, are the rumors as to a certain company that is already behind the gentleman from Albay if ever the bill would be enacted as law. Here we go again with a third party involvement on government initiated projects. I am talking about the future suppliers of contraceptives and other parallel stuffs. Although there has been a number of senate probe relevant to this issue, there's still no solid bill [law] that would address this issue. If our lawmakers would not resolve this first, we might have many other NBN-ZTE-Deal-esque scandals. RH Bill could definitely not bse spared from it.

Third, and this time on the risk of being called prude, is the social implications of some radical moves that would sprout from the enactment of this bill. I must admit, former Secretary Esperanza Cabral on the street handing out condoms to passersby did send a chilling message on me. I mean, it is way different when me, a civilian, would hand out condoms on the streets of Malate, and her, a State figure, someone who speaks out for a larger scale would delve on something so severe that not all people might agree for. It is okay to promote safe sex but giving away condoms on the street is way different from telling people you can get condoms from registered health workers at Centers if you want a planned parenthood [or responsible sexual engagements].

Lastly, do I agree with the Church "meddling" over government issues? Yes. The same way that I agree that people can voice out their disagreements, hate and disgust with the Church. Calling the priests pedophiles and sexual offenders on the streets and different internet sites are practices of democracy. But raising an offensive placard in the midst of an interfaith gathering inside a place considered by others as holy defies freedom of religion. It tramples upon others Faith...my Faith for that matter.

Back to the first question: am I pro or anti RH Bill? I am in favor of our government's effort in promoting Reproductive Health on its people. Mentioning 'people' includes all sector, religious, media, public --everyone! Therefore we are the ones who should decide on this. Instead of throwing tomatoes at one another why don't we start accepting that we have different takes on this matter? Maybe if we begin doing that, we may probably arrive at certain point where we can all agree and at the same time accept the fact that we can't force every bit of our beliefs because this matter is larger than any of us. After all, you're probably just like me, someone who desires nothing but the betterment of this derailed nation.
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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Attraversiamo

Attraversiamo, in Italian, means "let's cross the street." [Eat Pray Love]
i said, his stories are somehow parallel to mine, that i am wondering how is that. and he said, ours blogs are like twins. i couldn't agree more. he appears to me like a veteran crusader yet still learning his way on battlefields, whereas here i am, a dreaming soldier who doesn't even know how to properly handle a spear and a shield.

i am saddened by his disappearance. i am saddened of the many disappearances. but for someone whose stories   are not too far from my book, i know. and i understand.

there's a whole world out there living loudly in silence.
___

i, too, on occasions, attempted the suicidal of this quarter. reason(s)? i won't and can't tell you. but i think you guys already knew! check your list of "Top Reasons Why A Blogger Would Delete His Blog" and mine is probably your number 1 or 2.

during these rare times, i would contemplate hard. then, i would go back to that question of: how and why i started blogging. to answer the how, you can just flip back on my archives then peruse on one of my early stories of heartbreaking baptism of flesh. the whys, there are many which would require a separate post.

diverting from my "whys" became the causes of my distresses in blogging. it's when i bend my rules. it's when i go beyond my critical mind. or drifting on shameless thoughts. like the idea of prostituting myself here, gaining popularity, and the worse, getting hitched [oh yeah! the bastard did try looking for love. what an emo-romantic schmuck! boo you DB!]

that's why i am very sorry if i seemed wary of meeting people outside these parameters. but i actually did met a few. and did i regret doing so? maybe yes, maybe no. but i'm definitely not burning bridges. maybe i'll get to learn the game. hopefully. and it better be soon, yes? [it's Christmas brethren! don't we wanna have some XXX-mas party, eh?]

am i the next to go? no one knows for sure. i say let's just enjoy these while we can. come, let us cross the street my friend. Attraversiamo!
___
"Oh human race, born to fly upward, wherefore at a little wind dost thou so fall?"
-Dante Alighieri, La Divina Commedia
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Monday, October 4, 2010

Quo Vadis?

Pietro: Quo Vadis?
              (Lord, whither goest Thou?)
Iesu: Eo Romam iterum crucifigi! 
             (I am going to Rome to be again crucified! )

A Christian tradition states that Peter, as he tries leaving Rome to escape the wraths of Roman leaders, met Jesus which prompt the conversation above. This helps Peter gain the courage to continue his ministry. As a result, he was crucified upside-down where he met his death.
___

I found her at the far corner of that shelter home. Her bed is sitting next to a wall right next to a communal restroom. On the side is a small cabinet about waist height, functioning as bedside table as well. It was a humid afternoon, so she was gently waving an abaniko while appearing to be staring into nothingness through the window near her spot. But no, she's actually not. And she could not possibly do so. Lola Valentina is already blind.

She felt my presence. And so I sat next to her, held her delicate hands, then begun listening to her story.
___

Life started early for Lola Tina. At a young age of 14, she was already thinking of pulling away from the claws of poverty. Much to the disappointment of her father and with nothing but hopes in their pockets, together with few friends, Lola Tina braved leaving her hometown Leyte to find that much coveted greener pasture in a jungle that is Manila.

First step into the metro felt like baptism, a portal to a world filled with promises of brighter future, a road to gloriousness far from the lazy impoverished life they were cursed off back in their barrio.

But life in the city is not so kind. While she was taken in as a house helper at first attempt, after a year, the family she was serving decided to transfer in Cebu. She didn't want to go with them so she looked for another family to serve. Little did she know of the worse fate she'll have to endure with her next employer.  The agreed 20 peso monthly salary never met Lola Tina's craving hands. "Niloko nila 'ko...inabuso." So at the first chance she got, she hurriedly left.


In the next 42 years of her life, Lola Tina has given up everything, even the chance of getting a family of her own, all for the love and gratitude towards a family who took her after, whom she served in every possible way she can. Lola Tina's face glowed as she recounts how she watched the kids at home grow. "Mga anak ko na sila." 

Four decades were spent doing the laundry, cooking, washing the dishes, tidying the house and taking care of the children --a sentinel servant. But above the mounting chores, she never felt tired and all used up. "Masaya akong pagsilbihan sila."


Years went by quickly. Age has taken its toll. Lola Tina was not the same 30 year old house helper anymore. She couldn't do the dishes like she used to. She couldn't run anymore to the nearest store whenever there's a need to buy certain things. Her hands were already giving up with the years of doing the laundry. Her body is weakened. Finally, she turned blind. That time, she knew, she must plan a graceful exit.

By the end of June 2003, she pleaded for the family to lend her some money for the last time so she could just go back in her hometown in Leyte. "Pagod na ko. Gusto ko na magpahinga. Dun sa bayan namin." Her employer said not to worry and agreed to drive her the next day to the bus terminal. Lola Tina was excited. "Sa wakas, makakauwi na ko."

Monday, July 1, 2003, the son of her employer brought her -- not to the bus terminal -- but to a home for the abandoned elderlies.

"Alam ko na. Naramdaman ko kahit bulag ako. Hindi nila 'ko dadalhin sa terminal."

It was difficult at first, the idea of living in a shelter full of fellow "unwanted". Lola Tina longs to spend the remaining years of her life back in her hometown. But as days go by, once and for all, she found not only a home, but a haven in this cruel world. "Yung mga kamay at paa ko, nakapahinga na."

From time to time Lola Tina would get lucky and get visited by friends of her last employer. She would savor these moments, relishing the old days when she was still on her prime. These thoughts always brought smile and tears to Lola Tina's ancient face. But just so you know, she never regretted a single day of them

I asked her if she still wants to go back in Leyte. "Hindi na siguro. Masaya na ako. Dito na siguro ako mag-aantay, hanggang kunin ako ng Diyos at dalhin sa tunay kong tahanan."
___

Dedicated to my lolos and lolas at the Anawim Home for the Abandoned Elderlies in Montalban, Rizal. 
Also in memory of Tita Nena, Lolo Rudy, Lolo Policarpio and my very own beloved Lolo Martin
 

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