Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Decade Back

"Isang araw kahapon
Nagbiro ang panahon
Naglaglag ng mga dahon
Sa puntod ko ay tumabon.."


6 pm, exactly 10 years ago, my mother was the proudest in the world. Her son was graduating from college with the highest honor, a feat never before accomplished by anyone in the clan or the university he’s leaving behind. After so many years of hard work and perseverance, the sweet taste of victory was up for the taking. The tree that was planted on a dried, barren and deserted land was finally ready to bear fruits. It was bittersweet, indeed.

Ten years passed, I could still recall the feelings and the portrait of the time, all those happy faces of proud parents, the black gowns of the graduates, the endless picture takings, the mounting after parties and of course, the ceremony itself. As the good senator, Manny Pangilinan handed me over that white piece of rolled paper representing my passport to a better future, though it was devoid of any written guarantee that success was sure to lie ahead, nonetheless I felt, in my hands a key to a brand new unfurnished house, the foundation was there, and it’s up to me to fill it up with whatever I wanted.

Back at home, the entire clan was waiting. Foods were prepared for this special occasion fourteen years in the making. When I came, I was greeted with relatives that I didn’t even want to see. What for and why now, I thought. It was uneasy talking to them, like I was suddenly estranged in my own house. I was the man who wasn’t there. I didn’t want to make the night unpleasant so I paid my stay for an hour. I have not seen my family, especially my parents looking so happy and proud in a long time, and that was enough to absolve half the bitterness that I was hiding deep inside my heart.

The years before that night were unknown to many. Fourteen years of self kept hurt, dragging financial woes, burgeoning personal and emotional issues and high flying dreams, I wept alone. I had cried many nights. I had taken all the heartaches and pain, nobody came to just say “everything’s going to be alright” or probably some comforting words like “you could do it”. Now that everything was over, everyone seemed to share with the victory. Everyone was happy, taking and partaking what’s supposed to be mine.

I came to bed early, not because I felt sleepy but because I wanted to take time alone. My part was over. I have given them pride and honor, something for the entire clan to feel happy about. I should have enjoyed it, it was my night. Suffice it was for me to see my parents received all the congratulations and commendations on my behalf. They deserved it.

I was in bed; I was looking at the white piece of paper that I have just received. It was blank but my mind was full of thoughts, what I was going to do next, would I be able to hurdle the board exam, would I be able to get a good job soonest and so on and so forth. I was on my bed but I was imagining going to places, travelling to far, distant and unknown horizons. That night, I felt could touch the sky and hug the clouds, I could embrace the moon and pick the stars. Everything was just within my reach. So close yet so far.


"Isang dekadang lumipas
Ng panahong walang bakas
Ang pag-asang makatakas
Nalugmok din ng malas.."


  1. Got an award for you. Check it out at the other oasis in the desert!

  2. life after school stands as a completely different league...

  3. sana naman maging ok ka na. you deserve to be happy and successful.