Conversations: Wish Love Divine

EXT. MOUNT PAHIMAKAS PEAK – NIGHT

Pitak Darang struggles to stay afoot after a hideous week-long trek. She is just in time to be a witness, again, as the moonlight strike layers upon layers of boulders at the peak, channeling her to the heavens.

Pitak is transcended to a place all in white. It is a misty jungle with white trees and white birds. A rushing river can be heard.

Pitak Darang

(ferociously screaming)

Bathala! Reveal to me the atrocious monster that you are. You have done me evil.

The young babaylan abruptly kneels, covers her ears with both palms. A painful buzzing pierces through the air, inflicting great pain to young Pitak. An orb of light formed out from the thick haze, almost pewter white, glistening and brilliant.

Bathala

And what have you become, dear Pitak? How dare you scream at your god?

Pitak Darang

 (screaming out of pain and frustration)

You can never hurt me enough, can’t you? You took it away from me!

Bathala 

Calm your heart. I won’t pipe down the deafening humming unless you do!

Pitak takes a long, deep breath. And slowly, as if it is forbidden, she hushes until the river’s clashing eddies is the only thing that can be heard.

Pitak Darang

You took it away from me, him. He was all that I have had. My entire breathing. And you cruel monster killed him, the both of us.

Bathala

But are you not the one who was so fervent. You prayed for this love, dear Pitak.

Pitak Darang

If this is love, I do not want it. Divine Love, in my dreams, is nothing near this hurt.

Bathala

(booming in an annoyed baritone)

Then this pain is by choice! Divine Love is what you want! You said it yourself! All of my children are granted with great volition, and you chose this.

Pitak Darang

Then why does Divine Love hurts so much?

Bathala starts hovering through the white jungle, following a trail of white boulders to the river. Pitak, follows him. Bathala flutters through mid-air, faltering to and fro like an albino santelmo.

Bathala

Because it was real.

Pitak Darang

Was it?

Bathala

Of course. This is your Love Divine. A chance to be healed. From pain we realize how much we’ve given. And I’m glad you’re hurting.

Pitak sits by the river bank and dips her feet on the crystal waters. She looked at her distorted reflection on the water, ripples smudging her lips, she cannot tell apart if she’s smiling or not. She realizes how much Love Divine changed her.

Pitak Darang

I needed no healing, at the first place. Is it because I gave it my all? Is that the reason this pain is almost unbearable? You sure are some shitty divinity.

Bathala

I’ll pretend to never have heard that. But Love that is divine heals. It will take away all the pain, eventually. Your love, oh so divine, will come back my Pitak. Pain is prerequisite to pleasure, always.

Pitak Darang

But why? You cannot just give love and take it whenever you want. That is pure evil.

Bathala

Trust me, Pitak. I can.

The orb of light that is Bathala, circles the young babaylan. In mere seconds, Pitak is covered with spirals of light, sucking her out of the heavens. In a blink of an eye, she is back at the boulders. Now, all that she have to do is wait.

This is a mere experimentation. I’m not sure if this shit can be counted as a decent script. I really do know nothing about script writing (in other words, ine-echos ko lang kayo). Hi hi hi.

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Semi-malagkit na Heartbreak

mapaglaboy ang mga segundong magtatamang-titig,
kayo nang iniibig
ito ang danas na ligalig ng kaba.

may salamangka ang pandama sa oras;
humahaba, humahaba, humahaba
ang pagitan nang paghinga 
at pirming kasambuhay na ang makapos.

mas nakakapanindig ang dagliang init,
kaya pipihit ka palayo sa ningas,
ang siklab nito'y kapahamakan
at lubos kang bubot para masaktan.

ngunit pamumukulan ka nang dayuhang tapang,
pipiliting huwag matakot mapaso o kapusing muli,
mangangahas nang ikalawang sulyap
"'pag tumingin ka, akin ka" ang hain mong sugal.

may salamangka ang pandama t'wing naghihintay;
humahaba, humahaba, humahaba

ngunit hindi na siya muli pang tumingin,

hindi na.

Hindi Ganoong Kalinis ang Immaculada

at dahil hindi kinagisnan ng lumbay
ang ganitong layaw,
tinalikuran nito ang udyok ngumiti;
kinagat ang mga labi; pinilit ang ngumiwi
nais nitong suplingin ang kasukdulan
ng bagot at takot o
- sa ganitong pagkakataon -
ang sakramento ng unang pagsiping

mababaw ang hilik ng buwan,
maaari pang akitin

banal daw ang manatiling mapagtimpi;
sagrado ang magpigil kung nanggigigil;
sa t'wing kikislutin ng kati'y
magbanyos agad ng panalangin sa Immaculada

ngunit sadyang mahirap itago ang humaling;
mahirap kabigin ang mga labi
kapag nasimulan na ang apoy
(maaaring bunsod nang bagong almirol na abito
o ang kalis na hinagkan mo)

silahis daw ang banal na San Jose,
hindi tinablan ng alindog ng Birhen

at ang laway ay nagiging gaas,
pinagniningas ng husay; pinag-iibayo;
pinaaapoy ang birheng katawan
nang nagbi-birhen-birhenang pagnanasa

kukulo ang libidong hinango sa kulob
(nangangasim na't nagbabadyang maging paumbong)
at malilimutan nito ang taimtim na debosyon
sa Immaculada, sa Birheng Maria, sa sinumang
santang umaastang mapagpigil at matiisin

nakalimot si Padre Damaso sa sinumpaang lumbay,
hindi kinaya ang pangangati ng hayok n'yang laman

at handa na nitong isuko ang lahat-lahat:
ang katawan, sa unang pagkakataon
ang puso, sa 'di na mabilang na pagdiklap

hindi nito ipipikit ang mga mata;
kasalanan ang kumurap sa oras ng paghahandog;
kailangan nitong masilayan ang katapusan ng lahat;
sumugal kahit patungo sa higit na walang katiyakan

pati ang Bathala'y nanginig sa gayuma ni Maria Clara,
maagang kinuha nang makasiping at makasama

at kung anumang banta ng hapdi,
ay magmamaliw
pangontra-kaba'y katwirang mapaghilom ang pag-ibig

- magpapanggap na ito'y tunay na pag-ibig;
magpapanggap na ito'y 'di lamang pamatid-uhaw;
'di lamang pamatay-oras at kati;
'di lamang panubok sa tapang -

kaya habang kinakabayo ng sabik, nagkunwaring umiibig,
nagpaubaya ang taglay na lumbay sa udyok ngumiti

ngunit impit pa rin ang mga ungol
dahil dakilang kasalanan pa rin ang mag-ingay sa kama

maligalig  ang mga ulol na mestizo,
ama ng laksa-laksang panganay na bunga
ng mga birheng sansaglit pinuta

kapag tahimik na't wala ng langitngit,
tanging kuliglig ang ingay sa langit

at tapos nang tumirik ang dapat tumirik,
tatalikod itong muli,
dahil hindi nito kinasanayan ang ganitong layaw

magbabanyos ng sarili gamit ang tubig at dasal,
hihilurin ng luwalhati, Sumasampalataya at Ama Namin ang katawan
aasang sasama sa biyaheng poso-negro
ang lahat ng limahid ng paghahandog;
lahat nang maluridong pinagtampisawan

Santa Maria, Ina ng Diyos
patawarin ninyo po kaming makasalanan
ngayon at kung kami'y magagawi
ng kura sa parehong daan

at ang pirming lumbay ay babalik sa debosyon,
muling tatanganin ang rosaryo't ibubulong
ang misteryo,

na walang makakaalam,
walang makakaalam kundi ang Immaculadang napoot
(marahil, dahil sumalangit na birhen)

Padre, ang paghahandog ko ba ng sarili'y
katibayan ng pag-ibig?


see, those were just satellites.

so there's no need to hold your breath
for a wish
for just a speck of light, it is
steadily hovering across a cosmos so black
hope only gets to be a dot
a tiny, white dot

its engineering won't do magic, so calm
your frantic heart;
that rocket-fueled heart
those bony fingers, unclasp them
take your sweaty palms away from its praying stance

        and don't chant a dream just yet
        don't blame NASA (or the Soviets), and i'll bet
we will hold hands
for that is not too much too ask
just after we tear apart tonight what appears to be stellar.

your so-called 'chance'
was neither shooting
nor a star

after all

we were just strangers too drunk to get a room;
too drunk to get each other's name;
and above all, too hopeful

          but that we will kill without pausing for air

for the more we scrape ourselves
off of hope,
the stronger we become

and there's no wishing well, not a single star 
(which, by the way, is actually a comet paying visit)
that can preserve or perverse whatever this is

we are not wishing for forever, though

we just wanted to stay where we are

but that seems to be never enough,

simply.

 

hindi lahat ng nawawala ay naliligaw

‘Yan ang kailangan  mong matutunan. At kung paninisi sa mga tikbalang ang tanging nasumpungan, huminto. Ibaba ang hintuturong dumuduro, kagatin, maglakad palayo. Dahil anumang hiwaga ng baryo ay ‘di sasapat sa dahilan ng kawalan. ‘Wag mong ibunton sa mga lamanlupa’t alamat ang puwang sa ‘yong puso, Patawad, ngunit kailangan mong malaman na hindi obligado ang mundo na punuan ang kung anumang kulang sa ‘yo. Hindi pagbabaliktad ng damit ang sagot; ang babali sa kung anumang ilusyong nagpalayo sa kanya; ang iyong pangontra-kulam. Ang solusyon ay pagbabalik sa wisyo. Alalahanin ang mga pangaral ni Ina, iyong sinasamahan ng marahas na pagsabunot sa patilya at kapwa marahas na pagpingot. Ang dahilan ng madalas na pamumula ng punong tainga, waring hitik na hitik sa bunga, nahihinog sa pamamasa. Dalawa ang dahilan ng lahat ng ito: Una, dahil tamad ka raw maligo. Ikalawa, dahil hindi ka raw marunong maghanap. At palagay ko’y  ‘yan ang totoo. Mahina ang iyong panagap. Radar sa mga napaglingatan. Hindi malaman kung saan naiwan o nailagak. Hindi matandaan kung saan huling nahawakan, inibig, pinakawalan. At mawawalan ka nang ganang pumag-ibig.

Iba ang mga naiwala mo noon: Kabiyak ng tsinelas, hikaw, medyas. Kapareha ng sapatos at kung anumang kubyertos.

Iba ang mga tanong mo ngayon: Kailangan ba ng kabiyak para maging mahalaga? Kailangan ba ng kapareha para maging buo ka? Kailan ba tayo makamamaybay ng mag-isa?  Hindi natatakot tumahak ng landasing nagsasabing mag-iisa pa rin tayo. Kailangan ba ng ikalawa para magkaroon ng silbi?

At muli, matutulog kang may nawawala. Namumula ang magkapares mong tainga. Luluha ang magkapares na mata. Manginginig ang magkapares na kamay. Mamamatay ang walang kapares mong puso. Yuyukom ang mga palad, mahigpit na mahigpit, pipikit. Mananaginip at sa panaginip ay mahahanap mo na. Sana. Ngunit gigisingin ka ng multong lumbay. Dadalaw sa t’wing gusto, husto sa pagbisita ng walang pasabi. Bubuksan nito ang pinto. Hindi na ito bago, kababayan mo na ang kaba’t takot, magtatago ka sa lilim ng lungkot. Ngunit susubok pa rin. Susubok palaging hanapin ang kung ano o kung sino mang kabiyak nitong puso. Ang pupuno sa puwang. Patlang-patlang ang paghinga, hindi magtama ang tibok ng puso mo at ng nawawala. Ngunit palagi ngang tandaang hindi ito naliligaw. Pumanaw man ang nasa sa pag-apuhap, ito’y kailanman ‘di maliligaw. Tanging nawawala. At magwawala ka dahil naiinip. Sumisikip, bumibigat ang dibdib. Bumubuntong-hininga ng dismaya. Maaalalang “…teka, minsan nga pala akong naging masaya”. Ngunit sadyang dadating ang araw na mahihiraya kung anong kulang. At magmimistula kang baliw. Pero ang pagmamahal – ang pupuno sa puwang – ay laging isang oyaying ubod ng lambing, pinatatahan ang nababaliw. Pinatatahan ang nababaliw dahil umiibig.

At habang wala pa ito’y, iinom ka ng isang basong gin sa katapusan ng Disyembre  o isang araw bago ang a-kinse ng pumapag-ibig na Pebrero. Susubukan mo kung may mas lalamig pa rito. Kung may mas papait pa rito.

Uulit-ulitin mo:

Kailangan nga ba ng ikalawa para sumaya? Kailangan ba ng kasalo ngayong gabi sa pag-inom para lumigaya?

Saulo mo ang litanya ng iyong  Ina, sa t’wing ‘di mo mahanap ang mga nawawala:

“Ano? Wala ka bang mata? Inasa mo na lahat sa akin, ‘pag ‘yan nakita ko, nako! Inuuna mo kasi ang bibig. Engot ka ga, saan mo naipatong? Ay s’ya, tigilan mo na ang paghahanap at lalabas ‘yan ng kusa.”

Lalabas rin ‘yan ng kusa. Mapapahinto. Lulunukin ang kaba para ‘di pumiyok. Tama. Maaalang bigla nga palang sumusulpot ang mga kabiyak ng ano, ang mga kapareha ng alin kapag tuluyan ka nang tumigil. Kapag tuluyan ka nang sumuko. Nasa ibabaw ng tukador ang medyas, nasa alahasan ang hikaw, nasa ilalim ng sofa ang sapatos. At dahil ang nawawala ay ‘di parating naliligaw, magiging malinaw. Kalokohan ang pangaraping hanapin at tapusin ang ekspi-ekspidisyon. Ang mga nawawala sa ‘yo ay ‘di nakalimot sa daan. Hindi ito nakalimot sa uuwian. Maalimpungatan sa dusa’t himbing, magigising dahil ang iyong nawawala, ang kabiyak na pupuno sa patlang, ay ‘di naliligaw. Tanging natagalan lamang sa paglalakbay, kumakain pa, nagbabanyos ng sarili, naghahanda para sa ’yo. Naipit sa gilid ng sofa, sa ibabaw ng tukador, sa sulok ng aparador. Hindi nito kailangan ng saklolo. Matatagpuan nito ng kusa ang daan patungo sa ‘yo. Matagal man ang ipinagdusa, matagal man ang paghihintay ay dadating ito. Makakahanap ito ng tahanan sa ‘yo.

At gaya ng sabi nila, palaging tama ang ating mga Ina:

“’Wag mong hanapin at lilitaw.”

“’Wag mong hanapin at lilitaw.”

“’Wag mong hanapin at lilitaw.”

Hipan palayo ang ‘di kayang saklawin ng mga kamay. Matuto kang bumitaw.

Ikaw, ano pa ang kayang mong ipaubaya sa mundo?

Sana sagutin mo nang: “Ang lahat-lahat ko”.

*Isang spoken word piece na itinanghal sa Candlelight Cafe, ika-27 ng Pebrero para sa National Arts Month. Unang likhang tula sa anyong prose ng makata.

Time Retrospection

“I’ll wait until I can’t wait anymore.”

The days were filled with haste and urgency before this very moment where I am sitting snugly in my favorite side of the sofa, sipping my first cup of coffee and slowing down everything (shutting them, if you’ll allow me). Sometimes, we feel like we’re running out of time. Like the very existence of time per se puts an intangible bondage and limit to us all. That is true for many conventional senses; the very fabric of the universe is made of time and space. Every ounce of it speaks seconds. A liter begets hours. It is also true that time runs simultaneously in our veins like blood does. We are alive because of time. We are here because of time.

But which should really be master of which? Time over Man; Man over Time. If I were to be philosophical, I’d probably say, in reflex, that man should not be enslaved by time. That a human being is a living soul thus couldn’t be caged; a free spirit it is. But that doesn’t even make any concrete sense. It’s just abstract ideas that are yet to be proved true.  I’m not against philosophy or something, in fact I’m one of the many spirits of this world that are hoping for this to be true. That in reality, the ticking of the clock should not be of any nuisance at all.

Now let’s talk about aging. Obviously -no matter how many Vitamin E you would take- wrinkles, sagging skin, slowed-down metabolism & senile forgetfulness would meet your ends by its ends. This is all pre-orchestrated by time in a wanton attempt to break the hopes of immortality. She has succeeded (I used ‘she’ for time reminds me of my mom). Always keeping me at haste in almost everything; errands, dirty dishes, home works, name it. So she has (technically) been the one having my supreme obeisance. And I hate to admit this but yes, I was bounded by time due to the plain fact that I’m afraid to age. Well, who doesn’t anyway?

But that’s the very problem that needs to be solved. I guess the primary sense of rush is that we are afraid to age, and by ‘rushing’ everything, we could at least do all the things we want before we come meeting an age where we can do it no more. The world, as it was made, is so huge for a single viewing. That’s why people are so obsessed with speed. They want to experience them all and the only way they could do that is by moving fast.  A race against time, there is.

I too, have been repeatedly a contender in this race. In my seventh birthday, my first field trip across cities, my first kiss, my prom night, my first heartbreak, my circumcision, my mom’s risky pregnancy, and so on and so forth. In these moments, time has been so fast I had to run faster, and faster and faster just to be able to cope up with it. It is exasperating and thrilling in the same time; Equal parts joy and pain. But I am not aware of this all right in that very moment. All that was running in my mind in that flashing was to run. To survive that moment; to capture it even.

This is the other reason I came up with: The desire to capture every moment. But in order to do this, you need to be swift. Not like Taylor Swift, but swift-swift. Okay, excuse me for a failed attempt at a joke, but kidding aside, you really need to embody the very spirit of nitro if you really want to capture a moment. But come to think of it, every breath is a moment. If only we are that patient in waiting, in anticipating, then rushing would not be a choice. For every moment is a moment itself; It could be lazy afternoon with a cup of coffee, a late night grocery spree waiting in line for the cashier, an early shower in the middle of December. There’s no point in haste if we are only that well-conditioned to anticipate.

Come to think of it like this, you are entering a cafeteria and you are –for the entire world to know- hungry as a troll. You are expecting for a piece of chocolate mousse cake, mouth drooling excessively. You are anticipating for that cake. And even before you know there is a cake like that, you can already taste it. So finally, when you arrived at the stalls, you see one waiting for you.  There’s no urge not to speed up but just to smile with the mere thought that you are waiting for this all along. You had foreseen this.

I know that its shitty metaphor but that true (at least for me).  Expecting wouldn’t really hurt (at least if your love life isn’t concerned). But waiting is another problem that comes with time.

People hate to wait. Whether be it on a café or an enrolment line, a person would probably spit a couple of curses. Maybe because waiting slows down our ‘hurry’ even though time is continuously running at constant speed. Caring ultimately less if she’ll leave you. Because no matter how long we wait for time to come, we cannot change the fact that time would not wait for us in return. It’s harsh but we need to live with it.

Earlier, I told you that I’m snugly cocooning in my side of the sofa, letting the world run with seconds like it usually does. Do you want to know how I shut (though temporarily) my sense of hurry? I did that by pretending; pretending that we are invincible; that we are the center of our own universe. By that, I switch off my internal clock and just ‘be’ in the moment. We cannot really erase the truth about time being the all-powerful force against age, capturing and waiting but at least we can pretend.

To make-believe that truly our being is a free spirit, a bird with no cage such as the world or time; hoping that seconds are just one fragment to spice things up in our story. I don’t know if you’ll learn something from this just like how I learned so much from coffee. That no matter how bitter or sweet it could get, you’ll still put in upon your lips, never afraid to have a taste.

Now, I’ll just wait for epiphany to come. I’ll wait until I can’t wait anymore.

Still about you

“Everyone needs a place. It shouldn’t be inside someone else”
Richard Siken©

This quotation from my favorite poet has been bugging me for nights. And by night, I mean two cups of coffee and a slice of take-home pizza. I’ve been up late at the evening feeling something different, something hollow inside. It’s as if a missing part of me sends forth a ghost to haunt me. Instantaneously, I know the reason. She is the reason. So I’ve fired up my cranky laptop and find something to kill time with. Hopefully, distracting me from this nocturnal thoughts. Then I remembered my college professor, Miss Pau, telling me something about Word Press. So I typed in (as if you care about this) W-O-R-D-P-R-E-S-S on the search engine and voila! The night has brought me here. Writing senselessly about you. About this indescribable feeling you left me with.

I find it funny though that when you chose to pull off from ‘us’, my reaction was of a different shade of sad. You know, the kind of sad that pretends not to be sad. I guess, that’s because I am me. And by now, you should know that my actions are always based on what other people want to see from me.

Another thing, I’m quite amused and amazed by myself at the same time because I’ve written about this even before it has happened. On the first weeks of my English class, my professor asked us to write a literary piece about ‘how to say goodbye’. What happened on my story entitled “A Bitter Cup of Volition” are similar to what happened to us. You leaving and I pretending to be cool with it. Now I am left wondering if in any way, have I transformed myself into a sooth-saying muse. If that’s the case, I better make a living out of this.

Now I’m just literally waiting for the right word to stop this writing. But I can’t seem to find the right word to end you. I am afraid to put an end to you. It is hard to put an end to you. But I guess that’s what ampersands are for. So this just might be the end &…