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Muni-muni sa pagkahuli kay Palparan

Hindi ko alam kung paano ko ipapaliwanag ‘yung pakiramdam nung nabalitaan kong nahuli si Palparan. Ni hindi ko nga alam kung ano ang sasabihin nung marinig ko sa radyo ang pangalan niya e. Magkahalong pasasalamat at pagkapraning. Magulo.

Pero mas hindi ko maintindihan ‘yung mga pumapanig kay Palparan. Tanungin daw ang mga sundalo kung paano silang inaalagan at tinratong mabuti ni Palparan. Biktima raw si Palparan. Wow. Ikaw na nga ang nasa position of power, ikaw pa ang oppressed?

Keri.
 

*** 

Noong nasa maskom pa ako, mga 2007 o 2008 ‘to, may panahong palaging may umaaligid na puting FX tapos kinukunan lang ng pictures at video ‘yung mga estudyante at paligid ng Batibot at college mismo. Minsan may GA ng Cineastes ata ‘yun o Samaskom sa may steps, e may nage-ED nun sa org. Napansin ng mga estudyante na parang may nagvvideo sa kanila mula sa FX, so kinausap nila si kuya guard.

Kinatok ni kuya guard ‘yung FX. Hindi naman nagbukas ng bintana, pero hindi rin naman umalis ‘yung FX.

Madalas din akong tambay sa CAL nun. Gaya sa maskom, sanay na kami na ini-“intel.” May mga lalaking kumukuha ng pictures ng mga estudyante sa kubo, sa may Katag, basta pakalat-kalat. Minsan nasa kubo sila ng AME o kaya ng LF kapag walang nakatambay sa mga kubo. Tapos alam mong hindi sila estudyante, pero hindi rin sila driver ng kung sino. ‘Yung iba sa amin sinusundan pa hanggang gym, main lib, at (sa maniwala kayo’t sa hindi) sa EEE.

Sa totoo lang mahirap din maniwala kapag hindi ikaw ‘yung nakaranas na sinusurveillance o kaya sinusundan. Jusko, ako na ‘to, ha. Miyembro ako ng Alyansa at nagkataon lang na nasa “pulang colleges” ako. Nagrarally ako paminsan, pero sa totoo lang relatively mababa naman ang level of involvement ko kumpara sa ibang mga kaibigan.

Pero paano mo ieexplain ‘yung ganoong nuances kung kunin ka? Kung dakpin ka? Nung time na ‘yun kakadukot lang kay Karen at She, tapos sumunod si Jonas na sa Ever Commonwealth huling nakita. Nakakatawa siguro o ‘di kaya imposible para sa iba na isiping madadakip ‘yung kaibigan nilang nagrarally or student leader at least. Pero minsan nag-apply ako for a writing position sa AFP, tinanong ako nung isang heneral (and I quote), “ano ba ‘tong Alyansa sa orgs mo? Pula ka ba?” 

GANDA. 

*** 

Isipin mo, kapag dinakip ka, wala nang paliwanagan ‘yun. As if naman maniniwala sila na hindi ka parte ng kilusan, na nagreresearch ka lang, na hindi ka “kaliwa.” Naramdaman namin ng ilang kaibigan, some more than the others, ‘yung takot over that for a long while.

Siguro ‘yun din ang dahilan kung bakit ‘yung iba sa amin natuto na lang gawing joke ang nakakatakot na posibilidad na ‘yun, pero sa totoo langthe more absurd it seemed, the more scary it was.

Minsan nagbibiruan kami ng ilang kaibigan sa Asterisk — ‘yung iba miyembro ng Stand UP, ‘yung iba taga-Kule, tapos ‘yung iba unaffiliated. May isang nagbiro.

“‘Pag madesap ako, ayoko ng candlelighting. Gusto ko magpalipad kayo ng lanterns. Ayaw ko ng white, red, o black na shirt, gusto ko nakapink lahat. Pero ‘yang si Ayrie Ching ‘pag nadesap may candlelighting dapat, ‘yung pulang kandila na may design na dragon gagamitin natin kasi Intsik siya. Pero yellow shirt tayo, ha, kasi favorite color niya ‘yun. Or blue. Magblue tayo para statement talaga. HAHAHAHA!”

Biruan lang siya at marami kaming natawa, oo, pero ‘yung takot? Alam naming lahat na hindi biro ‘yun. 

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Cinemalaya X: Matapos mapanood ng Dagitab (Sparks)

Kakatapos lang manood ng Dagitab (Sparks), ang unang pelikulang napanood ko sa Cinemalaya ngayong taon.

Ang pakiramdam ay kapwa pamilyar at kakaiba: pamilyar dahil sanay nang may tanong na nakababad sa hanging hinihinga at hindi alam kung paano sasagutin dahil hindi rin sigurado kung ano ang tinatanong, kakaiba dahil bagaman ay sanay sa kawalang-kasiguraduhan ng patunguhan ay hindi sanay manghula ng susunod na hakbang mula umpisa hanggang matapos sa panonood.

Ito mismo ang Dagitab para sa akin — isang pelikulang kay raming gustong iparating, pero may ilang naligaw sa sukal ng mga sandali. Minsan makata sa paggamit ng imahe (nakahiga sa dalampasigan kasama ng mga alon, pagtapos ay may halikan), minsan ay walang bahid ng inarte (nag-aalmusal ang isa habang naririnig ang pagdumi ng sinta mula sa bukas na pintuan ng CR). Minsan may mga kwentong alam mo nang mangyayari pero kailangan mong makita (ang kwento ng dalawang workshop fellows) at meron din namang kwentong sana hindi na lang inumpisahan kundi rin naman mapapanindigan (ang kwento ng pamumundok at pag-aaklas, at ang lalim ng kilusan).

Sa huli, marapat pa ring panoorin dahil kahit papaano ay nailahad ang katotohanan ng buhay  — may mga kasinungalingang mistulang nagiging totoo, mga pag-ibig na nawawala pero hindi natatapos, at mga buhay na sa hindi inaasahang pagkakataon ay naghihiwalay at nagdudugtong.

Marahil ang pinakamalakas na metapora para sa pelikulang ito ay ang pamagat nito mismo — ang “dagitab” ay kuryenteng dumadaloy, samantalang ang “sparks” ay alipatong nagbabadya ng init na maaaring magningas o maglaho sa hangin. May kalituhan sa pagsasalin mula sa pelikula patungong puso, pero may naramdamang nagbabadyang apoy. Bagaman parang kulang, baka sakaling sapat na ang naramdamang iyon.

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I need to write this down

I thought difficult meant dealing with the consequences of having way too many feelings for one person — all the confusion, all the questions, everything that comes with having way too many for my tiny heart to handle.

Apparently it means feeling one thing and not having the opportunity to say it out loud, not being granted the chance to act upon it with the kind of passion I devote to the many things I am committed to such as the truth, especially when the biggest truth in my life right now is that I love you and that it pains me to feel that love with regret, as if instead of saying I love you what I really need to say is I’m sorry.

Difficult. Not hard, but difficult.

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Miscalculation

It would be presumptuous of me to say that my pain is far greater than anyone else’s only because it was you who caused me pain and yet I honestly feel this to be true. Because in a world where I have never allowed anyone to hurt me, you have managed the do the impossible. Because in hurting me you did not need my consent in the same way that I never needed your consent in having feelings for you. Because I thought I was ready for anything no matter what form anything takes and here lies my biggest mistake — because I was ready for anything except you.

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Observance

Roughly a week before Ramadan, I ready myself for frailty and strength. The past two years I’ve celebrated Ramadan in solidarity with my Muslim friends, fasting even when it was most inconvenient, fasting because there are far more important battles to fight within the self. When faced with a compromising situation I can recite Bible verses from memory, and in between lapses of memory tell you words from that verse which hangs from the tip of my tongue. The Bible is central to my own life of passion. Passion is more suffering than desire, and the Word offers me comfort. In the middle of one semester long ago, a professor introduced me to Mahayana Buddhism and I’ve been trying to integrate it into my life as much as I can ever since. I meditate for an hour every day, missing out on some days here and there when I’m too tired from a day’s work. Most weekends I sit for hours and focus on breathing or chanting. I cover my hair when I enter a mosque, I genuflect when faced with the blessed sacrament, I offer incense when I visit a temple. When asked about what I believe in, I answer “kindness.”

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D

I haven’t written about you since you decided not to talk to me but after my surprising breakdown last Tuesday, after drinks with the one great love of my life no less, I think it is time for me to write about you no matter what it ends up being.

It began with a kiss. Which is funny, now that I think about it. I may or may not have fallen in love with you that night. You were quiet and disarming and polite when you asked about my ex-boyfriend, when you asked if you could kiss me. Soonafter, you were in my birthday party, a random dinner with my college friends, out for drinks with us somewhere along Katipunan Extension.

We then started going out together, without our friends who have begun to ask “ano ba kayo?” It was a question we always evaded and ignored. I chose not to answer and overthink because we have grown to become friends, and I have once lost a friendship because of becoming someone more than a friend. You chose not to answer for reasons I never heard of.

We went out for four years.

One night we were out with friends (more yours than mine) and at some point I felt cornered. Suddenly all these questions about who we were to each other and why we were together, questions I have learned to brush off and avoid, were being asked over and over again by people whom I haven’t even talked to before. And there you were, sitting while choosing to break your silence every once in a while, coming up with safe answers to simple questions such as “are you happy?”

And then someone asked the question we’ve been so used to hearing: “So are you guys more than friends?”

I looked at you and I told you I wouldn’t answer that question, but you could answer it if you want. Your reply to that question was the last thing I expected to hear that night, because it was far from safe, far from indefinite.

“Yes, we’re more than friends,”  you said.

Countless dinners, a trip to Malaysia, and more than a year later, here we are not having seen each other for four months and not having talked properly at around the same amount of time. You fell off the face of the earth like disappearing was no big effort to you, like it should not be a big deal to me.

Maybe this is why I refused to say I love you. Because I knew deep in my heart you would leave me, because we both knew I was nothing to you.

So much for being more than a friend. I’m sorry for trying so hard to be with you. I could have loved you and we could have been better than this but we are not and this is where it ends. It was a relationship, and it wasn’t. It was what it was, and we were together.

I was yours.