Of Endings and New Beginnings.

I was never fond of endings, because that only means whatever I have will be gone. I don’t look forward to finales, because I sense nothing but goodbyes and severed ties. I evade “the final bow” because this connotes cutting whatever connections or communications I have.

But that changed when I met you. 

I try to avoid new beginnings, because that means I am back at step one, of whatever I am doing. I don’t look forward to fresh start, because as a blank slate, all will be starting from scratch, from nothing. I hate starting again because that means whatever I have started before were all in vain that  I have to do it again.

But that changed when I met you. 

Now, I always look forward to every month end because that means two things:

  1. the current month is ending, and
  2. a fresh new month is about to begin.

Ending of the month implies we spent 30 days of taking it one day at a time. Ending an old month means we survived 4 weeks of challenges of distance and of quality time. One full month connotes we held on to each other, for a month,  whatever Life present us with.

A fresh month implies 30 more days of weaving dreams, and fulfilling them one day at a time. A new month means 4 more weeks of proving how much you mean to me, and how you changed my life. Beginning another month means one more month of journeying life together, the two of us.

You made me believe that endings are simply beginnings of better things. 
You also made me realized that beginnings are milestones of happy endings. 

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Snow Flurry.

It is almost midnight, and I was woken up with the odd chilly temperature here in Cincinnati.*
This has been the coldest temperature I have been into. My phone’s weather app dictated its -2 degrees Celsius.  I looked through the window, and it was raining.
First time.
 “That’s snow!” I gasped. I realized I am seeing it for the first time.
As I stared blankly at the dark sky, I realized I have been away from home for two weeks now.  And much like how the sky lets each rain drop-turned-ice fall, tears started forming and falling from my eyes. Inch by inch, the crystal clear drop of rain rushes to the ground but is slowly turning opaque. Opaque because the tears started to fall now, right on cue, as the chilly breeze blew gently on the trees outside.

It reminded me of how I first met you, nine  years back. 

I was rushing to go home from doing an errand, when the rain suddenly poured heavily. With almost wet clothes and no umbrella, I ran to the nearest shed I saw. But as I reached that small space in that nearby store,  I saw you running towards that same space I aimed for. You smile when I got to the place first.  But I was so smitten by that smile that I asked you to share that small space with me—even if it means we will just be saving half of our bodies and clothes dry.

The Fall.
I noticed that as the droplets rush to fall to the ground, the wind scattered them as if trying to impede their eventual falling and sustaining them in the air a little bit longer. But these droplets eventually fell on the grounds.  I realized they are like frozen tear drops.  
Frankly speaking, you got me that very moment you smiled. After almost half an hour of rain, I learned that you are going to the mall near my place to catch a bus going home. I also learned that you were a nurse and the many things you did just so you can practice your profession and support your family.

 I invited you home to get yourself dry before you go your way and carry on—my way of spending a little more time with you and get to know you more.  In such a brief and weird place to meet someone, I realized we shared common grounds and interests. It tickles my mind when I toy with the idea that we grew apart, yet we were destined to meet, and share stories of how we were raised.

The End.

I rushed outside to see for myself snow, for the first time. But as I touch the ground and feel the coldness of the raindrops-turned-ice, they eventually melted and turned back to water that the ground slowly sipped.
I was mending a broken heart the day I met you. But your presence made me forget that since then. But after nearly a year, I had to break your heart.  Not because I don’t feel anything for you anymore, but because you didn’t include me in your future plans—that one hurt me the most. It took me a painful 7 years to get over you.

That’s the snow flurry effect—opaque and frozen water crystals that were sustained in the air. It fell to the ground, and eventually liquefied, returning to where it all started.

And the cycle goes.

The feeling of seeing snow, gave me the shiver similar to the first time I touched your hand. That’s the same feeling I had every time you call my full name that sounded so sweet. That’s what brings butterflies to my stomach every time I got to meet you and be with you.

But the eventual meltdown of it reminded me of a colorful world that was crushed -the happy, bright and sunny day I knew turned into the gloomy, dark and rainy and cold weather. 

I still think our story could have been beautiful.  But I’m thankful that you drove me away. I found a new story to tell the world, and I know this new story will be more beautiful than ours.

=====
ed’s note:
That is the past.
And that is where it will always be.
*Written November 2011 while at Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
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Doble Vista

‘Ingat.’

Yan ang automatic kong sinasabi, sabay tapik sa balikat mo sa tuwing uwian. Ngunit di ka tumango sabay talikod para umakyat sa footbridge patawid sa kalsada pauwi sa inyo. Ngayon ay natigilan ka. Lagi naman kitang sinasabihan nun sa tuwing uuwi at maghihiwalay tayo sa footbridge na ito. Nagulat ako dahil sinasalubong mo ang tingin ko. Bakit nga ba ‘Ingat’?

Kasi magkikita pa tayo bukas, kakain ng sabay, bonding, at uuwi ng sabay.

Sapagkat hindi pa ako nakakabawi sa mga pang-aasar at pangungulit mo sa akin.Dahil mahalaga ka sa akin at natatakot akong mawala ka sa buhay ko.

‘Ingat .’

Mas malakas kong sinabi sa iyo, umiwas ako sa tingin mo. Sabay bumaling ako sa kaliwa para pumara ng sasakyan. Tumango ka na lang, sabay talikod paakyat sa tulay, gaya ng lagi mong ginawa. Sumakay na ako sa humintong FX.

Papalayo na ako, pero pinagmamasdan pa rin ang pagtawid mo dahil hindi ko pa rin alam kung paano sabihin yung mga nasa isip ko.

~~~~~

‘Ingat.’
Yan ang automatic mong sinasabi, sabay tapik sa balikat ko sa tuwing uwian.
Ngunit di ako tumango ngayon para umakyat sa footbridge patawid sa kalsada pauwi sa amin. Tinitigan kita. Lagi mo akong sinasabihan nyan sa tuwing uuwi at maghihiwalay tayo sa footbridge na ito. Alam mo ba ang dating ng ‘Ingat’ sa akin?
Warning yan sa akin na sa pag uwi ko, maaring may mangyayaring di maganda.
Pinapaalalahan mo na naman baka mawala ang isa sa atin, paano naman yung isa?
Nagke-create kasi yun ng doubts, nagdadalawang isip tuloy ako sa mga desisyon ko minsan.
‘Ingat .’
Mas malakas mo pang sinabi sa akin, di ko mahuli ang iyong tingin. Sabay bumaling ka sa kaliwa mo para pumara ng sasakyan. Tumango na lang ako, sabay talikod paakyat sa tulay, gaya ng lagi kong ginawa. Sumakay ka na sa humintong FX.
Patawid na ako, pero pinagmamasdan ko ang papalayong FX na sinakyan mo dahil hindi ko pa rin alam kung paano sabihin yung mga nasa isip ko.
===========
-ed’s note: 
The most important things are the hardest to say, because words diminish them.
– Stephen King
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The Best.

I always wanted to be the best. As you walked down the aisle, where I was waiting, every step you make closer to the altar reminded me of how our friendship blossomed.
Years ago, when I was still nursing a broken heart and crying my heart out to you, you would always tell me that I deserve something bigger, greater, and grander. You told me that I should not content myself with the “second best” because there is always somebody more powerful, more talented more intelligent or more skillful that would come my way.
As you approach closer to me in the altar wearing your beautiful wedding dress, I was reminded of the times when we still burn phone lines until wee hours in the morning talking just about anything. I always loved to picture out how your eyes brighten when you tell me how you wanted to fulfill your dreams by giving your all.
As you took that final step towards the altar, where I was standing, I remembered the weekends we spent together strolling in the park, window shopping in malls, and road trip to new places where we have never been. You helped me get through that breakup and always encouraged me to give the best shot in everything I do, so that in the end I will have no ‘what if’ and ‘it could have been’.
Tears started to form in my eyes as your eyes meet mine. A blast of emotions came rushing through me, all because of one thing: you met my best friend.
I always wanted to be the best but for one — being the best man on your wedding day.

==========

-ed’s note: I just realized that the best man is not really the best. For if he is, then he will be the bride’s groom.
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Falling.

“We have safely arrived at Changi Airport. Enjoy your stay!”
That was the pilot announcing the plane’s arrival. It was raining outside. I looked at my ticket and passport at hand:

FLIGHT 5J 803
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Boarding Time: 7:30 PM

I was half-hearted to stand and alight from the plane for reasons incomprehensible. But I dragged myself down while trying to recall the last time we saw each other.

In no time, I saw you at the arrival area, waving your hand. Your eyes were filled with excitement as you flash that smile which made me fall for you since time immemorial. And just like the picture I have painted on my mind, we met halfway. We came rushing towards each other, your eyes meeting mine. Never caring about the other people in the arrival area, I touched your face and was about to give you that kiss I longed to plant on your lips. But you, you opted for a big hug, a tight one lasting for more than a minute.

And while we were not letting go of each other, I was trying to discern the reason I came here:

It was when you left me that I realized that in my pursuit for happiness, it was in you I am thinking of; that in my deepest moments, it was your company I am missing; that every time I search for someone to be there for me, it was you I was longing for.

I find it odd that as I let go of that hug and finally have a close glimpse at your eyes, it dawned on me that my reasons and my feelings aren’t the same anymore as before. I gave you another tight hug just to be sure, and glanced at my return ticket:

FLIGHT 5J 804
Monday, June 13, 2010
Boarding Time: 11:10 PM

“Excuse me sir, it is time to alight from the plane. Our plane has safely landed.”
It was the flight attendant tapping my shoulder that woke me up. I looked outside and it was raining.
“It was just a dream,” I said, and I sighed for relief.
I hurried down the plane and looked for you in the arrival area. I saw you, flashing that sweet smile that made me fall for you. You were waving your hand. I pinched myself just to make sure I am really awake. I took a deep breath and told myself,
“It’s the real thing this time.”

 

 
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Huling Hapunan.

Bee—beeeeep!
Busina ng sasakyan ang pumukaw sa akin. Sabay takip sa aking mga mata dahil sa pagkasilaw sa liwanag. Hindi ko namalayan na malayu-layo na ang nalalakad ko.
Inaalala ko kung paano ka nagpaalam sa akin kanina,  “Aalis na ako.”
Bigla mong pinutol ang tawanan natin habang kumakain tayo sa paborito mong carinderia malapit sa inyo. Hindi kita pinansin dahil kutob ko isa na naman ito sa mga jokes na gagamitin mo para ma-bully ako. Aktong hihigop ako ng mainit na sabaw ng bulalong lagi nating ulam tuwing nagagawi tayo sa inyo, nang sabihin mo:
Next week na, Friday. Na-approve na yung visa ko kanina lang, tinawagan ako.
Nalunok ko nang hindi hinihipan ang mainit na sabaw dahil sa sinabi mo. Hindi ako nakapagsalita, hindi ko alam kung dahil napaso ako at namanhid o dahil nagulat ako sa tinuran mo.
Nijo-joke mo na naman ako e! Lagi mo akong pinagtitripan!” sabay pakawala ng impit na tawa, saka kita inakbayan.
Hindi ka natinag, pinilit mong ngumiti saka ka tumingin sa mga mata ko:
Mauuna lang naman ako ng ilang buwan, susunod ka di ba?” Batid ko ang panginginig ng boses at mga kalamnan mo.
Oo naman!” pagpapalakas ko sa loob mo.
At pagdating mo dun, wag ka maiinip dahil susunod ako,” sabay pakita ng mga ngipin ko sa iyo, nang-aasar.
Lumipas ang ilang saglit na puro tunog kubyertos, binasag ko na ang katahimikang namamagitan sa atin:
Tara na?” sabay tayo sa kinauupuan ko dahil ubos na natin yung natitirang sabaw ng bulalo. Malayu-layo na rin ang nalalakad ko sa daan pauwi.
Bee—beeeeep!
Busina ng sasakyan ang pumukaw sa akin. Sabay takip sa aking mga mata dahil sa pagkasilaw sa liwanag. Inaalala ko
kung paano ka nagpaalam sa akin kanina.
Maingay na ang paligid, umiikot at lumalabo na ang aking paningin at namamanhid na rin ang buo kong katawan. Tumulo na lang ang mga luha ko, dahil napagtanto kong hindi na ako makakasunod sa iyo pag-alis mo, dahil ngayon pa
lang aalis na ako.
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Insignificant.

Please do not leave your valuables unattended.

A tear in my eye almost fell when I read that sign at the coffee shop where we had our breakfast right after that race we did for a good cause.

The race was set 5:55AM, but you and I arrived an hour early. You told me that somehow you need to fill your empty stomach to have the energy to sprint the track.

My eyes gazed at the area, where a number of sprinters are already gathering, but I didn’t see any signs of an open food stall. I motioned to run outside that cordoned section. You followed me and in no time, we saw a fast food store. I was about to run that kilometer gap but you objected as you pointed to my watch. I gazed around the area again to look for a nearer food stall. But when I looked back at you, I was surprised you weren’t there anymore.

It was exactly 30 minutes before race time. I decided to stay at where I am, thinking you went looking for open food stalls, too. Or you went to the rest room somewhere near. Or you were just playing hide and seek with me.

Twenty minutes had passed and still no signs of you. I started to panic. I was already pondering of not joining the race, thinking you were nowhere near and that I need to find you, since your mobile phone is with me.

It was 5 minutes before the gun signal when you gave me a ring using an unknown number.

“I am here at the assembly area, where have you been?” you asked.

I dropped the call as I was already teary-eyed, realizing you left me behind just to be at the cordoned section in time for the race. I ran to the assembly point as fast as I could to be there before the gun signals the start of the sprint.

I ran with all my might and finished the race, but I didn’t get an award. However, I did get something more significant than that.

As I sipped my brewed coffee over breakfast, I tasted a bitter sweet realization:

Valuing someone so much is not an assurance that you are valued the same.
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Blissful Pit Stops.

Just this February, I traveled north and south to search something I have lost, five years ago.

Galera Getaway.
First stop was Puerto Galera. I was trying to find the Happiness I haven’t had in a while. I went swimming and snorkeling, trying to find that feeling I longed for through the fishes and corals that I saw under the sea.

I tried volleyball and zips (poi) while I sipped different concoction of wines just to get a taste of what I missed in the years I hibernated from the world.

All along, I thought I found Happiness. But when I took photos on the beach or on the boat, and even when I was capturing the luminance of the blue moon setting on the west sky, I realized Happiness wasn’t there.

Conquering Clark.
Next pit stop was when I travelled north to Clark Field, Pampanga.
I toyed with the idea to find Gladness in the balloons and everything that flies in that festival. But as I look up and see how high the skydivers had to dive for a beautiful exhibition, I realized Gladness was with me when I fell for you way back then.
Baguio Break.
I went further north for my third pitstop: Baguio’s Panagbenga Festival. I was hoping that the Joy I am looking for might be on the flowers blooming in the city of pines.
I delighted myself with the strawberry taho at the Strawberry Farm. I took photos at the Bell Church with Buddha and the high towers. I even went to the Pink Sisters Convent and the Baguio City Church.
I got the chance to visit PMA’s Fort Del Pilar, The Manor Hotel at Camp John Hay, and The Mansion.
But when I reviewed the photos I have taken, I didn’t see the Joy I am looking for.
Homeward Bound.
Each time I travel and try to find the missing piece of me, the more I realize that Happiness is with me when I am with you.
As I take photos from my camera, Gladness envelopes me when I think of you smiling and posing on the camera frame.
On my way back, when I think of you, I think of Home, the haven of my Joy.
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Languid.

It was more or less an hour ride, yet it seemed like it was longest ride I ever had.

I got aboard that coaster. I didn’t expect you to be there as you haven’t confirmed your attendance to the event, much like what you always do.

As I scanned the coaster’s seats, I saw one seat beside you available. I inhaled deeply, and approached you.
“Can I seat here?” I asked cheerfully.

“Yes, sure.” you replied. I was glad you gave the seat near the window; you knew I wanted to see the city’s view at night. I always thought, if I were given a chance to have a big brother, I would choose you.

You and I had always shared common grounds. We spend lunch laughing and giggling about things we had watched from YouTube, realizing we had watched the same videos separately. We share the same passion in taking photos. You always believed moments should be preserved and that only pictures can take a still copy of our fast-phased life.

With thoughts of having a short ride, I listed mentally the things I wanted to tell you this time—what happened to me during the whole hell of a week, the latest photos I got, the music I just had downloaded, the movie I am longing to watch, among others.

As I sat down, I felt the chilliness of the coaster’s temperature. I didn’t mind it though, since I know this wouldn’t be a long ride. But as our travel commenced, I started to feel coldness more from you than the temperature.

I wanted to start telling you stories of happened to me lately, but you seemed uninterested. I wished that you would show me signs of starting a conversation but you looked indifferent. We were seated right next to each other, yet the distance between us felt like oceans and miles apart.

I never knew what went wrong along the way that when it was time to alight the coaster, you stood up, got off, and never looked back.

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Equinox.

After today, nights shall be longer and days shall be shorter.

That is the Autumnal Equinox.

Ever since I started spending time with you,every day has always been a long day for me. An hour seems like eternity whenever you are beyond my reach. A minute feels like years of not setting my eyes on you. Seconds get by so slow that I want to drag it faster, to be with you again. This makes my day long… longer than the day before it.

Every night during the past year has always been short nights for me. Seconds after I reach home, I park on cyberspace hoping to see you again. Minutes of waiting doesn’t count anymore when your name finally pops up on my screen. Hours of being online–chatting, talking, laughing with you–appear to run so fast. This makes my night short… shorter every time I log off and retire to bed.

Haven’t I told you that I like you? Haven’t I shared that if I could ever find another version of me, that would be you? Haven’t I conveyed my willingness to try things out between us?

I had adjusted my life just to have you in it, but I guess you do not plan to include me in yours. I focused too much on you, who doesn’t see my worth as a friend or my value as a person. I had practically lived an unhealthy lifestyle that seems to work against my body and myself.

“Observe a balanced lifestyle,” said a concerned friend, and suggested 3 things:

  • Less time online.
  • Include fitness activities.
  • Establish new and renew old friendship.

A year of chasing after you , I think I lost Life. I do not see my old self anymore– the old jolly me. So, I shall give my friend’s advice a shot.

I’ll try to regain Life by doing the autumnal equinox:

After today, my nights shall be longer and my days shall be shorter.

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