Para sa Bayan

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Ipinagpalit niya ang oras at panahon niya para sa kalayaan ng Bayan mula sa mga Amerikano subalit mga kapwa rin niya kakampi ang kumuha ng nalalabi niyang oras.

Inuna niya ang bansa, bago ang pamilya, bago ang sarili, bago ang kahit sino, ngunit ang dapat ring tumayong pamilya niya ang sakanya’y tumuring sampid.

Ginugulan niya ng pawis, talino, at dugo ang laban para sa bayan ngunit ang bayan din ang kumuha ng kanyang pinagpawisan at nagpadanak ng kanyang dugo.

Binago ang sistema, pinatalsik ang nagtataksil na mga opisyal ng bayan subalit ang kanyang kawani ang siya ring pumigil sa pagbabago na kanyang ninanais.

Hangad niyang mamatay para sa bayan. Hindi para patayin ng bayan.

Ako ay isang hamak na estudyante ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas. Pinapaaral ng mga mamamayan ng bansa. Iskolar ako ng bayan kung ituring ngunit nararapat ba saakin ang bansag na ito? Isa ba akong katulad ni Heneral Luna? O ako rin ang papatay sa sarili kong kakampi? Uunahin ko rin ba ang aking sarili, tulad ng pinaghihinalaang pumatay kay Heneral Luna, tulad ng marami?

 Naalala kong kumaripas ako patungo sa sinehan galing bahay. Gahol na kasi ako sa oras; dapat lang na ako’y nagmadali. Akin pang nakaligtaan ang unang tatlong minuto ng palabas dahil sa bagal ng usad ng pila. Bahagya pa nga akong nainis dahil sa kaherang makupad kumilos. Pagpasok ko ay naguumpisa na ang pelikula; nagagalit na ang Heneral sa kanyang mga kawani. Noong mga oras na iyon, ang aking nasa isipan lang ay ang paggawa ng aking sulatin at ang pagtapos nito. Nanghinayang pa ako sapagkat hindi ako nakabili ng aking kakainin sa sinehan. Noong panahon din na iyon, hindi ko ikakailang lubos akong nananabik na mapanood ang pelikula dahil sa maraming kritikong nagsasabing maganda ito. Hindi ko rin inakalang ito ay may higit na maihahandog sa akin bukod sa inaasam kong dagdag na puntos.

Paglabas ko ng sinehan, iba na ang aking naging hinanakit. Hindi na dahil sa haba ng pila at sa bagal ng serbisyo ng kahera. Gusto ko nang sugurin ang mga opisyal sa Malacañang at magrebolusyon mag- isa. Gusto kong ituro ang bawat taong makita ko sa daan at itanong kung hanggang saan ba nito kayang ipaglaban ang bansa. Gusto kong hukayin ang puntod ng mga bumaril kay Heneral Luna, kay Paco, sa mga tauhan nito at buhayin- para patayin lang muli. Higit sa lahat, gusto kong titigan ang sarili ko- diretso sa mga mata- at sisihin ang sarili. Ni minsan, pinagmalasakitan ko ba ang bansa? Ako nga ay lantang lanta pag pinaguusapan ang problema ng republika at tila walang pakialam sa mga nagaganap sa bansa. Ang tagal kong naging ignorante. Ang tagal ko naging isang Buencamino. Isang Aguinaldo. Isang makasariling mamayan ng bansa. Sa pagpunta lang ng sinehan ay nahuli pa ako, paano nalang kaya sa iba kong mga haharapin? Nanghihinayang ako dahil wala akong makain habang nanonood, pero naisip ko bang hindi narin sapat ang nakakain ng kapwa ko Pilipino? Nakakalungkot isipin na kailangan ko pang masaksihan ang isang pelikula bago tuluyang umaksyon sa kalagayan ng bansa. Paano nalang ang mga hindi nakasaksi nito?

Ngayong natanggap ako bilang mag- aaral sa Unibersidad ng Pilipinas, nararapat lang na maging Heneral Luna ako sa aking munting paraan. Hindi ko sinasabing magiging magagalitin din ako. Subalit oo, sasabak ako. Sasabak ako sa digmaan. Para sa bayan. Magpapakdalubhasa ako sa aking napiling kurso at magsusumikap na makapagtapos, upang mapagpatuloy ang pagbibigay parangal sa bayan at sa mga namatay para sa kanya. Imposibleng maibalik ko ang buhay ng mga namatay para sa bayan dahil sa kagagawan ng kapwa- kababayan, ngunit may magagawa ako para buhayin ang mga utak na nakatuon sa kawalan. Sa abot ng aking makakaya, sa pamamagitan ng aking mga salita, pipilitin kong buksan ang mga isip at mata, ang mga damdamin at diwa ng aking kapwa- Pilipino, para huwag maging bulag sa sariling kagustuhan lamang. Hindi ko kailangang mamuno at magsimula ng rebulusyon, subalit oo. Ako ang magiging Heneral ng sarili kong pagkatao at magsisismula ako sa sarili ko.

Para sa bayan.


Photos are not mine. Credits to artfulregalia.tumblr.com and living-metaphorically.tumblr.com!

A Series of Unknown

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For the first time, I ran out of words to say. I don’t know how to assemble the scattered thoughts I have in my mind. I have certainly lost contact with words that would somehow persuade you that I love you, and that I am sure of it, no matter how indecisive I am about most things in my life.

This is not poetry or a mere exaggerated piece that I have managed to write through the hours that passed. This is as true as can be. This is a story. A letter to you. A collection of complicated maybe’s about how the turn of events in our lives have inked their way into my pounding chest which, only months ago, I have been dying to revive.

You are a choice. Not a choice out of the many options. Not a choice because you are the only available option. A choice. A heartbeat. A decision my heart and mind agreed upon for the first time.

I need you to listen. Closely. Not only with the words you hear by reading on your mind. I need you to listen with all that you are so that you may be able to feel the love written in here. To understand the sound of worry in every space there is in this letter. To taste the difference between I love you and I love you too.

I love you in a way that is extremely unbelievable. And odd. I love you for reasons that don’t exist. I love you for time limits that have not been discovered. I love you. No addition nor subtraction. I love you.

The future holds so many secrets. and whether fifteen years from now, you’re holding my hand and I’m holding yours, or your lips are locked with another’s, you are still my choice. The one I love. The one who changed my heart and who made me feel like the sun’s rays were running through my bloodstream.

You will always be my choice.

For these, and for all the thoughts I have failed to include and that are yet to be perceived, I love you.

The Dream of Becoming and of Being

It has been four weeks since I first left home with a number of huge, stuffed bags. It has been days since I first slept without my family in the next room; my friends and I have only been talking over laptop screens rather than watching movies side by side. It was the first time I opened my journal, which I promised myself to open once I finally take a chance on something big.

Out of the four schools I applied for admission as a new freshman, the University of the Phillipines Los Baños was my sole choice. It took me a lot of timely crisis in choosing what university I belong to; as a matter of fact, I had so many sleepless nights asking God whether I was making the right life decisions. I also remember holding the UPCAT Application Forms and praying to God intently, “Lord, please help me live my dream.” And now I guess I am.

I usually say I live in Marikina even if I live in Antipolo because I took my secondary education in the aforementioned city. The Diliman campus of the state university was just minutes away from home. However, I put Los Baños as my first campus choice because I deeply wanted to detach myself from the routine I have been used to. Nevertheless, I am not sure if I am content with it. Don’t get me wrong. LB is a great place to seek for independence and adventures. But I’ve made a decision on putting it as first campus choice for reasons which may or may not be sufficient for a valid one. We have different views. Now, per contra, I believe it is not enough. I could have considered the costs. The circumstances. I was too thirsty for experiencing more of what is out there when there were, in fact- as I never thought possible- people I would leave behind. There were opportunities I would leave behind.

My first few days here were completely tragic; it was like one of those movies when the father leaves behind his family for military obligations. Only in my case, I left for personal necessity- for problems concerning just myself. So selfish, I see myself now. I am guilty, as you read between the lines of my poorly written post construction. It’s not my intention to blurt out my whole life in here, but I tend to get so emotional at times that the only possible way there is for me is to release them. To whoever.

There were instances when my Dad would call me when I’m walking back to my dorm alone. My Mommy seldom called; she was always busy with work but she never forgets to send texts at night. Going back, while I always walked from my class to my dorm, Dad would also call asking how I’m doing. And no matter how much of stone my heart was before, it melted- like butter set on a frying pan a hundred degrees over. I can feel my voice cracking and still, I refused. I refused to believe I was crying because I miss home. I miss the “routine I have been used to.”

What’s the point of even arguing with my emotions when I have made a decision myself? A final one. You might be confused; initially, I was happy having been accepted to my dream university and now I am doubting my decisions. It’s just that I believe I have missed all the cons. And my pros are not compelling enough to be such. What if I stayed? What if I put Diliman as my first campus choice? Would I have passed? Would I have felt better? Would I be content then?

Currently, I have adjusted to the environment of UPLB. I know there will be more surprises and even if I prepare myself for them, I know I wouldn’t really be ready enough. This time around though, I know my reason for choosing such has changed. It’s no longer to separate myself entirely, but to embrace what I have and what I lack thereof. I lack compassion. Integrity. Humility. I lack consciousness. And I need to live the dream to grasp them. The dream of thinking and of moving. The dream of becoming and of being. The dream of being an Iskolar ng Bayan Para sa Bayan.

I believe now, no matter where campus I arrive in the end, as long as I end up in UP, I’m content. This is home. I’m claiming it; I am aware that someday somehow, it’s going to render me sleepless nights of utmost studying but this is home. In addition, I can transfer to the Diliman or Manila campus and decide on living my life from there once again. As long as it’s UP.

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An Abandoned Hope

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Art, in particular, although general, has always touched and filled my soul with an uncertainty that I find soothing. Whenever I catch myself bounded by the academic expectations society has placed me under, I often run into my journal where I let all the relentless emotions speak and stitch words together. This process which I consider therapeutic may, for others, be coined as poetry. Also, as I find myself stuck in an existential crisis- as odd as it may sound for some-  I check my social media accounts to search for art in museums and photography of many different genres.

This certain appreciation for art led me into wanting to impart my own taste of the topic itself.

Last September 2014, I started running a tumblr blog for the fandom I belong to. I often re- blog photos of the bands I loved. From time to time, I post my own edits of them too. It was active for about half a year until I realized I better start one for myself. I initiated another blog which is running to this day. It is where I usually publish my writings. Somewhere in between the alterations of my blogs, I discovered a desire of wanting to create something more than what I usually do. I decided it was high time I go beyond mere publications of my odd taste for poetry; it was time I truly gather experiences and share them online. I started making posts about events in my previous school and how they have affected me both positively and negatively. However, I have failed to interest people in my posts, probably because they were not entertaining or informative enough. Soon then, I have lost interest in blogging too and abandoned the hopes of becoming a blogger. However, I keep one blog in particular to continue making and posting my works. Actually, this wordpress account makes it two.

Little did I know that one of my courses will allow me to unfold the hopes I have come to let go. My Information Technology class requires us students to create a blog site, mainly a wordpress account, to share our insights regarding the activities and discussions of the said course. By creating another blog, I am once again challenged to unleash my creativity for keeping this as interesting and as “Rea!” as possible.