Archive for August, 2007

h1

Elevators are evil!

August 29, 2007

I am fast chalking up horrors that shake up our tidy little lives. Five minutes ago, fear manifested itself in the eternity that I found myself in an elevator that got stuck at the 22nd floor.

On the brighter side, at least I got to push that alarm button for the first time and I ascertained for myself that the intercom works – in one of the swiftest conversations I have ever had – the one with building maintenance.

Funny how within the three minutes or so inside the Evil Elevator, all three decades of my life flashed through my mind. It was, yet again, a reminder of how fragile our lives are and how we should learn how to delineate between the things that are ephemeral and those that are eternal. His timing is truly impeccable. It’s a few weeks before I grow older – never mind the wiser part – and He decides to send me a message by suspending an elevator’s flight. Weird, it feels like it’s a brand new day with a fresh resolve to find purpose in this life’s pilgrimage.

Perhaps that darn elevator’s not too evil after all.

h1

A best friend’s wedding

August 28, 2007

A few months ago, I wrote about an amazing race of sorts between Joy, Ceres and me. (Anne, if you are reading this, I represented your interests. He he.) The race was to find The One – and make sure we have his ring on our fingers.

The race, for the moment, has been brought to a close. Joy found her Noli and earlier today, they exchanged vows before Judge Maceren at the Quezon City Hall of Justice.

My friends and I are witness to how strong Joy’s faith was in love – no matter how elusive it seemed to be. She has been through hell and back in her search. Through it all, she unselfishly took care of her lovesick friends – at times, even when she was already in deep pain – and continuously told us that somehow, love will find us.

The Joy I saw today was a woman who radiated pure joy. And my friend deserves nothing less.

Congratulations, Noli. Please take care of our dear friend.

h1

Dream boat/s

August 20, 2007

I had a date earlier today – first date, with all the funny trimmings that go with it.

Must be the “di na makatulog, di pa makakain” nights spent anticipating, but I was able to squeeze myself into an old Black Shop suit and a favorite halter top. These are clothes that I have not worn for the past year because of the weight I gained in Ilocos.

I rarely wear jewelry. Yet just for today, I borrowed a set of small pearl earrings from Mama. She was suprised since I always shunned all sorts of bling.

If only I knew how to put on make-up and fix my hair into something more dignified than a ponytail, I would have done so. Sadly, I don’t, so the face had to remain pale – save for a lip balm (pathetic me) and the hair had to settle for a few brushstrokes, nothing else.

I usually need a little over ten minutes to get dressed. Today, I wasted away an hour deciding on what to wear. With my very limited wardrobe, an hour is ridiculous.

I am a breakfast person but today I couldn’t eat and could not even down a glass of milk. Butterflies were afloat in my tummy.

Finally, when I arrived at our rendezvous, for the first time since my debut recitation in law school (June 1997, Persons and Family Relations under former PCGG Commissioner Ruben C. Carranza Jr.) my knees were trembling. Seriously trembling. My hands too – a first! The tremors were so strong I couldn’t even connect my laptop’s cables.

I was palpitating so heavily – I feared that I was so close to fainting.

Is this love? I wish. But no, today my date was with the clergy of the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia led by Archbishop Salgado.

If only they knew what a mess my nerves were! Imagine speaking before around seventy or so of the most brilliant – and the most dashing – men in Ilocos! (Will have to save the substance of the exchanges during the Forum for another post.)

Remember how we were repeatedly asked in grade school what question will be ask God if given the chance? I have one right now but I already found the answer this morning.

My friends kept wondering where in the world are the good men hiding. Men who can “smile away the thunder, kiss away the rain” (not sure if I got those lyrics right, my apologies). Men who we can talk to – really talk to – because in the twilight of our years, good looks and all that go with it would have faded and all we would wake up each day for is the companionship and conversation. Men with compassion and whose passions are for things far greater than themselves.

I found them this morning.

h1

Rediscovering The Corrs

August 18, 2007

Now that the car’s cd player is working again – but couldn’t read mp3 files – I had to scour through my brother’s collection for audio discs. I found this old cd of The Corrs – an album recorded from a live performance. Though long overwhelmed by music I hardly recognize, a single from the album reminded me how much I owed The Corrs for singing our songs. Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

Missing Lolong

August 15, 2007

I lost my paternal grandfather the other day.

I was able to visit him on my way back from Makati. I wanted to cry when I saw him at Lorma Hospital in San Fernando. He was so thin and appeared so weak. I refuse to remember Lolong that way. To me, he will always be the tall, dark, handsome man who raised eight children through his labors as fisherman and as farmer.

I miss you so much, Lolong. Both grief and guilt are keeping me company tonight. I am sorry I have not been around you as much as I would have wanted to. Papang told me that you were always looking for your Marilen whenever he visited you. I will not offer any excuse Lolong, for none would really be compelling enough.

It is ironic how we wander far to pursue dreams in the false assumption that our small triumphs matter to the people we love. All too often, it is too late when we realize that no success will ever give back moments that should’ve been spent with them. No degree or title will ever bring back the chance to kiss our grandparents’ hands or to tell them how much we love them.

Perhaps I have to blame you, and Papang, and my uncles, brothers and cousins for my restless heart. You have set the bar high for that one man. No regrets. I will not settle for anyone not in your league.

Rest now and goodnight, Lolong. Not goodbye. There are no goodbyes for the people we love.

h1

Requiem

August 6, 2007

Sad news from the UP LawList:

Atty. Jude Sudario passed away last Saturday, August 4, 2007 after battling cancer. He was a member of the U.P. Law Class of 2001 (I also remember him as an upperclass at the UP College of Business Administration), and Law Student Government (LSG) Treasurer from 1999-2000. He leaves behind Maris, also from U.P. Law (and a sorority sister) and two children. Please include him and his family in your prayers and best wishes.

His body lies in state at Chapel B, 2/F Arlington Memorial Chapels and will be transferred to Tacloban on Wednesday for interment.

h1

Pressure, pressure

August 4, 2007

I am madly preparing for a talk on August 20, 2007 before the clergy of the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia. “Consumed” would best describe my state of mind. Speaking before lawyers or students is peanuts compared to the ordeal that I will subject myself to.

Since high school, I have always had this conviction that the sharpest, most brilliant minds are in the clergy. The men who have left the deepest impressions in this spinster’s life are all priests, save perhaps for my father, relatives and a few good ones.

I remember Rev. Leo – who is leading an altogether different life now – and how he taught me to love the quiet, contemplative life. He was a deacon in the Parish of the Holy Sacrifice in UP Diliman while I was in college and before that, he spent his regency at Divine Word College back here in Vigan. I still have his letters when he was in Paris and in Togo. It sometimes feels like all of those were lifetimes ago, though. Still, he remains one of my dearest beacons, despite the vastness of time and distance that has continued to keep him away.

Back here, I always tell my friends that after a few minutes of flashing saccharine smiles, a guy should be able to say something. By far the most edifying conversations I have had are with men like Rev. Nick. Quite a tall order, I guess.

Argh. I am rambling. Pressure is really on. I read until 4AM this morning – just thinking about who my audience will be on the 20th effectively kept me awake.