A toast of tequila to your drunken night –
you inhaled too much of that magic dust.
He swept you off to Neverland,
caught trapped in front of a barrel of a gun,
sacrificed your soul for his happy thoughts,
tried to rescue that little boy lost.
Hush now, forget that place between sleep and awake.
Your death awaits with out trust and faith.
Fairies are made to sparkle like stars
just as men outgrow shadows of their past.
Stop chasing dreams of make believe.
Everything now is not really what it seemed.
Rest now, you already died the day he said goodbye.
“Revolutionaries fall in the heat of the struggle but the revolution rages on forward.”
– A Salute to a Fallen Comrade
Today marks the 13th death anniversary of Ka Popoy Lagman. He was gunned down at UP Bahay ng Alumni by still unknown assassins. Ka Popoy was a visionary, a revolutionary socialist and champion of the working class.
For me, his contribution to the social movement goes beyond the ideological discussion that led to the historic split in the Philippine Left Movement. It is beyond the brilliant political tactics that drove capitalists and state to heed the call of labor. His genius lies is that he fought with tenacity that probably this generation could not even fathom.
He commands his ideology with deep understanding of the working class he passionately serves. His style is abrasive, harshly polemical, and brutally frank which does not sit well with those with sensitive skin in the movement.
I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to witness him in action before he was brutally murdered. The visionary that he was, he sent me to Baguio to prepare the logistics for a nationwide labor leaders conference at Day 2 of Edsa 2. I was pissed off because I will be missing the action in Edsa. Knowing that Edsa 2 will place GMA in power, he deemed it necessary to prepare the working class for a bigger struggle against the hands of GMA and her globalization policy. A few days after the successful assembly that convened thousands of labor leaders to form a working class party that is now the Partido ng Manggagawa, Ka Popoy was shot dead in UP.
Looking back at 13 years ago, the Philippine social movement would have been different if Ka Popoy is still alive. In fact, my life would have been so much different. In 2001, after Edsa 2, Ka Popoy’s death, Edsa 3 and the 2001 elections, I was 23 and became a June bride.
I am 36 now and still married. Today, I pay homage to a fallen comrade whose idealism fueled my ideals, whose passion sparked my revolutionary fervor, whose tenacity inspired my youth and continue to strengthen my resolve.
I am privileged to have walked the road less travelled by with this man as I was forever changed. I pay tribute by treading the same path so his ideals will live on.
Long live Ka Popoy! Long live the revolution!
I’ve always told people to believe in magic. Gather their happy thoughts to witness the magic. But, in reality, there is no such thing as magic.
Magic is just an illusion. We make it up because we need to live in an illusion, to hold on to that illusion in order to survive. Often, we need to fool our selves that magic exists so that we may persist to struggle in life.
I will still continue to tell every one I meet that there is magic simply because we all need to hold on to that magic in order to not lose hope in this world.
But, you know what the real magic is? It is you and your ability to believe in magic and your self.
I am the type of girl who would send friends long letters, treat them to dinner, welcome them to my house anytime and gift them with stuff that they love. I would like to think that I am the best friend you can have. I am fiercely loyal but I will honestly point out your mistakes. I will move mountains so that you can chase your dreams. I will shield you from harm even if I get hurt and sacrifice my own self in the process. I will sit you down over long touch base sessions so that you can sort your self out. I will hold your hand and walk with you in the dark. I may not agree with you and I may continue to challenge you but I will understand you and embrace you for who you are. I will love you to bits with all your imperfections. I will pierce you occasionally and make you cry but I will be first to take away your pain.
I grew up as an only child. Maybe this is why I built my friendships as my family. I nurture, protect, defend and value them. I am not good at small talks. I built relations through long intense conversations on the meaning of life. I pride my self for being a good judge of character. I trust people easily because I always see the good in them and the potential to make their selves better.
My friendships last through years even though I rarely have time to reconnect and chat with them over coffee or wine. Probably because I have invested enough relations with them that will last us a lifetime. And essentially because my friends and I know each other well, have grown up together or as what I always say understand each others’ core enough that distance and time do not really matter.
I have had my share of some friendships lost, and some of these I found again. Through out the years, I grew some more, each relationship uniquely has its own dynamics. I invest in relationships. This is what I do. This is who I am. I learned the value of those ties formed and the lessons I learned from the process of building or rebuilding it.
The past few months challenged these same values that I hold dear. As life would have it, I had to assess if all the investments were actually worth it. I had to reflect and question my own belief system and eventually, my self worth.
Looking back now, it finally hit me. While friendships are shaped and nurtured through time and common experiences, the essential foundations are built on the understanding of each others’ core, embracing who you both are, respecting your choices and trusting your love for each other. Thus, while along the process you may hurt each other, be insanely critical of each other, or fall out of each others’ lives, deep inside there is a bond that cannot be broken. That, your love for each other will be the force that will push you to weather your storms and anchor your selves to each others’ lives. After last year, I vow never to question these values again and my self worth.
I am sure that I will always make my self vulnerable to being hurt but I will always trust my self in all my judgment because I know that when I decided to let you into my life I gave you my trust, respect, understanding and love in a package deal and more. I will keep you as long as you would like me to. I will let you go as well if you want me to with no bitterness in my heart.
And so I write this piece as a homage of sorts to my friendships. Because I will forever be indebted to the lessons in life I learned with them. Because I know that whatever I do, at the end of the day, they will not judge me badly. Because I trust that they will always understand, that they will embrace me with all my flaws and faults, that they will respect my choices and hold my hand in the dark so I can finally get back to my path to being stellar. And because, I am very lucky to have friends who love me in my entirety and to bits.
I am writing this on a Thursday morning amidst the bustle of my so called life because I needed to make sense of everything happening around me these days, because I needed to remember who I am again. And perhaps, by remembering who I am, I will finally have the strength and courage to move forward to 2014.
I originally wrote this piece to salvage whatever is left in my memory, as I feared that it is slowly fading away. 6 months after, I now feel the need to edit and repost this. Because, the story need to be retold. Perhaps, because, there are new characters that need to understand the context where it all began. Probably, because, there is a need for all of us to remember. And maybe, in remembering, we will be able to go back to the basics and see where we should all be going. Or probably, I am just bored to death on a Christmas morning.
According to Lao Tzu, “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like”. For the past 5 years, I found my self as some sort of chronicler of the colorful lives of the men and women of Dakila. Most of them, I met when they where still boys and girls. I had the privilege of seeing them through their quarter life crises, through career changes and heartbreaks.
I never really consciously counted the seasons. It comes from an epiphany, that eureka moment that you just knew that the moment was the opening or the season ender. Sometimes, you just determine it by looking back at the events that transpired and seeing the whole picture from memories.
This whole season thing started as a joke among the girls of how the drama of this thing called life is much like our favorite television series. Only sometimes, people from real television series cross over our lives. But, unlike television, it is real. The series of these events actually shape our lives, chart our future.
If this was a real tv series then reaching 14 seasons will probably force the writers to assess and decide if it is time to end the show. In reality, I know there will come a time when the original characters will probably bid their goodbyes and move on. Even “Friends” had to take their final bow. But, a successful show will always have a spin off, a remake of sorts. And life will always throw us with new characters to make each day a lot more interesting or even crazier.
After 14 seasons, some of us have learned and some are still learning. We still rock to life’s beat and roll with its punches.
But, who can really say when it really begins or ends?
Like the season, our lives are marked by changes in the intensity of the light that reaches us, variations of which may cause us to migrate, hibernate, be dormant or evolve. It is always good to look back at our past to remember where we are going.
Here’s to 14 seasons and another 14 ahead of us. I only hope time does not fly fast enough.
June – December 2008
And this is where it all began – when friendships bloomed, of love found and love lost.
December 2008 – February 2009
A guitar gently weeps
March – June 2009
It comes around.
August – December 2009
Tik Tok, Tik Tok, Time is running out.
December 2009 – June 2010
The beds are always burning.
July – December 2010
true revolution begins in the imagination, surreal as a celebrity crossing over to our own show like a cameo in an episode, unbelievable drama of broken vows and a forever found, definitely changed how we all viewed our world.
February – July 2011
Across the universe gets you far, far away to the floods of Malabon then to an underground river,and you will probably get lost for a while only to find your self south of the border, west of the sun and finally home.
Because a twinkle in the eye can really make a difference.
February – June 2012
Because we need to break our walls to love even more.
July – December 2012
Finding truth in projections.
December 2012 – March 2013
Stripped, bare naked before the world ends.
March – May 2013
To struggle is to be free.
June – October 2013
To risk is to burn so we can kiss the sun.
Because it is in giving ourselves that we put something at stake and it is only after we risk that we have a chance in winning the battle towards the common good.
November – December 2013
To be wounded by our own understanding of love, and we bleed, willingly, joyfully.
Because we are #LahingDakila