Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Love Affair with a Great Lover

Lovers come and go. There are pains you thought you wouldn’t be able overcome, but later on learned to live with it; forgiving but not forgetting. For forgetting means never learning the lesson from that experience.

And as the parting became a part of the past, you reminisce as how that love affair started in the first place. You muse. Laugh at your idiocy. You told yourself that it’s a part of gaining experience. It helps you to be mature on the next relationship. That there are lessons in tears.

Albeit that short love affair I was able to recover. Thanks to my other lover. A love affair that I could and would not let go. A love affair that started eons ago. A love affair with a great lover.

Tatay Boy used to tell me that one must use his/her head in making decisions. That’s why it was put above, over the heart. It is there to keep the balance, when the heart becomes irrational. That’s why he always says it is very crucial what you put in your head. He always emphasized the importance of reading and writing. It’s the best exercise for the brain, he said. I did not understand what it meant back then.

To show his point, he rewards me with books and notebooks and the complete colorful crayola whenever I learn new words. He gave me the power to decide what’s the next ulam for the night. He brought me the first composition notebook where I wrote the alphabet and copied the numbers and holidays from the calendar. He taught me to write even before I could comprehend what words I have formed on the notebook

I learned reading not through the perennial ABAKADA booklet but on calendars and Helen Merez’ pocketbooks from our neighbor’s collection. When I went to Iloilo, I marveled at Archie, Veronica and Betty from my second cousin’s collection. I learned reading the clock when I was threatened not to get hold of Archie comics for a week.

When it comes to fairytales, I was a late-bloomer. I have heard and marvel at the folklore of aswangs, fables and legends of Mt. Kanlaon first before I heard and read about Snow White, Cinderella and Rapunzel. I only read about the damsels in distress and the knight in shining armor in the Collection of Fairytales from our neighbor’s encyclopedia set. I was enthralled by the magical world of Thumbelina, Little Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks and I never returned the book until I finished reading the stories for the nth time.

Gay Placer, an elementary classmate was my favorite then. She always let me to tag along with her when she goes to her grandfather’s place. I got to borrow books from their family’s collection. During high school, I adore Roan Salanga and her father’s National Geographic collection. I will always remember getting hold of the first Harry Potter book in school, way before it was adapted on the big screen. I will always remember being reprimanded on our Chemistry class, for getting lost inside Hogwart’s Charms lesson. Roan’s younger sister, Valeene has a collection of Witch and Candy mags that were our “bring home/ official on loan” whenever we crash their house for our weekly movie marathon.

When I received my first salary as library student assistant, I bought Harry Potter 6 immediately. Never mind if that entails cutting off my weeklong meal allowance. When Paulo Freire was introduced on our development communication class, I wanted to get hold of his books. I looked for it on bookstores. Sadly our bookstores do not have copies of his works. I posted a query on book lovers web and second hand books site. A fellow member on the site posted reply and asked for my email address. Thought he’ll send an e-copy of the book. But I was wrong. Three weeks later, a new copy of Pedagogy of the Oppressed arrived. The thrill of receiving a book from a total stranger will forever be etched on my memory.

Angely Chi,’s The Great Gatsby, Pearl Dy’s Break Away and Momsie Charlen’s A Lion’s Heart are one of the best gifts; the primary start up of my modest book collection.

Fresh pages of books amazes me,yet the smell of old books never cease to capture my imagination. That distinct woody starchy smell of books. I love scrounging the second book shops, ecstatic on the adventure and thinking of the hands who first owned the books. While most girls would love to receive flowers and chocolates from their partners, I prefer books. My former boyfriend and I might have changed our paths but the books he sent along with the chocolates will always be treasured.

The sensual Love in the Time of Cholera, a gift on my 22nd birthday will remain as a big part of the bittersweet memories of 2009. Sex and the Media in Asia is part of the collection from the best mentor one could only wish for. Bob Ong will remain as my close ally especially on my gloomy mood- the best anti-depressant.

Anne Rice, Kurt Cobain, Jodi Picoult and Michael Ondaatje serve as appetizers for the sully mood. Haruki Murakami, a very expensive one remains to be my most sought after pleasure read.

As one booklover friend said, unlike in books where you can always see the ending, in relationships both parties have to work out to write a better ending of their own romance. Relationships takes a lot of complexities that sometimes you would opt to read than to deal with it in the real life.

Books tackling Mindanao issues. My bedside companion when I was still starting on my work.

What's on my list? My mini book collection. Still upgrading.

Our relationship with our physical lovers may end but we should keep the love affair with great lover...


Read for life, all your life.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy 2010! Roar with the Tiger!

It's 2010.
It's the year of the tiger.

A new year to fill our memories, to learn more and make decisions. I pray and wish for hopeful and blessed year for us. Hope and yes WORK for change, in our governemnt and most of all in ourselves.


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