People have belittled the fact that the youth will be the primary carrier of this nation’s culture. But a culture buried in ammunition and bullets is not a culture worth boasting.
on the rampancy of child soldiers in the Philippines
[written May 2008, CEGP convention, Davao City]
“Take care of yourself, for you never allowed me to take care of you.”
Someone once wrote this for me on a sheet of paper. That was years ago, and the last thing he told me was that he’ll be in a far-off country. He’s probably there now, wherever that is, living his life the best way he could. I remember how we tried to be the best of friends, but failed. I think we’d both agree that that’s a good thing. My life is not his to live, and his life ain’t mine to live as well.
I was much younger then, I took little consideration of his feelings, but I did care for him, although not as much as he did for me. Keeping this note, I once thought, was the best thing I could do to spare ourselves from all the stupid words we once threw in each other’s directions. However, this is like those other notes I should let go of. What I should have at this point is a mental note of how our decision made us better individuals and how it helped us find better people who would fit into our lives like puzzle pieces.
I don’t know what his life is like at present, nor do I know exactly where he is. It wouldn’t bother me to see him, but seeing him actually wouldn’t make any difference in my life. All I know is that once upon a time, life introduced me to a great person who could’ve been a great friend till now, had it not been for an emotion that was too fragile—an emotion I refused to hold on to.
Going through my college notes is always a fun way to look at how I changed as a person and as a writer (because I think of myself as one, so please spare me the look of disgust). There’s a mystery surrounding those leaves of paper. What that mystery is, I dare not know for that’ll ruin the whole drama that I want my life to have. But notes, my notes, are often my pathways back to what was and what has been.
College life went by so annoyingly fast, that all we could do at this point is to hold on to memories of dozens of yesterdays and hope that life would let us relive those moments. For me, holding on means keeping my notes, however stupid that might sound for some.
I’m holding on to one note in particular, with this scribbled on it:
March 1 – consultation with Ma’am Haydee
March 3 – go to The Manila Times
March 2, 3 – edit video (VM)
March 4 – submission of short film
March 7 – submission of thesis proposal, photojourn requirements
March 5 – go to a barangay
March 14 – ENR2 short film presentation
March 6 – Sir Artin demands full attendance at 7am sharp
I’m keeping it because I want to remember how, in a span of two weeks, I’ve accomplished so much, went here and there, and experienced different things. Because despite those, I only focused on how those two weeks exhausted the hell out of me. I failed to look at how amazing my friends and I were, having to do all those and more. I failed to give myself a tap on the back for having the time to run around and chase multiple deadlines.
What I am today is incomparable to what I was. I used to do so much. Life changes, I know. I’ve grown, I know. Today, this is how my schedule looks like:
9AM to 6PM – office
weekends – off
Should I be happy? Yes. For I’ve moved on to a different platform. That alone gives me enough freedom to look back and say that these things I regret could only make me a better person: to appreciate life more, to walk and live with utter sense of pride just for being able to make it through every shitty day.
Optimism, I want you to be my new friend. Walk with me as I face life’s berries and crap.
Sometimes, it’s not about the spoken word. You just sort of forget everything else and hunt for the most interesting action one does towards you or towards someone else. Sometimes, that action is good. But often, if you look a bit harder, if you try to look beyond the glass that separates you from that person, you wouldn’t be smiling for quite a long time.
Have you felt that? That instant stab of reality that there’s a “you” and there’s a “them”? That “them” world’s gonna be tough on you and so you try to look for another “them” world to fit into. I don’t know what’s harder, though. Is it to stick with the “you” world? Or have a “them” world only to find out that you’re not even a part of it?
* part of an email I sent to an online friend; dated November 24, 2008. We lost in touch soon after that. Wherever she is right now, may happiness overwhelm her humble heart.
The difference of a need & a want is endless. But sometimes, boundaries are crossed, and a need becomes a want. And this is a positive thing. However, once a need no longer involes pleasure, it is more than enough to let the mountain erode.
Take for example, vitamins. People need vitamins for protection from diseases. But once a person gets used to and starts to like taking vitamins everyday, it already becomes a want.
Wanting something that you need is a dream-come-true for most. However, when it no longer satisfies your desire, needing it becomes a burden. Taking vitamins becomes harder than it used to. It chokes you. It doesn’t help anymore. It’s time to go to the pharmacy and try another drug.
*the product of ink spilling on an index card one crazy thesis night