Sunday, October 10, 2010

Like a Butterfly

We were all once a cocoon and in every one of us lies a beautiful creature... Spread your wings and FLY...
Photos courtesy of Ebenezer Dominguez

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I Almost Forgot

Dumbfounded, I was about to bite my lips but my jaw dropped. If there's someone willing to get in, certainly, it's not me. They didn't pin me down but rather put me there where my right to decline was overlooked. An excuse is a "no" in disguise so I tried to make an acceptable one. But before I could unlatch my lips to utter my sweet escape, all needed materials were laid in front of me. "Get ready" , my teacher said.

I could draw shapes and lines but with complete honesty I never thought of it as a legitimacy for competition. The class has limited options or rather no options at all to pick for the representative. On my fifth grade in school, all I wanted was to join a Science quiz bee, not an on-the-spot poster making contest. So I asked myself, "Why me? Any other living organism?"

The truth is I didn't feel bad, I felt shy. I entered the room with shambled feet. A lone empty chair was waiting for me. With my white cartolina (white thick paper for sketching) laid flat on the spatial table, the competition began. Just in time my mind went blank. If I got nothing to start, what more do I have to win?

I harrased my imagination, that's the term you use if you force anything that is not ready. The theme for the poster making contest was about garbage segregation and I was afraid that by the time it ends, the austerity of my piece would make it fit for a trash. Well, then, I should know it's non-biodgradable.

If it's about garbage segregation then I thought maybe I could start with something clean and cozy. Trash cans with labels, people wearing a kind of smile that I don't. With pencil and colors, my left hand began to work.

The awarding came like a bad weather - you know it's coming but there's no way to stop it. To lose was long since anticipated. It was uncomfortable not because I had hope to win but because the awarding was just an explicit way of letting others know how hapless I am by not mentioning my name.

The host began to call names...

Drum rolls...

Okay, as if I have exciting next to say. Of course, I didn't get the 1st place. But with my eyes popped out, I got the 2nd place. Initially, I took it as a joke but when they asked me to be on stage, it was then that I realized they were serious. My prize? An Avon bag filled with art materials, huge enough to carry me home. I just couldn't believe it...No, not the huge bag, I mean the 2nd place. You might think it's more exciting to have an iPad as the prize, but as a child who appreciate little things it felt like I won a lottery. Anyways, I was just a fifth grader by that year 1995 and to wish for a gadget which was not yet invented is too ambitious, I went home jubilant.

Pulling my self from the past, it's been so long since I last slumped on the floor and draw with my pencils. My hand is even getting stiff when I do the conventional way of handwriting. And I strongly believe that computer keyboards should be held liable for that.

My hand at work

When life changes its course, so do your priorities. From my passion that lost its fiery, I had constantly admired people having the skills that I don't. And from my own frustrations, I turned out to be a proud fan. As for now, I'm happy seeing my siblings nurture their gifts. Here is one of my brother's masterpiece that keeps my eyes on it. Created through charcoal pencil.

He's into details...

I hope I had developed this much skill...

It was one of the chosen few posted by their professors.

I'm no longer the kid who joins poster making contest, no longer the one who usually sharpens her pencil. But art will always be a part of me. I will always admire creative minds and skilled hands.

With so much comparison to my brother's work, I'm just like that dog on my sketch - failed to catch. Haha. But I knew that no matter how you turn your back from some things, they will always be part of you.
Well, I guess...
There are things that you almost forgot but you will never forget.

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Short Message

It was four days ago when I received an email from other part of the world. Though it was a short message, it turned out to be compelling. It made me realized how long I've been far away from home (blogosphere) and reminded me of one thing I love.

A message from a co-blogger...I've been rocking myself to get back, I even disabled one of my online pages so I could pour more time in blogosphere but then spent most of it thinking where would I start.

Oh well, now I just started. :)

Replied. If only I could send hugs as an attachment.

I'm back to the place of diamonds.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

At 60

Not knowing where to find it, I approached my father.
“Pa, have you seen the flashlight?” He gave me a blank stare which means I had to repeat my words.
“Pa, the flashlight, have you seen it?” I rephrased.
“You’re looking for the plies?” He responded.
“No Pa, flashlight, I’m looking for the flashlight. You know the one you use when it’s dark?" Then I had to act with my hands as if I’m holding one.
“What are you looking for?” He asked with creased eyebrows. I almost give up.
“F-L-A-S-H-LIGHT Pa,” I spelled, teary eyed.
With the newspaper on the chair, I picked it up, rolled it like a cone and from the smaller hole I bellowed.

Seeing my full effort, father laughed at me and the most appropriate thing I could do is to laugh with him. By then I got the answer needed. He just turned 60, the age for a privilege of 20% discounts as a senior citizen and 50% hearing deterioration. These are the days when megaphone becomes a necessity.

I’ve grown up with a father who gives dedication to his job. For so many years of working, I once asked “Pa, how many times have you been late?”
“Once” He answered. It amazed me. It’s amazing for someone who’s always late in school.
“Aren’t you tired of what you’re doing? I mean, doing the same thing over and over?”
“Sometimes, but that’s how I could make a living, I’ve known the ins and outs so well and it’s much harder going back to zero.” That explained well. So I guess nothing could be tiring for something you love.

As a child, I always look forward for Saturday, the payday when father is expected to bring bags of groceries. Dangling sound from the key chain on his bag would be our cue. “Papa’s here!” good news cascaded. All of us would rummage through those groceries and ask for a penny to buy candies but there’s one condition, someone has to prepare him a cup of coffee.

If my mother is a ferocious tiger, my father is a meek sheep. That disqualified him to be the disciplinarian. He’s the most patient person I’ve ever known. A father who went through a lot of disappointments and burdens but never held grudges. You could easily tickle his bone, an incurable giggler. He loves chocolates and my Aunties would tell us how he would fight over a piece of Chocnut when he was a kid. He hates Philippine government as much as local movies. He loves music but rarely sings. He hardly remembers all our birthdays so he keeps a record of it on a piece of paper. Simplicity is his middle name.

So time came when we no longer hear the key chain’s dangling sound. Father won’t be late again, at 60, he went through retirement. He had left the job he loved. I felt his fear, not about having no regular compensation but about doing nothing. He’s not used of being idle for a long period of time. It’s like work-home-work-home and then suddenly he had to adjust to home-home-home-home. It’s not going to be that easy. I would remember those few nights when he’s asleep and I would tiptoe downstairs handling ensaymada (a sweet bread with butter and cheese). Carefully, I would unzip his bag and slip the bread into it. The next day he would ask who put it in his bag and I’ll just prompt the question “How does it taste Pa?” Then he knew it’s me. Sometimes it could be a piece of apple. But now, that bag is just hanging over the door knob and I hoped I could have slipped a lot inside prior to his retirement. Slip things more surprising than ensaymada or a piece of apple, like a crawling crab or a turtle maybe.

He began staying at home, became abreast of the latest shows on TV, enjoyed playing with his grandchildren and spent more time chatting with neighbors. One afternoon he called my name and handed a familiar silk cloth. He didn’t say a word. When I sprawled with my two hands I took aback, father stitched my bathrobe which was torn below the armpit. I stood still asking my self “How many fathers on earth would be willing to stitch his daughter’s bathrobe?” So I guess I’ll be the first one to make statistics for that. I don’t have the figures yet but my father is counted.

So we had plans for him, we can’t let him sit there because we know that’s not him. Treating him like a King is something that won’t make him happy, just a cup of coffee will do. The plans went through, father is now busy. He thinks, he moves, he earns. Doing it lightly and we’re always here keeping track and backing up.

As I wrote this post I had to leave my computer for a while. I stood, passed to my father’s bed and stared to his face with traces of wrinkles where his smiles usually rest. I’d like to hug him but I’m afraid that will wake him up. Just like other fathers, he has shortcomings but those are not enough for me to stop adoring him. So all of us will always have a new chapter in our lives. The age 60 is good one because challenges and blessings never stopped from old age.

In his deep slumber, he has no idea I was writing about him. But I’m not sure if he has an idea how much I love him. If given a time I utter and let him hear those words, I would be more than willing to spell it...a million times…

Regards to your father. :)