Portent

The owls did it again.

I did not mention this the other day because I seem to remember that I published a post about the local bird of the night predicting (accurately) the departure of life from the body.

Since I changed my sleeping hours, later than usual, I began to hear the noises of midnight and the early morning. Startling and spooky, the owls hooted as if they were talking with one another, keeping track of the invisible to the human naked eye and providing hints of what would come to pass.

Yes, depending on their location and distance from my position, I could take a wild guess where the dead would be located. (It’s a discouraging prospect but it is what it is.)

True enough, or should I say bewildering, the owls maintained their percentage of accuracy to a high level. Supernatural? I could not put a word to describe it. Fantastic, perhaps?

“Did you hear them, too?” my kumpare asked the next day. “I was pissing outside when I thought they were just overhead. I had to hurry up to go inside and hide.”

“You’re exaggerating,” I remarked nervously. “As always.”

“He’s dead,” my kumpare mentioned the name of our neighbor. “The next day after the owls hooted.”

Right there and then, I began to keep a more open mind. I did not know what to say, nor would I want to confirm what my kumpare surmised, I only wished the birds would leave and move far away from our locality.

However, that would be easier to hope for than realized.

When I told my godsons that the aswang was not real, I was simply excluding them from the anxieties and fears of adults. Children should be exempted, while still young, from the ugliness and obscenities of this world and beyond.

Believe it or not, there are unnatural phenomena occurring hereabouts. People could not explain them other than joke around and pretend they were folk tales of old, handed down through generations with embellishments as years went by.

Right now, I could hear the dogs howling one after another. Should I be frightened?

No. I am sure.

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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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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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Prompt

Good morning everyone!

When I woke up this morning, I felt like a dead weight. My brain had a difficult time convincing my body to rise up and continue all the tasks waiting in the field. Alone, the work ahead of me could not be finished till mid January.

Well, I have no boss but myself so that’s all right. I can procrastinate all I want. My kind of farming could be called continuous interaction with Nature.

However, on the other hand, I am not the type who wants to see disorder daily. Right now, it’s almost total chaos in the area where the chainsaw guys worked for two days. If picking up dry leaves takes forever, imagine freshly-cut branches dangling on other branches, logs of different sizes from a foot to a fathom, slabs to collect and haul and all the small things needed to make the surrounding look cleaner and as natural as possible.

I have to be a juggler once more: use my waking hours intelligently, giving each task (field work, writing, blogging, rest, etc.)  its equal share of time and effort.

I will be in and out of the Net from this hour onward. Some of my blogging responsibilities will suffer but I will try hard to compensate for my shortcomings whenever I am online.

It’s a bit cloudy so field work beckons. 🙂

Have a great Sunday everyone!

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Validation

Freedom!

(Did you see the huge exclamation point?)

If I could sing like him, I’ll do it often. 🙂

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Convert

One thing led to another.

After I was cut offline yesterday (because of reasons you know about), I decided to wander off  for an hour or so. I had no destination whatsoever: I let my feet dictated where I was headed.

About three kilometers from home, I took cover in a roadside shed. It was only mid morning but the sun’s heat was relentlessly warming my whole body, extracting perspiration out, soaking my shirt with sweat.

Two other individuals were sitting side by side when I arrived. At first glance, they were acquaintances but as I approached closer I could see that they were both busy with their touch screen phones. Neither was talking: their fingers manipulated their respective gadgets without even recognizing who joined them.

“It’s too hot,” I commented, waiting for any response.

Nothing.

By now, I was beginning to be convinced that the younger generation nowadays was more interested with their social media status than their standing in the village. The I-don’t-care attitude at home kept them immersed in the virtual reality space they so eagerly joined to feel connected and wanted.

I stood up after a few minutes: if ever I wished for an interesting conversation, I might as well look for someone not holding an electronic device. (I left mine at home.)

I did find him after half a kilometer, wading in the irrigation canal, the water knee deep.

“Can I help you?” I inquired, taking off my slippers.

“Glad if you can,” he replied, holding a submerged sack, which I accurately guessed as palay seeds. It was part of the preparation for seeding three days later. “Can you push the other sack down?”

I knew the procedure by heart so instead of following his request, I jumped in the water and pulled the sack down. Still dry, it would float and it would be difficult to control with one hand holding another sack. The current was moderately strong.

In about twenty minutes, we tied the then sacks together to a post so that they would not be carried away by the current. Placing huge stones on top of each sack, the palay seeds inside would be soaked in water for thirty six hours.

“If my son is here, this job could have been finished before you arrived.”

I did not mention to him that I saw two teenagers by the shed. One of them has features that resembled the man in front of me. I was sure he was the one referred to.

“I think he does not want to be a farmer.”

He nodded, his lined face sad with that fact.

“My children want to change their future, out of the mud, out of here.”

As some form of consolation, I shared with him something to think about.

“What will happen if there are no more farmers left? Who will produce food?”

“That won’t happen,” he grinned. “As long as I am capable, I will continue with this job I inherited from my father, which he inherited from his forefathers. Others will do the same.”

I hope you’re right, I thought.

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Readiness

Before I begin this day, in behalf of my countrymen, I would like to thank all of you who sent positive thoughts our way. I believe that our concerted efforts somewhat reduced an impending disaster into a more manageable natural occurrence.

Many people might not see it that way, that positive thoughts could be a powerful force to even influence Nature’s actions. Time and again, it has been proven during different occasions.

All day yesterday, before the super typhoon landed, we were united in seeking Mother Nature’s intervention, to calm the winds further so as not to make a repeat of last year’s devastation. We were ready to submit to any response to our plea.

We have no power supply almost the whole day yesterday but we did not care as long as the stormy weather did not affect us. A short rain in the morning and cloudy the whole afternoon, we were happy for the development.

Today, the sun is shining brightly out here. That’s what we wish for.

To everyone, we are much grateful for your natural goodness.

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Friendship

We need us!

I am always amazed how people create those animated films. Truly imaginative. 🙂

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In Place

I just went outside a while ago to check the skies. Stars were still visible while the full moon hid behind a rogue dark cloud.

Well, at least it was still calm.

I need the sleep fellow bloggers. Tomorrow might be a busier day.

Goodnight to all!

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Alerted

It’s cloudy at the moment but anytime now it could rain.

I’ve been following the newscast on TV. The reports about the local weather are not encouraging.

Another super typhoon is heading toward our archipelago. Based on the forecast, our place would be too far away to be affected. However, those areas that was devastated by the most destructive storm on record last year brace themselves for another strong howler.

I will stay online as long as the connection holds.

Stay safe everyone.

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