Semblance

New Year passed by while I was sound asleep. It was the first time that happened to me, at least as an adult. My marathon viewing of Games of Thrones exacted a toll on my wakefulness. I did not even hear the loud fireworks most merrymakers exploded at midnight. I was somewhere else, in the dreamworld to be exact.

Hours later, I found out that the first day of 2015 was no different from the last day of 2014. I woke up as usual, almost the same minute of the same hour every morning (due mainly to a changed sleeping habit) and back to my unfinished field work. It would seem nothing changed a bit in our part of the world.

Yet,  things changed elsewhere, events we were no aware of, occurrences that might or might not have any bearing to our simple lives. Unless it is Armageddon happening in a global scale, we would have not known of it. We would continue to exist the only way we know: subsist on a daily basis.

This seeming ignorance of information outside our locality is the main reason why I want to stay connected, be online everyday. In an important way, I could impart to others, those who are interested, vital facts that are not necessarily reported on local news. Yes, I could withheld the same information and keep it to myself but that’s not the genuine use of received information: it is dissemination.

It’s unfortunate that I missed several important news the past days I was off the Net. More unfortunate still was what actually reached us were the terrible and horrible events that claimed lives because of the continuing conflicts in the world.

People elsewhere should try to negotiate for peace. They will absolutely love it like we do.

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Given

Have to sleep, guys and gals.

Goodnight!

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Different

Did I sound angry yesterday?

Not today. (I am catching up on my reading.)

I am here, at least as long as the connection holds. 🙂

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Conviction

There are world issues we faithfully believe in, at times to the point we appear fanatically obsessed.

To protect the environment is one of them.

If we do not succeed in our cause, I am absolutely sure that Nature will fight back and punish us all in the end.

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Reactive

We eat. We feed our minds.

I’ve always wondered why bad news generate more interest than good ones. It’s rather surprising that in general we all want the positive sides of life to reign in our world. Yet, we see more of the negative, often sensationalized, bled dry of inside information and analyses till we are all consumed by all the ill effects to our minds.

I am not an exception to this generalization. In fact, when I watch the newscast I could not help but be glued to my seat, oblivious of what’s happening around just to hear every word reported about an event. I am not glad to listen to accounts of accidents, natural calamities, political or social turmoils leading to deaths, or any other unfortunate incidents. I simply want to know the information.

Like eating, we feed ourselves to feel satiated physically and contented emotionally that we are not hungry. Could it be true that we fill our brains with information to be mentally active and emotionally contented that we are not ignorant about what’s happening around us?

Like eating healthy, we choose foods that benefit our bodies.. Mentally, we acquire positive thoughts, meaningful knowledge and good news.

On the other hand, more often than not we eat junk food, too. We know they are bad for our health but since they taste good, we still continue to consume them. We also have other vices that negatively affect our bodies but still we readily give in to their promised pleasures.

So, in some way bad news, which are not probably good for our mental health, continue to be included in our daily fare. We absorb every bit of details, tune in to updates and follow them up till the end. Subliminally, our negative emotions are aroused, our sense of fair play skewed and our logical thinking set aside.

We eat what we are. But we sometimes think what we are not.

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Gentle

People will remember us for what we are in life.

Of course, no one would like to be a villain.

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Vigil

Before the year ended, another godson, my constant chess opponent, presented me with an alternative to television. He loaned me the CD-ROM version of the HBO series Game of Thrones, all four seasons for my viewing pleasure.

“I have a lot of work,” I said plainly. “I’ll probably watch it later if I still possess the energy to open my eyes.”

“I have a lot of questions, Ninong,” he confided. “I am sure you could answer them when you’re finished with all the episodes.”

“You understand English, don’t you? What’s the matter?”

“Yes, but I have trouble following the dialogues.”

“I see.”  Nuances could be tricky.

I could tell that he was very interested. His enthusiasm showed on his boyish face.

“I will check it out during my break.”

Frankly, I was as ignorant as my neighbors about the series. Even though I was online most of the time I was not too keen to preview even the short clips on YouTube. I was more of a music video enthusiast.

I went back to the house to take a quick peek.

After screening the first episode of season one, I was glad I was spared watching the spoilers online. I felt a sense of heightened suspense, not knowing what would come next as the story unfolded. It was riveting.

Instantly, I decided to stop my field work. I had ten hours on my hands: everything went on hold. 🙂

I was not surprised why the series earned a large following. It possessed all the drama and mystique of a great legend.

I have not read the books yet. I am aware that most adaptations somewhat veered away from the original, with the author’s blessings, of course. Still, the core of the story was intact.

Like my godson, I have questions, certain matters that needed straightening out. For starters, in the first episode, how did one of the rangers escape the White Walker? My guess: cowardice could be the answer.

I am hooked so I am waiting for the fifth season installments. 🙂

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Bored

When you wake up the next day, the dizzy spell nagging you to stay horizontal, giving you a reason to keep your eyes to remain closed or see the ceiling moving as if it would crash down on you, perhaps it’s a clear signal to stick to the alcohol-free oath you swore. No more exceptions, even the holidays included in the self-ban.

That summarized my condition after the celebration the day before. Eating, drinking (more than my limit) and singing had nearly shattered my schedule, particularly the morning chores.

I failed to mention that after my departure at my kumpare‘s place, someone accosted me on the way home and herded me against my will (or so I tried to justify how easy it was to be towed when one was weak) to another house for more merry-making.

“Come on! Seldom we have you around. Just this once.”

When I finally made his face, he was my other kumpare who was on the way to a store to buy more bottles of beer. Whether it was fate or misfortune on my part, I could never tell.

There I was, doing my ‘thing’ which they hoped to witness once a year. (laughs) The rest of the year, most of them rarely saw me wandering about, seeking company by simply hanging around at corner stores. I am often holed up at my place, quietly passing the days, doing my main ‘thing’ in private.

And, there I was, the day after, nursing a throbbing head. trying to command the rest of my body to disobey the order to stay inert, contradictory messages from the same source.

“Ninong! Are you awake?”

Unmistakably, the hasty question belonged to my frequent visitor. He practiced the routine of coming by at the wrong time. Not too many kids possessed such a knack.

“I am now,” I replied without emotion.

“Are you sure?” he tested again.

“How could I answer you if I am still sleeping?”

“My father talks in his sleep. One time I asked him a question and he replied.”

“Your father talks too much,” I said, forcing myself to finally rise. “That’s a good thing.”

“Huh?”

I went out the front door, walked like a zombie to the first calamansi tree I found, and peed. I stood there and waited for nature to take its course.

“You’ll kill that tree,” my godson warned me.

I laughed out loud, a bit louder than necessary. The thought crossed my mind so many times before but I came to accept the fact that the notion was false.

“To prove you wrong, whenever you come here, pee at that small tree. That’s yours.”

What do you know? The boy went straight to it and followed my lead. He came back grinning without saying a word.

“Why are you here? You should be in school.”

“Hello?” his singsong surprised me.

“Aw! I forgot,” I said, rubbing my eyes, waking up for good.

“My parents sent me here. They have things to do at home.”

“I am sure,” I sighed audibly, “and that does not include you.”

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Matched

During my childhood the story told us was a simple fairy tale.

With a powerful sound track and a new version, the popular classic received a great boost.

At one point in the movie, though, I did expect Snow White showing her fangs. (laughs)

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Dandy

I almost forgot.

Earlier, at the same event, I overheard an out-of-town visitor complaining about his allergies concerning certain foods, particularly those coming from the sea. He was too vocal to tell everyone that his taste buds were choosy to the point he would vomit when given food that disagreed with his stomach.

When he first arrived, people thought he was a big shot. Later, we found out that he was not even wealthy nor overly educated. Pretentious was the word for him. I could sense he was acting the part to get the notice he did not really deserve. Such creatures appear once in a while, more so in village celebrations where many folks were easily duped by dramatic ostentation.I was sure he would be caught in his own lie when the time came.

Lunch was over but a late relative came over with big plateful of spring rolls. They were still warm when served in the middle of the table.

Mr. VIP did not wait for any invitation as he picked first, ready to munch what to him looked like French fries. Before we could eat our first, he had already devoured four.

“If you want to excuse yourself to go outside, feel free to do so.”

He was perplexed why I singled him out.

“I am fine,” he remarked, pretending not to have heard my advice. “These are delicious.”

I stood up, approached him and whispered, “Can I talk to you outside?”

He probably thought I would reprimand him for eating too much, though I did consider the same. But I had to point to him a detail he forgot to take into account.

“You said you are allergic to seafood.”

“Absolutely! I can’t stand the taste.”

“So why are you eating squid?”

At that instant I was ready for his outburst, of not being informed of the ingredient that could trigger his allergy, then belatedly throwing up in front of me to complete the farce.

To my surprise he did nothing of those scenarios I was afraid of: he simply smiled, caught of his charade but never verbally admitting I uncovered his scam.

“I’ll be on my way,” he said politely, eager to ease his way out from the embarrassing situation he dug himself into.

“Where are you going?” I asked automatically.

“It’s early in the afternoon. I can still make several rounds.”

“I suppose you’ll give them the same treatment like the stunt you pulled here.”

He did not need the scolding but I was offended by his impertinence.

“I am not a bad guy,” he reasoned. “Just a bit of fun, man!”

“I’ll let you off this time,” I conceded. “Next time, please come as you are. We are simple folks but we’re not naive.”

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