Age of Wisdom

I have gotten old, I have gotten old,
My soul though aged, is loudly bold,
I can shout at my demons, and make them fold,
Spin my emotions into threads of gold.

The sag on my face is a work of art,
My arms are drooping, but my spirit’s stout,
I know I can dream, when they ask me to stop,
Yes I am old, but I am never out.

I traveled across many miles of fear,
Swam  through rivers of endless tears;
I face the unknown, with a pray’r to grow,
threshing the stones, in a javelin throw.

To unveil my truest self, wounded in strife;
Wisdom of the ages, a warrior of life…

-Cricket

Patlang

 

Paano ba sukatin ang lalim ng dagat?
Ilang oras ba ang kailangan gugulin upang magmahal?
Isa? Dalawa? Tatlo? Isang Araw ba?
Upang malaman na totoo at wagas?
O dalawampung taon, dalawang dekada?

O isang kisapmata?

(unfinished)pa.

Chronicles of a Filipino In Exile.Artikulo.Dos

 

Month 5. I have been working  for almost four weeks now. The job isn’t like what I used to do but I feel grateful that there are people who help others like me adjust to a whole new environment.   I pray that I survive this gracefully and help the institution that hired me. No vivid descriptions at this point.

In the past weeks , came the realization that I am indeed in a brand new universe. The language I speak is not mine, the rules I follow are all alien to me. However, as they say – “When the going gets tough, you have to be tougher than the goings-on.” I have proven that jobs in my home country aren’t half as bad. Considering how professionalism is valued by people and that education matters most to people more than how much they earn. Here, it is a different scenario. People revere and respect work as a be all and end all of things. It doesn’t really matter if you start from the lowest rank as long as you can start somewhere. Work is life. Now I can evade questions of people who ask me every second if I already have a job (Lol).

Right now, I can say there are two things that can happen, the good and the bad. But I look forward more to the good part where I wake up and embrace my new reality. Maybe then, will I be able to recount details of what’s going on here with me. The bad – hopefully does not happen when I pack my things and leave.

By The Clock.

Filipinos always romanticize the idea of migrating to another place. The folks back home have very high regard for the green buck. The dollar has a face. It is the face of the Filipino who works his sweat and blood to earn money. Yet, it is not so bad anyway. I work less hours and I am able to earn close to what I am earning back home (without the full benefits, for starters). But the responsibility of paying up for the many social duties like insurance, healthcare, et. al. makes it a bit almost like when I am back home. There is justice though, and the workforce is always getting what they have worked hard for, and on an hourly basis.

Yet, there is something very exciting with what is going on with my life. I feel a sense of growth because I now am slowly being integrated in this brand new place and hopefully soon do things I’ve never done before like drive my own car. For some this is a regular thing. Yet for someone who has never tried it, this is a herculean task. I am excited though to visualize how much farther I can stretch myself and become at ease with this brand new experience.  I am lucky that my parents always help me go to work each day for now until I learn to drive by myself. The picture of this country as a dream is really just a dream. Or maybe it is too soon for me to say. I am just thankful that this country has welcomed me and its people are now sharing this field of dreams with people like me who are not from this place.  We have anyway the same human longings like the need to be respected, accepted, and trusted.

Sometimes, people back home are disillusioned because from my point of view, anywhere it is just the same. The key is to work hard and earn your means. My advice to young people is that if they can make it big back home, then they should stay there and be the best, turn stones over, kick some ___.  I on the other hand, came here with a different reason which is to reunite with my family, and I know for a fact that it won’t be an easy ride. The unknown is right in front of me.

I also found strength and courage after meeting many Filipinos in my own workplace. They are much older than me but are working two to three jobs to sustain their needs and send back money back to their loved ones at home. This I think is the true essence of being a Filipino in exile – to survive the odds and look at the brighter side. Sacrifices had to be made, and life goes on. Day in and day out, I feel better and stronger. On the bright side, I can always write after office hours and take my self to another dimension and get used to, and figure out the conundrum of this situation.

Moral lesson: He who does not get stretched does not grow (and earn a buck). With more to give, there is more room to be stretched. (It’s just the) Tip of the iceberg.

Lost at Sea

It’s a mirage. Believe me. Maybe I should look at it from another angle to see the good side. Only if I can find it. Last night I dreamed that I was inside a ship. Then in that ship, I was trying to get inside a subway to get to the city proper. However, I took the wrong elevator and ended up in the same place.  It was a weird dream. I saw my mother and my husband looking for me in the places where I went. I see them asking people whom I’ve met inside that ship. But they cannot find me (though I was looking at them while all of these were happening.) My interpretation was that I was the one who was looking for myself because I felt lost as I left the place of my origin, just to find my family somewhere else. Yet in the end, I still lose myself (my daughter, left behind in Manila. Her choice.) Its a maze really, and the blow took me by surprise. I am sort of complete, incomplete. The only way I can defeat this feeling is to look at it from a good stance. It’s to early to say that it’s a mistake, and too soon to say that I have made it. Everyday I just thank God that I was reunited with my mom whom I have not seen for 26 years. I was able to hold her in my arms, go shopping with her, cry to her, laugh at her jokes. I was getting to know (again) this remarkable woman who gave birth to me. I was also able to spend time with my only sister, who was then a scrawny teenager when she left Manila at 14. I could imagine it was even scarier for her because she was young and America is a huge place for a girl who barely spoke the language (except when in school). Now, you look at both of them and they would pass for locals here. The accent, oh yes, the accent. Yesterday, somebody asked me where (which country) I came from, perhaps because my accent betrayed me. I wanted to tell the guy, “why don’t you just let me write down a three page essay and let’s see if who masters the language better?” That was me and my ego speaking. At the end of the day, I succumbed, and tried to get those words spoken in such a way that the locals could understand. I sounded funny sometimes, and yes this is (was) a humbling experience.

Angels on Earth

When you feel so weary that there is no hope, suddenly, angels in the form of humans appear before you. I am lucky they say to get the job even if I have just arrived here. True enough, I have a good guardian angel who believed that I can do this. No mention of names. For now.

 

(unfinished for now) pa.

 

Sand

 

I held you in my hand,
you were weak,
slipped through,
like a thunder streak,
vanished from my sight,
pain, our plight,
you are me and I, you,
mirrors, breathing the same air,
longing for the same dream,
each night we reenact,
and renew our pact,
that was written,
a million light years,
of tears-
we have cried,
of a love denied.

epilogue: “Parang kilala kita. Ah, kilala ko pala ang kaluluwa mo. Pero matagal na yun, dahil ilang mundo na ang nagunaw at ang alam ko ay tapos na ang panahon na iyon. Isa ka lang pangitain sa gitna ng dapithapon…” –bakas ng buhangin

 

-Cricket

Just literature written in sand.

Panaghoy ng Panahon

Ako’y kahapon, ikaw ang bukas,
Landas nati’y sadyang di magtugma;
Ngunit narinig ko ang tunog ng awit,
Sumasaliw sa himig ng ating kaluluwa.

Tadhana ay sadyang mapagbiro,
Nais mang limutin, at dayain ang isip, at puso-
Dati nang nakaguhit, bago pa man maisulat,
Sa ibang panahon, sa isang pangarap…

Ako’y kahapon, ikaw ang bukas,
Pasasaan pa’t may ibang oras,
Upang ang napatid na lubid,
at kapalaran ay muling magniniig.

Bukas, pag ang buwan ay muling sumilip,
Saka na lang bubuksan, pintong nakapinid.

-Cricket

Yesterday and Today,
Our paths do not meet;
Yet I hear each song,
That our souls can sing.

Fate is a jester,
Hearts and minds cannot lie,
Our story was long written,
perhaps, in another time.

Yesterday and Today, you and I-
But in time we shall meet,
To finally bind the string of fate,
Our promises we keep.

Someday, when the moon light smiles-
Until then, shall our paths be aligned.

-a sonnet translation

Farewell to Happiness

 

 

Painful Growth
Shadows against light.

Dear Pan, I have left my happy thoughts in a satchel for you to keep. I am starting to un-grow my wings and somehow realized that I need to let go of giggles and smiles. The world where I am in is a bit bleak and I have to wear courage like a badge. I remember you every night, and how your eyes glistened with amazement when we caught spiders and how they spun golden threads. The flute you gave me sounded so much like your laughter that I couldn’t help but smile all by myself. I am so sorry that I need to grow up. Pixie dust is not enough to keep me awake and wait for you to come. Even if I have grown and greyed, forget me not. Hook has forgotten my name too as I, him.

Signed W.

-Cricket

Gatekeeper

nine thousand miles, ten thousand heartbeats, one key.
my synapses, dendrites and axons are far from being cheated,
not a fading memory of how you caress my soul,
with your calming voice, you must be an angel
shuttling to and fro, from heaven to my consciousness,
how beautiful you spread your wings, and your feathers
so white and serene, and my heart flutters without rest,
you enthrall me with songs that put my worries to sleep…

-cricket

Pagsibol Ng Panganay

Sabi ng aking ina, ito daw ang pinakamatandang puno sa hardin, at ang tawag nya dito ay “panganay”. Ako ay natawa ng bahagya, dahil sabi nya ay “ikaw yan anak”, “panganay kasi kita”.

Isang umaga ay nagtanim kami sa likod bahay ng mga halaman. Kasama ko ang aking ina na matagal ko nang di nakita. Duon sa gitna ng kanyang hardin ay may isang puno ng “Persimmon” na hindi pa din umuusbong mula nang nag taglamig. Di gaanong matindi ang “winter” dito sa Florida kaya ang ibang puno ay muling nagiging hitik sa dahon pagsapit ng Marso patungong Abril.

Sabi ng aking ina, ito daw ang pinakamatandang puno sa hardin, at ang tawag nya dito ay “panganay”. Ako ay natawa ng bahagya, dahil sabi nya ay “ikaw yan anak”, “panganay kasi kita”. Masarap ang pakiramdam, malapit nang matapos ang taglamig at unti-unti kong binubuhay ang pag-asa sa aking mga ugat. Handa na ako muling mangarap, parang isang puno na nahimbing ng matagal sa gitna ng isang malayong lugar.

-cricket

Beautiful Mess

I am the noise inside your head,
You are my beautiful distraction;
Sometimes it is better to listen,
and keep yourself hidden,
Between lines and spaces,
Shapes and figures,
Words.

I do not intend to stay long,
Just a passerby without intention;
I leave my heart with you,
In silent admiration.

-cricket

J’ai essayé

Tu es dans mon esprit mille fois,

Pas une minute ne me passa,

Sans que votre visage ne planse

Esprit, je vous manque de mon coeur,

Je te manque dans mon âme,

Vous êtes absent de moi et je suis aussi perdu que perdu peut être …

Comment puis-je vous effacer complètement?

Quand tous vos fragments ont déchiré mon cœur en morceaux?

Quand vos mots ont brûlé ma conscience.

Je suis conduit au point de la folie,

Quand je sais pour sûr que je suis juste une mémoire fanée de vous.

(Me writing bad French. Thanks Google Translate)

#poetgonemad

-Cricket