Friday, August 12, 2011

Death – a Reflection



Somebody died. That ‘somebody’ is a friend, a classmate who shared a bit of life with me and other friends. In a way, his passing was rather unforeseen and took many of us by surprise. After all we were all part of the same age group and losing someone in that group made us wonder about our own lives…

We are young or at least we think that we are.

Most of us just reached that 30 mark and some are flirting with 31 and 29 still. Batch 1997 – the best and at the same time ‘worst’ batch in Easter. We were the ones who oversaw the transition of the name from Easter School to Easter College. We had the last CAT training program which we doomed for eternity when someone threw a cellophane bag full of dirty water (or was it piss) into the Guidance Office during the madness that was graduation.

We were called ‘takki’ by a good priest and we scaled the ledge near Riverside to go to Manang’s store for those nice cheap breads instead of buying small meager servings at the school cafeteria. We shot crumpled pieces of paper into trashcans for Hello! Chocolate wafer snacks. And we nearly killed Baden by constricting his lungs out of air one time.

We had Toma girls and ladykillers… I cannot tell those stories as I was new there so I don’t know some of the stories. But we had many… some cropping out from Facebook posts every now and then…

We took guavas from Sir Sudkie’s backyard…

And we had drills in the high school grounds and did push ups in our knuckles in the dry stony surface. We even scaled Santo Tomas by following a dry creek bed up the mountain while holding on to our wooden ‘garands’ and we did a mock battle at the top (which is a glorified version of ‘pinaltog’ actually, hehe) where we had a boodle fight. (except for the poor Girl Scouts who had the misfortune of having to act prim and proper most of the time…hehe peace J)

We might have been divided into sections – but that is a trivial detail now. We shared a time together, that was what mattered – irregardless of where we are now, I still would like to believe that we are still a close knit group of brothers and sisters – family till the end.

Granted that the love teams we had in high school never did materialize…well, except for one, of course (salute to you Giovanne and Debbie!!!) and success in general remains relative to time, life has been pretty good so far.

We meet once in a while even though plans sometimes are not followed (mga padlis and kumadlis, classmates one and all…makisabat kayo met a mamingsan hehe), much to the chagrin of pareng Dominic who is tireless in this endeavor.

We have remained and although everybody thought of it… death was rather far away…

Myrna went before everyone of course… it was a rather tragic story that struck us when we were still fiery youths. Were we still in college then? I still remember the disbelief and the half hearted jokes outside of her house as we tried to make light of the situation. But despite our jibes and ligh jokes, we were questioning beneath. Only a few girls from the batch came with us – they were most affected, I guess. Perhaps in our classmate, they saw a possibility of their life turning out for the worse.

What if their dreams of a happy family and a good life is snatched right out of their hands? What if the man they would trust with their lives would not turn out as expected? What if they themselves fail to be perfect moms? What if the world’s challenges gets the better of them?

And now Barry…

His passing gives us the same questions…

And we are once more facing the inevitable soul searching that accompanies such a tragedy.

I will tell the honest truth that everyone is thinking.

We all have the same doubts…

About whether we are living the life we should be living? Or what is success? Or what is happiness?

We have the same despair lurking in our minds, saan kadi? Sabali lang siguro nga banag ti ada ti panunot tayo ngem jay sakit na ken jay pait na ket pareho met laeng. Ada ti agproblema iti ibayad iti utang. Ada iti agproblema iti ipakan na iti pamilya na. Ada iti agproblema iti asawana…wenno anak na…

Ada ti mangkita ti rupana iti sarming iti bigat wenno rabii nga agawid ket agsangit.

Ada ti agkulong iti banyo ket agsangit.

Ada ti aginum iti arak santo aggulo tapno iruar na iti sakit ti nakem na.

Ada iti apan beerhaus ken agbabae tapnu makalipat.

Adu problema, enya?

….

I wish that it wasn’t so.

Ay na kuma aya nu amin ket naragsak. Nga amin ket nakadanon iti asawa nga mangrespeto ken mangayat kenda tayo nga enggana. Nga matarigagayan tayo nga ada iti mayat nga biyenan ken mayat nga boss ken trabaho… nga si-eesem tayo amin…

Life is crazy…

Dakkel tayon.

Haan tayon nga maibaga nga teenager tayo pay lang. Ubing pay siguro ta irugrugi tayo pay lang iti biyag ngem dakkel tayon a nataengan.

Ngem ay apo aya ti biyag, aya?

I’d like to say that life will get better. Ngem amin tayo ket ammo tayo nu kasanu ti biyag. Ada ti layos damdama. Problems will come when they are least expected. Uray no kasano tayo nga ibaga nga napigsa tayo, addan tu ti umay nga panawen nga agluspak tayo iti datar nga agkulagtit iti mapaayan.

Some will lose jobs. Some will see their better halves transform into demons. Some will see their bank accounts dip into the red. Others will see their children suffer as our parents had. We all have our own battles. Some will get that monster-in-law, that nagging wife, that gambler-drunk-womanizing husband, that rebellious kid who will impregnate someone when he is just sixteen. Or someone will lose someone dear, or an accident may happen or a disease will lay waste to a dream and a life…

We should all remember that these are things that we can weather. Ada ti ragsak iti biyag. Ada nga ada iti rason nga pagiseman.

We will always have a reason to smile…

Like that first touch between lovers…

That first bump in a woman’s belly indicating that a life is formed there…

The first cry of a newborn that sends us to tears…

The first paycheck…

Buying that desired ‘thingy’ with hard-earned cash…

Adu mga classmates iti rason nga entayo agisem.

And most of all, we must never forget that above us all, beyond our human failings, beyond the darkness of our hearts and the problems we bear, we have GOD above us.

Haanak nga agsermon, brothers and sisters, ngem nu madanon tayo jay tiyempo nga mapaay tayo a di maparisan, when we struggle for clarity and help, haan tay kuma nga lipatan jay Ama tayo amin nga adda ijay ngato. He will be there, no matter what happens.

I love you brothers and sisters! I’ll be the first to say that…

If problems come, give it your middle finger, say ‘Ay Sal-it ka!!!!’ to borrow a friend’s words,hehe

Batch 1997, Dear readers…. WE CAN MAKE IT IN THIS LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love you guys!!!!!!! (Haanak nga bakla a, hehe guys means both men and women, hehe – kitam ket agisem ka, di ba.)

(Copyright 2011 Johnny Domawa. All Rights Reserved. Please repost as you see fit, share with others freely. Nu kayat yu ti agpa-advise or anything that I can offer, mail me at jdomawa@yahoo.com - please feel free to do so. And pray to God and lay on Him all your troubles... He will be there for you...)

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