screw the status quo. we need change and we need it now. we need not a leader who plays with words and public funds. we need not a leader whose years of service fall under the 'fiction' category. we definitely need not a leader who knows nothing. we require a leader who has conviction, who has the guts to change the seemingly unchangeable. we need... to prepare for 2007. Now.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Happy Birthday, My Tender Heart!

I spent my birthday with the most special person I know in the world. This makes me the happiest person alive that day. Our birthdays fall side by side on the October calendar. When we were still college students, we used to go spending this day together, depends on what specific day we'll decide on celebrating it. Some years passed by and we went on separate paths, but this year, I'm so blessed to have this chance of having our ways cross again, even if maybe it'll just be at this point in time.

We had good years together, and this special day seem to have given memories of those years a shine that will never last. I remember spending this day in 1998 with him in Sunken Garden. It was a picnic, so to speak. We had a 'kumot' laid on the grass, some sandwiches and Coke on a picnic basket (yes! He was able to get a vintage basket, so cute!). But what I always go back to are the conversations that we had. Retrospective. Poetic. Prophetic. The type of conversation that you would perhaps hear if you'd talk to a philosopher or a counselor. The topics we tackled are reserved for that day only.

Three years, and only once a year we try to answer one simple question: "Are you happy?"

This year, we were not on a picnic, we were not in UP Diliman's Sunken Garden, we were friends who finally had exclusive time together after so many years of being estranged. We were sitting on a bench in the Baywalk area in Manila, looking and appreciating the beauty of the sun that seemed to be slowly sinking on the horizon. After some time of what they would refer to as "kulitan", I was the one who first blurted out the yearly question.

To which he abruptly paused, laid back, looked at the sunset, and simply replied,

"Yes."

Looking at him staring at the sunset, I noticed a smile on his face but not the usual shine in his eyes. As if he is missing something in his life that he had somehow lost from the years that has gone by while we were away from each other.

"What's wrong?"

"Huh?... Nah. Nothing, Katie. It's just that it's been a long time since someone actually asked me that question."

"And why's that?"

"I don't know. Maybe because as you grow older, you'd notice the world where you once so yourself as great starts to not care if you're happy or not."

"Yah. I guess so. The world becomes jaded as you grow older. But that does not mean you'll have to throw away what makes you feel young, doesn't it?"

"I used to have that drive. I don't know... There's something in the coldness of this city that make people like us so obsolete."

I have been all around the world, in many great cities where realism is the only factor that drives people to go on. Indeed, cities have no hearts- places where real sincerity exist are so rare you'd surely keep it once found. But I've been in these places and was able to survive because on one thing that I have always believed in- that there's someone out there whose heart is so strong it will never be smitten. I may be always away from home, but I've always thought I can always count on and lean on a friend who possesses both a strong will and a pure heart.

So imagine how it broke my heart seeing his eyes without the usual shine. But it made me realize why he looked so worn out since the first time I saw him again.

"I always knew there's something wrong. Tell me. What's been hurting you all this time..."

He looked at me, still with the gloomy eyes and the faint smile, held my hand, and said, as if to desperately attempt to throw my attention away from the topic, "If in case you see Aladdin's lamp floating nearby, what would be the first wish you'd have in mind?"

"Let me think... Maybe I'd wish that days like this would never end. But I'd still wish for that red Porsche car that we saw hours ago in EDSA."

"Nah. I'd wish I could hear other people's thoughts."

"Then there would be no more keeping secrets. Imagine how dull life would be with that kind of power. Playing games, for instance, wouldn't be possible. And you very well know the Truth hurts most of the time."

"Yeah. I guess so. But it's better than be hurt because of lies. You see, that's what make this city so jaded. Most people here are into cruel games- people see being true as a liability. Letting out true feelings, your deepest thoughts, your dreams are seen as weaknesses. This is no place for idealists. Or maybe, I guess... I've always had a weak heart, after all."

"No. But really, those are things that you learn after finishing Philosophy, I assume."

"I now know why you were so hurt when you went out of the limelight, Katie. You thought you'd be able to go through all the mud-slinging and lies just by being true. Then, you decided to just keep quiet. Then, later, you just quit and went out, didn't you?"

"Yes. Somehow, a big part of me was destroyed when I realized John Lennon's world is really not possible once you go out in the real world. But, I always thought you'd be able to live through life without having that heart of yours being stirred and shaken..."

"Well, I guess my sweater isn't thick enough against the cold breeze."

"Let me buy and send you one, then, when I get back in Singapore."

That night when we took separate ways again, I saw a man with a heart healing from the hurt that he had gone through during the last couple of months. I was part of why he had gone weary- he got so worried for me while I was dying a couple of months ago. I know there are lots of other things he's carrying right now and I know there's a deeper cut somewhere that he's keeping from me, maybe something that he'd want to take care of alone, as he'd probably be thinking that's the best way to deal with it. Though I know having him spend so much time alone in the city would be too much for him, I see a stronger heart though at it's weakest state. And I admire the one who possesses it even more today- because at this crucial point in his life, he's still able to inspire me to go on. I hope I've done the same thing for him, too.

Happy Birthday, my dear Tender Heart... I will be away again, but I will be back as soon as I feel from out there that you need me no matter where I am, as you were for me always.

1 Comments:

Anonymous guile said...

this is a really nice entry :)..

11:11 AM

 

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