Tempo

The mood for every situation is dictated by the individuals during the event and how they wanted it displayed for themselves and for those observing from the sidelines.

In our case, a subdued ambiance was in order, the gathering followed the norms dictated by tradition. To be frank though, not everything that transpired then was connected to sadness. There were lighthearted moments and a few funny incidents, too. Those welcome sidelights somewhat consoled our grieving hearts.

Take for example the food served to guests during the wake (a nine-day vigil). Most popular (and easiest to procure) are instant coffee mixes and biscuits. As hosts we needed not bother to provide complicated forms of refreshments: Mother chose a similar arrangement. Because I was a few days late (another long story), I was not included in the planning.

As soon as I arrived from the pier, I opened the big box of coconut-flavored homemade candies I brought along. Pre-ordered from an acquaintance who sell them for a living, I was sure they would be a hit, especially to children.

As small tokens of appreciation, Mother reserved half of them to be distributed to medical personnel who assisted her during Father’s hospitalization. I promised to bring more when I come back.

Quiet for most of the time, I listened to stories related to my Father’s life as revealed by relatives. But what caught my attention more was the sight of guests trying out the round-shaped, orange-sized and flat candies we served. If it was not a wake, I bet I would be doubling up with laughter seeing the difficulty some people had savoring the sweets.

“This is too hard for my taste!” a disgusted old man commented, revealing most of his teeth absent and lost long ago. Several tries later and the candy would not be divided in his mouth. He looked like a baby struggling with the pacifier.

“I never had this sweet candy before,” another remarked while licking hers instead of biting small parts bit by bit. She, too, was denied a perfect set of munching tools. Her ordeal could last much of the hour while the candy would only melt if she persisted.

“I can’t wait to finish mine,” an inventive fellow confessed, busy cutting his share with a knife. Like any Filipino, he would find another way to deal with a problem.

“Leave them alone!” a female voice ranted to the group. The old lady readily accepted her limitations and decided not to test her chewing power: she chose a cup of coffee and a small plate of biscuits instead.

I kept my peace and decided not to ruin my calm pose. Cold as ice is a description many people referred to my demeanor.

“It’s okay to smile, or even laugh.”

I did not recognize the person who uttered those words because there were numerous groups around me exchanging pleasantries and stories. Their animated conversations were spiced with quiet laughter and gaps of silence.

Well, he or she was correct, I had to admit. By then, I felt less guilty for having a sunnier disposition. It did not diminish whatsoever the genuine bereavement we shared.

More or less, I almost forgot why I brought those candies along in the first place. To be exact, the specialty was one of Father’s favorites.

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Disoriented

Where was the point where I left off?

Like a program, I have not been updated for some time.

Scattered hints flash inside my head that I was once an enthusiastic blogger, reading innumerable posts with gusto, absorbing information like a sponge retaining water. I knew I was a long-time resident of this hang-out called WordPress, where the ins and outs were somewhat a vague memory today. I am still feeling my way in the dark.

When I saw my email inbox, I concluded that I was away far too long. I admit that the task of just checking them would be time-consuming, let alone read the contents of each notification.

I need time. A lot. I am sure you will extend to me all the leeway and tolerate my tardiness of reacting to your old comments. You are entitled of replies because you shared a moment or two to convey your thoughts. Everyone is greatly appreciated.

I might be too slow to catch up with your recent posts but in time I will see to it that I’ll do. Please wait for my visit.

I am most thankful that I have been, and still is, a part of WordPress’ blogging community. Now I am well aware what the word ‘support’ really means.

A productive day, everyone!

Desired

I have to admit I was at a loss when my father passed away. Our family of four was one less, a pillar removed, our stable state suddenly denied a solid foundation. Priorities were rearranged; the future uncertain.

Mother became my foremost reason to deny myself of any personal objectives. For a time, during my break, I began to accept that my life would be destined to caring for her: she is old and alone. Whatever I want or wish to do have to wait, her well-being stays first in my list.

Writing became a luxury, not a necessity. Slowly, I lost the desire to connect words and phrases to form a meaningful story. Although in my mind I possessed scrambled ideas and would-be plots, they faded quickly as soon as reality reminded me of what was more important at the moment.

But life is not always as one sees it. There will be times that the unexpected would introduce something favorable to what one first believed as an unfavorable situation. When there is that silver lining that one missed because of the dark clouds of confusion during an unfortunate incident, it might reappear some other time, ready to be taken advantage of to provide a compromise acceptable to everyone concerned.

It will come to us. We will talk and find a better set-up. Adjustments are necessary.

By the way, today is my inspiration’s birthday! If you have no idea who I am talking about, I guess you have to find out yourself by mining my old posts. 🙂

Have a wonderful day, guys and gals!

Nostalgic

Remember the old TV series Starsky and Hutch?

Well, that’s taking you back, way, way back! 🙂

Just so you know I am still around although not yet fully recovered.

I will be back! You can count on it!

(Just passing through this time.)

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Expected

Adjustments are necessary.

Fine tune the love till both sides get it right.

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Weather

There will be highs and lows in a relationship. It’s a matter of finding the right reasons to compromise.

Keep the peace.

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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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