Loving You

May mga araw na weird. Yun bang magigising ka sa wrong side of the bed.

Pero may mga araw pang mas weird. Yun naman yung magigising ka sa right side of the bed.

Yung tipo bang 7:30 dapat ang alis mo sa bahay para pumasok tapos 7:15 na ay hindi ka pa nakakaligo tapos pakanta-kanta ka pang naghuhugas ng mga pinggang pinagkainan ng almusal.

Yung imbes 7:30 ka aalis sa inyo ay 8:00 ka na nakaalis tapos pabanjing-banjing pa ang lakad mo papuntang tren. At dahil tanghali na’t rush hour na, punong-puno na yung tren pero wala kang pakialam at parang ang gaan pa rin ng iyong pakiramdam.

Tapos pagbaba mo naman ng tren at pagsakay mo ng bus, itinulak ka na papasok pero parang wala ka pa rin pakialam at chill na chill ka lang.

Tapos pagbaba mo ng bus at paglakad mo papunta sa office ay mainit na dahil nga tanghali na at pa-summer na ay para kang naglalakad sa Luneta. Tapos feeling mo may cherry blossom sa gitna ng disyerto kahit puro buhangin at damo lang ang nakikita mo.

Pagdating mo sa office ay baskil ka na dahil sa init pero ige-greet mo yung boss mo ng masayang-masayang umaga at habang ipinagtitimpla mo siya ng kape ay kumakanta-kanta ka pa ng

…each day in spring time

loving you

is easy coz you’re beautiful….

Tapos paghatid mo ng kape niya ay tatambakan ka ng trabaho at sasabihin mo pang I’m so happy because I have a lot of work to do today – in a singsong voice.

Sabay napakabilis mong gagawin ang mga pinapagawa niya sa yo at ngayo’y tapos na at nagboblog ka na lang at kumakanta kanta.

At for the first time in your life, hindi ka maiinis kahit pa makita mo ang mukha ni Binay at Roxas sa iyong newsfeed.

video credits: BBC

Drawing


Fine lines, angles and curves

Shade, light and dark

A little bit more

I’m getting closer

A bit closer

To the image

I adore most

 

But my right hand

Started trembling

And the lines drifted

Away and away

And to deformity

It paved way

 

I need to erase

And retrace

And catch moments lost

While I slowly drifted

To the sea of mistakes,

Ocean of distress.

I’ll try again and again.

I’ll keep trying till I make it right

At least, till I make it right.

 

watercolor_girl

Mahal na Mahal Kita at Ang Sakit Sakit Na

Sampung taon mo na akong kinakanlong. At habang tumatagal ay lalong nagiging malinaw sa akin ang lahat. Malinaw kung paanong hindi man direkta ay hayag na hayag pa rin ang iyong pambubusabos.

Sa paliparan pa lang, nung huling beses na ako ay pumasok sa bansa. Kung paanong ang tagal ko nang nakapila sa imigrasyon at kung paanong ang mga bagong dating na mga dilaw ang buhok ay pinauna niyo sa pila dahil lang sa sila ay Kanluranin.

Sa kumpanya pa lang, ninais ko noon na umangat ng kahit isang baitang lamang pero hindi mo ako pinagbigyan. Una dahil ako ay babae, pangalawa dahil ako ay Pilipina. Hindi mo man lang tiningnan ang aking abilidad, talino at kakayahan.

Gusto kong isigaw na nagtapos ako sa isa sa mga kilalang unibersidad sa aming bansa pero ni hindi niyo man lang tiningnan. Kasi ang mahalaga lamang sa inyo ay yung mga nakapag-aral sa kanluran. Ilang taon na akong nagsisikap na mapansin niyo sa kumpanya, sinabi niyo turuan ko itong mga estudyanteng galing sa kanluran. Ginawa ko naman at sila’y maraming natutunan. Pero ano? Matapos ang anim na buwan, sila ay nagbabalik dahil sila ay nagsipagtapos na, para ano? Para maging manehero ko? Tinuruan ko sila upang maging manehero ko. Samantalang ako, isang baitang lang ang hinihiling kong maakyatan ay hindi niyo pa pinagbigyan. Tapos ang motto niyo ay may pantay-pantay kayong pagtingin.

Ang tindi ng mga pinagdaanan ko para lang makarating dito pero hindi niyo pa rin ako pinagkakatiwalaan. Hanggang ngayon ganun pa rin. Hindi direkta pero hayagan. Ako’y inyong hinahamak pa rin. Pasaporte muna bago abilidad. Pagtapos niyo akong pakinabangan ay ganito na lang?

Ang sakit-sakit na.

Ang sakit-sakit na kaya kahit hindi ko feel ay kinilig ako ng kaunti sa trailer ng palabas ni John Lloyd at Jennelyn.

video:ABS-CBN Star Cinema

Feeling Heavy and Finally

I walked in the room feeling heavy. Like the weight of the world was on my shoulders.

They were all busy. But they stopped and looked at me as soon as I stepped in.

Yes? Someone said.

Rebond, I said.

A blonde lady  in green uniform and face mask came to me. She looked more like a blonde dentist to me than a hair dresser.

She led me to one of those chairs facing the mirrors. I sat. She touched my hair, gently moving the strands from right to left, like leafing through pages of a book.

This is 5kg worth of hair, she said.

It was a six-hour battle of getting soaked into chemicals and getting dried. Soaked and dried. Soaked and dried.

I walked home dizzy with slight headache from the whole chemical process.

I stepped into the weighing scale. I was 5kg less.

 

***

The last line wasn’t real, but somehow I wish it was.

Soft Country Rain

It rained again, two mornings ago. Usually, we are very thankful to experience some rain here in the Middle East. Even drizzles meant blessings as these few droplets are like tiny sprinkles of life. Sprinkles of life that patches up cracks on dry lands, sprinkles of life that gives hope to some dry hearts and broken lives.

However, frequent rain, somehow, can be a bit alarming. One cannot expect so much of rain when you live in the desert.

I stepped out of the house that morning, without bringing an umbrella with me. I don’t have an umbrella anyway. On second thoughts, I think I have one. The one that the salon gave me as a gift after spending a fortune for hair rebonding, years ago. But this umbrella is somewhere, hidden beneath the piles of forgotten notebooks and old, unused clothes. Somewhere. We always have that somewhere. A place where you keep things that you don’t need anymore but you still hold on to.

I run-walked till I reached the metro station, without an umbrella, without a jacket, thinking I’m invincible. It didn’t take long for my clothes and bag to get a bit wet, but I thought it’s ok. It’s ok to get wet as long as I don’t get drenched.

It was my shoes that I was so worried about. My shoes are not the most expensive ones but they are the most comfortable ones. And comfortable ones are more difficult to find than expensive ones. They are thin and light, meant for long walks, meant for extremely hot weather. They aren’t meant for rains, they aren’t meant to get soaked in water. Soak the shoes in water for so long, they’ll fall apart. Just like hearts aren’t meant to get drenched in so much pain. Drench a heart in pain for so long, it falls apart.

I reached the office, a bit wet but not drenched.

It’s surprising to have this much rain, my boss said.

Yes, I almost felt like I’m in the Philippines because of the frequent rain, I said.

But the rain today is so nice. This is the soft country rain, he said.

I looked at him. Half laughing, half mocking. I’ve never heard of a soft country rain. My bad, maybe for not studying well. All I know is that I can tell the difference between rain and typhoon.

Sir, for me a bit of rain is good, a bit more means flood, a lot more means disaster. 

He laughed. The soft country rain is the rain that brings life to the crops. They do us good. 

He laughed again. You still have a lot more to learn. A lot more.

Shredding Papers

I started shredding papers in the office today, and that’s the start. We are slowly winding down. Our office is closing down within the next two months and having said that, I have two months to go before I become one of the stars in the constellation of the ever increasing population of the jobless.

There are tons of papers that needed shredding, especially those confidential ones and I was literally just shredding papers the whole day.

I removed the papers from the box files, which gave me a lot of empty box files when just yesterday I was ordering a lot of them as I don’t have enough to keep my pile of papers.

I removed staple wires that held the files together. Files that I am now tearing apart.

I kept shredding. Paper after paper. File after file.

I stood in awe. This is what my years of hard work is now. Tiny bits of paper.

As I carried the big plastic bag containing the shredded papers to the garbage chute, a sudden gust of wind came and blew a lot of shredded papers leaving them, hanging in midair, like shining confetti thrown into air after a successful concert, like dried leaves falling off the branches of a dying tree.

And as the shredded papers gently fell down, I said, yes, at one point, we all have to say goodbye.

It was stupid of me not to tie up the plastic bag before heading to the garbage chute. I called the building cleaner to sweep the floor filled with paper confetti.

He brought a broom and dust pan, started sweeping and finally threw every thing into the chute.

I stood in awe. This is where my years of hard work is going to. Garbage bin.

Nerd. Cave woman.

I was ironing one week’s worth of clothes last night when our landlady came to collect some payments. I was in in my pajamas already, my hair in a messy bun but I thought that’s ok, she’s just here to collect some payments and not to have some tea party.

 

She brought her friend along, a lady that I haven’t met till last night. And what meant to be just payment collection became an almost tea party, without the tea nor the party.

 

We were happily chatting about OFW lives and at one point she (landlady) caught sight of my bookshelf and said, Oh! You have a lot of books! You’re so nerd. Then she laughed.

 

Her friend then asked, what do you do with them?

 

I… read them, I said.

 

So I wondered. If I, really looked like a nerd.

 

After a little more of jokes and stories, the landlady then asked me if I have found a new job already. I said I still haven’t.

 

So she asked her friend, maybe your boss needs a secretary? You might want to refer her, while pointing her hand to me.

 

Her friend looked at me and asked, do you know how to use a computer?

 

I looked at her and there was an awkward silence till the landlady cracked a joke. Of course, do you think she is using a typewriter in her office?

 

So I wondered. If I, looked like a caveman last night. Or woman for that matter.