Thursday, September 16, 2010

Only Begotten Son

A Short Story
By Joel Aba The sun is brightly up but though the night is over, continually, he believed, it still is…

Something inside Dindo urged him to do this every day – seated alone in a small bench under a small tree, in a dark brown, wooden table with bottles of beverages around. It was late afternoon. Just breathing the air crushes his heart while he seated consciously. He looked up on the leaves of the coconut tree – the resilience of it and the movement similar to the ricefields pierced him inside. The sway of leaves caused by cold and turbulent afternoon air drew a line of tear from his eyes. Now Dindo drinks the last bottle on his table.

The market place near him is a place fed with laughter, deafening horns of buses, dirty talks and chitchats. Gossips are all around, and Dindo, having infamously known for his life’s story, has no escape.

“That guy is into so much disgrace!” he heared from a corner.

“He’s cursed,” he heared another unfamiliar voice from that corner.

He shifted his eyes to them, yet he can see nothing but blur, and black shadows covered their image. Dindo tried to extend his legs and fight, yet his legs are weaker to even stand up. He leaned his arms on the table and bowed his head down. Now, Dindo dozed off.

The marketplace in Sitio Guetra is a place where Dindo finishes 8 bottles a day. 8 bottles are enough to doze him off and momentarily be relieved from an earthly hell. Alcohol is Dindo’s only resort to ease his burden.

But something urged him to do this every day. A not-so-distant past urged him to continually infuse his body with the devilish spirit of alcohol in his resolve to forgetting what he has done, and to somehow burn the reminiscences of what fate did to his seemingly ill-fated life.
Now, Dindo’s life is a continual struggle of forgetting and burning memories – memories of people and places.

Love of Two/Vail of Tears

Feet walked fast. The movement is brisk and every step showed strength – like that of a man whose only work is to labor day and night. His feet showed precision as he trailed the mud to his small home. The ground showed footprints as he walked briskly alongside the ricefields where his home is seen from afar – in that scenic beauty atop a hill where the sun feeds light in the dimming afternoon.

He knew that today will be, again, a day of celebration. Dindo will see the woman of his life, Sheena, the pretty Ilocana woman with red lips, bashful eyes, and sweet smile. Her moves caressed every man’s dream, and Dindo, being the most masculine among her suitors before, achieved a sure win.

Dindo’s ecstatic feelings over her grew more and more in their 1st year together. However, heaven did not bless them a child – sadness that though engulfed Dindo and Sheena, they have accepted wholeheartedly. Both knew partnership can still be built despite Dindo’s incapability.

Every day is love. Dindo, will arrive home from all the day’s work in the ricefields. With his dirty hands from work, Dindo peers in a hole in the kitchen and suddenly surprises her with a hug from her back... every single day. Such monotony did not bore the couples for more than 365 days from their marriage.

But today seemed different.

Dindo placed his vintage bicycle that his father gave him under the shed of the small tree right beside their house. He slowly walked through the kitchen where he’d usually peer and surprise his wife. He waited for two minutes, yet, his wife did not show up. He gently opened the door and looked around the house. There was something different. He knew there was something wrong.

Dindo hurriedly moved the cloth that covered their small kitchen and there, he saw Sheena, lied down on a mat in the floor, seemingly lifeless.

Dindo knew the tragedy of his wife.

In the hospital’s alley, the doctor faced Dindo and tapped him in his arms. Dindo’s hands shook and his breath were deep. His hands held grip the corner of the chair where he was seated. He was voiceless yet fiery. Fierceness is within him and suddenly with his fierce fa├žade, tears flew from his eyes. It was as if heaven clashed with the seas for Dindo. There he knew, from the words of the doctor, that his wife was carelessly raped.

The Blood of the Fields

It seemingly took no minute until Dindo came home. In his very eyes were revenge and all he needed was to see the person who threatened yet scathed he and his wife’s lives. His face reflected his rage. Again, he trailed the ricefields, more hurriedly this time. His heart beated faster as he walked looking for the man. His feet even slipped into the mud of the ricefield, but he never cared. His body seemed to numb and everything seemed oblivious to him at the moment.

Dindo slipped his right feet again, as he trailed the pathway of the fields.

There, for a moment, a special memory of his life took the scene. Reminiscent flashbacks came to his vision- the site, the fields, the dimming afternoon. He remembered his childhood days – the days he slipped his foot to the mud of the fields. He remembered how he struggled to get his feet off the mud covering all his feet when he was 8 years old. He remembered himself cry, and at that moment, he can feel the tears of a child in him. And there, he remembered his gracious father who held him on both hands.

He remembered how his father taught him to watch his steps. He then remembered the good old memories were his father had to trail with him at that exact place, and everytime he slips his foot from the pathway, his father would rescue every time.

Despite pain, he shifted focus from the luster of his memories to his revenge.

Now the moment is set, he saw the man walked down the hills down to the ricefields that afternoon. The man walked fast with his luggage hurriedly yet carefully evacuating their place. But the moment froze for him when he saw Dindo from afar, looking straight to his eyes. It was dimming all over the place, but his mind and eyes see only the person he cursed.

Both their shadows met. Dindo ran towards him, but the man only stood helplessly as he saw Dindo running fast towards him. He must have prepared his self for this time – the time of the utmost revenge. He opened his arms, succumbing to his fate – yielding to his death.

Now that Dindo came near, all his fears and fury were mixed up, and a powerful stab greeted the man on his chest. The man laid helpless in the ricefields. Mud and blood met. The mud covered half of his body. The surroundings - the ricefield - are now in darkness as darkness stole his life.

For his last revenge, Dindo placed a sharp stab again to his neck. His hands were cold, while his sweat and tears met together.

Dindo never knew exactly - in his present conciousness - what he had done. Never knew what exactly happened. Dindo took his drastic revenge. And the man finally laid to rest and now buried with his blood to the ground.

When Fate Sets

Dindo paid the price. On the 12th month, Dindo was temporarily freed after being bailed.

He tried to live his life just as he wants to. He goes to Sitio Guerta, a kilometer away from their village to drink and unwind. He finished 8 bottles a day, and burns memories on that dusty and noisy marketplace. People shoo him off, degrades him. Yet he never cared.

The tragedy and the pain of living with reality is something that urged Dindo to do this every day. He seats alone in a small bench under a small tree, in a dark brown, wooden table and finished it through falling asleep.

But both partners still built another house on a hill, near a ricefield. There, after sleeping in a few hours, he saw Sheena sleeping, with an infant in her arms. He spotted the child first and he smiled to them. Tears flew from his eyes.

He walked slowly… slowly to her bed. The streaks of light from the window pointed them that bright afternoon. The lightness that engulfed the room also made him felt light inside. It was a day of change and forgiveness. There, he held the baby from the arms of her wife as if the life of the child was his. He looked into his eyes, and the image of a baby’s smile greeted him.

It felt lighter for him. He knew there is a connection that builds him and her wife’s son. He looked at the child, and smiled. He has never been happy before. He kissed the child and held him tight.

After all of these, he promised to love the child as if it were his. The child may not be her son, but the child was of his once-loved father. Seeing the sun, he remembers him and felt the pain of losing a father who rescued him in the ricefield.

From then on, promised to love his brother as his only begotten son.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fragranced Past


Fragranced Past
By Joel S. Aba

Has there a way out from your fragrance,
I would rush out and go
Where there’s a chance to meet
A celebration of the unending serenity

Out there, I would hope
For forever, eternal riddance
From the intoxicating fragrance
Where life breathes no longer,
Away from a piercing scent of past

Against hope I would hope
This soon will fade
In the dimmest of the dimmest
That fragrance I smell will spur no memory
Of that seeming everlasting love

A love that’s trampled in Hades
A love that I would hope eternally
That in the recesses of the soul
like the harvested fields,
the descending tone of songs,
the burnt books,
the death of mosquitoes,
the amnesia of a mind,
the spoken words,
the deflowered and dying ones,
like the parting of seas in Testaments
it would end, part, torn, everlastingly

Mourning should come to end
right now
Senses should identify no more
reminding me of that delicate scent
pointing a gun to my heart
where trigger may pull down and cause my death
In this gripping memory of you

Oh, keep me away from the fragrance
That even when you ain’t seen it’s still near
Nearer and nearer yet I dread,
like troubling waters
like the crash of winds
to the bending of bamboos that stays resilient
By time… I stand, breathing

For today, I would close the lids of mine eyes
yet still breathe
Hoping that when lids open again
in the light of day,
I dwell no more
in that only remembrance of you
And free you, my fragranced past.

Copyright, The NORSUnian's Handurawan 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Winds of Solitude

Winds of Solitude
By Joel S. Aba

I chased the winds that follow you
clinging to the ends of every strand
that dashed toward the still waters of the East
moving briskly towards an unknown end

I chased the winds that follow you
It moved through pristine forests and seas
And in ominous roads, tunnels, and cliffs
It turned me bruised as I clung

I chased the winds that follow you
The sun fed my unquenched spirit to follow
In turbulence I clinched in both hands
Pushing against the devastating force of the rage

I chased tightly to the winds that follow you
My life moved against the inevitable
My tears flew swift behind the shadows
That even the shadows constantly wished to set free

A louder call of the East reverberating
Have caused the wind to move swiftly and go
I tried to chase the last strand of the winds that follow you
Yet the strand of the wind has gone out of sight

The pasture of change cushioned the fall
The sun was up, yet I see nothing but darkness
Solitude wrapped the inside of my bashed spirit
And the brokenness left me nothing but empty

In this cruel fate I stood bold from the fall
Like how the horizon brings the sun back to life
And in stride I walk back to my lost, true self
Back to the self where I truly belong.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Worth of A Battle

If there's ONE THING i want to change instantly other than to let somebody come back to me, would be to cut off my OJT, and transfer to another site with this reason: While on my way up to the seemingly insurmountable boondocks of Valenica, the nature - everything around me cuts within, seems to splice my heart into pieces as some reminiscences flood down my brain stems. I've cried my heart out. AGAIN, and again, and again.

Well, work hours at Energy Development Corporation could be easily described in two words - drifting, dragging. We didn't have enough work to combat drowsiness, with the chill from cold air conditioner, switched to the lowest temperature - just as cold as how she feels for me.

This is indeed a mellow drama. My dramatically excruciating battle to win somebody back again also seemed to me as a war of my thoughts versus my heart. It was the most not-as-easy-as-it-sounds heartbreak in my life, that literally ceased my world's turn. My life stopped and i felt the need of picking up my broken self on the floor. The pain of picking my broken self down made me believe that I've expected and invested emotions toward one person all that much.

After days of battle, emotional oppression and debacle, i ceased the long fight. I laid my cards down, i threw the ball off the court, I stopped running the race in the oval, I smashed the dice, I laid the joystick down - i QUIT and shut the game off.

Just like a real-life battle, losing it was not easy. I was scathed and felt abandoned - my life brought me back to the hell i once was.

My life went on, on a different pace. I was treading on a new, changed, and different life. I still wake up early to wait for the company bus to fetch me, and like as it always was, i have no enough work to do.Finally, I bumped on a chapter of my my two-year old book entitled, "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" in an unintentional and unplanned reason.

The chapter entitled, "CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES WISELY" built up my life quickly back again, that i finished reading the 100-chapter book for only two days. I read the lines, LIFE is filled with opportunities to choose between making a deal out of something or letting it go, realizing it doesn't really matter."

Lines like "Ask yourself the QUESTION, 'Will this Matter a Year from Now?'" opened my eyes into the realization I never expected myself to value so much. I realized that if I don't want to "sweat the small stuff," its critical for me to choose my battles wisely. If I do, there will come a day that I'll rarely feel the need to do the battle at all.

After everything, i closed the book on its 100th chapter and realized how much wasted effort I've invested but lost... BUT THEN, "the battle, indeed, was not worth fighting for."

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Straight or not Straight?

Below are two pictures. The first one was taken sometime 15 years ago. The second one was taken December 2008. Don’t be duped! The first picture isn't me. It’s my brother Germano Aba, now 30 something, working and living apart from our family for about 11 years now. He is probably the only person in the world who has the closest facial profile with mine (except Joe Jonas, of course) that even my neighbors and grandparents often makes me a misnomer. Worse, even my parents erroneously call me with his name in some of our conversations.

(BEFORE AND AFTER? 1980's vs. 2008 - two decades now, and I'm still young. hehe..)

But this doesn’t drag me up to my insecurity even when my parents, sisters and relatives often tells me that "Manong" was more handsome than I do. lol. I love my being me, even if there’s someone who apparently looks like me 15 years ago! =)

But just so you k
now, he’s 5’9 in height, Silliman University CBA cheerdancer in the 80’s, FU Cheerdancer of the same decade, host and public speaker, vain, hot guy (according to cousins), barkadista, cream-of-the-crop – and yes, Gay (No, not the cross-dresser guys, just the so-called “discreet”).

As a matter of fact, he’s living with somebody. Together, for almost 10 years now, they both own a small business with a computer station in Manila – and happy. My brother goes to his work in Quezon City, while Ike, his partner, takes charge of the business at home.

You may ask, why am I getting these issues out about someone who has caused degradation and shame to my family?

This is actually my first blog that talks about homosexuality… and this seems so interesting. Well, months ago, I was tasked by the publication to write a column on gender issues and sexuality. While typing down my thoughts, it flamed my concern with how homosexuals these days are insulted, and emotionally abused by people who have less understanding of their kind, and who have less concern for their cause. Scribbling information, I couldn’t think less than my brother who has now recovered out from the discrimination of other people during his college. He even had girlfriends then, jived with tough guys, had musculinity all over, etc... etc... But as for his experience, suppression of what is innate in one’s sexuality only causes more confusion and frustration. That time, my brother chose happiness rather than the torment of living with somebody, and facing the consequences of a suppressed life.
Now, his story also reminded me that not all men who look very straight, not all men who jive with men’s bandwagon are straight guys, as the magazine says, “Straight man is the new gay."

There are even a lot of them, whom I secretly know anyway, still does the same thing with what my brother did – jiving with guys as much as they could to cover too soon what has become, well, in many instances, an obvious and dubious act. These gays have not gone out of public rather, suppressing themselves in the boundaries of being man.

I am not discriminating those who try to be unnatural to cause others to think the other way. The fact that these kinds are also discriminating those who get “out” or the “confessed discreet gays,” makes me and some people raise eyebrows. Worst, they never know that people are already talking behind them.

To combat these, those people should know the rule of living a life: Be who you are. My brother never have had to be "womanized" to live a life he wished to. Let it out, but live a life accordingly. With that, just like my brother, you will get the apt respect you needed.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Vegetarianism and Animals

I bumped into this hilarious picture which is said to be posted as cover of a magazine sometime ago. It has the caption, “IF YOU DON’T BUY THIS MAGAZINE, WE'LL KILL THIS DOG!”

I guess its only a lampoon issue of the magazine, as written, so I was quite relieved that it was really not intended. But seeing the photo with the gun pointed on the dog's head gives me another thought or view of the picture - that it actually HAPPENS in REAL LIFE - in the streets of Project 2, in Quezon City; in Cebu, even in Tanjay! (LOL)

Humans could be this bad. Below is the photo.

There have been many people raising up against the unethical treatment of animals around the world. As a matter of fact, I know alot of them. Some, even encouraged me to join too! But the challenge isn't as easy as it sounds. Bearing the membership, or the name, "vegetarian" (those who are not into eating meat but veggies for the sake of either loosing weight/being healthy or pathetically, to lessen the "animal crimes"), demands the challenge of being a lifetime pro-vegetable, anti-meat!

Pero Pinoy ako eh. I eat meat and chicken like most Filipinos but still entertains the possibility that someday, I could survive eating fish, milk and rice the whole time, not only for the purpose of keeping myself fit, but to really stand up for being PRO-ANIMAL!

I have a number of friends who have actually stood up on being a vegetarian. A friend of mine, Mark, is a Vegan. My Bacolodnon foster Ate, Ms. Megan Villanueva is a pescatarian, PLUS, she has survived this far without the presence of coffee in her house, or anywhere else!

But for those intrested like me, we should be carefully eductated with the nature of its course. Here, I've pasted the 6 most popular and leading types of vegetarians in the world:

A Pescatarian is occasionally used to describe those who abstain from eating all meat and animal flesh with the exception of fish. Flexitarians are those who eat a mostly vegetarian diet, but occasionally eat meat. Vegans do not eat meat of any kind and also do not eat eggs, dairy products, or processed foods containing these or other animal-derived ingredients such as gelatin. Other types of vegetarian diet include Lacto-ovo Vegetarian, Raw Vegan, and Macrobiotic.


But know what, I find the vegetarians who abstain from eating meat for the sake of saving these animals pathetic in clinging on to what they believe because whether they win a thousand of people who would follow them and their beliefs, still... a huge number of people around the world shouts for meat.

It's 7:30 in the evening now, my tummy is half empty, and starving. And just like them, in my mind i see some meat served on the table when I come home from this office. uhu. Mukang di talaga pwede! =)

-Royalty Bisyoso

The Spirit of Christmas, and Friendships

It's Christmas time almost, and I still can't find a time talking about significant and readable stuff on the net yet, until I finally get things done at school. Well, my week was utmost fine and my comrades and I are quite happy of the more specific "course" we have at school this time. From the name "management student," we now call our selves with this seemingly long tag, "Bachelor of Science in Business Administration major in Human Resources Development Management student," for a more specific title, as amended by CHEd National.

But these photos you're gonna see aren't about my school stuffs or about the shitty I've just told you, but about our wacky and absolutely fun outreach program in Friendship homes. Photos with the children coming really soon.