Monday, December 12, 2005


On My Own

here's something i wrote way back 2000 when i first moved out of the house. i intended to have it published sa Youngblood sana kaso hindi ko na na-send-out (or maybe i did pero hindi lang nila nagustuhan, hindi ko na sure)...basta nahanap siya ng friend ko at sinend-back niya sa'kin a year ago. nakalimutan kong nasa inbox ko siya. buti na-save ko siya bago na-hack ang aking yahoo account.

From: "Guidote, Rina"
To: "rey agapay"
Subject: young blood
Date: Wed, 7 Jul 2004 10:37:57 +0800

Batch, here's the Youngblood article that I told you about. =)


It was so cinematic. I was in my parents' bedroom, groggy from lack of sleep. It was 7 am and I smell of Saturday night gimik. I remembered lying awake on my bed, mentally preparing myself for an argument. But dad's monologue went smoothly. It was non-confrontational and, well, very fatherly. I was standing by the bed looking at my mom's reflection on her dresser mirror. She keeps on re-applying her make-up that keeps getting washed off by her tears. Except for a few glances to signify my paying attention, I couldn't look where my dad was at. Besides, he was walking around and fidgeting everything he passes by. After a while, I noticed a pattern. He would walk from the end of the bed to the side table and check his reading lamp. Then he'd go back to the where he started, get his wallet which was near the TV and look inside. And walk back again to the lamp.

Instead, my dad gave his words of advice...I have never listened so intently to him, grasping every word he uttered and taking mental notes of everything...Once in a while mom would give her OK-this-is-what-you-should-do's with traces of why-don't-you-just-push-through-with-it. But as it turns out, right before I entered that room, it was settled: they couldn't do anything but give their support when I decided to move out. Move out to a pad no bigger than the bedroom I share with my older brother (but complete with kitchen area and toilet). It meant paying rent, worrying about bills, food, things I'll never think about if I stay...And since I had nothing but a closet-full of clothes and a plastic stackable drawer set filled with the rest of my stuff, I had worry about where I would sleep, how can I drink cold water, how will I wash my clothes, who will clean the toilet, how can I surf the net privately. This is real life! And I LOVE IT!

Most people would ask why. I just tell them I'm already 22 and they just give me a questioning look. I understand, though, why they ask. Our culture does not put any pressure on children to move out and be independent once they reach a certain age, or at any age at that. It's very common to see families grow bigger as the children marry and they all live happily crammed under one roof (except if they could afford to build more rooms and extensions). Well it all happened so fast. I have been working for half a year. Enough to save up for the rent deposit and advance, plus extra just in case. I've been talking about moving out to my friends but never to my parents because I might never be able to take it back. One night, a friend told me that there's a vacancy in their building. I checked it out and the next day I texted my dad that I was thinking about moving out. Before I talked to mom and dad that morning, mom invited me to hear Mass with them then we'd check out where I was moving in to. Well, they're not my parents if they don't know how I think. They knew that I wouldn't mention anything about it if I weren't determined to move out. I was the type who would dress up and pack then right before going out the door, I'd yell, "Dad, pupunta po'kong Baguio. I'll be back in three days." Though I felt some resistance, they eventually gave me their support. Now it was their trust and confidence that I can do it that gave me the strength to take my first step on a path where there's no turning back. When I was loading my things a week after, I told my sister to pray that I shall never have to go back. If I go back, it means I couldn't do it on my own. That I failed - not only myself, but ultimately mom and dad who thought I could do it.

I miss the goo-goo, ga-ga and ga-go from my nephew and niece battling it out for their one favorite Dalmatian among a complete set of 102 plus Cruella deVille.

I miss my mom's constant reminder, "You pray, ha!"

And my dad, well, what can I say...I'm a writer. I used to pity sons like Dudut Jaworski who made the mistake of following in the footprints of his dad when he can never amount to the greatness of his Old Man. Now, without me noticing it, I've become like my dad. "Please welcome, Asia's Songbird, Regine Velasquez!" don't amount to the books my dad wrote but it's a start, right?

Living alone has taught me a lot of things. Like buying an aircon (just to survive the summer heat) makes you want to buy a CD player to survive the monotonous hum of the aircon. Now, what use is a CD player that happens to play VCD if one doesn't have TV? BEFORE: I will survive living alone because I am prepared to eat instant noodles every meal has gone down the drain. TODAY: I am barely surviving because it's as cold as Alaska in here! Well, at least there'd be music...

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