By Christopher Barja
Ibahan mo ako
Maglakaw-lakaw sa bay-bay.
Duman mamurot nin buskay.
Kawat nin pagka-aki
Kaogmahan man giraray.
Ipadangog ta sa dagat
An sa toyang pag-uulay.
Out of nowhere it came
Melancholic life, just a game
Turbulent mind drifts to tame
Only time was there to blame
Gazing at the tree from the distance
Careful not show own existence
Like a ghost without a trace
Condemned to oblivious place
The rose was there for earth to feast upon
Encased within the trees, the wretched soul
Corpses litter the fields, decaying, rotten
Larvae consume the flowers, men by the ghouls
Beauty I found within darkness itself
Hymn of my heart that beats no longer
Veins of thorns plucked their rhythm
And blood spills out for song to linger
With life gone out of sight
Weeping pheasants cursed their flight
Trembling to face the sacred light
And vainly struggle with all their might
At last, the time has come
I wake up back to my reality
This vernal equinox so short my night!
My dream rests into tranquility.
A pencil drawing of Trish – a relative of mine. Some details on this drawing were deliberately omitted, while some details were added on assumption. Here and there, you can spot some errors. It’s a work-in-progress, prematurely halted. Took me four days to “finish” it, approximately two hours a day. Finally, something to match that of Isabelle’s bragging on how fast she can finish a drawing.
For this I used pencils numbered 2B, 5B and 7B semi-rough canson paper. It was very uncharacteristic of me to use a 7B, since I do not like the texture made by pencil with that number. But since I lost my 5B in the middle of my work on this sketch, and I don’t have the intention of prolonging the time of working on this one, I simply didn’t have a choice but to use 7B. No smudging stump was used.
Ironically, I have two 7B pencils in my disposal. I should learn how to use them properly.
Digital manipulations have been minimal. Instead of scanning it, I used a point-and-shoot camera to “digitalize” this sketch. Brightness and contrast level were slightly adjusted. Color balance were also adjusted to make this seems to be drawn on a parchment paper.
During my third year in college, I once used an eyeliner to create a portrait. I didn’t ask for permission from my female friend – thanks Anna!, by the way – for using her eyeliner. At first she was furious at first, of course. But the sketch turned out to be good somehow. But what I didn’t know then was that cockroaches find eyeliners delectable. They ate almost a quarter of the sketch.
June 2, 2000, Friday, it was about three o’clock in the afternoon. It was a hot day, but the sky was beautifully clear, and everything seemed to be so bright. There for the first time I met Sara. She belongs to the MWF afternoon classes on our taekwondo lessons. She is one year younger than me and she was playing tag with her younger sister when I found her. The moment I entered the empty gym, she glanced my way and saw me standing by the doorway looking at her. And something struck me hard and fast.
It was a very fine day and I’ll never forget it. And it was three days in a row that I spent training with her, until the promotion day. It was Sunday morning. Then after the promotion event itself she was gone with her parents and her younger sister. I went home bearing an overrated sadness and an even overrated fear that I might not see her ever again. One day I was star-struck then three days later I was feeling lost.
She was my ultimate crush. Well that’s all in the past now. Five years later I regained my communications with her. They were right. When it comes about her, I am simply a coward. All through the years thinking about her, I never really summoned the courage to tell her how I feel for her. I was simply too afraid to find out what might have been.
My head’s in a jam
Can’t take you off my mind
From the time we met
I’ve been beset with thoughts of you
And the more that I ignore this feeling
The more I found myself believing
That I just have to see you again
I can’t let you pass me by
I just can’t let you go
But I know I am much too shy to let you know
Afraid that I might say the wrong words
And displease you
Afraid for love to fade before it can come true
Sometime during 2007 she gave me a message. She said: “…the worst regret we can have in life is not for the wrong things we have done, but from the right things we could have done but we never did”. It’s kind of cliché, or it could had been just forwarded. But I felt the irony of her sending me that message.
I can’t let you pass me by
I just can’t let you go
Let me say the things and say the words to let you know
I would rather say the awkward words
Than lose you
Or for love to fade before it can come true
But I never did. And chose to remain an invisible admirer. But I think she knows. Or at least I believe so, that she had a slight idea about my feelings. I don’t think she’s that mindless not to notice. And perhaps, indeed, I had done something wrong.
Perhaps I have all the good reasons not to tell her. I think it is better off that way. Looking back I had a colourful life after all.
Araw-araw akong sumasakay sa jeep. Masikip. Maalog. Lumilipad! Masaya maging parte ng kulturang laman na ng kalsada. Mahangin. Kasabay ng pagharurot ng jeep, siya namang paglipad ng isip ko. Hindi rin maiwasang malubak ang daan, nakakatagtag ng kamalayan. May ilang beses na rin akong ginawang unan ng mga walang habas kung matulog sa jeep: at least, naging saksi ako sa panaginip at pangarap nila. Dumating din yung mga pagkakataong gustong gusto kong sumakay sa jeep dahil sa chance na makasabay at makatabi ko ang crush ko. Naranasan ko na ding sumakay sa jeep para lang mawala sa lansangan. Trip lang. Kakaibang trip!
Tayo na’t sumakay
Sa biyaheng makulay
Tayo na’t sumabay
Parte na ng ating buhay
Sa kalyeng walang hanggan
Tinig ng hari ng daan
Naging saksi sa’ting umagang nagmamadali;
Mga sandaling ang iyong crush ay nakatabi
Di man maiwasang siksikan at mainit
At kung minsan nga katabi mo ay pangit
Di maiwasang maipit at ang katabi ay makulit
Upuang para sa lima, sampu ay pinipilit
Ngunit kung minsan nga ay nakakabad trip
Nakakainis kahit pa sa jeep ikaw ay umidlip
Ang katabi mong kung matulog ika’y ginawang unan!
At walang pakialam kung kanyang laway ika’y matuluan!
Ngunit kung pagmamasdan at nanamnamin
Nakakaaliw sa jeep na lumilipad sa hangin
Isama na ang barkada
Sa jeepneyng kay ganda
Pero kung minsan ika’y mangangalumata
Sa jeep na dugyot at nanggigitata
Basta’t wag kakalimutan
Mga gamit ay ingatan!
O sige na! kumapit nang mabuti
Pamasahe mo ma’y mumunti
Umpisahan na ang pasada
Simulan ang pag-arangkada
Ipinagmamalaking sariling atin
At malayo-layo na nga ang narating
At walang ganyan sa ibang landas!
Dahil dito lang yan sa Pinas!