30 August 2010
First of all, I'd like to greet everyone a very HAPPY RAMADHAN! It's that time of the year once more-- the time for reflection, introspection and cleansing. If there's anything that the last two Ramadhans have taught me, it's to make the most of every Ramadhan that passes in my life. I mean, two Ramadhans ago, Abi (my father) was still with us and we never thought or imagined that that would be his last Ramadhan with us. It's an invaluable lesson that the ulama (Islamic scholars) keep on reminding us about-- how fleeting life can be-- but I truly learned and realized the truth of only when I actually had a personal and unforgettable albeit sad experience proving it, that is Abi's death. So, this Ramadhan and the following Ramadhans that I will still live to see and experience, I resolve to make the most of and give/do what's required of me as God's creation and what is due to Him. Insha-Allah.
Another Death in August
The month August will always be a dreaded month for me because it was in this month that Abi passed away, August 10, 2009 to be specific. This month will always remind me of that fateful day. And then, August of this year has once again proven to be sad as I suffered yet again from a great loss. One of my closest friends passed away on August 12. His name was Jude John Mana. He was my blockmate in our freshman year in college. He was one of the nicest and most intelligent persons I have encountered. He was a Math genius. Before his death, he was teaching Math in MSU-IIT Integrated Developmental School, that's the High School branch of IIT. He was loved by his students. That was proven during the wake when the students delivered such heart-warming eulogies and testimonials about how much they loved their Sir Jude and how much he had touched their lives. He was loved by everyone who knew him as he was the kind of person whom you could appropriately describe as "could not even hurt a fly."
I never thought that he would leave this world that soon. He was too young to go. But, as they always say, God has reasons. And, human beings don't usually comprehend these reasons and the wisdom of things that happen, but God eventually makes us understand. In His perfect time. Right now, I still can't understand why these deaths had to happen, and too soon, too. But, I have learned to trust God with all my heart. It's all I can do to not go mad.
An Unforgettable Stage Experience
I have performed on stage. I have had my share of dancing and singing on stage. But, I have never really been able to take part in a major theater production, which is ironic because I have always loved stage plays and musical plays. Sure, I have had the chance to play some roles on stage, but those were for my classes when I was still a student, especially in High School. Those were merely for class consumption. I have also directed one of our plays for our Dramatics and Stagecraft course. But, I have never really acted in a huge and, I'll say, "real" theater production. That changed this month, when, for our English Week celebrations, our department decided to produce and stage two major plays, Alberto S. Florentino's Cavort with Angels and Benjamin Pascual's Kintin. I was a part of the cast for the former.
It was such an exciting endeavor. Everyone of us in the department was involved in some way. We, actors, together with our directors and crew, spent many a day and many a night to throw lines, practice and master our script. It was such a great challenge on our parts since we're teachers and the students, as well as everyone in the university, expected much from us. We had to perform the best way we can. And, if that wasn't enough pressure for us, we just had to keep in mind that we were going to have our audience pay for their entrance. And, one more thing was that the last two times the department had a big stage play production were in 1995 and 2005, and both productions became such hits and were really successful.
My role in our play was the exact opposite of the real me. I played the role of a hardened, jaded and disillusioned prostitute. For my role, I had to wear clothes that I don't normally wear and I had to do a number of things which I don't usually do. And, of course, I had to be fully made up like a cheap prostitute. Haha!:) And, having to cry and shout like crazy for six straight days wasn't an easy task. But, really, it was all worth it!
It was really so much fun. For everyone who was part of the production, the experience was great and will stay in our hearts and minds forever. And, I'm very happy to say that it was really a success, even beyond our expectations. MSU students, teachers (especially those coming from other departments and colleges), officials, alumni (some even came from other places), as well as teachers and students from our neighbor schools, came and enjoyed the plays. They cried with us in Cavort with Angels and laughed like mad watching Kintin. The feeling was just superb, to say the least.
Thank you so much, MSUans, for the support!