life on a haze

In a few minutes from now, the remains of hazing victim EJ Karl Intia will be interred at his final resting place.

I have not known Karl until his untimely demise. But yesterday, I attended the candlelight vigil ceremony held to honor the life he lived and the memory he left to those who know him.  From the testimonies shared by his mother, friends and his former mentor and teacher, Karl was trustworthy, hardworking and a responsible leader.  He loved his family dearly and was bent to finish college even as he had to take on a part-time job at a fastfood chain to augment his parent’s income.

Such traits evident in Karl, as well as his potential to succeed, might have driven the fraternity to recruit him.  Perhaps, Karl saw in them a relationship more than brothers.

But it was not to be.

A promising life for Karl has now gone to waste.

Awfully and painfully sad it is.

Why did it have to happen?

The question lingers on.  It reverberates in the mind and yet it remain unanswered.

As the great Timangkey said “We are on borrowed existence. And sooner or later we will have to return it. Let us enjoy the moment NOW, because the difference of life and death is just a tick of a second. We start our own death march the moment we are born.”

Indeed, there are lessons to be learned here.  Tragic as it is, we just might have to learn the lessons the hard way.

To Karl, may your soul rest in peace.  Amen.

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SCARrED

The lady doctor looked scared as she saw the wound, about the size of a one-peso coin, in my forearm near my left elbow.    The swelling has spread up to my wrist and is slowly getting towards my ring finger.

“How long has this been?”

“About three days… The swelling started about three days ago.”

Then a barrage of questions came by.

“How about the wound? How did it start?  When did it start?”

“About a week ago.  Starting as a pimple, which I squeezed. It worsened since Thursday with the swelling…”

“Why did you have to wait for days before coming here.  This one is very dangerous.”

“Have you had fever the past days?”

“Yes, Doc.  Since Tuesday, and I’ve taken paracetamol for it.”

“You’ve developed bacterial infection and it has gotten far. Have you taken any antibiotics?”

“Ahmmm. Amoxicillin, I’ve taken a capsule last night and another one before coming here.”

“You know, you may lose your arm if you do not see a doctor at once when you have something that needs medical attention.  Now, you need a debridement procedure.”

“What, doc?”

“Debridement.”

Then, I looked much more scared than the lady doctor was before.

I had the wound cleaned and then dressed. I declined and skipped the debridement procedure.  I am not yet married.  I don’t have a bride yet. But I want my bloodline to continue.  And I will have my bride!

postlude to “nakasulat sa mga tala”

“is it true that you can use stars like a map?”

“Yeah, if you understand celestial navigation.”

“Is it hard?”  I’m thinking maybe I should learn.  A backup plan, for all those times I feel like I’m just wandering in circles.

“It’s pretty jazzy math– you have to measure the altitude of a star, figure out its position using a nautical almanac, figure out what you think the altitude should be and what direction the star should be in based on where you think you are, and compare the altitude you measured with the one you calculated.  Then you plot this on a chart, as a line of position.  You get several lines of position to cross, and that’s where you go.”

– Quoted directly from Jodie Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper (New York: Pocket Books, 2009), 306.

nakasulat sa mga tala

Kaysarap balikan ang mga karanasan tungkol sa pag-ibig.  Maski anupaman ang kinahinatnan, maaalala pa rin natin ang mga bahagi nito:  ang kilig at kabog sa dibdib, ang alinlangan at pagbabakasakali, ang walang-patumanggang pagpapapansin, ang pag-antabay sa mga dinaraanan at tinatambayan ng napupusuan maging sa facebook at chat, hanggang magkadebelopan, sagana sa unli-text at tawag para lang makamit ang matamis na tugon, ang mga ngiti, ang mga yakap at halik, ang pagyabong ng relasyon sa patuloy na pagpapahalaga, pag-aalala at pag-aalaga, matingkad ang kulay ng paligid at magandang saliw na musika na halos ayaw mong tumigil mapaunlakan lang ang nararamdaman, ang kiliti at libog, ang pagniniig at pagiging iisa na ayaw mong magwakas, ang pananabik, paulit-ulit… Nakakaadik talaga ang pag-ibig.

Kaya naman napakasakit kapag hindi nagkatuluyan.  Yung ibinuhos mo lahat para sana magpatuloy lang pero hindi naging sapat?  Kung gaano kalalim ang relasyon, ganon kasaklap ang pagguho ng mundo mo.  Ang muling pag-usad ng buhay mula sa ganitong sitwasyon ay sadyang mahirap at nasa sariling diskarte ng tao.  May pumapatay at may nagpapatiwakal. Nakakabuwang nga ang pag-ibig.

Marami rin namang panalong kuwentong pag-ibig.  Maraming naging karibal si Nonong kay Lenlen noon ngunit namayani ang tunay na pag-ibig.  Si Lenlen ang bumuo sa buhay ni Nonong.  Sampung taon ang kanilang hinintay bago nagpakasal; tatlong taon ang lumipas, may dalawa na silang supling.  Sina Manley at Beth naman, may tatlo nang anak at magha-high school na ang panganay. Agad silang nagsimulang magpamilya pagkatapos ng kolehiyo. Nagpakasal sila sa simbahan ilang linggo pagkatapos ng Ondoy.  Mangiyak-ngiyak si Manley sa tuwa at galak sa kanilang pag-iisang dibdib na mag-asawa dahil matagal nilang inasam iyon.  Maraming pagsubok ang dumating at kanilang nalagpasan, kasama ang mga bagyong lumunod sa kanilang tahanan ngunit hindi ang kanilang mga pangarap.  Saludo ako sa kanilang pagmamahalan.  Sa pag-ibig, walang imposible.  Sadyang nakakainggit ang pag-ibig.

Kaya nga ako umaasang matatagpuan din ang babaeng magpapaapaw muli ng walang-humpay na ligaya sa buhay ko.   Parang magus lang.  

Ikaw, anong estado ng puso mo ngayon? Anu’t ano pa man, sana’y parati kang masaya. Dahil iyan ang nakatadhana.  Dahil iyan ang nakasulat sa mga bituin.