Ani ni Oble: Nasaan Ang Saysay?

Isa ako sa mga iskolar ng bayan na nakatalaga rin naman na tumulong balang araw para rin sa bayan, nag-aaral sa kilala at malaking pangalan na pamantasan. Madalas, ang tawag nila sa akin ay Isko. Tunay, matunog at malaki ang pangalang ito na kung sa usapang kalye ay dalawang titik ang tema — U.P. — Unibersidad ng Pilipinas. Utak at puso raw. Marahil. At isang napakalaking karangalan para sa akin at kung kanino man na matanggap at makapag-aral dito kasama na siguro sina Margaux at Celyn.

Nung minsan nang biglang maglagalag at mapadpad sa harapan ng Kolehiyo ng Sining at Agham kung saan doon nahihimlay ang wari ay skulptura ng isang taong hindi ko kilala sa personal habang malugod o pilit na tinatanggap ng tenga ko ang mga katagang: “neseye ne eng lehet” mula sa mga taong nakakasalubong sa pagpunta rito. Kilala siya ng karamihan (‘yung skulptura at hindi ang kumanta ng nasabing kataga): siya si Oble, ang hubo’t hubad na skulptura na kilalang isang simbolismo sa Unibersidad ng Pilipinas.

Sa sobrang init na dala at dulot ng araw pagkat parating na naman ang summer kung kailan uso na naman ang summer fling at paglalasing (para sa akin, pero hindi na ngayon), kaya hindi agad napansin ang kakaibang pagbabago sa Oble Park (tawag sa feeling park na lugar na ‘yun). Sa halip na magtaka at isipin kung ano ang nawawala, umupo na lang ako sa isang bench mag-isa, at nag-aral (oo, nag-aral ako noon).

Hindi nagtagal, nakaramdam din ng umay ang pwet ko sa mutual relationship nilang dalawa ng bench kaya’t tumayo ako para umuwi na nang biglang napasigaw ako sa sobrang gulat. Pinagtinginan ako ng iba pang mga estudyante na nag-aaral rin sa Oble Park. Yung iba naman ay nagpatuloy lamang sa pag-aaral, marahil kasi akala nila na HUM 2 lamang o SOSC 1 ang pangyayaring eksena. Alam ko na kung ano ang nagbago dito, ang pagkukulang: wala si Oble sa dati niyang kinatatayuan at mayabang na ipinagmamayabang ang sup*t niyang ano. Nagtaka ako kung bakit ako lang ang nagulat sa pagkawala niya kaya’t nagtanong ako kay ate na wala namang spark nung kinausap ko. Matagal na palang wala si Oble dun, nagresign na pero di niya sinabi ang dahilan. Kaya’t lumapit ako sa lugar kung saan siya dating nakatayo upang malaman. Mabuti na lamang at nag-iwan ng note si Oble (english pa! wow ha!):

In all adherence to the fact, we all know what had happened to your fellow Iskolar ng Bayan who have had just killed herself by drinking a silver cleaner fluid by her incompetency to pay her duly semestral tuition fee. Albeit, some says it was due to her parents’ quarreling agenda. Some says it was both. Despite the reasons behind her death, I extend my deepest and solemnest sympathy to her. I believe that it was not just her family’s perplexities that cause to rise her distress and a disclosure to end his but dear life, it has something to do more about the system, Truly enough, the system took a huge part for taking the life of this aspiring UP student along with her towering dreams, never again to be felt; never again to be heard; and never again to be seen; but will always be bethought of as it marked new epiphany to the myriads of Iskolar ng Bayan.

Now, may I formally ask where the sense of the bearing of my solely naked body is? May I, moreover, remind you its purpose — freedom. Where is each students’ freedom to acquire an almost free, if not entirely free, education? What kind of system is a system that kills its own possession, let alone, an asset?

I highly hope that one life is enough to clearly demonstrate the flaws of such systems; and unless until my questions are answered I will not be back as another piece of the administration.

PS. Rest in peace Kristel Tejada.

-Oble

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Infinity

Inspired by John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars

I am

alive but feeling like dying;

although, you don’t know what it’s like

to feel like dead when you are living.

That is who I am.

That is what makes me —

a living corpse with

my dying will.

Inhale more phalanxifor,

take in a lot of pain killers

only to realize you are just living

in a dream, but if it is

a dream, I would gladly wake up.

I am

rather dead than alive,

but living with such

a fatal illness.

That is who I am.

That is what makes me —

a dying living with

cancer

I wonder, though, if I could

make it to the end of this poem

because I am but a

Also seen here.

The Great Corner: Parting Ways

So this is what it feels like, when you feel infinite.

I probably should have already gone north today to the university I was going to after the weekends, but I did not, because it was a holiday. It would only take me two and a half hours for me to get there, anyway so I decided I’d go there tomorrow, albeit my classes starts at 7 o’clock in the morning. I am fond of it. Really.

So, holiday – I spent most of my time today in front of my computer doing nothing, I guess, to mislay the boredom I was feeling. My usual routine – check my Facebook; check my mails; check some tweets of some anonymous people, friends, and artists I follow in Twitter; watch and listen to some music videos in Youtube; read blogs – clichéd my everyday life since summer. And by the way I was reading a book, The Summer of No Regrets, and I wonder how I found myself reading such. It was a love story, and I cannot and do not want to call myself a fan. It was also about lies and the likes about love for which in the book’s cover says: “What happens if you fall in love with a lie?” But anyway, it has nothing to do with this, so I might as well drop it.

As the hands of the time still round the clock, the day was becoming a pain in my arse. It’s a good thing the weather was great – wasn’t humid, wasn’t sultry, just great – because I was planning to take steps outside. I do it a lot when I feel lonely. But it’s not that I am feeling lonely today, I just feel like it. So I took a bath and looked for some clothes to wear in my drawer, and found a discolored red shirt, almost worn out, and a short short. I remembered I have already brought most of my clothes in my dormitory, and all that’s left were those I don’t usually wear because I kind of feel like out-dated when I wear them. But I did not have any choice but to wear them; I only planned to walk not beyond the subdivision we live in, anyway – but to my surprise, I found myself riding a tricycle going to the poblacion (a Spanish word which means “a town inside a town” said my History Professor). I cracked a smile and thought: it’s really nice to apply things you’ve learned from your Professors.

The sun was already setting when I was disembarking from the tricycle, and honestly, I have always admired the horizons, and the colors of the sky, and how the rays of the sun strike through the densities of the clouds. The sun setting, and before long the stars would appear and shine above us.

“How valuable are the stars to you?”

I don’t know, but it was a moment when I realized I was with my friends, and took me another moment to hear what he was asking; then, another moment for me to grasp it. He was asking how important the stars are to me, and I couldn’t find an answer. It was nothing the same as answering a hard and objective question in a lecture or even in a recitation class where you and your nerves aren’t just in a good term, and all eyes set on you – tonight it was just my friends and a stupid question; nothing more, nothing less.

“I don’t know.” I always say that, ending the conversation. But the real thing about friends is that you both never get out of things to tell and talk about, it would just go randomly off of your mouth, and boom! Another conversation has started. We did that over and over across the deepening night, not minding its profundity and the fact that I have classes tomorrow and needed to wake up at 2 o’clock predawn to travel miles from my hometown to my school. Well, whatever, we were still enjoying the night while playing Uno cards and talking about all the random stuff that had happened along with our lives since we all parted and followed the careers we chose and we wanted. Funny, how I smiled to myself and thinking, missing the fun and all during high school days, but now it’s over. Anon, this moment would be over, too.

Come 11 o’clock in the evening, we decided to take the roads to go home. Still, all the random stuff surround us as we walk, and this friend of mine who had asked me about the stars was bragging his blog. We were already turning to a street where in the end we will all part ways and I remembered a quote to myself: “When I walk alone, I want to reach the end, but when I walk along with a friend, I hope it would never end.” But all good things must end, and the better thing is I have felt one of the best feelings I have ever felt – when my friends and I part ways but still wear a smile on my face thinking maybe when this could happen again, and not worrying because I believe we were certain about one same thing: that we will see each other again soon, and again, feel infinite.

Behind The Words I Sing

Para kang asukal

Sintamis mong magmahal

“I think… you still have no idea. The effect you can have.” (Suzanne Collins, 2010) – but every time you look at me; the way you stare and smile at me; those text messages you sent me; the nights in the phone when you talk to me; the things you promised me; the things you gave me; the things you forget to tell and give me; that day when you said you need me – tend me to wish I could not get Diabetes mellitus. You are perfectly sweet even when you do not utterly show it.

Para kang pintura

Buhay ko ikaw ang nagpinta

Fifteen months have passed, and we’re still here holding on to something. I am not exactly sure what that “something” is, though. But I know there is certainly something, because you light up my day with just single letters formed into words, and arranged into sentences and phrases, and magically into painted scenes on canvas. Perfection, that is how I’d say it as is. Your soft hands and special fingers create such pulchritudinous sights into my being.

Para kang unan

Pinapainit mo ang aking tiyan

You’re needless of any effort whenever you walk by, or even the times you don’t see me looking, and as as well when I pretend to be looking for something or someone when I only wanted to see you, to summon butterflies in my stomach. There’s no doubt you are a professional breath taker.

Para kang kumot na yumayakap

Sa tuwing ako’y nalulungkot

Funny, the day you told me you’d be with me at times I feel lonely, but the merciless fate never gave us that time. And just as all my hopes are gone, I found myself sitting next to you as we both take the roads to our houses after 1:00 in the morning. It was then I realized it was the loneliest scene in my life (so far). As the hands of time runs perversely, it’s becoming harder and harder for me to say good bye. For a moment, I was happy. The next thing I knew, I was lonely again.

Kaya’t wag magtataka

Kung bakit ayaw kitang mawala

Remember when I asked you: “Can you come along with me in the future?” I know it sounds corny, but I did, perhaps, just for the hell of it (but it wasn’t that I am being phony or anything). You said it is up to me. If that’s the case, I wanted to keep you forever (if “forever” really exists). But in the end, the choice is yours to make.

Kung hindi man tayo hanggang dulo

Wag mong kalimutan

Nandito lang ako

Laging umaalalay

Hindi ako lalayo

We were about to fall, not more in love, but apart. I hope you know my chest hurts every time I’ve come to thinking about us falling apart. But I spent my days trying to learn the art of loving unconditionally, and unrequited love. I have managed to do so, so far. And my chest hurts less now. I love you, still, unconditionally.

Di baleng maghapon pang umulan

Basta’t ikaw ang sasandalan

Tuesday night, in some obvious way, it was raining hard. Really hard. I was riding a bus on my way home while we were exchanging text messages as I tried not to pass out in the middle of the way because the weather had been lousy on me that day. It made my insides more dizzy, dangling, ziggy and zaggy. I nestled my head on the thick glass windows of the bus imagining maybe it was you. I think I felt a drop of tear rolled over my cheek – left cheek exactly, and I have made myself believe in a quote saying when your tears first rolled down from your left eye, it is probably because you are feeling pain, otherwise, happiness – as I listened to this song which makes me sad, and only worsen the feeling, because you were upset.

Liwanag ng lumulubog na araw

Kay sarap pagmasdan

Lalo na kapag nasisinagan ang iyong mukha

Ayoko lang magsawa

Hinding-hindi magsasawa sa’yo

You are the reason why I like to stare at the silent stars at night, the same reason why I love to see the horizons when the sun rises and sets. I took a picture of the sun setting one afternoon on my way to the mall. It was beautiful, like you, I guess. The silhouette it makes on the clouds floating above the mountains and the mountain itself, as well, was just so beautiful. I wondered why and how I never get tired of them, just as everyone asks why and how I could never get tired of you.

Bahala na, ayoko munang magsalita

Hayaan na muna natin ang daloy ng tadhana