On our sixth anniversary
your parents surprised us
with ice cream and cake.
You cooked my favorite
dish and I brought sweet
red wine. We drank
to each other’s
happiness with a dagger
gleam in the eye. A toast
to a long life, knowing
this would be our last.
The members of the Davao Writers Guild regret the passing of fellow writer Josie C. San Pedro and express herewith our condolences to her bereaved family. In her memory, I would like to publish here for the first time an essay that I asked her to write sometime in 2004 for possible inclusion in an anthology I was then editing with Agnes Prieto. The book, Fallen Cradle: Parents on the Loss of a Child, was eventually published by Anvil in 2006, but did not include her piece on her son Mandy because she was not able to return it to me on time after I gave her suggestions for its revision. It was a loss for the book. Now with her passing, she has taken with her a substantial amount of Davao history yet to be written. It will be some time before Davao will find another chronicler of its peoples and times as fervent and well-loved as Tita Josie.
Ricardo M de Ungria
All his friends were there—during the wake in the house, at the church, and at the memorial park. They had sent him off with an affectionate farewell.
When Mandy left for work on that fateful morning of April 26, 1996, it was with his usual jauntiness on board his prized motorcycle. The next time I saw him was in a corner of the emergency room of a hospital as a doctor and several nurses were to work up his heart.
He never woke up. I wonder if he had heard me imploring,” Mandy, don’t give up. Fight, Mandy, fight. Don’t leave us.” Did he hear me praying to God Almighty to give him a little more time with his children?
His life was just beginning, with a loving wife and three beautiful children—ages seven, five, and three, and with another on the way, still floating at four months in his/her mother’s womb. This one will never see the smile on his/her father’s face or feel the warmth of his loving embrace or taste the sweetness of his kisses.
Continue reading Mandy
One day, just as I expected it to be, I met the Keymaker in the cyber highway. So I told him “Hey, let’s go to the quantum mechanics bar and order a shot of neutrino. It’s cool, we don’t have to pay anything because the glass is empty anyway. Then, let’s chat about the keys to the mysteries of the universe.”
So off we went and entered into the weird quantum mechanics bar, for it only has one door from our Present, the only one there is in the entire universe for us to enter. Yet once inside, the quantum mechanics bar peeks into countless portal doors of multi-universes that co-exist with the universe behind our Present door. Rumor has it that, along with the Present Door where we entered, there are other distinct portals with doors from our past, to the future, and to our parallel Present universes. The strange thing about the rumor was that there will appear an inevitable portal that sooner or later we must enter because that portal leads to our Future. Yet, in the quantum mechanics bar, anything can happen, though the bartenders and customers who patronized the bar smugly treated such inevitability as ‘rumor.’
Continue reading Me, the Keymaker, and the Quantum Mechanics Bar
It is funny how leaves dance on their branches.
With a magnificent finale of letting go
Gracefully playing with the wind.
People dance too.
They hold on
To their dreams, loves, ideologies
As they move on the dance floor.
My dance is limited to swaying and spinning.
My leading man-
My dance partner
Still groping for steps.
Sometimes I lose the beat
Go whirling with no direction.
Today my feet are tired.
My toes are beginning to hate me.
My fingers are crying.
I have been dancing wildly.
I feel myself rebelling.
I watch the dancing others…
On my shoulder,
I feel a tap.
I see a hand.
I take it.