Jumping off trains

It is quite amusing to be reading a book where the main character keeps thinking of jumping off a train –scared of where the love she had found would take her — while you are literally in a train.

In Samantha Sotto’s “Before Ever After”, Dex, the man who toured with the protagonists alone while the rest were in pairs, said he doesn’t believe in jumping off trains.

He recalled what Jonathan, the man who almost reach life’s twilight –the oldest man in the group– said about his wife Rose at the monastery, “he wanted to make as much memories with her while he could”. Dex felt the same with his wife, Sheila who happens to have a Familial Alzheimer’s. The disease kept her from going with their Europe tour that was supposedly their honeymoon, leaving Dex all by himself.

Despite being as though he was dead to her, Dex wanted to be with her while he can because memories are the only things that would be left to him when she’s gone.

Sometimes, life puts us on the wrong train. While others believe that a wrong train can sometimes take us to the right place, in most cases we will find ourselves caught between two choices: to jump off or enjoy the journey while it lasts.

Do you believe in jumping off trains? How soon would you follow the direction of logic? If not, do you often end up spending more time deciding to get off without really doing so instead of savoring the moment? Or would you rather take uncertainties for the sake of memories?

These questions raced in my mind when suddenly the whistle of the train I was in whacked my head. I’d rather get back reading.

People of my year 2011

We always have people we look up to; people who inspire us to pursue our dreams or overcome the hardest obstacles life has thrown. More often, the people we try to emulate are those who have made their names big and known. But, the ones who have actually made a difference in our life are those who have always been there. At the end of the day, it’s the ordinary people who can make our life extraordinary.

Looking back, I can say that 2011 was a year of inspiration for me. The journey was a little tough but if I would have to live my life over again, I’ll still chose the same path. It was the time when I got to revive my passion, test my strengths, go over my past to reflect on the lessons, recognize the things that truly matter, and challenge my values against the strong tides of a material-driven world.

I am grateful of what the year had let me experience but I am more thankful of the people who have given me wonderful memories to cherish. Below are some of the very few who made a huge impact in my life in 2011.

Angel Oo
She is the elder sister that I never had. I’ve spent a lot of time being there for others, even those not really close to me — be it through providing a listening ear or financial support, granting “favors”  or helping them out in any way I can – and there are moments when I get so tired and feel so empty. Angel or Marlar as I call her, despite working sometimes until 8PM (not because she cannot finish her job on time but because there are just so much load) still manages to volunteer every Sunday teaching English to Burmese kids. She showed me that one will never run out of something to give. With love, the well of abundance for things to be shared with others will never run dry.

Fr. Bonnie Mendes
I’m very fortunate to have a priest mentor. Fr. Bonnie is a very simple and happy man. Even if he was at the time the Regional Director of Caritas Asia, still he was so down to earth and doesn’t act like someone “important”. Silence is precious for him. He taught me to let go of luxurious things and live a simple life. He doesn’t preach, instead he let his teachings go with a joke and it’s up for me to delve into it. He shared his all time secret of staying positive and focus and that is to spend at least 10 minutes every day to relax, disconnect from everything and just free your mind while listening to a calming music.

Julissah Evangelio
She is a picture of a truly gifted woman complete with wit, beauty, creativity and good character. If there is someone who has shown me what true love is in its profoundest form, that will be Ate Bing. She has showed me that love can endure not just distance, the test of time but more than anything, FATE.

Khan Thongduang
I have so much respect for this woman. Blessed with a sexy body and a beautiful Asian countenance, she works as a model and poses for no less than FHM. Perhaps, she can easily be judged by others base on the kind of work that she does but for me she is a living legacy that our work does not always speak so much of the kind of person that we are. She works hard in her job but she works harder at home as a mom to the cutest baby girl Pim. Despite the challenge of making ends meet being a single mom still she didn’t forget to share to the poor. On Pim’s birthday, we all went to visit the disabled children where she has kindly brought food and donated money for them. She is indeed a beautiful woman inside and out.

Neil Anthony Rusia
Like I told him more than once, I guess Neil is my male version because we are on the same wavelength most of the time. We support and encourage each other on our passion especially our love for arts. Our friendship started in college where we shared so many ups and downs in both our academic and extra-curricular endeavors. We’ve seen each other trying hard to keep an impeccable manner in the eyes of the other students simply because we were seen as leaders. Then we saw each other fell apart, gave in to the child within, let out the trapped silliness and suppressed expressions, going against the society’s norms not caring anymore how we are perceived by people. 2011 was a heavy year of self-discovery for both of us but we’ve made it. Now we are ready to face the world again.

Apparently, I don’t know her complete name. We are not really close as she only works part-time in our office so we don’t get to talk much. Her impact in me was rather something that transpired in just a few minutes. We were talking about her ill mother then. She said her mom had various types of cancer. Although she didn’t share much, I felt that she was really having a hard time. I don’t know what to do so I just wished her more strength that she may be able to surpass those trials. She gave me a genuine smile and said “that’s life, we have no control on things so we might as well accept it and move on.” I need not say more.

Omar Jayag
He simply is the man that every girl would want to have. He is very simple, intelligent (well, being the top 5 of the Agricultural Engineering board exam in the whole country is enough proof I guess) and God-fearing. He loved me even if I don’t comb my hair and that I just wore a t-shirt, shorts and slippers when we strolled around town back in our college years. He always encouraged me to pursue my dreams. Distance didn’t hinder him from providing me support and love. At the beginning of the year, I broke up with him because I wanted to be on my own. Despite the unfairness of my decision, still he lovingly granted my wish. I just hope that someday, I will be able to convince myself that I deserve him and that I may be able to give back the love that he has unselfishly given no matter how unworthy I am.

Tammavit Tasnavites
We are like the human form of Tom and Jerry. We fight over anything our silly minds can ever think of. Most of our discussions don’t really make any sense but when he says something sensible, it would really hit me to the core. His words are few but very deep. Knowing him is like seeing what I have been missing in my life all this time.  Most of the people close to me supported my will to help others but he is the one who reminded me that I should also live for myself; to let go and just let the tides take me. He brought back my appetite for food when I almost forget how they taste like; although I’m still not that adventurous to try most of them. He was once bored, doodled a man’s face and dropped it on my table and voila! I remembered that I used to be happy when I draw. Well, I managed to sketch 3 faces that year and that’s really it; they were such a fail though ‘coz I abandoned drawing since I was I guess 10 yrs. old and the only time I sketch was 5 years ago, once, as a requirement for our visual communication subject. If I have to choose one person who has made the greatest impact in me in 2011, Art would be it. He may not have really given it any thought and is rather not aware of it but his normal self (that others would call strange) and simple, natural ways has given me a new perspective. I will always look back 2011 with much gratitude for granting me that short span of time to know him, the person who has given me back what I’ve lost for a long time, my  dear self.

Embers of love

In the huge canvass of the creative world there exist an artist who, for just one reason, creates masterpieces that will convey the immensity of her feelings for the one who made her see the beauty of existence and the joy of living.

She gladly embraces appreciation and awe from everyone, from everyone but one, for the man whom she dedicated them all does not even realize they exist.

Even so, she continues to transform her silenced affection into magnificent works of art hoping that one day, someday, they will tell the story of a one true love that endured the cruel fate of being unrequited.