Thursday, March 18, 2010


I have to tell you this while the smoke of memory is still trapped in my foggy mind. I was under the flyover. The massive cement block dark like a starless sky above me, I waited in the middle of that busy highway without a thing in my mind waiting for the signal to beat green. A rush of energy suddenly flowed within me from nowhere taking away the pain, the worries and the ghosts that haunt me. Then the go signal. A mute brisk. There was the homeless man almost hunch back sporting a toothless smile a worthless effort of begging from people passing the busy road. I was happy to see him. I was ecstatic to see the embers of a dying soul ignite a life. I ran and saw secret lives passing through the corners of my eyes. Beads of sweat dropped slowly to the ground. The ground was nourished by sweat because the rain has done a great abandon.

Few hours ago two women were in my sight languishing from pain. They sought help because of desperation. They talked about connections, of buying judgments, of having developed profound mistrust. I talked of keeping faith when I know very well that it is like now where everybody prays for rain and nothing else comes but futile promise of rain clouds that quickly dissipate in the skies.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Memories of the Heat

The heat is becoming very unbearable these days. It’s funny to tell you that I am hiding on the bedside to avoid the scorching rays of the sun that enter my room through its wide windows. I am trying to sleep but the heat just steals everything and it keeps me against my desire to be awake.

I don’t know how to begin this. But years before when my family has been in the downside of life, staying under the heat of the sun was quite as natural as say reading a book. By now, you must have heard of the whole story, or maybe pieces of it, that during some days in the past, I walk for miles just to reach a solitary hut beside the river carrying breakfast, lunch or dinner for my father as the case maybe. I am trying to remember those days when walking in the middle of the day with the might of the sun for at the most mostly an hour was just an ordinary event or daily undertaking in my life.

It was a sad story you see because looking back, I really never wanted myself to do it and I basically questioned and blamed everything that my father had reasoned about to make such duties logical and necessary in the scheme of things. I hated it because, first of all, I will be missing my friends and their playful journeys at the back of the house of my cousin Badong and I detest the thought of people seeing me in a pitiful state carrying a container of water and bayong which is often filled with big casseroles and all. I detest the thought of my classmates in the highschool next our town where I am attending to seeing me doing that thing and them thinking that I am just a poor boy raised in a poor family trying hard to meet both ends just to study in such school which is the painful truth and fact.

And that I was able to do the long walks for years together with my siblings never made me rest into accepting that it was a necessary thing to do under the circumstances and I went into believing that my father did that to us in order to persecute us and to bring shame in us because he believes and I saw him utter this words that we, his children have no future and that we are bound to fail in whatever road we will take. I thank him somehow for telling that to me because in all the years after that and until now I am trying my best to prove him wrong.

It went like I said for years, walking and walking and walking everyday every night that passed and creative I did some things to make the activity a mental one and to push myself into believing that I should humble myself to lessen the negative impact of it into my being.

Sometimes just to get over the heat I think and pray for rain. With the mind of the child, I put stories in every step I take, in every house I pass through, the stones by the roadside, the dikes in the paddies, the haystacks, the bliss of seeing beauty in a barren field with the parched land crumbling upon the footsteps, and that God loves me more than ever.

Seeing the nearing hut as I approach it gave immense comfort to me like a mirage in a desert. For all the years of walking, I developed this weird attachment to the beauty of it making me think that someday I will build the same hut for my own family as a rest house. When my father sold the property against his will, he didn’t mind that in his sadness comes a painful awakening in me for the last time that we will never have the power to cling to things which make us happy forever and that poor people as we are, we have the least of control over things in this world.

I was not so much relieved by the fact that I will end up the story of me walking for miles, passing through the once happy houses and homes I envy so much by losing the hut and the pond. Sometimes I really get emotional especially during these days I don’t know why.

Maybe it’s because of the heat and the memories that came with it.