11.15.2007

seesaw, subukan mo

nakasakay ka na ba sa seesaw?

minsan, nasa taas ka. minsan, nasa ibaba ka. depende ito sa iyong kalaro.

isang beses, may nakita kong naglalaro sa may parke, isang lalaki at isang babae. nasa seesaw sila. nakuha ang aking atensyon nang mapansin kong pilit nilang pinapantay ang seesaw. binabalanse nila. at, kitang-kita sa kanilang mga mukha ang hirap.

tumatagaktak ang kanilang mga pawis, ngunit hindi nawala sa kanilang mga mukha ang mga ngiti. minsan, ang lalaki ang babagsak at ang nasa itaas ang babae. minsan din naman, ang babae naman ang nasa ibaba.

nahihirapan sila. halata ito sa kanilang mga pawis at mukha, ngunit masaya sila habang ginagawa ang pagbabalanse. ang kanilang mga ngiti at halakhak ang nagpatunay nito.

hindi naglaon, natutunan nilang ibalanse ang seesaw, ngunit hindi pa rin maikakailang nahihirapan ang dalawa.

ang mahalaga naman, natutunan nilang ibalanse.

nang tuluyan nilang makabisado kung paano, sabay bumaba ang dalawa. halos hindi sila nagtinginan nang sila'y umalis ng seesaw. tumayo lang sila, at naghawak-kamay.

nang marinig ko ang isang maikling linya ng babae habang sila ay nag-uusap. tiyaka ko naintindihan.

*********

"...doon, may mas malaking seesaw...."


11.11.2007

may sumpa ka, tandaan mo

madalas, sa buhay natin, kapag dumating ang suwerte, sunud-sunod. at madalas din, kapag dumating ang sunud-sunod na swerte, nakakalimot.

********
nanalo ko sa lotto noong nakaraan, nakabunot ng premyo noong nakaraang linggo sa supermarket, nakapulot ng bolpen noong isang araw, at hindi nahuli ng gard kanina nang nakalimutan ko ang aking id.

"pre, sineswete ata ako nitong mga nakaraang buwan."
"bakit? paano mo nasabi?"
"hindi ba nanalo ako ng lotto, tapos, nakabunot ako ng komponet sa supermarket noong isang linggo. ngayon, hindi ako nahuli ng gard na walang id. ang dami pa e. sineswerte ko!"

********

ang hindi lumingon sa pinanggalingan, hindi makararating sa paroroonan.

********
sasali ako sa maraming patimpalak. mananalo ako sigurado. sineswerte ako ngayon, nararamdaman ko!

********

"pre, sasali ako sa singing contest sa sabado."
"marunong ka bang kumanta?"
"medyo...."
"sa tingin mo mananalo ka sa boses mong yan?"
"oo" napatigil siya. agad kong sinundan "sineswerte ko e."

********

ayos! ika-13 ako. lucky thirteen to! maya-maya lang, akin na ang trophy na yan.

********

"ayos lang yan, tol."
"...natalo ko." habang pabagsak ang namumuong luha sa aking mga mata. natalo ko. akala ko ba sineswerte ko! bakit? paano kong natalo?
"nasa tono ka naman kanina e."
pero natalo ko! talo pa rin iyon!
"pero natalo ko!" tuluyan nang gumulong ang mga luha sa magkabi kong mga pingi.

napatigil siya sa pagtahan sa akin. tumayo siya. hindi ko siya sinundan ng tingin.

"pre! may sumpa ka, tandaan mo! kung sinwerte ka noong ilang mga araw, huwag mong abusuhin. huwag mong kakalimutan na may sumpa ka! wala kang karapatang humingi ng anu man. wala kang karapatan!"

tiyaka ko siya tingnan paitaas. maliwanag, ngunit pilit ko siyang tiningnan.

"akala ko wala na ang sumpa. akala ko ayos na ang lahat."

patuloy ang luha sa pagdaloy. umupo siyang muli sa aking harapan.

"hindi na mawawala ang sumpang iyon. ikaw ang may kasalanan. ikaw ang dahilan kung bakit nariyan iyan. panindigan mo. pre, huwag kang makalilimot, may sumpa ka."
"...pero..."
"hindi na mawawala yan. sumpa mo na yan. pagbibintangan ka. lalayuan ka. isusumbat sa iyo ang mga ito. paulit-ulit. masasanay ka rin."

wala na kong nasabi. may sumpa ko. may sumpa ko. paulit-ulit, hanggang sa tuluyang makatulog.

nanuyo ang mga luha.

nagsasayaw nang siya'y biglang huminto

nagsasayaw siya sa aking isip nang bigla siyang huminto. hindi ko alam kung bakit. hindi siya humihinto, iyon ang aking pagkakaalam. iyon ang aking pagkakaalam. matagal ko na siyang pinagmamasdang sumasayaw. ngayon, sa unang pagkakataon, huminto siya.

kumatok ang kanyang kaibigang matalik. huminto siya upang buksan ang pinto. ngunit sa aking pagkakatanda, hindi siya humihinto sa pagsasayaw, kahit pa may kumatok o dumating. pasayaw siyang lalapit sa pinto. pasayaw niyang bubuksan ito. pasayaw niyang kakamustahin. lahat ay gagawin niyang pasayaw. ganoon siya.

bigla siyang napakanta nang makita niya ang nasa pinto. madalas ko silang makitang magkasama, ngunit ngayon ko lang napansin ito. humihinto pala siya sa tuwing dadaan ang taong ito. kumanta siya nang napakalakas. sumakit ang aking ulo ngunit hindi dahil wala sa tono. masyado itong malakas. masyado itong malakas para sa kanya. ...o para sa akin?

ilang oras silang nagkantahan. matagal na kantahan. hindi ko maintindihan. ang kanyang tinig ay maganda, ngunit malakas. gayon din ang kanyang kasama. hindi ko maintindihan. natanggal ko na lang ang aking mga kamay sa tainga nang mapansin kong sumsayaw na siyang muli. wala na ang kanyang kaibiganang matalik.

nagpatuloy siya sa kanyang pagsayaw. nagpatuloy ako sa pagtitig. pag-iisip. hindi nagtagal ay huminto siyang muli. naulit ang nangyari noon. natapos. naulit muli. paulit-ulit. kung minsan, hindi awit ang kanyang ginagawa. sa halip na pagsayaw, siya'y tumutula. ito ang kanyang ginagawa sa tuwing iba ang bibisita sa kanya.

napaisip ako bigla. nanggaling sa hindi ko alam. nagtataka lang kung bakit kailangan niyang huminto, kung ganoon ba talaga siya bago siya napunta sa aking isip, kung humihinto ba talaga siya, kung dapat ba akong masanay sa kanyang pagkanta at pagtula, kung dapat ko bang tumitig din sa tuwing siya ay kakanta at tutula.

nagsasayaw siya sa aking isip nang bigla siyang huminto. hindi ko alam kung bakit. hindi siya humihinto, iyon ang aking pagkakaalam. iyon ang aking pagkakaalam.... ...iyon ang aking pagkakaalam, iyon ang aking pagkakaalam....

11.05.2007

the man and the barista

he grabs his mug as if he needs more. his eyes sharp and his coat in formal one. outside is a black sedan tinted in dark black and attached with 18" aluminum mag that mixes with his suit quite well. he sits in the couch comfortable. he waits. he smiles at the barista whom he knows for years now. an everyday customer for the barista, an everyday ritual for the man. this is the place that nurtures him; a continuation of his past childhood.

he does not linger around nor look at others. he does not care. he minds his own business. for the barista, he is someone he knows, but a stranger that no one knows. for the other drinkers around, he is no one but a businessman waiting for his partner. he is not the man reading his novel. he is not the man that changes his drink every now and then. he is not the man that speaks a lot. he is not the man that stays for nothing.

it may seem that he is just waiting, but he is not. he is not waiting for anything, but he is comfortable. he is waiting. in the couch where he sits everyday from six to eight in the morning and four to seven in the afternoon, he is comfortable. sometimes, he even sits there during saturdays and sundays around eight to ten in the morning and nine to twelve at night.

the barista wonders what he does for a living, is he married or divorced. he does not look like single. he looks responsible. he looks strong and powerful. but then, the barista never asks. he only asks what question. cash or credit. the barista knows the man's drink. he knows when to put sugar and when to leave it as is. he also knows when to do it cold or hot.

there is sugar when the man visits in the morning and at night. it goes as is if it is already in the afternoon. he once told the friend barista. the morning and night is like the sunrise and sunset. your store is not the beach nor the bay, but i treat it as such. the sunrise and sunset is the sweetest. it is the beginning and end. that is why i want sugar in my coffee in morning and at night. i want it sweet, enough that it still tastes like coffee. that was only once. from then on, the barista never forgot.

it goes cold and freeze when he visits in the afternoon. it also goes cold when he is just wearing his polo. it goes hot without cream when he visits in the morning and at night. just like the sugar. it also goes hot when he is wearing his coat. it is that simple.

the barista knows a lot about this man. he knows the drink he takes everyday and every time. he knows when to talk to him and when not to ask. he knows his card number. he knows his surname and his plate number. he knows his smell and he knows when to compliment.

the man is not known. he is just the barista's subject, just like the others that drink here. he make stories out of people. he make stories our of them. the man is his favorite, because the man is mysterious. his stories do not fit him. his stories for him do not fit at all. the man is different. the man makes him wonder. he makes him think. he makes him think deeper.

in the end, he concludes. the man, all men, not just men, but all, drinks and goes to him because of that same reason. all people that goes to him and approaches him not just craves for his drink. they crave for the nurture he gives. these people crave for the nurture that this place gives. this place, him, is the continuation of their past childhood. they suck their coffees as if sucking their milk. they sit in the chair and couch as if this is their home. they go to this place to wait; sit as if this place is their crib.

the first date

as always, just like any other day in our past, we were talking about the things that we've accomplished lately, how the day went, who from our friends called to say hi, when did mom last called, who will be cooking for tomorrow's breakfast and as such, when the door suddenly opened, slightly. slowly, it casted the dim light outside the room.

she looked at me as if asking me to do what i was supposed to do, i knew. we knew. so i stood up without thinking, even without wearing my sleepers, and went straight towards the door and opened it fully. there, he sprang just as we thought.

"ma.... i can't sleep."

********

ngumiti siya tulad ng inaasahan ko. her eyes, beautiful. smile, still the same. pagkabalik ko ng kama, hindi na asawa ko ang katabi ko.

junjun. our first born. makulit, punung-puno ng tanong, makwento rin, saksakan ng taba palibhasa'y mahilig sa hotdog, at.... hindi ko alam kung hindi talaga siya makatulog sa sariling kwarto, mahilig lang talagang magpakwento o.... ayaw niyang nilalambing ko ang nanay niya. but don't get me wrong, we are a family. ihahatid namin siya sa eskwelahan sa umaga, tiyaka kami papasok sa trabaho. after work, i'll fetch my wife and my ubod ng kulit na junjun. it just depends, 'pag friday, it's either we go to malls or eat, o umuwi ng maaga and schedule it on a sunday. we talk things over every now and then, parang meeting na informal, para hindi nagkakaroon ng misunderstanding.

********

hindi sa nagyayabang pero my wife is really unbelievable. walang binatbat kung ikukumpara sa ibang mga babae diyan. but of course, i won't compare her with them kasi.... there is no point of comparison. basta, ganito na lang, to simplify things, she was just the prom i'm-sorry-i-forgot, held several seats in the student council for almost three years, former ms. un, and held a dozen or two certificates and plaques of different sorts noong high school and college. hindi na mahalaga na isa-isahin ko pa, baka mabilib ka na ng sobra 'pag pati yung recent sasabihin ko pa. okay na na nabigyan kita ng kaunting background. oh! i almost forgot, have i mentioned na misis na si diane kathrina kwok? actually, she holds my surname right now.

********

"ma.... i can't sleep."
"jun, you have to learn to sleep in your room. big boy ka na."
"but ma..."
"you are a big boy na. 'di ba?"
"pa.... kwento."
"tungkol sa'n?"
"anything."
"i have already told you all the fairy tales i know."
"kahit hindi fairy tales."

big boy na nga siya. dati, kahit paulit-ulit, he'll opt to listen tales and fantasy stories than real once. pero ngayon, any will do na ata, kahit hindi fairy tales.

"what kind of stories?"
"mga napagdaanan ninyo.... ni mama."
"madami e." as i looked at her, my dear, smiling.
"how did you end up together?"

********

sometimes, all you have to do to catch a big fish is offer her a wedding ring. (from the movie big fish, words are not exact but same thought though) but sometimes, you need not offer such grand gift. kailangan lang magpakatotoo, yung ikaw talaga and your sincere intentions. oo, somehow, it's one way, but if your intentions are good and totoo ka sa lahat ng bagay sa kanya, darating din yun. naturally.

********

"sige."
"yey!"
but you need not remember this story.... because i want to retell this story over and over

********

"hindi naging madali, jun. and, it was like a fairy tale so it'll be a good start for you. (if you know what i mean) during that time, i've known your mama for three years na, pero hindi kami masyadong nag-uusap. the only time na nakakapag-usap kami is either tungkol sa banda (which was parokya ni edgar at that time) o aasarin ko siya."

wait! have i told you na junjun got my eyes and my hair, and her mama's brows and forehead? yung ilong, hindi ko alam. i think it's a blend of the both of us, sakto e.

********

pareho kasi kami ng paboritong banda noon. magaganda kasi mga kanta ng parokya, plus, yun lang yung banda na pinakikinggan ko.

"hindi nga kami nag-uusap. we had our own lives and our own sets of friends. tapos, siguro, mga sometime feb., feb yun, 'di ba hun?"

she smiles and says softly, "feb. 17"

"oo, feb 17, that was our first long-and-sweet-weird text-text. nangyari yun kasi no'ng valentines, i texted all my crushes. kasama siya roon, unfortunately." while laughing. "you see, pilyo ako noon e. just like you. actually up to now, pero sobrang timang ako noon." but then, it was tat kapilyuhan that brought me to where i am right now.... beside your mama. siyempre hindi ko sinama yun. bata pa siya para sa mga bagay na ganyan.

"doon na nagstart. often, we text, 'pag hindi, sa phone kami nag-uusap. halos lahat ng topic napag-uusapan namin. hindi kami nauubusan ng kwento, palibhasa pareho kaming kwentista. and, we enjoy talking, and listening to one another. we were like close friends already kahit noon lang kami nakapag-usap."

"i remember the first time i called your mama. sabi ko sa text, "can i call you?" akala niya kung ano, kasi matutulog na. may pasok pa kinabukasan noon. n'ong pumayag siya na tumawag ako, kinakabahan pa ko, tapos sabi ko, "wala lang, good night."

********

"pa.... ang corny."

naalala ko tuloy yung isang text niya one time. ...una korni pero 'pag andun ka na, pag nafeel mo na, kahit korni, sweet e. (again, not the exact words, but same thought )

"someday you'll understand."

********

"hindi naging madali, jun.... "

"i had my own friends, she had her own. halos magkaiba yung mundo namin for them, kami nga lang ang nakakaalam na hindi magkaiba yung mundo namin. we found out na ang dami naming pagkakapareho. we understand each other, and masaya kami."

"..hindi ko maintindihan." bulong ni jun.

"minsan, you need not understand, just listen."

********

"dumating sa point na halos maggive-up na kami, pero wala pang one week, we were together uli. tapos naging okay na uli. nag-uusap na kami uli. trials lang pala."

"everything was going pretty nice. we were comfortable that way. matagal ko na siyang gustong yayain lumabas that time, and it seemed that it was the perfect time. so, naglakas loob na ko. i asked her, the whole day, to go out with me. ang plano lang is to go to manila bay and eat. kwentuhan lang. pero on our way there, napadaan kami ng museong pambata. ganoong ka-comfortable. naglaro kami sa mga trains, sa tiyan ng tao, animals, bones, plants, madami."

"nang makarating kami ng bay mismo, it was already three. malapit na mag-4 p.m. nagpahinga muna kami, then naghanap na kami ng makakainan for dinner. hindi ko naman mapapalampas yun. it was our first date. una, gusto namin doon sa barko magdinner. kaso, it was way too expensive for us. sabi ko sa mama mo, "dito na lang tayo kumain", at that time, may isang hilara ng mga resto doon." (thanks to mayor fred lim, wala na ang first date resto namin)

********

"pjam, saan mo gusto kumain dito?" i asked her.
"kahit saan.", sinundan niya, "ano'ng favorite number mo?"
"bakit?"
"basta! ano?"
"wala e, pero eight na lang." (kasi jonathan, 8)
"sige, bilang na lang tayo ng 8 na resto, tapos yun na."

ganyan kami lagi e. we are so comfortable with each other na kahit pinaka-batang idea namin, nasasabi namin, napag-uusapan namin. gustong gusto ko talaga.... ito.

"ano'ng gusto mo?" naka-upo na kami sa pang-8 na resto tulad ng napag-usapan.
"kahit ano, ikaw? gulay? seafood? beef? baboy?"
"kahit ano, ikaw na lang diyan, ako sa drinks."
"sige"
"iced tea?"
"okay lang." (tiyaka ko na lang nalaman na sinisinok siya sa coke) "karekare?"
"sige."
"seafood?"
"sige"

at that time hindi pa kami nagshashare ng drinks. and at that time, hindi ako nag-extra rice. (kasi nagshare kami sa rice niya)

after namin kumain, 7 p.m. na. sakto, 7 p.m. ang start no'ng bus na umiikot ng baywalk. no'ng may dumaan, i called her attention kaagad. it was not the one we expected, parang truck lang na may upuan sa likod yung nasakyan namin, pero it was enough para mapasaya ko siya. nagulad na lang ako nang makita ko siya, inaantok na. (that was the first time i saw her na inaantok) so, we decided na umuwi na. after all, ang dami na rin naming nagawa for the day.

********

"noong pauwi na kami, muntik na kaming maligaw. buti na lang may isang pulis doon na nag-aabang ng mahuhuli."

"kuya, dito po ba daan papuntang quiapo?"
"oo, diyan."
"sige ho, salamat po."

"boss, wala kayong sasakyan? 'pag ganyang date dapat nakasasakyan na kayo."
"wala e." i looked at her, we smiled. pakialamerong pulis!

********

"nang makasakay na kami ng dyip, tuluyan nang nakatulog mama mo. siya yung umupo sa may pinto ng dyip so i hugged her." (baka kasi malaglag siya) "i held her hand, for the first time. she held mine too."

from that moment, alam ko na.

********

nakatulog na si junjun. saang parte ba siya nakatulog? para sa susunod na magpakwento siya, dudugtungan ko na lang. hindi na bali, uulitin ko na lang ulit.

nakatulog na rin pala si pjam.


as always, just like any other day in our past, we were talking about the things that we've accomplished lately, how the day went, who from our friends called to say hi, when did mom last called, who will be cooking for tomorrow's breakfast and as such, when the door suddenly opened, slightly. slowly, it casted the dim light outside the room.

she looked at me as if asking me to do what i was supposed to do, i knew. we knew. so i stood up without thinking, even without wearing my sleepers, and went straight towards the door and opened it fully. there, he sprang just as we thought.

"ma.... i can't sleep."

********

ngumiti siya tulad ng inaasahan ko. her eyes, beautiful. smile, still the same. pagkabalik ko ng kama, hindi na asawa ko ang katabi ko.

junjun. our first born. makulit, punung-puno ng tanong, makwento rin, saksakan ng taba palibhasa'y mahilig sa hotdog, at.... hindi ko alam kung hindi talaga siya makatulog sa sariling kwarto, mahilig lang talagang magpakwento o.... ayaw niyang nilalambing ko ang nanay niya. but don't get me wrong, we are a family. ihahatid namin siya sa eskwelahan sa umaga, tiyaka kami papasok sa trabaho. after work, i'll fetch my wife and my ubod ng kulit na junjun. it just depends, 'pag friday, it's either we go to malls or eat, o umuwi ng maaga and schedule it on a sunday. we talk things over every now and then, parang meeting na informal, para hindi nagkakaroon ng misunderstanding.

********

hindi sa nagyayabang pero my wife is really unbelievable. walang binatbat kung ikukumpara sa ibang mga babae diyan. but of course, i won't compare her with them kasi.... there is no point of comparison. basta, ganito na lang, to simplify things, she was just the prom i'm-sorry-i-forgot, held several seats in the student council for almost three years, former ms. un, and held a dozen or two certificates and plaques of different sorts noong high school and college. hindi na mahalaga na isa-isahin ko pa, baka mabilib ka na ng sobra 'pag pati yung recent sasabihin ko pa. okay na na nabigyan kita ng kaunting background. oh! i almost forgot, have i mentioned na misis na si diane kathrina kwok? actually, she holds my surname right now.

********

"ma.... i can't sleep."
"jun, you have to learn to sleep in your room. big boy ka na."
"but ma..."
"you are a big boy na. 'di ba?"
"pa.... kwento."
"tungkol sa'n?"
"anything."
"i have already told you all the fairy tales i know."
"kahit hindi fairy tales."

big boy na nga siya. dati, kahit paulit-ulit, he'll opt to listen tales and fantasy stories than real once. pero ngayon, any will do na ata, kahit hindi fairy tales.

"what kind of stories?"
"mga napagdaanan ninyo.... ni mama."
"madami e." as i looked at her, my dear, smiling.
"how did you end up together?"

********

sometimes, all you have to do to catch a big fish is offer her a wedding ring. (from the movie big fish, words are not exact but same thought though) but sometimes, you need not offer such grand gift. kailangan lang magpakatotoo, yung ikaw talaga and your sincere intentions. oo, somehow, it's one way, but if your intentions are good and totoo ka sa lahat ng bagay sa kanya, darating din yun. naturally.

********

"sige."
"yey!"
but you need not remember this story.... because i want to retell this story over and over

********

"hindi naging madali, jun. and, it was like a fairy tale so it'll be a good start for you. (if you know what i mean) during that time, i've known your mama for three years na, pero hindi kami masyadong nag-uusap. the only time na nakakapag-usap kami is either tungkol sa banda (which was parokya ni edgar at that time) o aasarin ko siya."

wait! have i told you na junjun got my eyes and my hair, and her mama's brows and forehead? yung ilong, hindi ko alam. i think it's a blend of the both of us, sakto e.

********

pareho kasi kami ng paboritong banda noon. magaganda kasi mga kanta ng parokya, plus, yun lang yung banda na pinakikinggan ko.

"hindi nga kami nag-uusap. we had our own lives and our own sets of friends. tapos, siguro, mga sometime feb., feb yun, 'di ba hun?"

she smiles and says softly, "feb. 17"

"oo, feb 17, that was our first long-and-sweet-weird text-text. nangyari yun kasi no'ng valentines, i texted all my crushes. kasama siya roon, unfortunately." while laughing. "you see, pilyo ako noon e. just like you. actually up to now, pero sobrang timang ako noon." but then, it was tat kapilyuhan that brought me to where i am right now.... beside your mama. siyempre hindi ko sinama yun. bata pa siya para sa mga bagay na ganyan.

"doon na nagstart. often, we text, 'pag hindi, sa phone kami nag-uusap. halos lahat ng topic napag-uusapan namin. hindi kami nauubusan ng kwento, palibhasa pareho kaming kwentista. and, we enjoy talking, and listening to one another. we were like close friends already kahit noon lang kami nakapag-usap."

"i remember the first time i called your mama. sabi ko sa text, "can i call you?" akala niya kung ano, kasi matutulog na. may pasok pa kinabukasan noon. n'ong pumayag siya na tumawag ako, kinakabahan pa ko, tapos sabi ko, "wala lang, good night."

********

"pa.... ang corny."

naalala ko tuloy yung isang text niya one time. ...una korni pero 'pag andun ka na, pag nafeel mo na, kahit korni, sweet e. (again, not the exact words, but same thought )

"someday you'll understand."

********

"hindi naging madali, jun.... "

"i had my own friends, she had her own. halos magkaiba yung mundo namin for them, kami nga lang ang nakakaalam na hindi magkaiba yung mundo namin. we found out na ang dami naming pagkakapareho. we understand each other, and masaya kami."

"..hindi ko maintindihan." bulong ni jun.

"minsan, you need not understand, just listen."

********

"dumating sa point na halos maggive-up na kami, pero wala pang one week, we were together uli. tapos naging okay na uli. nag-uusap na kami uli. trials lang pala."

"everything was going pretty nice. we were comfortable that way. matagal ko na siyang gustong yayain lumabas that time, and it seemed that it was the perfect time. so, naglakas loob na ko. i asked her, the whole day, to go out with me. ang plano lang is to go to manila bay and eat. kwentuhan lang. pero on our way there, napadaan kami ng museong pambata. ganoong ka-comfortable. naglaro kami sa mga trains, sa tiyan ng tao, animals, bones, plants, madami."

"nang makarating kami ng bay mismo, it was already three. malapit na mag-4 p.m. nagpahinga muna kami, then naghanap na kami ng makakainan for dinner. hindi ko naman mapapalampas yun. it was our first date. una, gusto namin doon sa barko magdinner. kaso, it was way too expensive for us. sabi ko sa mama mo, "dito na lang tayo kumain", at that time, may isang hilara ng mga resto doon." (thanks to mayor fred lim, wala na ang first date resto namin)

********

"pjam, saan mo gusto kumain dito?" i asked her.
"kahit saan.", sinundan niya, "ano'ng favorite number mo?"
"bakit?"
"basta! ano?"
"wala e, pero eight na lang." (kasi jonathan, 8)
"sige, bilang na lang tayo ng 8 na resto, tapos yun na."

ganyan kami lagi e. we are so comfortable with each other na kahit pinaka-batang idea namin, nasasabi namin, napag-uusapan namin. gustong gusto ko talaga.... ito.

"ano'ng gusto mo?" naka-upo na kami sa pang-8 na resto tulad ng napag-usapan.
"kahit ano, ikaw? gulay? seafood? beef? baboy?"
"kahit ano, ikaw na lang diyan, ako sa drinks."
"sige"
"iced tea?"
"okay lang." (tiyaka ko na lang nalaman na sinisinok siya sa coke) "karekare?"
"sige."
"seafood?"
"sige"

at that time hindi pa kami nagshashare ng drinks. and at that time, hindi ako nag-extra rice. (kasi nagshare kami sa rice niya)

after namin kumain, 7 p.m. na. sakto, 7 p.m. ang start no'ng bus na umiikot ng baywalk. no'ng may dumaan, i called her attention kaagad. it was not the one we expected, parang truck lang na may upuan sa likod yung nasakyan namin, pero it was enough para mapasaya ko siya. nagulad na lang ako nang makita ko siya, inaantok na. (that was the first time i saw her na inaantok) so, we decided na umuwi na. after all, ang dami na rin naming nagawa for the day.

********

"noong pauwi na kami, muntik na kaming maligaw. buti na lang may isang pulis doon na nag-aabang ng mahuhuli."

"kuya, dito po ba daan papuntang quiapo?"
"oo, diyan."
"sige ho, salamat po."

"boss, wala kayong sasakyan? dapat 'pag ganyang date dapat nakasasakyan na kayo."
"wala e." i looked at her, we smiled.
"