Friday, August 31, 2007

The Fallacy That is Willie

Fact: There had been an anomaly in Willie Revillame’s show called Wowowee, specifically in their then two-day old segment called Wilyonaryo.

Fact: This so-called anomaly happened sometime last week. (I have yet to research when exactly.) [Blogger's note: I heard today (08/31/07) that the blunder happened last August 18.]

Fact: This blunder, seen by all Wowowee followers, has spurred a controversy in the net where a video clip of the said segment has been posted for the entire world to see.

Fact: No statement had been released by anyone from Wowowee or from ABS-CBN, the carrier network of the show, to address the said controversy from the time it happened until Tuesday this week.

Fact: Joey De Leon, one of the many hosts of Eat Bulaga which is Wowowee’s noon-time rival, and is known for dropping playfully placed striking comments to anyone he spites, naturally seized the controversy and, as said by those who witnessed, did his deed.

Fact: In yesterday’s Wowowee telecast Willie spent the first part of his show partly claiming that he is no cheater and mostly attacking Joey de Leon for being mean to him in spite of him idolizing the veteran host.

Fact: Willie even insisted that if in fact he did something wrong, then he doesn’t care if the show’s fans leave him or if the ABS-CBN management fires him.

In Willie’s speech, he kept on saying, “wala naman akong ipapakita dahil hindi ako mandaraya” but he never proceeded on explaining what really happened with the purple wheel, the zero, and the two in that fateful game of Wilyonaryo.

In between showing Willie trying so hard to keep his tears, the director of the show managed to slide a few shots of the audience, weeping sympathetically for their beloved Willie.

Fact: I didn’t know of this issue, not until I saw, in last night’s news, video clips of Willie in what I perceived as “whining like a baby”.

Fact: I don’t know Willie or Joey personally, I am not in anyway affiliated to any of their shows nor any of their networks but I still feel compelled to share my opinion because I know that I am part of the viewing public who witness the circus they run on a daily basis.

Opinon: Whether ringmaster Willie or his staff is to fault for their game show’s blunder, they owe the public an explanation of what happened. If Willie and the staff of Wowowee really are loyal to their audience and put them first above all else just as they say, then they would muster the decency to look into the purple wheel anomaly at that instant when Willie pulled the black thing and revealed the number zero instead of the expected number two. They could have gone into a commercial break, discussed it among themselves and returned back to air to explain what just transpired. The issue would have died there. After all, we’ll all believe that it was just an honest mistake we saw.

But Willie and everyone around him acted like nothing big of a deal just happened thereby insulting the ability of their audience to assess what just took place right before their eyes. Once again, the viewers were taken as non-thinking Neanderthals, not keen enough to sense that in a way they’ve been had. The same way they’ve been had when 71 of their fellow TV show watchers died while a number of others were hurt for the same show in the hopes of improving their lives as promised by none other than Willie himself. And that tragic event which happened not too long ago is slowly being erased in the mind of the public as Wowowee seems to be moving on barely looking back, except of course when the issues on the court hearings are being raised.

Willie said in his speech strongly directed to Joey, “Sa yo na yung ratings mo!” delivered in such a way which couldn’t have been more childish. I take it as a total bull because being on television, ratings is inevitably everything for you. OK, he loves his audience, he wants to help, he wants to entertain. He can’t do that without his ratings! Ratings that will pave the way for the pouring in of advertisers. Advertisers that will give him the funds to continue loving his audience, helping them, and entertaining them.

In Willie’s monologue, he never delved into the incident which as he says Joey de Leon is attacking him for. He denied that he’s a cheater, tried to win the people’s sympathy by ostentatiously betting his career against being proven a cheater, then proceeded on attacking Joey like he were Joey’s neglected child.

Although Willie’s bravado had been noted it was really uncalled for. He could have just told the public what really happened thereby giving them the chance to think for themselves. Perhaps only then can they judge Willie. I cannot seem to reconcile why Willie had to drag Joey into his mess.

Joey de Leon has less to do with this issue. Perhaps his only mistake was playing with fire which Willie just turned into a torch. And Joey, being the opinionated person that he is was merely expressing his sentiment on simple TV ethics, being that he is a veteran at game shows himself. In a way he maybe protecting the image of contests on TV, one in which history he somehow is a part of. Or then again he may be just being his naughty self, playing the devil's advocate in the war of the networks.

Willie himself admitted that he’s a fan of Joey’s, even emulating the latter at times. It follows that he knows Joey’s quirks—that he has a penchant for uttering stingy remarks for the fun of it, if not also for the thrill of it. Willie should have been used to Joey’s game by now. He may get hurt but he shouldn’t go crying on TV. Unless of course if Joey poked him at a part of him which was exceptionally sensitive, perhaps even too sensitive to tackle upfront and is easier to address by digressing elsewhere.

Of course, ABS-CBN will not dump Willie this time. Not after releasing a statement today that the anomaly, the root of this issue is nothing but a technical glitch in their contest’s second run. They wouldn’t throw Willie out especially now that all of their credibility, integrity and all those –ities are at stake. Although their decision to speak now is rather late, isn’t it?

Let’s not deny that by yelling, “Joey, sige na, ikaw na ang number one!” Willie just won himself the lola wiping her tears, the misis ng tahanan controlling her sobs, and the rest of the studio audiences on the verge of weeping for him as zoomed in by their very attentive cameramen and director who must have excellent reflexes. Good strategy in Willie’s part. Perhaps he'll get a raise for that. If only he flooded the set with tears, then I would have crowned him the king of Argumentum ad Misericordiam (Argument that Appeals to Pity).

***NOTE: I opted to post Willie's moment here to highlight how daft-like he looked and to show the whole of his daft-like act.

****FINAL FACT: My dad whose name is also Willie is thinking of having his name changed. "Nakakahiya!" he says.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Oh, God I miss the Boy!

Namimiss ko talaga si Kulas.

Sa Linggo mag-40 days na siya. Ang tagal na since last ko sya nahawakan! Limited na lang ako ngayon sa pagtingin ng pictures at pagnood ng videos niya. Wala e, ganoon talaga!

Si Daddy, pagpinupunasan yung picture ni Nichi, kinakausap niya si Kulas at sinasabi, "Dong, hanggang punas na lang tayo. Di na kita mapapaliguan!"

Sounds funny pero I feel the pain in his statement.

Nung gabi bago sinintensyahan nung neurologist si Nichi (bago niya naibigay ang final interpretation ng EMG ni Nichi), di talaga ako nakatulog nang matino. Literally na naramdaman ko na may nakadagan sa puso ko. Di nga ako makahinga. Di lang ako nag-iingay dahil katabi ko si Nichi noon. Minsan nakakainis kasi sa mga nangyari, ramdam na ramdam ko na powerless ako. Sa lahat ng mga kaya kong gawin, wala doong makakapagpahaba ng buhay ni Nichi. Nag-pansit naman kami nung birthday niya! For long life sana kaso hindi sya nag-work.

Ewan ko ba! Magfoforty days na pero hindi pa rin maging tunay na normal ang buhay nang wala si Nichi. Somehow, may naiwan na void sa pagkatao ko nang mawala siya. Ang tapang ko pa naman noon dahil naisip ko, walang sinuman ang makakapag-iwan ng void sa akin. Pati pala yon hindi ko kayang kontrolin.

Minsan naiiyak pa rin ako. Kagaya nung weekend, nagbabasa ako ng lumang libro nang malaglag yung nakasingit na scratch paper kung saan nakasulat yung draft ng reaction paper ni Nichi sa isa sa mga story dun sa book. May mga reminders pa sa class nila sa gilid. Iba talaga si Kulas! marami syang ways para bulagain kami.

Nung isang linggo naman, paglipat ko sa dashboard ng blog ko, nakita ko sa isa sa mga tips na nakapost yung sample profile ng isang blogger. Ito yung pangalan niya:

"Tyrone Nicholas"...parang pinagsama yung pangalan naming dalawa.

Tapos nung isang beses naman na inanyayahan kami nung paring huling nagbasbas kay Nichi sa isang misa na para na rin sa kaluluwa niya, yung flags na naka-attach sa sides ng simbahan ay kulay green. Favorite color ni Nichi yon. Feel na feel tuloy yung presence niya doon sa simbahan. Nakakalungkot lang nga kasi yung misa na iyon ay dinaluhan ng mga estudyante sa eskwelhang malapit dun sa simbahan. Congregational mass nila kung baga. Sabit lang kami ni Mommy, kung hindi man special guest. Naisip ko tuloy, sayang! Sana isa na lang si Nichi sa mga bata doon. Healthy, kumakanta, nagsisimba habang nakikipagkwentuhan sa katabi niya.

Madalas naaalala ko si Kulas kapag ipinipikit ko na ang aking mga mata tuwing gabi. Naiisip ko kung ano ang mga huling bagay na sumagi sa kanyang isipan habang nararamdaman niya ang papalapit na pagwawakas ng kanyang buhay. Siguro takot na takot iyon. Sana talaga yung pagtayo ko at paglapit sa kanya tuwing naalimpungatan ako dahil gising siya, sana kahit papaano, nakatulong iyon para maibsan ang takot nya. Nagsisisi nga ako. Sana nakipagsiksikan na lang ako sa kama niya at nang may katabi siya sa huling magdamag niya sa mundo. Sana rin hindi na lang ako umalis sa kwarto kung nasaan siya nung buong araw ng July 24. E di sana naipadama ko sa kanya sa huling pagkakataon na lab na lab ko siya. Yun yung mga bagay na pinagsisisihan ko.

Sumasagi rin sa isip ko kung tama ba ginive up namin sya? Kasi sinasabihan na namin siya noon na magpahinga na kung pagod na talaga siya. Kitang kita naman kasi kung papaano binugbog ng sakit niya yung katawan niya. Kaya naman nung mga oras na iyon, pinakamainam na sa kanya ang magpahinga na lang. Hindi siyempre madali sa amin ang pagpahingahin na siya pero yun ang kailangan naming tiisin kesa naman tuluyan pang maghirap si Nichi. Hindi kasi iyon kagaya last year na kahit hirap siya, mararamdaman mo na may pag-asa pa. Na kaya pang lumaban.

Ang nahihirapan lang akong tanggapin e yung fact na gusto pa talaga ni Nichi mabuhay. Two weekends before nga siya pumanaw, umiyak siya sa amin ni Dad while telling us na wala nang adventure ang buhay niya. Kasi nga naman parati na lang siya natutulog. Nakakaawa talaga kasi kung siya ang masusunod, gusto niya yung buhay na laging on the go. More than double yung sakripisyo niya nang mabedridden siya.

Sana talaga dun sa mga huling oras ni Nichi e napawi na ang takot niya kaya he chose na rin to succumb to death. Mukha namang naging maaliwalas na ang mukha niya matapos siyang mabasbasan ng pari. Kaya umaasa ako na hindi na siya takot nung mga huling minuto niya.

Yun yata ang hirap kapag di nako-coma o naguulyanin ang pasyente. Up to the last minute alam niyang ang mga nangyayari sa kanya. Up to the last minute din natetest ang tapang niya.

Matapang si Nichi. Pinakita niya yon sa maraming tao. Siguro habang nabubuhay ako, hindi ko malilimutan yung bukod tanging lakas ng loob na sa kanya ko lang nakita. Hanep talaga!

Sa kabila naman ng lahat ng nangyari, ang daming tao talaga ang tumulong sa amin. Kaya naman ito ang isang thank-you note na inihanda ko para sa kanila:

Sana sa pamamagitan niyan, maramdaman nila kung gaano namin naapreciate ang lahat ng ginawa nila para sa kapatid ko. Sana rin makita nila kung gaano ka-gwapo si Nichi kahit ano pa man ang look na iniisport niya.

Yung mga masasayang pictures ni Nichi na madalas kong tingnan ngayon at yung mga kalokohan (tricks) niya sa mga video ang nagpapangiti sa akin ngayon. Yon yung tumutulong sa akin para maiwasan ko yung pakiramdam na gusto kong mag-amok dahil di ba, nawalan ako, hindi lang ng kung anong bagay lamang kundi ng isang kapatid na napakadaling mahalin at napakahirap kalimutan. Somehow feeling ko nadaya o naisahan ako. Basta, obvious ang reasons sa minsang galit na nararamdaman ko pero hindi ko siya maipaliwanag ng malinaw. Kaso, kahit ano pang tantrums ang gawin ko, hndi naman na maibabalik si Nichi.

Noong birthday ko nitong nakaraang June, sinabi ko kay Nichi, "Lab na lab na lab na lab na lab na lab... na lab kita!" Tapos tinanong ko siya, "Ikaw lab mo ako?"

"Lampas pa doon." Sabi niya. Nakaka-touch talaga.

Sinabihan ko pa nga siya, "Pwede ka nang magkagirlfriend. Ang galing mong mambola!" Pero siyempre deep inside, naiiyak ako kasi pinahahalagahan ako ng utol ko more than pa pala sa pagpapahalagang ibinibigay ko sa kanya.

Tapos kapag naman nagpapa-embrace ako sa kanya at ayaw na niyang tumayo para yakapin ako sinasabi na lang niya sa akin habang nag-bu-beautiful eyes, "Bukas na lang."

O, siya Nichi, darating din ang bukas na maeembrace kita ulit. Magpapakabait ako at nang mapunta rin ako jan sa bago mong tambayan. Lagi mong tatandaan na sa gitna ng crazy emotions ko until today, lab na lab na lab na lab na lab pa rin kita!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Mission: Vision

I bought myself my third pair of contact lenses last Tuesday, not because I have cash to burn—in fact I don’t. Plastic money saved me again—well-er not really save. When I think about it now, my debt just piled up. Holy crap!

But I need the lenses badly. I ended up choosing to worry about how I’d pay for it later.

Yes I still have my eyeglasses but the world is absolutely better without it and with an almost perfect vision. Having worn a pair of eyeglasses since I think 2001 doesn’t make me a compliant wearer of the so-called spectacles. I wear them because I need to, never because I want to.

The first time I wore a pair of eyeglasses, I had to get used to seeing the world this way:

The two frames tend to merge, creating a rectangular frame. The budge (part of the bifocals just above the bridge of the nose) disappears when you’re wearing
the glasses.

Beautiful sceneries are framed by the eye wires (the material that surrounds the glasses). It’s kind of restricting. My brother has been convincing me to buy those frames with no eye wires as they wouldn’t hide my face aside from allowing me to see the world as it is. But a friend of mine has been advised by her ophthalmologist to get glasses with eye wires that have the capacity to absorb shock when your face hits something. It will prevent the glasses from shattering into pieces and sticking to your eyeballs in case of any accidental impact. Eww.

I’d much rather look nerdy than risk getting tiny pieces of prescription lenses inside my eyes.

Needless to say, all four of my eyeglasses came with eye wires. Unfortunately, I cannot show them all to you since I lost my first eyeglasses the morning of my college graduation day. Tsk tsk. It would have been a nice artifact to keep. Losing it forced my mom to buy me my second pair.

I switched to using contact lenses after my second eyeglasses. I used my Youngblood honorarium to purchase them. Mostly, I got them out of curiosity thus explaining my second thoughts while I was struggling to put them on and off my eyes. They served their purpose though. I felt normal again after I got over the weird feeling of having thin film of plastics touching my eyes for a maximum of 16 hours.

I kept those lenses and somehow preserved them although not in their original state. Soft lenses actually harden when they dry up. Good thing they managed to keep their shape. Here are they now:

A closer look:

Contact lenses, however, cannot stand alone. You would eventually need a good pair of eyeglasses ready in case you can’t slip the lenses as fast and as easily as you should. Thus, me getting my third spectacles, one which proved to be a bad investment. Most of the time, eyeglasses are more expensive than contacts—that is if you do not add in the expenses for solutions and eye lubricants. So here’s a tip. Find a sturdy frame made of materials that won’t react to your skin and sweat. Based on experience, metal and rubber on the temples (the hook over the ears) are a no no. Metal tarnishes from the acidic nature of anyone’s perspiration. On the other hand, rubber melts. Ultimately, you’ll get your money’s worth if your eyeglasses lasts throughout a whole year unscathed.

With the case of my third eyeglasses, its rubber temples melted roughly four months after I first wore it. So I ventured back to contacts lenses, primarily because they are cheaper to purchase. But, as I have previously said, they require maintenance which isn’t too pricey anyway. Plus contacts are more convenient—that is, once they’re in place. It really takes time, patience and luck to become a master at maneuvering them on your eyes.

Before my second pair of contacts reached its expiration date, I accidentally ripped one of them, probably when I tried storing it. I filled my contacts' case with too much solution causing the now-damaged lens to float and get in the way of me twisting the case’s cap on. Yikes!

I found a cheap frame which was originally molded for fashion sunglasses. I saw its potential as a good frame for my fourth eyeglasses. I opted to invest on multi-coated lenses instead—a bit costly but is worth it because of the UV protection and antiglare features it promises.

Heavy rains however place eyeglass wearers to a disadvantage, if not danger, because rainwater tend to cover a nearsighted (or farsighted) person’s vision. If you get what I mean, you’d understand why I have wished on so many rainy times for my eyeglasses to come with wipers. Since my demand for such gadget has not been properly addressed yet, I was compelled to get my third pair of contacts.

Now I am putting them on and off like a pro! (Finally!) Afterwards I sometimes shriek, “I’ve got perfect vision!”

Well, almost!

The sad fact beneath all these is that my eyeballs are probably growing fatter and fatter which explains the gradual progress with regard my myopia (nearsightedness). And believe me, I did my fair share in loading a healthy dose of Vitamin A.

I just hope to be able to hang out at the beach for a few more times before I become too much of an artificial-lens dependent.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Still Remembering

I'm exhausted in more ways than one.

Physically, I'm drained from all the moving in the office. And yes, I've carried boxes of diffrent weights and sizes, tables, shelves, steel cabinets and whatnots--although I didn't lift the things I just enumerated by myself. Well at least not some of the tables and shelves and steel cabinets.

I have bruises on my knees from all the pushing of heavy stuff I did. But I have to admit that I am looking forward to our first complete day at the new office tomorrow even if it means another day of lifting and pushing and unpacking in a place devoid of airconditioning and even free flowing air.

Then there's the sleep deprivation which is mostly my fault. I have been staying up really late--make that really early, as in until after midnight. Mostly I spend the time browsing photos and videos of you-know-who. By this time, my readers would think Nichi is overrated but I feel otherwise.

I am compelled to satisfy my need to get a healthy dose of Nichi whenever I can. If only to soothe my inflicted emotions and restless mind.

So here. I wish to share how our Nichi is like in a normal day. He dances when he feels like it. And when he does, he never fails to add his own twist to popular moves.

The rest of the video's still a normal day. (Notice how I highlight how normal this scene is at home. Oh, how I wish I'd have that normal day again!)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Well Isn't That Moving?

My back hurts. I swear I’m going to see a doctor soon.

And we, the whole office people and I, moving from one location to another aggravates my weak back. But I don’t mind. At least things haven’t been ordinary for the past days—excruciating moments when we sit in the office, do our usual tasks and let our butts grow as if “butt growth” will do us good.

So these days, no work in our office gets done. What with the packing?! How can we work? Our official things are sealed in random boxes and so are our “corporate minds.” (Yikes, “corporate” daw, o?!)

We pack all day thus explains our exhaustion. (Hmmm…that sounds kind of weird. Either way, it holds true. You’d naturally feel tired when you do that thing all day!)

So we’re moving. I’m excited. Not that I’ve been deprived of moving. In fact, I’m an expert having moved houses six times in my whole hippocampus-developed lifetime.

Let me enumerate: From Canley Road we moved to Santiago Street [1st move]. Then my mom, one day, had the brightest idea to transfer from the third apartment door to the first one, being that the latter was slightly bigger [2nd move]. Later, as part of a major change in our lives, we packed our bags and headed to Malinao [3rd move]—Malinao which experiences its own version of high tide thanks to incessant rains. Add to that our next-door neighbor who turned their home to a furniture workshop, constantly emitting paint fumes. Both factors drove us to Plaza [4th move]. Everything in Plaza is cramped and fresh air, just as the water supply, is rare. But if you stand just above our staircase you’d smell McDonald’s foods while in the bedroom you’d savor the mouth-watering aroma of Max’s fried chicken! And life in Plaza is almost as cramped as those we see on telenovelas, where the hungry bidas hold on to their tummies while they watch the rich ones get fatter everyday by eating in restaurants like Max’s (or probably McDonalds, too). Until one day the old evil witch, wearing her gold chains, pearl earrings, and silver bangles, will drive the poor bidas away while shrieking, “Get out of my house! You are not my relatives!” Luckily the bidas find a better abode to take shelter in. Then again, going back to our family, hopping to that new spot in San Nicolas [5th move] wasn’t an entirely lucky decision. The house was all right but what was in store changed everything. (Perhaps it is even the reason why I mourn right now.) In San Nicolas, swarms of termites attacked around 25% of what we owned thus prompting us to use all chemicals possible to solve that matter regarding co-existing with pesky insects. It proved to be one of the worst ideas in the world as days later, our youngest, our Nichi began suffering the consequences of prolonged exposure to harmful chemicals and soon thereafter was diagnosed with leukemia—the perpetrator, so to speak, of his early demise. But four years before Nichi’s death, mom had the same brightest idea she had in Santiago. Hence our sixth home relocation from San Nicolas to San Nicolas.

See? I’m not making up the unbeaten six-time move claim. And I haven’t included my dorm hops yet.

Still, the prospect of packing, moving and unpacking doesn’t fail to keep me thrilled. I guess, I’ve learned to enjoy it. As a matter of fact, I have captured some of the moving progress of our office department in photos:

Early today. Things are packed and labeled. Our area is devoid of that asbestos ceiling that gives me the medical creeps and walls that hinder you from believing that you have X-ray vision.

Just arrived. Some of our Department’s tables and shelves are blessed with rain, although I’m using “blessed” in the not-so-favorable light. I guess, what I really mean is, “they got soaked by the uncooperative rain.”

View from the top. The stacks you see are not boxes. They are the tables and cabinets shown above. Amazingly, the hired hands are macho enough to carry one shelf per pair of hands, or I mean, per person.

Here I am. At the old office. Beside our group’s box number three. Smiling.

Perhaps my back wasn’t aching then.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Bakit Ba Hindi Ako Nag-Filipino Major?

Ito pong entry na ito ay kasali sa Wika2007 contest ng PinoyBlogoSphere. Mangyari lamang pong i-click ito para makaboto kayo. Madali lang po bumoto! Umaasa po ako sa inyong suporta. Maraming salamat po!

Minsan kong naitanong iyan sa aking sarili matapos magturo sa mga batang napakahuhusay magsalita ng Ingles.

Wala! Tiklop ako at ang pagiging Communication Arts graduate ko. Muntik na nga yatang dumugo ang ilong ko sa kasasalita sa wikang hindi naman akin sa loob ng mahigit isang oras.

Bakit nga ba ako hindi nag-Filipino major?

Hindi ko kasi alam na may ganoon palang kurso. Marahil hindi ko na rin siya inurirat dahil naisip ko, Pinoy naman ako. Filipino major by birth, kung baga. Sapat na ang mga klase ko sa Filipino para malaman ang mga dapat kong malaman. Isa pa, araw araw naman akong nagta-Tagalog. Kundi pa ba naman ako mahasa noon, ewan ko na lang!

Yon nga lang. Nakalimutan ko ang isang glitch: malabnaw ang Tagalog na kinalakhan ko. Palibhasa sa Maynila na ako pinanganak at nagkamalay, corrupted Tagalog tuloy ang nakagisnan ko. Yun bang may halong salitang kanto, pop, at bakla. Puno rin ng salitang hiram na karamihan ay galing sa mga Kano.

Kaya naman kapag malalim na Tagalog na ang binabato sa akin, napapanganga na lamang ako. Hindi pa naman ganoon kadaling maghanap ng mapagkakatiwalaang diksyunaryong Filipino. Samantalang ang mga English dictionary ay naglipana at ika nga, “they come in all sizes.”

Dagdag pa pala sa nagpalabnaw sa Tagalog ko ay ang mga ligaw na salitang Cebuano sa aking bukabularyo. Bisaya kasi ang mommy ko. At kahit dugay na siya sa Manila, Bisayang-bisaya pa gihapon! [Kahit matagal na siya sa Manila, bisayang-bisaya pa rin talaga!]

Madalas, maski ako ay nalilito kung Tagalog nga ba o Cebuano ang ilan sa mga salitang alam ko. Bagaman dahilan ng pagkalito ko ang pagkakaroon dalawang dialekto sa aming bahay, hindi naman ako nagrereklamo. Ayos nga e! Bukod sa Tagalog, kasabot pa ako ug gamay na Bisaya [nakakaintindi pa ako ng kaunting Bisaya].

Noong tumuntong ako sa kolehiyo at napasok sa Unibersidad ng Pilipinas, nagulat ang isa sa mga grupo sa klase ko nang minsang sumabat ako sa usapan Binisaya nila. May nagtanong tuloy, “Ngano man kasabot ka ug Bisaya? [Bakit nakakaintindi ka ng Bisaya?]”

Ang tanging sagot ko, “It’s a Jedi Trait!

Kung iisipin, astig siya. Sino ba ang mag-aakala na ang Manila girl na kausap nila e nakakaintindi at minsa’y nakakasalita pa ng Cebuano? Heto nga’t naglipana na ang mga Bisaya dito sa Maynila. Kahit papaano, kaya kong makipag-usap sa kanila sa wikang malapit sa puso nila. At salamat sa Sesame Street, 11 taon sa isang private school, at ilang taon sa kolehiyo, pati mga puti ay kaya ko na ring kausapin! Kahit di ako katangkaran at may kaiklian ang mga biyas, mahaba naman ang kaya kong abutin dahil sa mga wikang alam ko.

Para mas madama ko pa ang pagiging isang certified polyglot o mas kilala ng marami sa tawag na multilinggwal, ipagmamalaki ko na rin ang anim na units ng Nihonggo na ipinasa ko noong kolehiyo. Kaya ko pa rin naman magsalita ng konting Hapon gaya ng atsui [mainit], itai [aray], sumimasen [excuse me], gomenasai [paumanhin], kudasai [pakiusap], at ilan pang mga bulol na pangungusap na pihadong maiintindihan naman ng mga singkit na medyo sakang. At dahil naaalala ko pa rin naman ang Hiragana at Katakana, mga alpabetong Hapon, nakakabasa pa rin ako ng mga sulat sa Nihonggo kahit na maliit na porsyento lamang ang naiintindihan ko. Kahit papaano, nalalaman ko kung ano ang mga pinagsasabi ng isang package na imported mula sa Japan at kung anu-anong pangalan ang pinapakita sa TV ng larong Naruto sa Playstation ng kapatid ko.

Kagaya ng mga sinasabi ng mga Bisayang nakausap ko, dili na mi mabaligya [hindi na ako mabebenta]. Sa kaunting naiintindihan ko, mahuhuli ko na kung sino ang nag-tritrip lang at kung sino ang tunay na matitinong kausap.

Maaari ko ring ipagyabang ang ilang pagbati sa iba’t iba pang lengwahe na natutunan ko noong bata pa ako. Nandyan yung sawa dee ka, kap koon ka, guttenmorgen, merci, kamsamida, añongaseyo, merhaba, tutche at iba pang salita na hindi ko alam ang tamang baybay at di ko na rin maalala kung saang bansa ginagamit. Kapag may makasalubong na lang ako na banyaga, pwede akong mag-trial and error para madiskubre kung papaano ko sila babatiin. At kung maka-binggo ako, dagdag puntos na iyon sa pinagmamamalaki nating Pinoy hospitality.

Ngunit sa bandang huli, isa pa rin ang hindi ko maitatanggi. Bano ako sa sarili kong wika. Nakakahiya man aminin pero heto ako, 27 taon nang nabubuhay at naninirahan sa Pilipinas pero nanghuhula pa rin pagdating sa tuntunin ng balarilang Filipino.

Nang makasalamuha ko ang mga batang Inglisera na muntik nang magpadugo sa ilong ko, nalungkot ako dahil sa aking napagtanto. Magagaling nga sila pero mukhang limitado lang talaga ang kaalaman nila sa wikang Filipino gayong karamihan sa kanila ay Pinoy at lahat sila ay kasalukuyang naninirahan dito sa Pilipinas. Kahit na sabihin ko pang mas ginagamit ko ang wikang Filipino kesa sa kanila, wala rin kaming pinagkaiba sa isa’t isa dahil pare-pareho naming napabayaan ang pambansang wika ng mga Pinoy dahil sa aming kagustuhang maging "globally competent".

Wala namang masama sa pagpapakadalubhasa sa wikang bayaga. Ayos nga iyon dahil nadaragdagan ang kapangyarihan natin bilang Pinoy na pasukin ang kultura at kalakaran ng mga ibang lahi. Napakatalentado pa naman nating mga Pinoy pagdating sa panggagaya ng banyagang pananalita. Madali nating nagagaya ang accent ng kung anumang bansa ang ipagaya sa atin. Kaya naman patok na patok ang call center sa atin.

Sabi sa itinuro ng guro ko sa Filipino noong hayskul, “ang wika ang sumasalamin sa isang bansa.” Ang pambansa wika natin ay punung-puno ng implwensya ng iba’t ibang lahi na sumakop sa atin at pati na rin nga mga bansa nakipagkalakaran sa atin noon. Patunay lamang kung gaano kakulay ang ating bayan. Pinapakita rin ng ating wika ang ating kakayahang makipagsabayan sa mga makakapangyarihang bansa sa mundo. Kayang-kaya nating hubugin ang ating mga sarili para maging kasinggaling nila o higit pa.

Mahalaga lang talaga na pagkatapos nating hubarin ang mga hiram nating salita, alam natin kung papaano babalikan ang tunay na atin. Kung hindi na natin magawang maging kumportable sa sarili nating wika, paano na tayo? Sino na tayo? Para saan pa ang pagpapasikat natin sa mga banyaga?

Oo, maaaring tayu-tayong naninirahan sa 7,107 na isla ng Pilipinas ay madalas na di nagkakaintindihan. Ang dami kasi nating iba’t ibang dialekto! Pero kung alam natin kung sino tayo, kung ano ang nagbibigkis sa ating lahat, hindi tayo mabubuwag ninuman. At sa puntos na iyon, maipagmamalaki natin na ang mayaman nating wika ang nabubuhay na saksi sa katatagan ng ating pagiging Pinoy, Filipino major man o hindi.

* * * Pinoy Bloggers Society (PBS)


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Friday, August 17, 2007

Nichi on Video

Mostly we watch videos of Nichi or simply look at his photos...

Here's an MTV our dad prepared featuring Nichi and his undaunted spirit!

Meanwhile here's an another MTV prepared by one of the many people who cares about Nichi. (Too bad they haven't met in person.)

So Little Time, So Much To Do

I feel like there’s a sudden surge of things I’d like to do. If only I get the time and the active energy to transform my ideas into the productive outputs I dream of, then I will be in peace.

Nichi seemed to have felt this same feeling before. He tended to become obsessed with things he suddenly feels like accomplishing. He’s always in a hurry and somehow restless to do his desired tasks. Some of which are finishing the adventure games he collected for his Gameboy in less than four months, buying several editions of how-to-draw-manga books which he studied and applied in his artworks, assembling his Gundam robots, and asking me to buy PS2 games even before the Playstation Kuya Wah gave him has not been flown to our home. (The PS2-related message is the last text message Nichi sent me. It goes: “Rainbow na lang ung barilan 2players un.” He sent it to me last June 25, 5:38 pm. I saved the message in my phone.)

Boy, I won’t get over missing that kid! His demise has caused me to want so badly to turn back time. I’ve made a lot of blunders in my life but I would never ever want to rewind the time to undo my faults. But this time, I want to travel back to the past, even the not-so-distant one just to get to hug and kiss my brother again. I want to talk to him. I want to listen to his stories. I want to bug him until he’d hate me for staying too close. I want to pig out with him and hang out in the mall with him. I want to read him a story and be interrupted by his relentless questions or discover that he’s been sleeping the whole time I’ve been delivering my oral interpretation of whatever story we’ve chosen to indulge in. I want to stare at him. I want to take his pictures and not just look at still photos that don’t react to me looking. I want to stroke his infant-like hair and sniff them occasionally. I want to hold his hand and tell him, “Mukha ka talagang anak ng mayaman. Wag ka magpapakalat-kalat sa labas at baka makidnap ka.” I want to hear him laugh, like he’s having a heart attack. I want to see him prepare the refrigerated cake I taught him to make—the same recipe our sister taught me to make—and wrap the lumpiang shanghai he so-meticulously rolls and seals. I want to have him convince me to accompany him to the internet shop where he plays net games with his peers. I want him to lean on my shoulders while we’re riding a cab. I want him to welcome me home again, update me with things I missed when I’m not around, sit on our dining table for hearty meals. I want him to explain to me those Yugi-Oh characters I never appreciated before. I want him to tell me what a good anime Bleach is as well as Detective Conan, to which I agree. I would love to watch the new seasons of Heroes and Lost with him. I want to have conversations with him, the likes that go:

Me: Nichi alagaan mo ako kapag tumandang dalaga ako, ha?
Nichi: Ate, dapat magkaanak ka na lang.

I would like it if I were given the chance to tease him for the girlfriend he got himself. (He told me last year that he’s planning to have a girlfriend this year, to which I objected. He’s too young!) I want him to share his ideas when it comes to being a good godfather to our future niece. I want him to be there so that I would have someone to ask, “Nichi, papasok pa ba ako?” I want to accompany him and dad to the adoration chapel near our house and see him radiate with faith. I want to admire his positive attitude on almost everything, from every word that comes out of his mouth. I want to hear his plans for tomorrow. I want him to be here and not be just some memory. I want to see and feel him happy.

So many things! I had my chances and I wouldn’t say I blew them but I want more of those. If I had it my way, I would have more of those. I really would.

Somehow Nichi’s death took out my fear of my own death, not that I’d kill myself. No way will I do that anymore! Otherwise, I wouldn’t be giving Nichi's early goodbye any justice. I refuse to be bad, too. I'm afraid I wouldn't be be accepted there in his place now if I'm evil.

I just miss him.

I want to do the things I dream of doing and I’d like to also be the extension of Nichi's dreams that’s why my to-do list is now cramped. But I don’t mind. Because my little time to which I’d pack every item on my list, my little time is not so little compared to his.

I’m lucky to have him for my brother. As if that’s not enough, his short life made me realize more how blessed I am to have had that thing he no longer has: time here on earth.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

To Anyone from Magpakailanman

I’m writing to you now because June of this year, I got a text message from my youngest brother, Nichi, which goes, “Ate nakita ko sa GMA na naghahanap sila ng kwento sa Magpakailanman.”

I replied to Nichi, “Bakit? Gusto mo bang ipadala natin ang buhay mo”

He answered, “Yun na nga ang ibig kong sabihin.”

I called him right after that to check how serious he was about sending his life story to Magpakailanman. He was not kidding about it. However, I did not pursue Nichi’s idea because I was somehow hoping for him to get better. I was thinking that it would have been the only way for his story to have a good ending once it was shown on TV.

Contrary to how I was planning his story to go, Nichi did not get better. He died July 24, 2007 at the age of 13 because of leukemia, the disease he had been fighting since 2001.

My whole family and I are grieving for our loss. And although it is difficult to find the good in a loved-one’s death, we find comfort in the thought that, at least now, he is in a better place, devoid of pain.

Throughout Nichi’s battle, we all prayed for a miracle to happen. Ultimately, we asked God to let Nichi graduate from his disease and live the normal life he once had. We didn’t get that one miracle but as it turns out, we’ve witnessed, through Nichi, a series of miracles which, despite how much hurt we feel right now, reminds us that there is indeed a compassionate Being up there who listened to our pleas.

The six-year extension to Nichi’s life from the day he was diagnosed of leukemia is already a blessing. Last year, when Nichi’s immuno-compromised body suffered complications, he was able to recover through the grace of God. Nichi was almost in perfect health during our sister’s wedding last December. No one would have imagined that just four months prior to that event, he was in the ICU of the Philippine Children’s Medical Center fighting for every critical second of his life. Nichi’s struggle has touched the hearts of many people. Friends, family, and strangers alike sent their support for Nichi and our family. They came in prayers, blood donation, financial aid, and moral support. It is really overwhelming how a young boy proved that people, even in our time, genuinely care. Through Nichi, we met a number of angels here on earth, all willing to put in help in whatever way they can.

If you will allow us to share Nichi’s story, your viewers will definitely learn so many things from his life. I know that it is too late for him to give you a first hand account of his journey but I’m sure that wherever Nichi is right now, he will still be more than willing to let people know him.

In spite of his death, I believe that Nichi’s life isn’t all that tragic because, as I have said before, it is a life full of miracles. I know my brother. I have witnessed his adventures since the day he was born. I’m certain that he wanted me to send you his story because he wanted people to learn from him. Moreover, he wished people to realize that no matter what kind of predicament they are in, something good always turns out from it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A Thank-you Letter from my Dad

My dear friends,

Please allow me to thank you, in behalf of my family, for all the help and support (emotional, spiritual, financial) you have extended to our beloved sweet little Nichi. I will not tire saying this to all of you over and over again because you were the force that gave us strength during our struggle to keep Nichi with us. You made us feel we were not alone. You made our predicament much easier to bear. I know deep in my heart that right now Nichi is praying for all of us. Once he asked me, “why are these people helping me?” “Because you are a very good boy,” was my reply. “How can I thank them all?” he added. I said, “You can thank them by including them in your prayers.”

I thought I was that strong—telling my family especially my children, especially Kuya Migs (Nichi’s 14 year old brother) that whatever happens we will continue to live our daily lives. I really thought I was that strong—arranging (a few days before Nichi’s demise) for the funeral service, the chapel where his remains will be interred and the crypt in the ossuary where he will rest—I was wrong! Lately, I find myself teary-eyed in whatever place I am—in a public conveyance, in the mall, in our room—just the thought of Nichi, tears spontaneously come out of my eyes. I really miss my son. I really miss my beloved Nichi.

In the afternoon before his death, I cried. I cried because Nichi wanted to live. He had been praying to St. Peregrine since the night before hoping he be spared from the inevitable. I cried because Nichi wanted to be with his siblings where he is most happy. I cried because there was nothing I could do. I went to the nearby adoration chapel, the sacred place where Nichi and I frequented during the last few months. This is where we say our prayers. This is where I offered myself so Nichi might live. This is where oftentimes I will see tears flowing down Nichi’s face while he was praying. This time, though, was different—I was alone and saying a different prayer, “God please put Nichi to sleep and then take him. He is all yours. I’d be happy if You take him before the day ends.”

At nightfall, Nichi had his last confession and communion. Each member of the family talked to Nichi assuring him that it was all right for him to go. We will miss him but we assured him also that we will be okay. After a few minutes, Nichi took a deep breath then exhaled his last and it was over. It was 10:10PM .

I am inviting you all to visit Tyrene’s to share with you more about Nichi.

We are working on a project to fulfill Nichi’s wish: that his life story be dramatized in a local TV program.

May the blessings of the Lord, our God be with you and your loved ones. Thank you very much.


Willie Delgado

PS: please forward this email to more of our friends. I don’t want to miss thanking any one of them. Thank you.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Stalking Dennis

What are the odds that when I was wearing a semi-plunging neckline shirt, I would happen to bump unto, who else but Dennis Trillo! (Well not really bump.)

But let’s not get our hopes too high. I was not at all glamorously sexy or anything. (God, I am never glamorously sexy or anything close!) In fact, I was wearing something which is a step closer to a pambahay since I was really out to do our monthly grocery. I’m not even sure if combed my hair.

Truth be told that as usual, I was oblivious to what was happening around me. It’s just part of my autistic tendencies. Plus I was busy gorging my favorite siomai with my brothers when the lady serving our drinks noticed a commotion behind her kiosk’s counter. Then, ka-blam! There was Dennis Trillo paying whatnot to one of the supermarket’s cashiers.

As an out-of-my-character move, I left my sumptuous siomai with chili-garlic sauce to get a glimpse of this Dennis Trillo guy.

Anakngboogie! Ampogi ng mokong!

With trembling hands, I rummaged through my bag, not taking my eyes off Dennis. The star struck me captured these lame photos:

Si Dennis ba talaga ito?

Some mommy handed Dennis her baby just to have the kid and Dennis (and her) together in one photo.

The way Dennis holds the baby, you'd think that he's rather an amateur at handling kids.

Upon gathering myself and remembering the siomai, not to mention my brothers, which I left in the food stall a few steps away, I decided to give Mr. Trillo his privacy. I think the other people around thought of the same thing, too. We all left the poor good-looking guy alone.

Then he passed by right in front of me while I was back to my patay-gutom state. I did not stop myself from staring at him. I didn’t even try to be obscure. What can I say? Dennis Trillo truly makes a good eye candy! And he has an alarmingly queer effect on me.

Too bad, Nichi is no longer around. Otherwise, we both would have approached Dennis just so Nichi will have a picture with him while I can stare at him longer.

Incidentally, since I’m on the Dennis hype, I tried searching him via Yahoo and what do you know? There’s something about Dennis at Wikipedia . Through that I discovered that Dennis and Nichi were both born on May 12. However, they were born 13 years apart.

Kaya pala pareho silang gwapo!

November of last year, I passed around a sheet of paper at the office bearing the question, “Bakit gwapo si Dennis Trillo?” Not everyone is infatuated with him but all agreed that Dennis is one of God’s best creations. Yes, some lusted for him while some admired the fact that, based on what we hear, Dennis is a nice guy in person. (And we have a very reliable second-hand account to prove that.)

Considering that my question was loaded, (“Bakit gwapo si Dennis Trillo?” assumes that Dennis is in fact good looking and it was pretty much intentional on my part) no one really objected and said that, “no Dennis is not good looking at all!”

One tried to challenge the question by writing something that goes a bit like: we only say Dennis is good looking because we were formed by our culture to believe that Dennis’ fair skin, buffed body, sweet smile and somehow piercing singkit eyes fall under that set of physical attributes that makes a person desirable. Still, he (the one who challenged my question, or was it Dennis’ “good” looks he tried to deconstruct?) did not attempt to say that Dennis is pangit. Probably because he wanted to live longer or maybe, just like most of us, he, too, thought that Dennis doesn’t look bad at all.

Oh well, it really is a matter of opinion and taste.

I just wanted to share Dennis and my encounter with him. He may remain an eye candy for me. I mean, I don’t think I’d be devastated (O.A.!) if ever I learn that he’s some kid’s daddy or if he has a wife some where the way Ivan Mayrina’s child and marriage (?) shattered my heart into pieces. (Mas O. A. ito!)

But, Ivan is yet another story.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Making up for the Lost

Last night I saw Transformers. Would you believe that it came out June 28 and it is still playing at Megamall? Thank God for that! At least I still got to see it. Unfortunately, Nichi was no longer able to watch it. I had been coaxing him to come see it with me. Anyway, he would just have to walk from the taxi to the theater and he’d just sit afterwards to enjoy the movie. But he refused, not because he was not interested, in fact he knew Optimus Prime and the rest of the Autobots plus Megatron and the Decepticons more than I did. Nichi refused my movie invite for him because he can no longer go and see it. There’s a difference there.

Nichi would have enjoyed that movie. I imagine him raving about it even days after seeing it the way he did with TMNT. I just hope he was there with us, his Ate and Kuyas last night.

I am not a fan of the Transformers in my younger years. I don’t even recall watching it. I just remember that at one time, Ovaltine gave out free mini Transformer toys, my siblings and I were slightly crazy about.

I checked out the movie out of curiosity and I was satisfied with it. Entertained and satisfied. If only my contact lenses were in good shape then the movie’s action sequences would have been perfect and not restricted by the bounds the frame of my eyeglasses constantly set.

* * *

Three days ago, I saw Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix with Migs and Dad. It was another good movie Nichi missed. We watched some of the past Harry Potter films together so I can only imagine Nichi tagging along with us that night.

I like Harry Potter more than Lord of the Rings, probably because the preppy kids of Hogwarts are more pleasing to the eyes than the muddy creatures of Middle Earth. Nichi would say otherwise. He loved Lord of the Rings more.

But Migs, he was more impressed with the current Harry Potter sequel than the Transformers movie.

There go our movie preferences.

* * *

As for The Simpsons Movie, the film which became a victim of my grief, well somehow I made peace with it. I sat with the epitome of dysfunctional family at their famous living room and had my picture taken at two different nights, at several different poses.

Poking Bart's eye

Capturing a moment with Bart

The Simpsons with Tye and Migs

Making peace with Homer

Tye with the Simpsons

Tye with the Simpsons again

Again, Nichi would have outrageous poses with the Simpson family if he had the opportunity to do so. I can only imagine...

Making a List

I just finished the last of the iced tea pack Nichi had requested our dad to buy for him. And, Nichi, he’s one who gives weight to the word ICE in “iced tea.” Even on his final days, he wanted the ice present in his tea.

Lately, I have been contemplating on the things Nichi left, like that pack of iced tea. I have this list in mind:

- Yung plato niyang may design na sili. (Pampagana! Not that he needs appetite boosters, but the plate just suited him for some cute reason.)

I just saw my dad using Nichi’s plate. I asked him, “[Dad] sa ‘yo na yang plato ni Nichi?” He let out a sigh-ish laugh. I added, “Baka ganahan ka na nyan. Tataba ka na.” Dad said, “Sana nga.”

- Mga things nya. Nichi is one of the most organized people whom I know. He doesn’t leave his slippers lying around, lost in the middle of the house. He has a knack for leaving them in one corner placed side by side, like a well-behaved pair of footwear.

Nichi’s slippers are now with Ate in Singapore. However Nichi’s other stuff are still where he left them: at several parts of our house, inside the drawers and boxes he so tediously kept in order. There he keeps his drawing notebooks with really wonderful sketches. (He learned to draw people starting with doodles, a style he acquired from the drawing-the-manga-way books he bought this year.) He also has his diary which, amazingly, is full of positive thoughts despite how his treatments have been rough on him. Then there are his Yugi-oh cards; the pellet gun with a red laser light—the one he forced me to buy in Divisoria and which he boasted to Ate Win when Ate came home to be with Nichi on what-was-his-final-days; two pencil cases; an mp3 player; and his prized collection of Gundam Robots among others.

- Aside from the iced tea, there are still some of Nichi’s Stick-O and 2 big packs of yellow M&Ms left. The big bottle of Heinz Ketchup Nichi half-consumed is also there at our fridge. There's also the box of unpopped popcorns we bought him during our last visit at the supermarket. The pharmacy part of our refrigerator remained untouched until my dad cleaned it yesterday. A lot of Nichi’s meds are there. I saw a half-filled bottle of Dilantin and unopened bottle of Purinethol along with other drugs Nichi religiously took when he was still alive.

- Nichi’s toys are everywhere in the house. There are the battleship game and the control pad for PC which I gave him for Christmas. He also has a Mastermind game which was a pasalubong from Ate Win. Then there's the Risk: Starwars, Clone Wars Edition which he bought with his own savings. He has two remote control cars and two remote control helicopters. There’s also the PS2 Kuya Wah gave him which Nichi tried to enjoy even when his fingers were too weak to press the buttons of the control pad.

- Last night I saw the mini Guyito Nichi painted last year.

- He also has some books. One of which is the “Emperor’s New Clothes” which I gave him. He won best actor in his class back when he was in grade six (or five) for playing the emperor. He did a hilarious re-enactment of that role for us, his whole family, to see his winning portrayal. Too bad we don’t have it on video.

- Nichi left a lot of photos. There’s a series of pictures he himself took which he called “egg.” It featured his bald head everywhere in our house. He has many videos with the help of our brother, Jowin and Mic, who both have a flair for home moviemaking. Needless to say, Nichi was always their willing actor. Nichi also left several voice recordings in his cellphone and in Ate's and my cellphone; on tape; and I guess, on his mp3 player. I have yet to check if the singing voice he recorded in Ate’s Magic Sing has been preserved.

- Nichi left his 2nd Friendster account with a comment “Add nyo ako…” (We can no longer access his first account because even he forgot its password.) Perhaps, we can still do as he wishes. You can add him and we will accept you in his behalf. His email address is Incidentally, the background which he set for his Friendster account features Xmen’s Archangel flying towards...heaven, I guess.

- Nichi left us with a lot of good memories which, despite us missing him, will forever paint a smile on our faces. Mom was right in thanking Nichi for making us happy during the times when he was still around.

- Nichi left his classmates and friends whose presence brings comfort, at least for me, because those children are just some of the people Nichi cared about other than us, his family.

- Nichi left his youth and dreams which is kind of frustrating but every time I remember that at least he lived his 13 years to the fullest, I feel a bit better.

- Nichi left us, his family, partly grieving for our loss but partly relieved that at least this time Nichi no longer has to suffer.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Digressing—Well, trying to

Aha, matagal-tagal na rin pala akong hindi nagsusulat! Ang dami kong naiisip lately pero parang di ko feel isulat yung mga naiisip ko. Anyhow, I’m back. At dahil Agosto ngayon, buwan kung saan sine-celebrate ang linggo ng wika, magfi-Filipino muna ako. Pasensya na lang kung corrupted ang paggamit ko sa ating pambansang Wika.

Ngayong araw na ito ang ikatlong taon ko bilang isang manggagawa. Translation: 3rd year anniversary ko ngayon sa Hallmark, ang unang opisinang pinasukan ko. Amazing! Tumagal ako.

Nung unang bahagi ng taong ito, nakita ko yung notebook ko sa Economics nung 3rd year high school ako. May homework kami doon kung saan tinanong kami ni Sir Macki ng something about sa pangarap naming trabaho pag laki namin. With my lame English, sinulat ko doon na ayaw ko ng office work dahil hindi ko kaya na paulit-ulit ang ginagawa ko sa araw araw.

Ola! Look at me now.

Siguro natatagpuan ko na lang ang variety sa mga napapag-usapan namin sa opis. Perhaps na-eentertain akong maigi ng mga ka-opisina ko. At yung private life ko ay isang roller-coaster ride kaya di ko na alintana ang routine na inassume ng katawan ko sa pagpasok sa isang 7:45-6:00 job. So ayan, 3 years na ako. Kumusta naman?

Mahirap sagutin. I guess, wala ako sa posisyon para sagutin ang ganyang tanong. Nang mamatay si Nichi, nasabi ko sa isang dating ka-opisina na hindi ko alam kung papaano ako babalik sa Hallmark pagkatapos ng mahabang leave. Actually what I really meant was, hindi ko alam kung papaano ako babalik sa normal kong buhay. Pero ayan, balik trabaho na naman ako.

Kaso kahapon, na-realize ko na kahit gustuhin ko, hindi ko kayang maging totally professional given my situation. Ganito kasi yon, nilapitan ako ng isa kong ka-opisina para ipa-proofread yung isinulat niyang press release in Filipino. Not that I am an expert (in my own language), pero dahil isa akong planner (ng greeting cards) medyo naging bahagi na ng trabaho ko ang pagtranslate in Filipino ng mga greetings in English. Kaya naman minabuti ni Kath na ipaki-usap na tulungan ko siya.

So nasa 2nd paragraph na yata ako. Me isang kinorek ako. Narealize ko rin na ang press release pala ay tungkol sa Hallmark for L. i. f. e. Yung L. i. f. e. ay isang organisasyon na tumutulong sa mga batang may leukemia. It stands for Leukemic Indigents Funds Endowment. Kaso, I did not get past the 3rd or 4th paragraph dahil nga it was about kids with leukemia. And it says that leukemia is curable. Tapos ayon, tinigil ko na ang pagbasa. Nagwawander off na kasi ang utak ko. Nakakaramdaman na din ako ng stomach spasms.

In short gumive up ako sa simple task of proofreading because my emotions were getting in the way. Naisip ko nga, “pinapahirapan naman ako ni Kath in more ways than one.” Sa totoo lang it felt like salt was being rubbed to my fresh, painful wound. I had to laugh it off or else iiyak na naman ako at problema pa ang pagpapatahan sa akin.

Nagsorry naman si Kath. Nawala kasi sa isip niya yung nangyari sa kapatid ko noong nakaraang July 24 lang. Sabi naman ni Ate Win sa akin, dapat daw gawin ko pa rin yung pag-proofread para sa mga batang katulad ni Nichi. Somehow, na-disappoint ako sa sarili ko dahil ayun na naman, selfish na naman ang immediate reaction ko sa isang bagay which would have given me the opportunity to be a better person. At dahil doon, napagtibay ko na naman ang theory ko na inherently bad talaga ako. I’m just trying to fight the evil in me all the time kaya madalas hindi for the good of all ang initial reaction ko sa mga bagay bagay.

Therefore, sa madaling salita, hindi ko tinulungan si Kath dahil nga pinili kong tumalikod sa chance ko sana to contribute something to kids who, like Nichi, are bound to fight that treacherous disease called leukemia.

* * *

Friday last week pala. I felt really bad and in turn, I looked really bad, too. Pagtingin ko nga sa sarili ko sa salamin naisip ko, “mukha akong isang babaeng dini-dysmenorria na namatayan ng kapatid.”

Tapos after a quick pause naisip ko, “wait, dini-dysmenorria ako at namatayan nga ako ng kapatid!”

Hindi ako natawa.

* * *
Kelan lang din nabanggit ni Aleth na yung kapitbahay nilang nag-ala Mico Sotto (nahulog sa terrace at namatay) ayon sa mga bali-balita ay nagpakamatay talaga.

Na-bad trip ako.

Galit ako sa mga nag-susuicide. Kung dati naiintindihan ko sila, well, hindi na ngayon. Naisip ko kasi noon, it takes a snapped mental disposition to drive a person to take his own life. Kaso unfair e. Some people would want to have longer lives and would live fruitful lives given a longer lease to their bodies kaso hindi nga sila pinagbigyan sa tawad nila na tumagal tagal pa sa mundo. Tapos etong ibang tao, sinasayang lang nila ang buhay nila by literally killing themselves.

Me topak nga!

* * *
What made me smile today? Bigla ko lang naalala yung isang pit full of ipis sa may sidewalk papunta sa bahay namin. Noon pa ito noong di pa trying hard magmukhang cobblestones and sidewalks dito sa Pasig. Naglalakad kami pauwi magkakapatid. Tapos as usual, natripan kong inisin si Nichi. (Bata pa siya noon, pre-leukemia days pa niya.)

Nilapit (or I guess, tinulak) ko siya doon sa pit kaya panic talaga siya. Natakot ang kawawang bata. Kami naman tawa ng tawa. Every time na dinadaanan namin yung natapalang site ng ipis pit na yon, alaskado si Nichi sa amin. Eventually siya rin e natatawa na sa reaction niya noon.

And another thing, a couple of days ago, while wiping my face with an oil control film, may some sort of an apparition na naganap. Salamat sa mga langis ko sa mukha at natawa ako sa shape na naform sa blue film…I swear heart siya. At naman, siyempre hindi ko sinadya yon. I wouldn’t have made a big fuss out of it kung sadya sya.

Kung sa women of Jerusalem mukha ni Jesus ang nagform sa telang pinunas nila sa mukha ng nagdurugong si Hesus, well sa akin heart. Puso ang nagform sa oil control film na ipinunas ko sa aking oily face. Ang kikay. Di bagay. Kaya nakakatawa. I even have this picture to prove it.

Kadiri siya when you think about it pero nakakatawa eh.

* * *
Siguro, this is as far as I would go in terms of my post for tonight. Next time na lang ako ulit babanat ng mas may katuturan at mas presentableng blog post.

Sign out na lang muna ako for now at baka kung ano pang masabi ko.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Huling Hirit Ni Nichi (In Pictures)

click on the link for photos: Huling Hirit ni Nichi

Ang mahal naming si Nichi, may have said his goodbye but he'll surely stay in our hearts. Kahit sa huling hirit niya sa mundo, he did it with a bang! Astig kasi ang daming bisita. (Don't worry, Nichi, naging magiliw kami sa kanila.) In fact, sa dami nila, kulang ang pages ng guestbook na pinrovide sa amin!

O, Nichi, kita mo na ang dami-daming nagmamahal sa yo! Sana lagi kang masaya dyan. Si Papa Jesus naman ang aliwin mo. :-)

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Remembering Nichi

This video was taken 3 days before Nichi died. Although undeniably, hospital-bed-bound, he never fails to join in the fun the way he usually does with us, his 4 siblings.

This is just one of the many memories Nichi left that will surely make me smile.

*ang gwapo talaga!*

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Hiding Inside a Theater

I know that I have all the right to grieve but somehow, I feel that I have to keep my sadness to myself to avoid infecting my family who is as distraught as I am for our Nichi’s early demise. And even if my tears are not persuasive enough to entice theirs to flow, I would hate it if they’d worry for me ceaselessly crying.

At times like this, we are compelled to look after each other and I guess somehow we end up suppressing our emotions which isn’t at all good.

I, for example, am going around in circles. I honestly don’t know how to fill the void Nichi left. Yes, there are those memories of him, real and comforting, that would allow me to stay fine but when I realize that I won’t be making new memories with him ever again, I return to feeling empty.

I want to place my life into a pause so that time won’t run by fast. That way, the days when I’ll be missing him won’t pile up to mountain high. Otherwise, I’d be buried underneath my own sadness.

I’ve skipped work twice this week because I don’t want people telling me, “Condolence.” A greeting to which I reply, “thank you.” I wonder what the hell am I thinking thanking them. Is “thank you” even a reply to “condolence”?! They didn’t teach me that in school.

If I had it my way, I’d lock myself elsewhere so that I can flood myself with whatever it is I am feeling. Maybe if I cry my eyes out, I’d get over this sooner than how things are going right now.

I guess that’s why I ended up paying Php130.00 to sit through a movie which I didn’t find funny. It’s an animated film that’s supposed to be a comedy but I hardly laughed. Moreover, I was crying.

Somehow the dark theater offered a sanctuary to my grieving heart. It kept my identity private as well as my generously flowing tears. It’s not healthy crying alone but at this point, I’d take what I can get.

I don’t know how long this will go but I am sure that the sooner I let my emotions out, the sooner I’d be back to normal.

I wish Nichi understands why I suddenly became like this. I really hope he would.