Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I am proud to be a Filipino

Photo taken from: porschelaine.wordpress.com
Changing the channel on TV with such haste without even giving a chance for the sound to reach my ears has been an automatic response whenever I find myself caught between the History channel and a channel that talks too much about cars. For a moment I thought as I was laying comfortably on my bed, I would fall asleep because of my fingers endless pursuit for a good show on TV, but I stood corrected. I came across a news flash reporting about a typhoon that seemed to have duplicated Typhoon Ondoy’s devastating intensity. The typhoon’s name was Sendong and it surprisingly shook the silent living of our countrymen down south. Upon looking at the images caught by the news media, I was convinced that once again, a typhoon visit caused another mind-blowing casualty in our country.

I forced a smile on my face while I saw people on TV weeping for their loss of loved ones. I gave a forceful sigh of relief as pictures of houses brought down to the ground, trees uprooted from the soil and dead bodies dumped into one place, flashed before my eyes. You’re may be asking where exactly from this world did I get the guts to smile or even show relief, when I could clearly see depression painted on people’s faces and an apparent tableau of destruction in my home land. Well, before you incite a riot against me, let me say that I did not smile because I find pleasure in people’s misfortune. The reason I drew a smile on my face was because I firmly believe that we, Filipinos, are far beyond resiliency to be able to surpass seemingly insurmountable challenges in life. I have complete faith in us that we would somehow get through any road block with flying colors, one way or another. I have the confidence that we would find peace and refuge in the presence of pain as we begin to rebuild our lives. This value of resiliency and strength makes me proud as a Filipino. 

Another reason why I should write the words “I am proud to be a Filipino” on my forehead is our generosity towards the needs of other people. The short but destructive visit of Typhoon Sendong meant a total loss to the affected ones, including loss of shelter and basic needs. However, it did not take long before donations coming from our countrymen in different walks of life poured in like water gushing from a dam. This act of generosity gave a hand to the victims in pushing themselves further into a fresh start, one step at a time. In fact, not only did we show sincere generosity in terms of giving assistance but we also portrayed our faithfulness in the higher-power by offering prayers, asking God to bestow healing, abundance and fruitfulness upon the victims of the calamity. This may be the reason why despite the aftermath of the typhoon, most of them were able to find ways to celebrate Christmas and New Year at the simplest manner. Having the chance to witness how we respond to challenges and how we rise above any difficulty, I couldn’t be more proud to call myself as a Filipino.

Every time I look around and listen to what other people say about Filipinos and how they label us as a human being, I get hurt. Nevertheless, I realized in the long run that we all have something to be ashamed of. Americans, Chinese, Europeans, Australians all have their own flaws. I just noticed that people would rather look at other people’s imperfections for the sake of masking their own insecurities. They would rather make fun of other people instead of accepting the fact that no one in this world was created to be perfect. I admit that we, Filipinos have our very own negative values like other people from the other parts of the world but in the contrary, we also have positive values that we can be proud of. We are resilient, generous and God-fearing and I must say, these qualities are the qualities that make me incredibly proud to be a Filipino.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Distinct Happiness

The sun still had a long journey towards the other side of the world when I was already making my way home from school. I can't find any reason to love the heat unless you put me on a beach with a smoothie in my hand as the sea breeze blowing on my face. Two things I was craving for at the time were two glasses of cold water and a nap. 

As these thoughts thrilled my feet to get home, a classmate of mine who missed classes for the day came my way. I looked down and pretended I didn't see him because I was hankering to go home so bad I became impervious that even if Scarlet Johansson appears in front of me, I wouldn't give a glance. At a moment, I was wishing he didn't see me but what a stroke of luck? (with a sarcastic tone on the side), he called my attention. We exchanged hi's and hello's, gave up a few minutes to talk a little while then we parted ways afterwards. 

As I turned to the original direction that I was heading, two girls came rushing at me as they screamed my name on top of their lungs. For a second, I asked myself how I became an instant celebrity when I haven't uploaded any videos on YouTube yet. In between the apparent shock that masked my face and these girls excitement to see me, I considered the fact that I wasn't ready to handle shrieking fans longing for my signature. However, the dream that I thought was being brought to life suddenly turned to nothing but a mere fantasy. The last time I was as delusional was way back in my childhood days when I firmly believed that I could someday be like Superman.

Anyway, I recognized the girls faces and realized that they were a few of my closest friends in my former school. Duh??? Who else could it be??? Anyhow, our laughters took in charge for a while as I pictured how our faces looked like when we saw each other. 

We did act a little silly out there in public but it was funny. 

I couldn't ask for a better moment than that.


Two years ago, I decided to stop my schooling and get a job. It meant leaving my closest friends behind consequently marking a scar on me but I didn't mind. In retrospection, it's still very clear to me how I've made up mind so quickly disregarding any feelings I could feel once I seal the deal. I knew what I had to do and any sort of emotions couldn't be more insignificant at the time.

I didn't dwell too much on where my memory drove me and just brushed it off my shoulders. 

I chose to enjoy the unplanned reunion which I sometimes dream of every time the clock strikes "boredom" in one of my classes or I get caught in traffic.

I was light-headed since I got off the bus and all I wanted to do was get some z's but these two people crossed my path out of nowhere and from then on, never did I remember what I was craving for in the first place.
They were Jheng and Majoy, two of my closest friends in my former school. We chatted and didn't actually care about the world for awhile. I told them Ange wanted us and the others to hang around on Saturday. I mentioned I was free and it would be better if they could come as well. 

I don't remember what their response was to the invitation but I guess, at the time, their response didn't matter to me because I just wanted to hear from them. What's going on in their lives and what's keeping them busy.

There are situations in my life where I don't like hearing or even thinking of the word "INEVITABLE" and as much as I wanted to prevent it, it did happen. We said our goodbyes and went our separate ways. They had a class to go to and I had to go home.

Nevertheless, I couldn't stop myself from smiling, why wouldn't I? 

It was one of those moments where the sun was nothing but a big ball of nuisance and someone or a group of people suddenly pops out from nowhere and shifts your mood instantly.

"Erwin and Friends" (our group name which I did not come up with, honestly), has been through the ups and downs of college life together. We supported each other. We were there for each other. We laughed, talked and did all the silly things one could ever imagine. We always make it simple when we hang out. Knowing that we'll have another round of non-stop stories and jokes to tell, is enough to have the best day ever. We didn't have to go to high-end places to have fun, we create the fun wherever we are.

We no longer see each other that often but every time we get the chance to do so, a distinct kind of happiness strikes me that I don't get to feel with others. I mean I am satisfied with my new friends right now but I think nothing beats the friends I was with during my two years stay in my former school. They know me as a person. They respect me the way I respect them.We may have had a couple of misunderstandings here and there but it made us who we are right now.

I no longer wish to turn back time.

Why wish for the impossible to happen when I can duplicate moments of the past; make it more memorable and more fun.

(image taken from: http://www.politicsofwellbeing.com/2008/10/happiness-show.html)

Friday, January 6, 2012

When his tears fell

     When his tears fell, the man sitting on cloud nine seemed to have become a fallen angel from the bright firmament of the earth. He was comfortably resting on his bed, turned to his door while earphones plugged into his ears. He was aware of the deafening silence despite the music playing on his head. The bleakness of the night crept all over his body as his room shaded pitch-dark led him to recall the last time tears wet his face. As fragments of the past and frustrations of today flashed before his eyes, his tears ran down like bullets. He was sad, upset and most probably depressed. All these emotions compressed into a ball, rolling into an endless platform in his chest.

     It was weird though because at that point, he didn't think of ceasing his tears. He decided to let it flow as if it would ran out in a few seconds. For some reason, his tears continued to fall and then I realized, he wanted to sob. He found himself helpless for a moment and figured, maybe, shedding his tears was the only way to rid himself from misery. At his best, he tried to recall the last time he cried, but as he wiped his tears away, his energy to think came along with it. His left hand felt the tears and they were as cold as ice. Nevertheless, what his feeling could never get any colder.

     When his tears fell,  he felt as lonely as the only man living on earth. No friends. No family. Just himself against the empty world. Thoughts of getting rich or powerful came into play but were quickly devoured by logic subsequently reinforcing  the heaviness in his head.

    When his tears fell, he prayed. He thanked God for the blessings and for the tears. He believed that tears are symbolic representations of a human being's emotions. If a man doesn't cry, therefore, he doesn't have an emotion. A man may cry because of happiness, sadness or fear. He was talking to God like he was his friend. His best friend. It never hit his mind to utter a complaint because he made a vow. A vow to never blame God for any cause of his grief.

     When his tears fell, time froze. Normally, he would look forward to the next day and what awaits him, but this time, tomorrow appeared to be insignificant as if it didn't have any value to him at all.

     When his tears fell, every song playing to his ears were the saddest songs as if they were composed to flood tears in his eyes.

     When his tears fell, the world stopped for a minute giving him time to evaluate his life, to see how far he has gone and to look at who he has become. He wished he could take a picture and show it to people. To finally unmask his face and let them know what truly goes through his mind and what is really behind that smile. Another set of tears came rolling down as reality hit him. He realized a sad truth. The truth that he couldn't make people care.

     His last tear dropped as the night brought him to sleep. His eyes were tired and so as his brain but there was a feeling of peace somewhere in his heart. A relaxing silence that drew a smile on his face. His body was resting but his mind was still running. After riding the roller coaster of emotions, he was happy. Despite a few realizations, he knew he had to continue to live until the higher power gives him the red light to stop. Life really is a battlefield, he thought, and crying is one way of healing one's wounds taken from battle.

(image taken from: http://eachdrop.wordpress.com/tag/tears/)