Dahil 2015 na…marami na namang ‘magpaparamdam’ for 2016 Elections. Kaya eto…for the sake of wala lang, nilalatag ko na ang picture ko na malamang nasa 2016 na kalendaryo niyo.
Seriously, no. Wala po akong balak takbuhan na posisyon kahit sa pagiging Tanod. At utang na loob, WAG niyo iboboto sa 2016 ang mga nagpaparamdam na mga taong ganito. Hindi nila mahal talaga ang bayan. Papasok lang sila sa politika dahil at gagawin itong negosyo. Inilagay ko lang ang larawan ito dahil napansin ko lang na never ko pala inilagay ang grad pic ko dito sa Facebook. So sa mga taong naghahanap ng grad pic ko, here you go…
Ang bilis lang. Patapos na ang 2014. Sa totoo lang, wala ako masyadong alala sa taon na ito. Wala eh. Boring talaga. More than half siguro ng taon, nagtatago ako dahil sa Bar. Maliban sa pagtatapos ko ng kurso ko, pagkuha ko ng Bar at pagkakaroon ko ng isang tunay na trabaho, wala na akong maituturing na “highlight” ng taon ko. Boring, ‘no? Kaya naman puro tanong lang ang naiwan sa akin.
Gayunpaman, nagpapasalamat ako sa taon na ito lalong-lalo na sa pamilya ko na binigyan ako ng walang hanggan na suporta; mga kaibigan ko sa pag-intindi na wala akong gaanong magawa sa kanila ngayong taon; sa Pamantasan ng Silangan sa pagtuturo ng lahat ng kinakailangan ko para sa bar; at sa mga katrabaho ko sa Kagawaran ng Repormang Pansakahan sa pagtulong niyo sa akin.
Isa na lang talaga ang hinihiling ko ngayon: hindi na sana muli mangyari ang 2014 sa buhay ko. Ayoko na danasin ang lahat ng sakripisyong iyon. Ayoko na ng pakiramdam na pinuputol ko ang sarili ko sa mundo para lamang sa pag-aaral. Gusto ko na ng pagbabago. Gusto ko na makatulong sa bansa para sa ikabubuti ng sistemang panghustisya. Gusto ko na rin na tumulong ng malaki para sa aking pamilya.
Kaya naman sa lahat ng Bagong Taon, ngayon ako pinakanasasabik. Sana nga lahat ng pagbabago na hinihingi ko ay matupad sa 2015. Hindi na rin ako bumabata. Sa darating na taon ay dalawampu’t pitong taong gulang na ako. Kaya naman parang awa niyo na…isama niyo lagi sa dasal niyo na maipasa ko ang Bar Exams.
Bago ako matapos ay sana, wag lang pansariling bagay ang ihiling natin ngayong taon tulad ng sana magkapera o pumayat. Hilingin natin ang mga bagay na magiging kapaki-pakinabang tayo sa kapwa natin tulad ng sana mas masigasig ako sa pagtatrabaho, mas habaan ko ang pasensya ko sa pamilya ko o sana mas galingan ko sa pag-aaral ko o sana mas maging mabuting Pilipino ako. Ito rin ang taon para laliman natin ang pananampalataya natin sa Maykapal. May nabasa ako na iniisip ng tao na magiging masaya lang siya kung siya ay magiging matagumpay. Pero ayon sa isa pag-aaral sa larangan ng sikolohiya, baligtad raw dapat. Magiging matagumpay lamang ang isang tao kung maligaya siya sa ginagawa niya. Kaya para sa lahat, ipinagdadasal ko ang kaligayahan niyo ngayong taon. Manigong Bagong Taon sa Lahat!
P.S. Hindi ko ito inilagay sa Facebook account ko pero may isa akong resolusyon: na makapagsulat ako ng marami pa sa susunod na taon. Patawarin niyo ako sa hindi pagsulat halos. Maliban sa abala ako ay hindi ko alam kung saan magsisimula pagkatapos ng Bar Exams. Hanggang sa susunod na taon!
This Sunday was one of the very few moments in my life where I saw my father cry.
My father is just any ordinary guy. His emotions are quite transparent but let me qualify. He does not hold back his joy whenever his favorite sports teams win nor does he hold back anger whenever I screw up. Neither does he hold back annoyance especially when it comes to his every day exploit with the human sardine thingy popularly known as MRT.
Nonetheless, it’s different when he is melancholic. He is usually silent. In pain, too, he does not complain. He actually had allergy attack this weekend but he didn’t complain at all. It’s only then when my mother brought him to the hospital wherein he thanked her because he wasn’t feeling well anymore.
What’s up with guys and bottling up their emotions?
Nevertheless, this Thursday morning, I woke up feeling a little strange. When my brother and I went down to eat breakfast, our house helper announced that our Uncle Dodo had passed away.
Well, we showed the initial shocked. But, deep inside, I was kind of pleased when I learned that he passed away. He is now finally in the arms of the Lord without pain. He battled cancer for five years.
Jose Cesar “Dodo/Jo” Capa was a Brigadier General and a member of the Philippine Military Academy Batch 1960. He became my uncle because my father’s eldest sister, Auntie Cristing, was married to him since her early twenties and now she’s nearing seventy years old. Uncle was dependable, clever and seemingly stringent. However, he is very pleasant when it comes to children. He often makes as laugh. He could be a joker too. I recall on how poker face he was when he told me as a young girl of about five or seven years old, that he was as white as I when he was younger. However, he ate squid and he became dark-skinned afterwards. He looked serious that’s why I believed him and I never ate squid for the longest time. (Unfortunately for the squid, when I tasted it again, I was already disgusted with its taste, hence I barely eat anything squid except those occasional calamari).
He loves nature, spicy food and sleeping soundly after eating. He is so strong and tough. He is indestructible —until cancer came into him.
Five years ago, he went on a camping trip with his grandson, Meiji. He accidentally fell and his knee swelled from that trip. He ignored it but after several months it was still hurting and it seemed that it is not at all getting better. He decided to go to a doctor and he found out that the simple lump on his knee is actually malignant. Worst, the cancer cells had spread in his lungs already. The oncologist essentially declared that he has lung cancer. However, it was still a mystery on how he’d actually acquire that awful disease. He did not smoke at all. He wasn’t a drinker either and he was even very fond of sports and exercising. He is the least of all the persons in the world that I’ll ever predict on dying because of lung cancer or any cancer for that matter. Maybe, they told me, that because of his work as a soldier, he got exposed to notorious war chemicals when he was in Germany or Viet Nam. We can never know now.
However, tough guy as he is, he faced the battle of cancer head on.
I don’t think there is really someone really robust when faced with cancer. For five years, no matter how tough he is, I saw him slowly being devoured with cancer. Cancer slowed his walking but that didn’t stop him. He still went to trips and was still an excellent driver. When the typhoon Ondoy flooded their house, he strengthened himself and even drove his family to safety despite the fact that he could not barely walk upright. But after that, he rapidly weakened again. He really cannot support himself anymore so his walker and cane was replaced by a wheelchair.
But we folded that wheelchair way too early than expected. One day, he was just rushed into the hospital and my other uncle, Uncle Ding, who is a very good pulmonologist and was also one of his attending physicians, announced to us painfully that the cancer spread not only to his lungs but also towards his bones and its marrow and has affected parts of his brain. Uncle Ding told us to get ready because at any time, he might say goodbye us permanently.
From that point on, I saw Uncle Dodo like a quick-melting candle. We do not see each other much but every time I see him, something changed in him. The cancer cells on his brain really changed his lucidity. It seems like he’s a different person from time to time. Sometimes he knows me; sometimes he looks at me as if it is the first time that he ever saw me. Sometimes I could still talk to him; sometimes, he does not respond to anyone, his eyes were just staring blankly into nothingness. Sometimes he is extremely quiet; sometimes he is just wailing of the unendurable pain especially on his bones. Sometimes I am talking to an aged, wise man; sometimes I’m talking to a child.
And ultimately, he turned into a child. The strong, feared and integral soldier had become a helpless, feeble and dependent infant. He wet his bed all the time and my auntie, who is also old and weak, would not be able to survive without his personal nurses. Somebody must always check on him not only to clean him up, but to feed him, calm him down if he breaks down and place his diapers properly. I admire my auntie for being devoted to him completely all those times of his suffering. She is also similar to his authoritarian way, barely crying as well. However, she shared to me that she cried when he told her not to fret much on him because, according to him,
“I’m never going to be normal anymore.”
In the end, he could just be seen inside of his room sleeping with oxygen tank on. Doctors advised my auntie not to continue with his chemotherapy anymore because the cancer cells had already spread across his body and it’s only hurting him more because it severely affected his bones. Some medications were just provided to him so that pain may be eased, but of course those medicines won’t cure him anyway. It frightened me a lot when auntie told me,
“Pray for Uncle Dodo so that the Lord may take him peacefully, so that he won’t feel pain any longer.”
How strong my auntie was in trying to accept that she might not see him again, tomorrow or the next days or the next months ahead. What is life and death? I wonder why we, human beings, understand that sometimes death is really the best way for a loved one to escape pain and suffering yet we do anything in order for that person to survive. When is letting go proper? Why do we feel sad when somebody dies when we all know that we will all be succumbed into death someday anyway? I feel all depressed on his passing but I had no words on how to exactly build my own feeling.
May 19, 2011. Uncle Dodo breathed his last. That was about 6 in the morning. He was 74 years old. My cousin, Ate Maricris, told us that the night before was different. His jolly nurse was not himself at that night before and he revealed later that he could see my uncle’s soul roaming around the room. Whether that is truthful or not, my cousin and auntie told us that something strange occurred that week. Both of them felt or heard he was calling for him but of course he wasn’t. He was too weak that he cannot even sit. The bond of a husband to a wife or a father to his daughter is stronger than most of us assumes.
March 20, 2011. I saw uncle in a white casket. He seemed to be alive; the only difference is he is not. I love all kinds of flowers, but on his wake days, I hate seeing all of them. It gives me no comfort rather it depresses me seeing how some of them wilt. It reminded me of the brevity of life and that no matter how beautiful and vibrant a flower is now, it would also wilt.
March 21, 2011. Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t able to reach his necrological service. I was dead tired of my regular nine-hour class. My account on this day was based only on their stories. One of the persons who delivered her speech there was my aunt, Auntie Lou, who is also a sister of my father. She said,
“He was more than a brother-in-law for us. To us, he is also our second father.”
Hearing those words from my mother, who was present during the necrological service, I now understood the tears of my father. I often wondered how Daddy became such an amazing father who grew up with no recall of his father except of his voice. Daddy was only three years old when his father died. My grandfather was the then mayor of our little town in Magalang, Pampanga. He was seeking to be reelected then but he never returned. It was September 16, 1953. Years later, my auntie got married to my uncle who, coincidentally, celebrates his birthday on the same day. Since then, he acted as father-figure to all of my auntie’s five younger siblings. He is commanding yet very supporting.
It’s just now that I’ve realized how important he is to me. It was because of him that I have such a great father.
March 22, 2011. Noon. We said our final goodbyes to him in Libingan ng mga Bayani. It’s quite an experience not only emotionally but culturally. It’s really quite amusing seeing someone from the military given final respects. There are bands and marching from the men in uniform. There were also some gun shots for him and his casket was brought by a carriage. The sun was brightly shining that noon—perhaps it was his way of saying that he’s in a better place and not to worry about him. When friends and family were called, I could not find my father so I went with my mother, sister and brother to look at his body for one last time–poignant moment for all of us. We were shedding tears as we walk back to our chairs and then immediate family was called to view at him one last time. My aunt, my cousins and their children walked in slowly. The sadness drawn on their faces were unbearable even if they had long readied for his passing. I only lost an uncle but I couldn’t help myself from tearing up because of anguish so I just could not presume their agony of loss in losing a husband and a father and a grandfather. I found it amazing that Daddy was with them at that time, quietly grieving as tears slide down his cheeks.
That was a tender moment about Daddy that I could not possibly forget.
We may never see uncle again but perhaps in afterlife he is pleased that he lived a full life. He was a good husband, a doting father, a loving grandfather, a loyal friend and an honorable soldier. I now give my final salute to you, Uncle. You’re now free from earthly, unendurable pain and suffering. It’s time for you to walk in the Kingdom of God happily. You deserve it because of your goodness.
Today, May 21, 2011, the whole world laughed or sighed out of relief that the world did not come to an end. It did not make any sense anyway as Revelation 16:15 says that it would come like a thief. Obviously, now one in this world knows when or where he would be thieved. In talks about end of the world just let go and let God. Only He knows when our time would come and nobody, not even the angels, knows about it. But whatever happens, always be ready to face our end. We’ll all die sooner or later anyway.
Frankly, I did not care much about this day anyway. I have way too much things to do today because of my 9-hour Saturday class. All the subjects are wrapping up today and truthfully, I didn’t study much. My uncle died last Thursday which was more of a relief for me and his immediate family because we couldn’t bear seeing him battle helplessly against cancer. Anyway, life went on for me today and before I knew it, I was already at the bus stop heading for home.
I thought that it would be a very peaceful night so I even attempted to write poetry on the bus. However, I couldn’t do it so. That bus driver was one of the leeches of this society. His driving skills were extraordinary. The feeling was you were sitting down inside the MRT and the tracks were of slithering snakes in the wild. There was a point wherein I was thinking that I might see myself in the next minute being carried on a stretcher because of serious physical injuries no thanks to that driver. And then it struck me—what if the world, or at least my world, would end today?
Perceiving and understanding that you were about to die is actually harder than I thought. There were little things in life that you would begin wondering about like if you die now, how would you returned the books you’ve borrowed. You would then forever wonder how Glee Season 2 would end and if Lauren Alaina wins American Idol next week. Then, you would contemplate on your final examinations next week because you would be curious on how you’d fare on happy-times-turned-spent-on-studying-times instead of maximizing the fun and bum moments this summer. After that you would think on all your friends whom you promised to meet after your exams. The stories and gossips that you were dying to tell them now would all be buried with you in your grave in case you die today. Then you think about your family on how you’ll disappoint and sadden them. You would think about your brother and how he always exclaims on how fat you are but likes lying on your tummy when he has time. You would miss that and miss the moment wherein you’d see him happily announcing you that he passed his college entrance examination. Then you would remember your sister who would also be graduating next year. You feel that you already miss her now because of how dead tired she is every day from on-the-job training because you hardly talk. Subsequently, you would recall your parents. Their dreams for you to have a prosperous and rewarding future as a practicing lawyer would be futile. Your wishes for them like treating them to an out of the country trip would likewise be futile.
And eventually you would think about yourself.
Twenty-three years and thirteen days. It was such a long time for me yet my existence is nothing mere like a match spark on the span of Earth’s existence. Did I really prove anything on this world?
I want more time and I need more time.
In those moments that you feel like dying, you would see that not much excitement had happened in your life. You were born and then you lived like an infant then a toddler child. After that, you see yourself as a four-year old fetched by the school bus driver to a nearby school from your newly-built house. Since I was four, I never looked back. I studied pre-school, elementary, high school, college and now I’m in law school. Nonetheless, not much had changed. Your parents are still pretty much the same when you were four and now that you’re twenty-three. They are consistent on protecting you and asking ninety-percent of time about school.
What am I doing?
Eventually, I’d thought of my ultimate dream. I’m guessing that you’re thinking that I want to be one of the well-known lawyer or a judge or pretty much a rich person. Those choices are partly true. However, what I want to be really in the future is to become a very good mother.
Hence my lawyering plan is just a part of my master plan on being a very good mother someday. I want to be an independent superwoman who is pretty much respected in the society, an advocate for change yet at home I could just be myself with my children. I want to raise them with values, help them do their home works or maybe have fun doing stuffs with them in the kitchen. Of course, I’ll be a wonderful wife first to their father whom I’ll support and love in every single way possible. I would love him enough for me to have great sex with only him every day. I’ll probably be more inspired doing things I love more on this world because of him but once we have our children, he has to bear with me on loving them more than I love him. I want my children to be proud of me and always be thankful to have me as their mother.
I just love children. Their laughter is water to my soul. Actually, I really want to become a preschool teacher now weren’t it because of the time constraints of law school. If ever my first plan on having a family of my own won’t materialize on the future, I’ll probably open a foundation for children—perhaps those children who are cancer-stricken. I’ll also devote my life as a family lawyer. I’ll find children on orphanage their rightful parents who would love to adopt them and have free arbitration sessions with couples who have children so that they won’t push themselves to annulment as the children would be the ones severely hurt. I just can’t bear seeing broken families. It breaks my heart, too.
It amazes me how that tough ride with that bus driver made me come up with an idea on how I would continue forth in life. Now that I learned how to die, I want to live more. 😀