Muling Paglisan

Pag-ibig na iyong dinala’y

sadyang kay bilis nawala.

Mga pangakong kaytamis

ay biglang naglaho.

Sabi mo magpapakita ka ng madalas

upang mapawi ang aking pangamba,

ngunit bakit nagpaalam na

at ako’y iniwang nag-iisa?

Kay tagal kitang hinintay,

limang taon tayong hindi nagkita.

Nang ikaw ay nagbalik

ako’y hindi makapaniwala

parang panaginip lang,

Hindi na nais magising.

Noong una ay ayaw kong magpadala,

ngunit nagpasya ang puso na ikaw ang nais

sapagkat ang mga salita ay naging gawa.

Hindi inalintana ang bukas

sapagkat ang mahalaga ay ang kasalukuyang

ikaw ay kapiling.

Kailangan ko ng magising,

ipagpatuloy ang buhay

na hindi ka kapiling.

Mapapangiti na lamang habang nagbabalik-tanaw

sa kahapong pinagsamahan.

Tunay ngang ang bukas ay walang kasiguruhan.

Hindi man inasahan ang iyong pagdating,

buti na lamang at ikaw ay pinapasok muli,

Ikaw ay mas nakilala at

gumawa ng mga bagong alaala kasama ka.

At ngayong ikaw ay nagpaalam,

labis man ang pagdaramdam

may bakas man ng panghihinayang

sa iyong muling paglisan,

ngunit kailangan kitang palayain

kung ito ang iyong nais.

Masaya akong nakasama kang muli, kahit sandali.

Mag-iingat ka at huwag pababayaan ang sarili.

Pag-alala sa Nakaraan: Minsang Ikaw ay Napadaan

“Uy, ang galling naman!” Mga salitang iyong binigkas isang araw napadaan ka sa harap ng library. Nakita mo ako nakaupo, nakabukas ang aking laptop, at inaayos ko yung paper ko para sa klase natin. Tama, magkaklase tayo noon. Hindi ko maipaliwanag ang kaba ko tuwing nasa klase ng masterpieces of world literature. Wala ako halos panahon magbasa noon, o pwedeng excuse ko lamang ito dahil nauunahan ako ng takot. Yung mga kaklase natin grabe ang sisipag magbasa at ang galing ng analysis. Hindi ko pa kaya yun noon, kaya minsan tahimik lang ako sa klase habang pinapakinggan sila kausap ang guro natin. Nagbasa-basa din ako. Nag-research din kasi kailangan sa report. Pero alam kong kulang pa yung ginawa ko. Kaya hanggang ngayon nadala ko na. Namulat sa ganda ng mundo ng pagbabasa, ng panitikan, at ng buhay.

 

Noong araw na iyon na nagkita tayo ilang araw din ang ginugol ko sa paper ko. Maya’t-maya ay inaayos ko para magkasilbi naman yung pagpasok ko sa klase. Pero masaya ako sinabi mong ang galing kahit pakiwari ko isang pangungusap pa lang ang nabasa mo. Ewan ko kung bakit sinabi mo yun. Pero pinalakas mo ang loob ko, pinawi mo ang takot na nararamdaman. Pagkatapos ay nag-usap tayo sandali. Alam ko tapos ka na noon sa paper mo. Siguro wala ka ng magawa noon. Nagliliwaliw ka na lang. Buti napadaan ka doon, kahit papaano ay nasilayan kita, kahit sandali lang. Hindi ka rin madalas pumasok noon, kaya minsan hinahanap kita sa klase. Parang hindi kumpleto ang sabado ko kapag hindi kita nakikita. Ngunit sa hindi inaasahang pagkakataon bigla ka na lamang sumusulpot at nagbibigay sigla sa aking puso. Matagal na rin bago tayo huling nagkita. Siguro nga hindi itinakda ng panahon.

 

Paglalakbay ni Joi Barrios

Bawat pagsinta’y paglalakbay.

Paglalayag sa malawak na dagat,

Pag-akyat sa pinakatuktok ng bundok.

 

Sumasakay ka sa pag-asa,

Kumakapit sa pananalig.

Bawat pagsinta’y paglalakbay.

 

Tandaan. 

Huwag kaybagal at baka may hindi maabutan. 

Huwag kaybilis at baka may malampasan. 

 

Sa pagitan nitong paglalakbay,

Saglit na humimpil.

Salatin ang pawisang noo,

Hagurin ang napudpod na talampakan.

Kamustahin ang sarili,

Na minsa’y nakaligtaan sa gilid ng daan. 

 

Huwag hayaang mapagod ang puso

Sa bawat paglalakbay. 

Ngunit huwag, 

Huwag ding magpapigil sa pangamba

Kahit ang paroroona’y di tiyak. 

 

Walang huling byahe sa mangingibig

Na handang maglakbay

Nang may pananalig.

 

1997

Ang tulang ito ay naging bahagi ng Tulaan sa Tren 2, isang proyekto ng National Book Development Board sa pakikipagtulungan ng Light Rail Transit Authority, Optical Media Board, Vibal Foundation, at Book Development Association of the Philippines sa taong 2010.  

Come and Go (an excerpt)

Date written: March 30, 2013

I do not know what is wrong with me why I let them in my life knowing that anytime they would go without me noticing it. Now I am left in the middle of nowhere, this so called chaos in life and relationship does not end. Am I the epitome of the queen of pain?  Pain becomes natural that I get immune to it already. I let the pain pass. I cry, and the tears dry on their own. At times I gave up finding him again. But when he suddenly appears out of nowhere I rejoice as if someone comes back from a long and tiresome journey. My arms are wide open willing to embrace him no matter what. The past has been forgotten, the present is what’s important. The future is unknown. So live with the moment. I am not sure if I ever stop loving. As long as this heart beats, it keeps on seeking for happiness, love, and serenity no matter what comes in between.

Finding Happiness

I saw my student having a frowning face while I was discussing. He seemed to be not in the mood. He looked sad. I guessed it was because of someone. I wanted to tell him that our life does not revolve around one person alone. There are many sources of happiness, and we should learn to see it. For me, when I listen to my students respond critically and can express themselves with confidence, I feel happy. When I laugh with my friends and discuss with them matters of life, I feel happy because I know I have them in my life. When I see that my family is in good condition, I feel alive. I do not want to be hypocrite. I also miss the times I was with my exes. The memories remain. No matter how I want to make new memories with them again, I know it won’t happen. But I can build new ones. I know it won’t be easy to feel better after a struggle, but God has sent people and opportunities for us to be happy, and to be a source of happiness to others too.

Before Midnight

“Love of life is the most important of all.” Patrick, a renowned writer in the story reminds us of that while they were having dinner. A young woman asks why invest so much in love when eventually couples will be separated and that love does not last. He said that friends and people you meet from work should be cherished because they last.

Before Midnight does not tell us not to believe in love anymore. It talks about the many struggles couples face in relationship and how they stand together despite the odds. After 18 years, Jesse and Celine are seen together, now with seven-year-old beautiful twins who are products of Jesse missing his flight to Chicago and staying in Paris with Celine in Before Sunset. Jesse is confronted with his paternal duties trying his best to look after his teenage son who is under the care of her drunk mother, Jesse’s ex-wife. Yes, Jesse and Celine are married. Sometimes it bothers Jesse how he can be a good father to his son without being on his side. Celine (knowing her attitude) is irritated with the idea Jesse is floating that they move to Chicago. She said she sacrificed her two years when she moved with him in New York, and there is no way she is moving with him in Chicago.

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Celine tells Jesse that she is doing all she can to raise the children to the point of sacrificing her passion, her love for composing and singing for the sake of their children. She feels that Jesse is not being fair when he can be away from home for two hours thinking about his writing. He has time for that while Celine doesn’t have any. For her, children come first.

After the confrontations, Jesse who is known for his patience assures Celine of his love no matter what. He tries to lure her through floating his idea of a time machine and a letter addressed to Celine that he invented. He reminds her of their love for each other. Then they reconcile.

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The movie shows the maturity of Jesse and Celine as revealed in the dialogue. Compared to the last two movies, there are many characters who help unfold the beauty of life in its deepest sense. To someone who has been waiting for the next movies for almost a decade, there is sweetness in waiting. The moment the movie started I giggled because I know I won’t get disappointed. I wanted to find out how the story will bring me to a different level and widen my views about relationships, love, and life itself, and it did give me a chance to value the people who bring happiness in my life, no matter how simple the act may be.

It is Finished

It is finished. The drama yesterday ended today. The right opportunity came, and I had to make a decision. I was confronted by my fear of losing him or losing myself. In the end, I had to let go of him realizing that he is not yet the one for me. I gave myself a chance to love and to trust him again despite people around me who care telling me not to go back anymore. I persisted and arrogant enough to disobey them for the sake of love. I knew there was still a part of him in me, the very last drop of patience, trust, and love. However, he gave me enough reason to finally leave him after he broke his promise. He did it many times, and I kept on forgiving him. But I also get tired loving him, or maybe I have not really loved him that much. He became a stranger to me. He was not anymore the person I knew before. His mask was revealed, and I had to learn from the experience the hard way. Probably I was too kind to him. It led him to abuse that kindness. But I am not a fool, I just want to give him a chance, but he wasted that chance for me to love him again. I know I have myself to blame why he became like that or why he hasn’t changed at all. I was too compassionate, forgiving, and loving. I don’t see anything wrong with that, but I know it should be with the right person. It is also good to show one’s bitchy side sometimes so others won’t take advantage of you. I just wanted to love and be loved. I have built this universe in my head believing that he loves me truly, but I was wrong. I should have checked reality because this isn’t what it is telling me.

There is another world waiting for me, a world to discover and to explore: myself. I should assess what my values are, my priorities, my strengths, my weaknesses, and my character. I had been drowned into another world, his world. But I am still lucky and happy enough because there are people who saved me from almost dying of myself and showed me the light I did not bother to see because I thought mine was brighter. The stubborn attitude in me failed me. I thought I was just setting myself free, but I fell into a trap. I did not know love could be dangerous and deceiving. Love is happiness, so I say. But I was wrong because I have given much that I forgot to go back to myself to check if I was still happy or just pretending to be one. I was so engrossed with loving someone that I forgot to love myself. Pain was part of it was too much pain was not love anymore. I endured much, and I do not want to go back to that state anymore. I want to be truly happy. I want to love the right person who deserves me and who I deserve.

 

Date written: April 1, 2013 (no intention of April Fool’s Day)

DLSU Library