Monday, October 26, 2009


Does the heart think to understand the mind? Does the mind feel to empathize with the heart? Or will they go against each other 'till only one overrules?

When the mind gives up, the heart still goes on.
It's over. After all the was said and done, the mind finally curtailed all positive reasons for the heart. But the heart knows no reason, it may know but ignores. The mind sets when enough is enough and adherence is a rule. But does it matter for a heart that perceives things immeasurably? One against the other. Don't they know they just share the same misery?

When the heart chooses to drift away, the mind goes against the tide.
Directions are there but the sense of having it was lost. In the sail of life, there are times that mind and heart can never be the same as wind and wave -two elements dancing harmoniously till it make a complete thud against the shore. Who's handling the compass? If one does, how accurate is it? Will you let the mind determine the right course? Or will you let the heart go to the course that seems right?

When the mind owns reality, the heart lives with a dream.
How close is reverie to reality? The mind shrouds the heart with reality but the heart resists to embrace it. Dreams are like bonfire that keeps you warm to survive the cold night. But reality is creeping underneath your bed , quivering the surface, creating tremor of doubts until your eyes are wide open. Truth, why do we escape from it like fugitives despite the adage that it will set you free?

When the heart has so much to remember, the mind starts to forget.
Just when you thought that only the mind could remember, the heart holds on good memories. It was as if the blood that pumps through the heart as it throbs. Good memories heaped into the tall shelves but the mind grabbed a ladder and began to pull everything out. Have you tried to run away, lurk behind or even hope you could evaporate just to forget? Is hurting thyself more bearable and a form of preparation for a much painful truth? You hurt yourself, but what if by doing so, you might just hurting someone else?

How do you fool a foolish heart? How do you outsmart a shrewd mind? How could emotion let you feel yet dumb most of your senses? When logic hampered the way to happiness then how would that make sense? An outstretched soul between two forces dragging each other. Anything more frustrating than that? Is life too complicated to simplify? Or is it too simplified that we just make it complicated?

Once, a deranged soul asked...

In the battle of heart and mind, who shall prevail?

Friday, October 02, 2009

When Nature Strikes

September 26-27, in the wake of Typhoon Ondoy (Typhoon Ketsana -international name).

Cuddling her 3-year old son, the mother put down her belongings and sat beside me. Her husband left them to save their daughter from possible danger. On their way to Marikina City, they left their residential place to save the family from flood only to find out they were heading to a more flooded area.
Slouched in the corner was a college student who had been sitting silently for hours . I initiated a conversation. She left her school to purchase materials for a class presentation and when she's about to go back, the University was surrounded by flood. All her personal belongings including her money were left at school. Unfortunately there's no way for her to go back.

Sitting between them was me. I left the office at 4:00 PM to make my way home. Jeepneys and buses stopped their operations. In lieu of the usual path, I took a different route. But whichever route I may take, I'm trapped. Main roads were already submerged into flood. Vehicles were not moving and there's no way to leave the place but for me to fly. It was lucidly impossible to go home. I was handling my niece's mobile since mine was recently stolen but due to poor reception, I couldn't make a call to let my family know where I was.
We were three of many people stranded at Katipunan LRT station. I didn't make it to Santolan Station, the last station. There was an announcement that it was already flooded. Passed 9:00 PM, my stomach began to grumble. Most of the stores were closed and I was fortunate to have the last order of tuna sandwich. I had my dinner. It was 11:00PM, we were still slumped on the floor. I tried to keep my self awake by reading a book that I always carry in my bag. Then I played with the 3-year old kid, we talked though the only word he kept saying the whole time was "daddy". The hand of the clock reached 1:00 AM, my eyelids turned heavy and the kid slept with comfort wrapped by his mother's arms. I took off my jacket and used it as a blanket. Never in my life that I imagined myself sleeping at a train station in sitting position. From time to time I had to wake up, other than the uncomfortable situation, I was hoping things will get better. It was 5:00AM , vehicles began to move but a walking turtle is much faster. The college student began to cry, she doesn't know where to go. She was able to call her father and after learning that her family was fine, the line got cut off. Her father told her to go somewhere else, their place, Tumana Marikina City was already engulfed by flood. She had no money for fare, not a single penny. I don't have much cash that time. With 100 pesos in my wallet, I handed her the 50 and asked her if that would be enough. She was reluctant, wiping her tears. "Come on, take it", I said with a smile for her not to feel shy. I took her hand and tucked the money in. We exchanged names and said goodbye.
As I struggled to make my way home, Typhoon Ondoy continued to devastate the Metro Manila.

Photo courtesy of ABC News Australia

Photo courtesy of ABC News Australia

Photo courtesy of ABC News Australia

Photo courtesy of ABC News Australia (Reuters: Erik de Castr)

Photo courtesy of ABC News Australia (Reuters: Erik de Castr)

Photo courtesy of ABC News Australia

From Santolan Station, I had to walk few kilometers to reach Sta. Lucia East Mall . It was still dark, the road turned to a field of mud. Private vehicles were abandoned, no streetlights and there, on my way was a flood. I could see the other end of the road and it seemed feasible to pass through. The water was below my knee, I began to stride. Trucks also began to move and from the motion of its wheels waves began to form, it was coming to my direction. I had to find something to clutch on, if not, my exhausted feet will helplessly let me plunge and I'll swim like a frog. Thanks for that sturdy tree.

I reached the other end where crowds were swollen. People spent the night inside the mall. I had to stay under a waiting shed. I leaned on, covered my face with my jacket, closed my eyes and unknowingly slumbered. When I woke up, I was still with the same volume of crowd. I had to ride in a cargo truck where I and a friend bumped with each other. We have almost the same story. My friend recognized her neighbor who was a truck driver, we transferred to a 14-wheeler truck. A field reporter was roaming around, I ducked in to make sure I won't be interviewed or captured by the rolling camera. I have no plans to let my self seen on TV miserably like that and yes, I'm a camera shy.

My usual 1 1/2 to 2 hours of travelling time was off -the-record. It took me 22 hours to get home. After all I'd been through, I couldn't complain much but to thank God I was safe.

For all the victims of Typhoon Ondoy, it took my heart out. I pray that resilience will take over and everyone can start again. Life goes on.