Only Lyrically

Month: May, 2011

Darul Iman

I am crossing the country’s borders.

Been reaching a few other milestones recently too. Work with Rektikano is going well, and I have nothing but gratitude to the people who gave me their faith by giving me the work.

While working on the magazine earlier today, I had Angels In America on. Hearing it in the background while I work is like listening to music. It is the music of compassion. Comforting.

The rabbi Streep’s words bear even more significance to me now –

“You can never make that crossing that she made, for such great voyages in this world do not anymore exist. But everyday of your lives, the miles – that voyage from that place to this one – you cross. Everyday! You understand me? In you, that journey, is.”

And I go to a place with an Arabic name that means abode of faith.

I may not need to sing songs anymore about this journey. It already is singing to me.

Of Stallions, And A Girl Named Suzeth

One night in 2008, somewhere on Emerald Avenue, in probably the most aged building there, in one of its better rooms (the library, in fact, and we were so fortunate to secure it every night actually, because my coach attests, “Eh malakas ako eh!”), I sat down and drew a horse.

Let me just repeat that without the embellishments: one night in 2008, just a few blocks from where I am typing these words now, I drew a horse.

I drew a black, horse-looking horse.

I drew it with a black crayon on a white sheet of paper. I believe he was a fine dark one, I couldn’t believe I drew him!

When I was asked by my head coach why it was black, I said it’s because it’s a stallion. When I was asked next why it looked like it will run over the box (well, we were also made to draw boxes, and I placed my horse right next to my little flowering carton box), I said something like, “no, not run over, the stallion is guarding that box.” My head coach and coach then nodded in synch going, “aaahhh…”

The drawings stood for something. Personal somethings. Ideal somethings.

That night I drew with two other friends, Alvin and Suzeth. The three of us learned the meaning of each others’ drawings, as they were revealed to us by our head coach and coach.

I’m sorry but I cannot tell the symbols. The love cult might contract a hit against me. Besides, I love honoring omerta, makes me feel like I’m a gangsta.

But I guess I can squeal a few details. (Nobody reads this blog anyway, except boy-kids at work wondering why I haven’t taken the ride in the choo-choo train.)

Alvin? His drawing was ‘compartmentalized’, as our coach noted. The box, the horsey, the flower, the storm, the ladder were all lined up straight, in perfect order, left to right across his paper, like a shotgun photo-op line-up. That’s good old golden boy Alvin for you, always organized.

And Suzeth. How can I forget Suzeth’s horse?

Hers was the horse running to the box because it was being chased by lightning! She was the first one to laugh at it after our head coach pointed out the analogy behind it.

And that was three years ago. A lot has happened. Our head coach’s daughter is probably all grown up by now. Alvin’s probably already a billionaire. Our coach, last I heard, is already sort of in show business (I knew it! Dang dude! I told him he has star quality and should exploit it! Good boy!).

And Suzeth has found her fine stallion.

And I sing her this song. It was the same song to which Mrs. Lykes, who got me into the drawing club, marched in 2008.

My dear Suzeth, I wish you all the bliss your heart can contain, I wish you a happiness that will keep overflowing. I wish you strength, and grace, and love.



Today is my first rest day from a three-week marathon work for the magazine I’m leading.

I wrote my first ever editor’s note last night. I wanted it to be inspired. But I’m afraid it wasn’t. Heavy days of work and recent challenges with the editor at the website have beaten me up good lately.

And more than that, I did not want the note to be my weepy account of how I got into La Salle, how I struggled to stay during the dark hours.

And I wanted to write about how I got in not out of being privileged but out of hard work. It was a choice. But I had to skip that too, because that would still inevitably turn the note into a confessional.

So I decided to simply quote Finding Forrester: “Losing family obliges us to find our family. Not always the family that is our blood, but the family that can become our blood.” Those who know me best should know that those lines pretty much sum it all up.

Alright. I have one night of rest before diving into work again. I will sing along with her tonight –

I am getting that birthday guitar, and my rest nights shall be nights of song.