28 June 2005
June means a lot to me because this month reminds me how blessed I am to have some very special people in my life. Now, before this month ends, I'd like to write about two of the most important men, in my life, who make June such a special month. First, of course, is my father. June would always remind me of him because Father's Day is in June. Second, my Kuya Rashid. He was born on June 9, so June will always be his month.
I (we) call my (our) dad Abi. Abi is the Arabic term form "my father". Abi has been a huge figure in my life. Basically, everything that I am is influenced by Abi (and my mom, too), from the way I look at the world as a whole and my attitude towards people to the things I like. Abi is not your typical Meranao dad. Yes, he's strict and all, but he allows us to actually decide for ourselves and also leaves us to learn through experience. He gives us the freedom to try things that other Meranao kids can only dream of. He gives us the freedom to explore all possiblilities. But, of course, along with this freedom is responsibility to know our limitations.
"Whatever you do and wherever you go, never forget that you are Muslim," he would always tell me, "this way, you will never go wrong." When I was around 15 or 16 years old, he told me and my younger sister that if we ever fall in love we should never be afraid to talk to them (our parents) about it. He assured us that they won't get mad or anything. Hearing this, I knew how different my dad was from other Meranao dads. Not that I still didn't know by then. You see, traditional Meranaos actually do not really get the idea of love before marriage.
Abi is also not your typical dad, really. You can't just talk to him like that when you feel like it. He chooses when he wants to talk to you. When he's working, nobody is allowed to get near his work area. He doesn't really joke around with us as much as other fathers do, but when he does, we all die laughing. He loses his temper so easily that many people who know him actually fear him. He's never patient. He is very conscious about propriety, so when you're with him, you always have to be proper. No fooling around. When you're in front of him or when you're talking to him, you always have to be formal. And, because of all these, he is the pefect gentleman.
He makes a very interesting character. He holds some ideas so different from other people's. Even his Islamic views can sometimes be controversial to the conservatives. He is also knowledgeable in almost all fields. He knows his literature, his music, his science, his history, etc. He's good in mathematics, in languages, etc. He's often referred to by people as "the walking dictionary." You can ask him about places he's never been to and he'd sound like he grew up in these places. He's really very smart and intelligent that sometimes people don't understand him. I'm not saying this because he's my father. These are some of the things that other people say about him.
My mom always points out how I grew up a daddy's girl. Among all his children, I am actually the one closest to him and always the one asked to talk to him at certain situations or about some things. He and I share a very special bond. I love everything about him, even his shortcomings and weaknesses. I love him so much. True that he may not be the very best husband, but he definitely is the best father in the world! I can't thank God enough for being Abi's daughter. People often tell me, "Hay, you really are you father's daughter!" That's actually one of the best compliments I've ever received! :)
Kuya Rashid is one of the most important male figures in my life. He was the male cousin I was closest to. I was much closer to him than even my own brothers. His advice was the one I sought when I had teenage problems and worries. His was the help I sought when I had school assignments that were too difficult for my young mind.
The last time I saw Kuya Rashid, he was driving one of the family cars. His smile was so wide he looked like the sun. He looked like he was having so much fun laughing with some girlfriends. Something was telling me to actually go to him and talk to him. But, among the girls he was talking to, there were some I didn't really like so I decided to just go without saying hi or anything.
The day went by pretty normally. That night, I was already asleep when my mom suddenly knocked at my door. She looked flustered. She told me that Kuya Rashid just accidentally shot himself. I was surprised to hear this. But, I thought that there was no need to worry because knowing Kuya Rashid, he would surely survive this. I, of course, didn't know then that he actually shot himself in the head... accidentally. Until this very moment, why he had that gun and why it was loaded is still beyond my comprehension. Why he was playing with it is still equally baffling for me!
The next day, I even went to school first as I was confident that Kuya Rashid will be all right. There really was no need to worry, I kept telling myself. Two days after the accident, I finally went with my family to Iligan to see Kuya Rashid. He was in a coma. The moment I saw my cousins crying, I knew it wasn't good. I proceeded to the ICU. We could only peek at his room from a window just above the headboard of his bed because only one person could enter the room at a time. I just stood there the whole day. I didn't feel the hours fly. I was just staring at him, talking to him in my thoughts.
Everyone in the family and all his friends who were there were allowed to go into the room and talk to him. I was the only one not allowed because they felt I might not be able to take it. They knew how close we were. No one really talked to me during those times. It was more like nobody talked to anybody. We were all just wrapped up in our own worlds.
My mom, seeing me, asked me if I wanted to go in. I said yes. She asked me if I was sure and, again, I said yes. As I was about to enter the room, one of my aunts said I shouldn't be allowed because I might faint or something. I couldn't do anything and besides I was still convinced that Kuya Rashid would come out of it so I'll have all the time I want with him.
When it became dark outside, we finally decided to go back to Marawi, but my mom promised we'd be back there first thing in the morning the next day. That was the only way I'd agree to go home with them. The next day came and we did go to Iligan. But, on our way, we saw all the family cars and two ambulances going the opposite way (back to Marawi). I broke down because I knew that he was gone. I begged my mom that we also turn around and go back, but my mom insisted we go on to Iligan as it was actually my cousin's wedding. This cousin (the one about to be married) is from my mother side. Kuya Rashid's from my father side. This was, of course, just a way to keep me away for a while because everybody really thought that I wouldn't be able to handle things. So, off to the wedding we went. I told my mom that I'd just stay in the car and wait for her. I wanted to fly back to Marawi that very moment.
It took some time before my mom could get away. If people could die of crying, I'd have died by then. We went directly to my uncle's place outside of Marawi. Sadly, when we got there, Kuya Rashid had already been buried. We were a few minutes late. When I heard this, I just dropped on the floor and sat in one corner. I just cried and cried until no more tears came. No one disturbed me in my corner. I wouldn't even touch the food that they put right next to me. I sat there staring at nothing, feeling nothing and oblivious to everything around me. I sat there not moving for almost 8 hours. Finally, my mom sat next to me and squeezed my hand. She could only say, "I'm so sorry, Anak. It's my fault that you didn't see him." I couldn't move. No words came. Just the tears came.
Later, they were able to get me up my feet and bring me to the sofa, where I fell asleep and dreamt of Kuya Rashid waving goodbye. I woke up crying and crying. My cousins who were walking around cried every time they saw me. It was the saddest day of my life and the lowest point of our family.
I couldn't stop thinking about the death for a looong time. My grades slid downhill faster than a high-speed skier. It felt like I was just afloat. It took around three months for me to actually recover from the tragedy. It was my mom who woke me up from my sleep-like existence. She only had to ask me how Kuya Rashid would feel if he saw what was happening to me and to my grades. I thought about it and then vowed to do better for Kuya Rashid. I did do well until the end of college.
It took almost three years before I could actually look at Kuya Rashid's pictures and listen to his favorite songs without crying like crazy. It took me around two years before I could actually talk about what happened.
Kuya Rashid, only 22, died on November 22, 1998. This is the first time I ever really wrote about it... and I'm still crying. :(
* Kulay is a Meranao word that's roughly the equivalent of the English term "dearest" or "dear."
26 June 2005
I was tagged by
Three names you go by:
Three screen names you have had:
Three physical things you like about yourself:
Three physical things you don't like about yourself:
3. Extra weight!
Three parts of your heritage:
2. Bangsamoro (Muslim Filipino)
Three things that scare you:
1. To fail my loved-ones
2. Natural disaster
3. To die not a good Muslim
Three of your everyday essentials:
2. A good book (a few pages at the very least)
Three of your favorite musical artists:
1. Maksim (The Piano Player)
3. APO Hiking Society
Three of your favorite songs:
1. "I Believe I Can Fly" (R. Kelly)
2. "On My Own" (from Les Miserables)
3. "Constant Change" (Jose Mari Chan)
Three things you want in a relationship:
Three lies and truths in no particular order:
1. Muslims are violent people.
2. Love is the most important thing in the world.
3. 'Queer people' are bad/evil!
1. There is only ONE GOD!
2. There is always something good/positive about everything and everyone.
3. I am beautiful! Hehehe:)
Three physical things about the opposite sex that appeals to you:
1. Handsome face
2. The way he dresses or carries himself (should be clean and he should be comfortable in whatever he's in)
3. Nice smile
Three of your favorite hobbies:
Three things you want to do really badly now:
1. Finish my reading list for Tuesday and Wednesday
2. Spend time with my family
3. See Juwairiyah (Ate Khair's baby)
Three careers you're considering/you've considered:
3. Business (put up a nice convenient store)
Three places you want to go on vacation:
Three kid's names you like:
1. Arianna Etsuko
2. Omar Othello
3. Fatmah Furaisha
Three things you want to do before you die:
2. Build/Buy my own house and car
3. Go to as many countries as I can (or go on a tour around the world)
(4. Meet Arundhati Roy or see David Trezeguet at play in person!)
Three ways that you are stereotypically a boy:
1. Sports lover (especially Soccer)
2. I love really loose clothes!
3. I eat a looot!
Three ways that you are stereotypically a girl:
3. I love pink!
Three celeb crushes:
1. David Trezeguet
2. Maksim Mrvica
3. Hideaki Takizawa
(4. Orlando Bloom)
(5. Denzel Washington)
My turn to tag...
FOUR people that I would like to see take this quiz:
21 June 2005
I love my feet!
I have been playing badminton for some time now. Uhm, when I say playing, I mean just playing for fun. Not seriously playing or anything. Last Saturday, I went to the SIP (SSEAYP Alumni Association) Weekly Badminton with my friends, Bok, Erik and Lachi. We finally saw Drew there after not seeing him for a long time. It was bound to be a great, fun night.
I was really looking forward to playing again as I missed the last badminton get-together. Before leaving the dorm, I drank around one liter of water and did my stretching in advance. I was really, really excited!
We got to the court at 8 o'clock in the evening. We were having so much fun playing and laughing at our mistakes when about five minutes into the game, I jumped to hit the shuttlecock, which was obviously beyond my reach, and landed twisting my ankle. I was still laughing as I fell on my butt, but I knew it was going to be bad as I heard a crunch from inside my skin. I tried getting up and that was when I felt the excruciating pain in my left foot/ankle. I couldn't believe what was happening. Just when I was having such a great time and building up some sweat...
The next two hours, I just watched my friends play and laughed with them. Yes, I have very high tolerance for pain! Erik suggested we have my foot checked by the doctor and we decided to go to Medical City after the game. I hopped my way to the car. Playing Little Half Chick back in fourth grade was actually a preparation for something after all! Sure, I was laughing, but I was really in pain!
We got to the hospital and since I couldn't walk, they wheeled me in on a wheelchair. Now, when I was a child, weird that I was, I always thought how cool and romantic it'd be to live my life on a wheelchair. And, as my wheelchair and I were being pushed around the whole place, I realized that it was neither cool, romantic nor easy. I hated the feeling of frustration at not being able to move freely and faster. I decided then and there that I never want to be on a wheelchair ever again!
After the X-ray was checked, the doctors said that it wasn't anything serious. No broken bone or whatever, just swollen soft tissue and lateral malleolus. I thanked God silently. It was past midnight by then. While other people were singing, dancing, head-banging and being starstruck at the Fete de la Musique, I was seeing stars, too... because of the pain!
Because of my injury, I stayed in bed the whole day on Sunday. My friends, Bok, Dean, Erik and Lachi proved to be the kinds of friends referred to in the saying, "A friend in need is a friend indeed." They went to see me and stayed with me in my room the whole day. I don't know how I could ever thank them for everything. I would have died of boredom had they not come. Hehehe:)
Anyway, now, I walk with crutches. They're not as cool as I, as a demented little girl, thought they would be. Using them gives me aches all over - back ache, shoulder ache, armpit ache, etc. My armpits are so painful it feels like I have wounds there! I will have to use the crutches two or three days more, I guess. And then, I'll be able to walk normally again. I'm looking forward to this Saturday's badminton already! :)
Tag... I'm it!
What are the things you enjoy, even when no one around you wants to go out and play? What lowers your stress/blood pressure/anxiety level? Make a list, post it in your journal, and then tag 5 friends and ask them to post it in theirs.
I was tagged by
-Looking at photo albums
-Just sitting and hanging out at the Sunken Garden in the afternoon
-Playing with (my) cats
-Going to bookstores
-Listening to instrumental music
-Watching soccer games (on TV or in person)
-Playing with Pikachu (my soccer ball)
-Checking out sports stores for soccer things (soccer shoes, shin guards, etc.) and badminton rackets
-Surfing the Net
-Taking a walk/stroll
Now, you're it! :)
15 June 2005
Wow! I feel like I haven't blogged and/or bloghopped for the longest time. Except for work-related stuff, I haven't been surfing the net that much recently and I've just realized how much I actually miss all the blogs I regularly read. Before, when I wouldn't have the time, the energy or the drive to write and post a new entry, I would usually still have the time to check on my regular reads. But, these days, I haven't done this and the idea that the blogs I've been reading have become, well, a part of my life finally sank in. There'd be times when I'd wonder if this blogger and that blogger have updated and/or wonder what that blogger and this blogger have written recently. Just like craving for something very specific, I'd go nuts wanting to bloghop. And, because of this, I'm having some sort of "blog withdrawal syndrome" or something. Hay!
So, what is my point? Hmm, this is just my way of telling everyone "I MISS YOU" and I will be back... soon! ;-)
05 June 2005
Your Inner European is Spanish!
Energetic and lively.
You bring the party with you!
|Slow and Steady|
They see you as very cautious, extremely careful, a slow and steady plodder.
It'd really surprise them if you ever did something impulsively or on the spur of the moment.
They expect you to examine everything carefully from every angle and then usually decide against it.
|You Were Actually Born Under:|
You bring fun, activity, and stimulation to any event.
Self-control is not one of your strong points; you have been known to over indulge.
Cheerful and energetic, you can turn the most boring thing into something fun.
You are most compatible with a Rat or Dragon.
|You Should Have Been Born Under:|
Resourceful and practical, you are a quick thinker.
You are very observant - and it's hard to get anything past you!
A total perfectionist, you are especially picky about looking your best.
You're a big dreamer - such a big dreamer that reality can disappoint you.
You are most compatible with an Ox or Snake.
The True You
|You want your girlfriend or boyfriend to be more relaxed, calm, and composed.|
|With respect to money, you save for a rainy day.|
|You think good luck depends on maintaining good relationships with others.|
|The hidden side of your personality tends to be satisfied to care for things with a minimal amount of effort.|
|You are tend to think about others' feelings a lot, perhaps because you are so eager to be liked.|
|When it comes to finding a romantic partner, you don't have any particular type in mind, but you are inclined to look for someone who will say yes when you ask him / her out.|