December 29, 2010

The Juice - Setting the Limits

‘Twas a cloudy December afternoon. It was our Christmas break, a two-week hiatus from all the tedious school work. Not only was it a break for school work, it was also a break from all the wacky loops of college and dormitory life. Vacations, for me, grows more boring every year. I love my family, and I miss them, but friends bring a genuine thrill in your life.

I decided to pimp my dull life up and take a stroll on the slowly decaying Clark. Everything at my hometown is getting more silent. Helmets on bikers, no firework policy on New Year’s Eve, strict curfew at 10pm and many others have contributed to the dying vigor of the community. It is a safety and security issue however, though too much cautiousness may lead to lackluster living.

I dressed on some decent clothes (because I wear torn boxer shorts at home) and went off with my coin purse, in case I get hungry and decide to eat. With me is my MP3 player to give me a beat while I walk. I am currently addicted to optimistic and upbeat club music; it gives me the smile when I listen to them.

I went to the playground, not to play, but just to sit down on the monkey bars and feel the province breeze. Clark is a nice place to unwind, and that’s why 24/7 I unwind – making me really an unproductive piece of living flesh. On the far side of the grassy patch however, there are annoying kids – noisy enough for their voices to be heard amidst Kesha going wild on my earphones.

They are holding a tumbler of juice. I removed the earphone from my ear, trying to discern what the commotion is all about. Yes, those kids are battling as to who gets to drink first.

Silly kids. I did not imagine myself screaming to the top of my lungs for a sip of juice, unless I am totally dehydrated and fighting for my life. After some undecipherable words, they stood from the log and walked away. As they walked, juice spilled, leaving only half of the original quantity for them to drink.

“Bobo! Hindi mo muna kasi tinakpan! Natapon tuloy!” the older girl said to the smallest girl in the group who was holding the tumbler as they walked.

The girl cried, looking at the juice as it wets the dry soil.

I ignored them, tuned it to my MP3 again and realized that I was not able to turn my player off while I was listening to them. The song playing was “Just a Dream”. What a great time.

I guess that we should set the LIMITS first before feelings and words get spilled, or we end up crying over what we had lost. Worst, people may scorn us for what we have done.

10 minutes after, I stood up and went home – without eating.

December 28, 2010

Firework by Katy Perry: The Tagalog Lyrics


PAROL

Iyo bang tingin
Na ika'y dumi
Na hinahangin;
Walang tutunguhin?

Iyo bang tingin
Ika'y manipis,
Sa isang ihip
Ika'y liliparin?

Iyo bang tingin
Ika'y naaapi
Na dumaraing
Pero walang dumidinig?

'Di mo ba alam
Na may pag-asa pa;
Sa'yo ay may kislap

Bigyan mo ng ilaw, tanglaw,
Sigla't galaw!
Sa'yong sigaw
Saya'y umaapaw!

Dahil ika'y isang parol!
Sino ka, sabihin mo!
Pamanghain mo-oh-oh,
Sinumang hadlang sa'yo-oh-oh!

Dahil ika'y isang parol!
Pakita mo ang kulay mo!
Pagmalaki mo oh-oh
Kung anuman ang sa iyo-oh-oh!

'Wag mong isipin
'Ka'y walang silbi
Natatangi ka't
May'rong halaga.

Kung alam mo lang
Sa'yo'y nag-aabang,
Matapos ang ulan
Tiyak aaraw.

Baka 'yong dahilan
Pinto'y nakasara,
Para sa pagbukas
Ay tama ang iyong landas.

Puso mo'y kidlat,
Manggugulat,
At pagka oras na…

Bigyan mo ng ilaw, tanglaw,
Sigla't galaw!
Sa'yong sigaw
Saya'y umaapaw!

Dahil ika'y isang parol!
Sino ka, sabihin mo!
Pamanghain mo-oh-oh,
Sinumang hadlang sa'yo-oh-oh!

Dahil ika'y isang parol!
Pakita mo ang kulay mo!
Pagmalaki mo oh-oh
Kung anuman ang sa iyo-oh-oh!

Ring! Ring! Ring!
Ikaw ay nagniningning-ning-ning!
Ang iyong saloobin-bin-bin
Huwag matakot sabihin-hin-hin!

Dahil ika'y isang parol!
Sino ka, sabihin mo!
Pamanghain mo-oh-oh,
Sinumang hadlang sa'yo-oh-oh!

Dahil ika'y isang parol!
Pakita mo ang kulay mo!
Pagmalaki mo oh-oh
Kung anuman ang sa iyo-oh-oh!

Ring! Ring! Ring!
Ikaw ay nagniningning-ning-ning!

Ring! Ring! Ring!
Ikaw ay nagniningning-ning-ning!

December 18, 2010

An Annoying Kid :)

An Annoying Kid
Words by Kenneth Manuel

He holds a green accounting book; the cover is almost worn out of daily use and the pages look as old as that of a decade-old dictionary in a public library. His class starts at 8:30am and ends at 11:30am. He is going to have a quiz in accounting and that evening before, all he did was to finish the paintings required in Humanities. All he knows is the residue of what he absorbed during the discussion.

Walking down the street, he sighs, pauses for a while and looks around. Nothing has ever changed. The sidewalk never runs out of pedestrians and vendors. The air is still barely breathable – polluted and utterly suffocating. That old woman with a big mole on her right cheek is still puffing out a cigarette stick, just like what she does every morning. There is still the pesky barker that he never fails to see every day, calling for passengers for a five-peso tip from the driver. The passengers wait inside the jeepney frowning, for the barker continues to claim that the jeepney can accommodate two more passengers wherein it is already a can-of-sardine situation inside.

He does not have a choice. He still has a long way to go before he gets to school, and time is not at his side. He boards the jeep, tries to sit even just a bit, and ends up hanging with only a square centimeter of his slacks touching the tarpaulin-covered chair. The driver, without any concern to the student, relentlessly drives away from the terminal and onto a long trip at the clogged roads of Manila.

He notices familiar faces. The guy next to the exit is the same person he saw from the nearby internet shop printing a feasibility study. The long-haired lady beside the guy is his girlfriend, and their shoulders are lax with each other. The lady is also holding a plastic cup of coffee from Starbucks, a frappuccino. The old woman beside the lady is a prostitute. Beside him, on the other hand, is a man looking with sticky eyes at the uniform of the girlfriend of the guy in the internet shop.

This is commonplace. Nothing is really exciting for him. Life, as he knows it, has been a cycle – continuous, repeating and analogous. There are little surprises, but not that much to turn the situation around. He just barely sits there in agony as he waits for someone to say ‘para’ and give some space for him to sit on.

He stares at his Accounting book, trying to recall the discussions they had. He tries his photographic memory, remembering how those financial statements are made in the whiteboard. He remembers the face of his professor, makes a straight face and draws his eyes outside the jeepney.

He saw the newly renovated McDonalds building. Aside from a handful of memories, nothing is significant with that building. The fancy, colorful fa├žade is a contrast to the solid metal color of the surrounding buildings. There is a new playground – a paradise for the youngsters. The renovation also boasts life-size statues of the McDonalds characters outside.

That is one change. Everything else did not change at all. The jeepney hurled away and the bright hues of the McDonalds building slowly fade to a dot.

A cellphone rings.

“Ohhhhhhh!” the lady with the Starbucks cup screams.

Quality Starbucks coffee spills in the floor, along with islands of whipped cream and chocolate syrup. He, along with everyone in the jeepney, stares at the wasted drink as it creeps down the cracks of the metal floorings of the jeepney.

Shortly thereafter, his book slips from his hands, with the page that he was reviewing landing first on the coffee-soaked floor. It is a total mess. He picks it up and half of the book became brown with coffee. He gives up reviewing. He is annoyed. He cannot recall the lessons anymore.

He arrived at the school just on time, however, he failed in his quiz. Going back home, he sighs, pauses a while and looks around. Nothing has changed.

The next day, he holds a green accounting book; the cover is worn out of daily use and the pages are wrinkled from the coffee accident yesterday. His class starts at 8:30am and ends at 11:30am. He needs to make an extra effort in understanding accounting and the evening before, all he did was to review for the upcoming Humanities long quiz.

Walking down the street, he sighs, pauses for a while and looks around. Nothing has ever changed. The sidewalk, the air, that old woman and the pesky barker still remains. The passengers are still frowning. They, too, are tired of the punishment that everyday life brings.

He boards the jeep with little energy, and just like yesterday, familiar faces come up. Life is not a box of chocolates as Forrest Gump said, it is a box of junk foods with no variety and thrill at all. Every day is just dull; life is a monotonic art.

He notices another lady, this time far from him, holding a plastic cup of tea, a slight difference from yesterday’s cup of coffee. He placed his accounting book inside his bag, thinking that to mix coffee, tea and paper in a book is a worse idea than not listening in the discussions inside the classroom.

He sees a child kneeling, instead of sitting, in the jeepney. Her small head is peeping on the window, precariously inside as what her mother instructed her. Her improper position in the jeepney is something new to his sight. He ignores the lass, makes a straight face and draws his eyes outside the jeepney.

Minutes after, the lady finished his cup of tea and properly threw it in the trash bin behind the gearshift. The lady put on her headset after disposing the cup and everything went on normally – lacklusterly.

“Wooooooooooooooo…………..,” the girl shouted in awe. Far from sight is the McDonalds building.

He, along with everyone in the jeepney, looks at the girl as she is the first person to break the seemingly unbreakable silence in the jeepney. Her shout is very audible, and it catches the attention of everyone. An old woman sleeping on the ride is awakened and tries to apprehend the child by making a disgusted hiss. The lady who just put on her headset was also disturbed, but resumed as soon as she saw what it was all about.

“………..oooooooooo……..,” the girl is not yet finished getting astonished.

The girl is really struck in awe. The sparkle in her eyes is filled with genuine happiness. The jeepney passes in front of the new face of McDonalds. She let loose of her hold on the window railing, and clapped her hands upon seeing the spectacle nearer. From her kneeling position, she tried to elevate herself a little bit and pop her head out of the window.

“………..oooooooooo……..,” the girl continues her long expression of wonder.

Everyone from the jeepney has drawn their eyes away from the child, yet he remains staring. “Why was she amazed? Is there anything to be amazed of?” These are the questions he asked himself.

“………oooooooooowwwww!!!” the girl ends his astonishment as the building becomes too far away to be seen.

Her head is still tightly tilted to the direction of the building of McDonalds. She still wants a view of it, but can no longer have one. The jeepney continues to creep slowly on the highway.

The girl now sat properly. Her legs, with those little Barbie shoes, are swinging joyfully. Her smile, even though her teeth are incomplete, is full of glee. The vibrance of her colorful dress is infectious; it makes you want to smile more. The girl, noticing that the student is looking at her, waves and smiles, along with an innocent wink.

He smiles – the same way that the girl smiles. That is one smile. Everything else did not change at all, except that it did enlighten and inspire another person.

He waves hello – the same way that the girl waved hello. That is one wave, yet it was unusual enough to start something – the waking of happiness, the recovery of vigor, and a new pair of eyes to see the world.

The next day, he holds a green accounting book; the cover now wrapped in transparent plastic and the pages less wrinkled than that of yesterday. His class starts at 8:30am and ends at 11:30am. He is going to have a report in Management and the evening before, he had prepared to impress his teacher. What motivates him is the simple blessing of life.

Walking down the street, he sighs, pauses for a while and looks around. Everything he sees has changed. The sidewalk never runs out of pedestrians and vendors. The air is still polluted and dangerous, but is still breathable. That old woman with a big mole on her right cheek is still puffing out a cigarette stick, and he realized that he is still lucky to be well-dressed. There is still the pesky yet approachable barker that he never fails to see every day, calling for passengers for a five-peso tip from the driver. The passengers wait inside the jeepney frowning, yet looking forward for the day to come. Who knows what the day holds for them? The barker continues to claim that it can accommodate two more persons despite the can-of-sardine situation inside, and it just makes him think that sometimes he has to sacrifice.

Yes, there are familiar faces, but now, he looks at them with happiness.

Now, every time the jeepney passes at the new McDonalds building, he can’t help but smile. Happiness is a state of mind, and the world is just a matter of appreciation. We just have to look in front, behind, beside and inside us. Smile. :)

Special thanks to Mr. Prince Aian Villanueva for the main concept.

December 13, 2010

Si Ambo :(

Si Ambo
Kwento ng isang lalakeng umiibig sa isang tricycle driver

Tula ni Kenneth Manuel

Ang araw nga’y palubog na,
Kumakagat na ang dilim;
Mga bumbilya’y sindi na,
Bituin sa dagat ng itim.
Naglalakad na pauwi,
Pagod sa mga aralin
Ngunit loob ay ‘di sawi
Dahil siya’y kikitain

Ang pangalan niya ay Ambo,
At kami ay magtatagpo;
Habang trike niya’y tumatakbo,
Tabi kaming nauupo.
Nakatutok siya sa daan
Para bang merong karera;
Ititigil ang sasakyan
Kung sa’n ako nakatira.

Ambo ang sa kanya’y bansag
Ng mga kapwa driver n’ya
Sa toda, ang tanging dilag,
Namumukod ang ganda n’ya.
Driver lang s’ya sa paningin,
Pero sa aking isipan
Ay kaysarap niyang dalhin
Du’n sa altar ng simbahan.

Akin siyang kikitain
Kahit hindi man n’ya tanto;
Patuloy siyang mamahalin
Kahit hindi man n’ya gusto.
Ako ay nag-iilusyon
Na akin ang puso niya –
Isang pagsintang piksyon,
Isang nobelang pantasya.

Sa malayo’y naghihintay
Para lang aking masakyan
Traysikel n’yang nakahanay
Sa kantong naging sakayan;
Nakangiting nakatitig
Sa bawat kilos niya’t galaw,
Puso ko ay pumipintig
Sa isang patagong tanaw.

Nasa dulo na ng pila
Ang trike niya na makalangit,
Dali-dali at sumigla
Walang sinayang na saglit,
At wala pang isang kurap,
Ako ay nakangiti na
Tumungo sa kanyang harap,
Bumati ng “kamusta na?”

“Aba! At ikaw na naman?”
Ang sa akin ay bati n’ya,
“Pagkakataon nga naman,
Kailanma’y ‘di pumapalya!
Tara na at sumakay na;
Sige, ngayon, libre kita.
Oh, ayaw mo? Edi ‘wag na!
Maglakad ka na papunta!”

Ako’y lalong napangiti,
‘Di dahil sa kanyang biro
Mula sa kanyang pagbati,
Puso ko na’y naglalaro;
Nagmabilis na’t sumakay
Alinsunod sa sabi n’ya;
Puso ko’y sumasabay
Sa ingay ng tambutso n’ya.

Gabi-gabi ako’y sakay,
Sa kanya ako’y suki na.
Ang biyahe patungong bahay,
Huwag ng matapos sana;
Sa porma n’yang mamasada,
Sa ngiti n’yang pantunaw,
Sa natatangi n’yang ganda,
Siya lang ang nangingibabaw.

S’ya lang ang para sa akin
Kahit s’ya ay drayber lamang;
Sa toda’y magpapakain,
Siya’y makatuluyan lamang!
Buong kalye’y magdiriwang
Sa araw ng aming kasal;
Hindi ito pangarap lang,
Ito ay desisyong pinal!

“Huy! Baka matunaw ako,
Kung makatitig ka sa akin!
Wala na ba mukha ko
At natunaw na sa hangin?”
Biglaang pabirong banat
Nang kanyang mahalata
Na tingin ko’y nakalapat,
Malagkit sa kanyang mata.

S’ya’y nakangiti sa akin
Kahit pa ako’y nabuking;
Tila may ibig-sabihin
Mga mata n’yang kay ningning.
Ako ba’y namumula na?
Ano ba ang nalaman n’ya?
Puso ko ba’y nabasa na?
Ano ang nasa isip niya?

Ako ba’y magtatapat na,
Pag-ibig ko’y ihahayag?
Gagawin ko’y tama sana,
O, ‘di ako mapanatag!
Ambo, hindi ko na kaya;
Ako’y bulkang sasabog na!
Ano ba ang aking pasya
Sa bugtong nitong tadhana?

“Baka gusto mong bumaba,
Nakatulog ka na yata?”
At sa aking sobrang kaba
Hindi ko na nahalata,
Biyahe ko pala’y tapos na,
Ubos na pala ang oras;
Pagkakatao’y wala na,
Heto’t aking pinalampas.

“Ambo, ito ang bayad ko,”
Akin na lamang nabanggit.
“’Di ba, libre na, sabi ko?”
Kanya namang pangungulit.
At hawak ang pambayad,
Kinuha ko kanyang kamay,
Akin sanang ilalahad
Ang puso kong iaalay.

Ngunit sa aking paghawak,
Ako’y may naramdaman –
Singsing na gawa sa pilak,
Suot sa palasingsingan.
Sarili’y ‘di napigilan;
Pangarap ko’y lumisan:
“Ikaw ay iimbitahan,
Ako ay papakasalan!”