Friday, October 19, 2012

My Ideal Christmas Album

I always wanted to find a Christmas album that plays all my favorite songs for the season.
I would like to make it clear that I am not necessarily talking about christmas carols.
Here is my list, based of course on my own taste.

In no particular order:

1. Jackson 5: Give Love On Christmas Day

                            

A young Michael reminds us of the very essence of Christmas. A good way to start this list.


2. Connie Francis, Ave Maria:


Heartfelt... always makes me want to pray.


3. Carpenters, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas:


Christmas will not be Christmas unless Karen's voice is heard on the radio.


4. Mariah Carrey, O Holy Night:


The most glorious rendition of this song, ever.


5. Charice, The Christmas Song:


I always thought this song was too bland and boring, until Charice stepped in. Her voice in a subtle tone, just perfect.


6. John Denver & The Muppets - 12 Days of Christmas



I grew up watching The Muppets, and I love Miss Piggy. She's so adorable with her "Five gold rings" part.


7.  Nora Aunor, Silent Night:



The haunting voice of the Superstar of the Philippines, incomparable through the ages.


8.Vilma Santos, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus:



If there's Ate Guy, there's got to be Ate Vi. This Darna - turned Burlesque Queen - turned Governor is a darling in this song.


9. Alvin and The Chipmunks, Christmas Song:



I'm just being playful this time, so I added this song in my list. Oh, the joy of being a kid. Christmas is nothing if we don't find the kid inside each of us.


10. Jose Mari Chan, Christmas In Our Hearts:


My grandmother's favorite: I want to include this song, in her memory.


11. Sharon Cuneta, Miss Kita Kung Christmas:


Not really a personal favorite, but it's nice to hear Sharon's voice once in a while, lalo na kung gusto mong mag-emote habang nagpapa-cute sa tabi ng Christmas tree.


12. Gary ValencianoPasko Na, Sinta Ko:


Kung gusto mo talagang mag drama ngayong pasko, here's the real deal. Alam mo na yan.


13. Boney M., Mary's Boy Child / Oh My Lord:


This is an essential song in every Christmas song list.


14. Celine Dion, Happy Christmas:


I really like this because I love John Lennon: he was a fighter for love, peace and freedom. He wrote Happy Christmas to show his fight against war. Celine is at her best as she gives justice to this song. Her powerful voice makes me want to sing on top of every mountain.


15. Mairi Campbell and Dave FrancisAuld Lang Syne:


Not actually a Christmas song, and Wikipedia says it is sung on New Year's Eve, at funerals, graduations and as a farewell or ending to other occasions. But I think it is appropriate to say that it is a song of goodwill, endearment, and remembrance. This piece from the movie Sex and the City is very simple, very beautiful. A fine way to end this list, I'm sure.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Something unglamorous happened to me today

Friday October 29, 2010, 3pm.

Sa LRT UN Ave station, may mga promo girls namimigay ng sangkatutak na Tiger crackers. Lumapit sa kin ang isa. Sabi nya, "Bring out the Tiger in you, Sir!", sabay sinalpak ang tatlong dakot na crackers sa kamay ko, at siniksik ko lahat sa maliit kong bag na may payong, charger, ipod, shades.

Paglipat ko sa LRT2 Recto Station, nag inspect ng gamit ang guard.
Pagbukas ng bag, nagliparan lahat ang sandosenang crackers, at kumalat sa sahig na parang confetti.

Tumingin lang ang mga tao. Ngumiti na lang ako, gusto kong sumigaw ng, "Merry Christmas!!!!", pero  pinulot ko na lang isa-isa ang mga crackers at pinilit kong pagkasyahin lahat sa halos puputok kong bag.

Taas-noo akong umalis patakbo, kunwari nagmamadali ako.

My Funny Experience with a Scam Texter

March 2, 2011.
9:36 am

May anonymous texter ako:

Texter: Musta na kau dyan, e2 na bgo qng roaming #. Nasimblock kc ang dati kung gngamt kya d2 na kau lage magtxt. Mag ingat kau lge dyan. Mis q na kau lhat dyan. txtbk.

I decided immediately na maki-ride on sa kanya. Nag-isip ako ng pangalan:

Ako, using my Smart number: Ate Lolit, ikaw ba yan?

Texter: Oo aq 2 musta na kau jan!
Ako: Hanap pa ako trabaho.

Texter: Bkt wla kna trabaho
Ako: Nang iinsulto ka yata ate lolit. Di ba tinanggal mo ako sa trabaho last week.

Hindi siya nagreply. Sinundan ko pa:

Ako: Salbahe ka ate lolit. Lahat kmi niloko mo. Si kuya jun nag heart atak dahl  sa sama ng loob. Inubos mo ang pera ni nanay dahl jan sabisyo mo. At ngyn nagtatago ka, sasabihin mo may roaming ka. Panu ka nakaalis, e kahapon lang andito ka sa bahay nag away kayo ni Bening.

Sinimulan ko siyang sermonan:

Ako: Darating ang karma sayo ate lolit dahl marami kang niloko. Inabuso mo ang kamangmangan ng mga tao sa paligid mo. At ang karma mo ay  masaklap dahl unti-unting mamalasin ka. Dahil masaya ka na sa panloloko mo. Hindi ka aasenso dahil hanggang ganyan lang ang gusto mong gawin, ang mangbiktima  ng tao. Nakikita ka ng dyos. Sinungaling ka, manloloko, at salbahe kang tao. At alam mo yan.

Texter: Ok ba2lk kta sa work

Ako: Panu mo ako ibabalik sa trabaho e binawi na sayo ni bening ang tindahan! Talagang manloloko ka! Lahat ng lumalabas sa bibig mo, puro kasinungalingan at may bahid ng panlilinlang. Kawawa ka talaga. Hindi mo na alam  ang sinasabi mo.

Hindi na siya nagreply. Pero nung gabi na, ginamit ko yung Globe number ko:

9:07 pm

Ako: Lolit bez fren. Anu na nangyari sa yo? Pinag uusapan ka nila sa tindahan, kinuha ko kay ester itong new number mo. naku kmsta ka na ba? San ka nagtatago? Tek care bez. May maitutulong ba ako sa yo?

Texter: Bez d2 na aq hongkong d2 aq nagtatgo wag mo sasbhn kht kanino qng nasan aq pls bez

Ako: Again? Kagagaling mo lang jan nung valentines a. Oy yung gamot mo ha wag mong kalimutang uminom. Bka sumpungin ka ulit. Teka, iniinom mo pa ba yung Thorazine mo?

Ayan, binigyan ko na siya ng sakit. Ang Thorazine ay para sa mga psychotic. 

Texter: Uo bumalk ult aq maaus na naman pakrmdm q hndi na aq snusumpong. ikaw bes ano pnagkaka ablhan mo jan. thmk na aq d2.

Ako: Naku heto dedma lang sa sinasabi nila sa yo. hindi ako nakikisali sa usapan nila, baka lumaki ang isyu. Remember nung nagbenta tayo ng nakaw na stereo, muntik na tayo ipapulis ni kagawad. Buti inayos ni boykwatro.

Hehe, nabigla ako, may history na pala kami ng panga-gantso. At kakontchaba pa namin si boykwatro.

Texter: Kaw lng tlga mpagkaktwlaan q my naicp aq d2ng mgandang pagkakakitaan d2. Tulungan mo nman aq.

Ako: Ha? E bkt ka magbibiznes jan, e di b pinagbawal ka na ni ricky, dahl sa sakit mo.

At ngayon idinamay ko na sa usapan si ricky, pero wala pang linaw kung sino siya sa buhay ni lolit.

Texter: hehe, small bisnes lng naman 2. mgbe2nta aq d2 ng mga prepaid load card ang cardload worth 500 bnebenta d2 ng 1,300 pag sa peso money. mdli lng mgbenta d2 mlki pa kta.

Ako: Prepaid load? Kukumpetensiyahin mo si ricky?

Texter: Hindi naman aq mkkpag kumpitensiya my mga buyer na aq d2. hndi q naman siya aagawn. bes hndi mo b aq tutulungan. kw lang ang contak q jan sa pinas

Ako: Oy mareng lolit angganda mo talaga. Ok ka lang? Panu kita matutulungan e di ba kayo ni ricky ang nagpapaaral sa dalawang anak ko. Patawa ka bez ha.

Texter: Oo nga eh wla naman d2 mabblhan ng load crd. ok qng hndi mo aq tu2lungn aus lng. cge wla na aq pantxt

Ako: Haynaku bez kaw talaga. Napaka mo talaga. Pag isipan mo yan baka magulpi ka ulit ni ricky. O siya txt txt nalang again. Ingat. Uwi agad. Gudnyt bez.

Nakahanap na ako ng text mate. Miz ko na si bes fren Lolit.
  
- John Emmanuel T. Manalo
   March 3, 2011

Friday, September 28, 2012

Unfinished Symphony



I had a strange dream last night:
about you, me, and how I tried to write a symphony.

First the strings:
haunting, serene. Gently breaking the evening silence.
Followed by flutes, clarinets, and the rest of the wind instruments.

But somebody dropped the baton! And the notes resonated within my veins
as you turned into a comet, blazing across the G-clef sky, turning into a purple streak
until no longer in sight.

Now I just remember you as a fading melody, leaving traces of sighs
among cobwebs on the piano in this empty studio.


- John Emmanuel T. Manalo, 2011


[Thanks to Gianna Omenetto for the photo, entitled Solo Piano]

Firefly



Just for tonight
I will be a firefly:
I will dance among trees
To the humming chorus
Of frogs and cicadas.

Just for tonight
The moon sits in bliss
As I flicker and glitter
And frolic in mid-air
Casting random neon patterns
Amid grass and flowers here and there.


- John Emmanuel T. Manalo, 2010


[Thanks to Masahiro Miyasaka for the photo, enitled "Firefly which looks at Milky Way".]

Ten Years, Five Letters



Dear E.S.,
I enjoyed being with you.
You were thoughtful and I appreciated everything so dearly.
But I was too young when we met, and I did not realize your effort to win my heart.
Forgive me for my selfishness.

Dear G.C.,
You brought me joy and I loved you passionately.
But I failed to help you move on from your past.
Thus the distance between us grew immensely through time.
I apologize for leaving you during the lowest point in your life,
because I thought you did not love me, only to find out I was wrong.

Dear M.A.,
Thank you for your devotion.
You were kind and gentle.
Your smile lit up the sky with the promise of tomorrow.
But I was too unsure of myself, too afraid I might hurt you, too naive to care.
I regret letting you go.

Dear C.P.,
We had so much in common and you are aware of that.
We had a world of our own, and we lived in it for love.
But your pace was overwhelming, my wings were not as fast.
You were too strong for me.
I wanted you to carry me but I was afraid I would slow you down.
We knew we would part someday, but we did not expect that day to come suddenly.
Now I just admire your wisdom for understanding me.

Dear M.R.,
You knew I was a foolish wreck when we met.
But you loved me for what I was and you saw the good and beautiful in me.
Then you left without saying goodbye, because you were lost in the labyrinth of your own confusion.
I tried to reach out but you were never really there.
How could you do this to me? My angel! The retribution for my sins.


- John Emmanuel T. Manalo, 2007

Obsession



I am he who loves you from afar
Reaching for your shadow
Embracing your trail
Caressing the wind
That whispers your name
I kiss the footprints
That you leave behind
Run if you will
But where can you hide
I close my eyes
And you become mine.


- John Emmanuel T. Manalo, 2007


[thanks to jordan k for the photo]

Goodbye, Mr. Anonymous



Goodbye, Mr. Anonymous
You said and I just smiled
So long, Mr. Nameless
And thank you for the ride.

Farewell and take care
Whoever you may be
The crazy night is through
And sadly so are we.


- John Emmanuel T. Manalo, 2005


[thanks to manuel atienzar for this photo]

With A Sigh In My Heart


These are the cries of my heart
That may never be hushed
For we have to part
For the rest of time
I feel so sorry for myself
To realize that I
Am once again alaone
I love you with a sigh in my heart
Because I know
You can never be truly mine.


- John Emmanuel T. Manalo, 2004


[Thanks to elliot23 for this photo]

Ruins



I kept your memory
In the ruins of my heart
A colorless portrait
On fragmented canvass
Your hazy eyes
Stare at empty space
Your misty smile
And your lovely face
Haunt me in the shadows
Of utter loneliness
But when all portraits
Have crumbled to dust
I shall be strong and fearless
As I make a new start
I learned the lessons of love
From the ruins of my heart.


- John Emmanuel T. Manalo, 2004


[thanks to Michael Shepherd (aka PixelDaddy) for this photo]

Road



Once in a while
I think of you
And the road
We have gone through
Then helplessly
I become surrounded
By a cloud
Of overwhelming sadness
As the road ends
In pitch-black emptiness.


- John Emmanuel T. Manalo, 2004


[thanks to Ed Arquiza for this photo]

Perfect Love Affair



I tried so hard
To make myself believe
That there was such a thing
As a perfect love affair
That there were knights and princes
And castles in the air
Then I came back to my senses
With the closing of a door
This is were the dreaming ends
I don't love you anymore.


- John Emmanuel T. Manalo, 2004


[thanks to jamie wilmott for this photo]

Longing



I shall wait for you in my dreams
Hoping that your presence
Would break the moonlit silence
Of my solitude.
Let your demons be gone!
Take away the spell
You have cast upon my heart
And stop this longing
That imprisons my soul.
I shall wait for you but until then
I keep believing that in my dreams
I am sure to see you again.


- John Emmanuel T. Manalo, 2004


[thanks to rhoel alcantara for this photo]

I Never Prayed For Love


I never prayed for love
That would last a thousand years
I never hoped my life
Would be ever free from tears
I never dreamed of gold
To conquer all my fears.

I never prayed for love
That would never ever die
But just to love and be loved
With a love that is true
And would last for as long
As there is me and you.


- John Emmanuel T. Manalo, 2004


[thanks to jordan_k for the photo]

Flame



So this is how the story ends
The flame just died
And it doesn't make sense.
As I now lay in darkness
Torn, bitter and cold
I will remember love
As a distant shore
Stretching out forevermore.
But mostly, among all things
I will always remember you
As the beautiful flame
Who burned my wings.


- John Emmanuel T. Manalo, 2004


[thanks to aixcracker for this photo]

Dreams And Lovers



Think of us in a dream
And how we play this game
Like lovers do
Then think of us not waking up
Hoping it will last
Forever true.

I think of you as a dream
A misty shade of white
Against the blue
Then just as quickly as you came
You start to fade
Like lovers do.


- John Emmanuel T. Manalo, 2004

[thanks to maureen shaugnessy for this photo]

Accidental Haiku


I thought I would die
The day I saw you with him
But then I did not.


- John Emmanuel T. Manalo, 2004


[thanks to rickp3rd for the photo]

The Message Of My Tears



With the last drop of rain
I held my wounded heart
As I promised myself
Never to be hurt again.

This is the messge of my tears
That my lips dare not say:
Be my never ending rain
Be my never healing pain!
Come back and stay with me
And never leave again.


- John Emmanuel T. Manalo, 2003

[thanks to Irnirjhar for the photo]

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I Had A Strange Dream Last Night, #2



December 30, 2010. Nanaginip na naman ako kagabi.

Nasa MOA (SM Mall of Asia) daw ako, nakatungtong sa malaking globe sa harap ng mall. Kasama ko daw si Joy Viado. May nagpatugtog ng gitara, at kumanta kaming dalawa: "Walang Hanggang Paalam" [by Joey Ayala]:





Napakaganda ng blending ng boses namin ni Joy. Mababa ang boses niya, at ako naman matining. Lalo na sa part na,

"... ang pag-ibig natin ay walang hanggang paalam, at habang magkalayo, papalapit pa rin ang puso...."

Umikot ang globe, at kasabay ng pag-ikot nito, unti-unting nagbabago ang kulay ng langit: araw... gabi.... araw... gabi.

Nag-holding hands kami. Nagputukan ang mga fireworks sa kalangitan.

Pero unti-unting nagbago ang boses naming dalawa. Siya naging boses lalaki na parang si Rey Langit. Ako naman, naging kaboses ni Nora Aunor.

Pero lalong gumanda ang blending ng boses namin. Napaluha ako dahil sa palakpakan ng mga tao: "Kiss!!!! Kiss!!!!", sigaw nila.

Nasa akto nang mag-li-lips-to-lips na kami ni Joy, pero lumakad siya papunta sa ilalim ng globe, hanggang nakatayo siya sa ilalim, upside-down. Naiwan akong mag-isa sa ibabaw ng globe.

Pero tuloy ang pagkanta namin:

"... kahit na magkahiwalay, tayo'y magkasama sa magkabilang dulo ng mundo..."

Yun na yata ang pinakamagandang performance ko. Ang-ganda-ganda daw talaga ng boses ko.

Hindi ko na alam kung ano ang nangyari kay Joy Viado sa mga sandaling yon.

Basta ang alam ko, hangang hanga sa akin ang mga tao, hangang hanga daw ako sa sarili ko.

Nagising akong may masidhing pagmamahal at pagmamalaki sa aking sarili.

Nangingilabot ako sa paghanga, hanggang ngayong sinusulat ko ito.



- John Emmanuel T. Manalo, MD
  123010


[photo from wikipedia]

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Air That I Breathe



I am not afraid of love!

For to fear love
is to fear life itself.

How can I not love you
When each thought of you
Becomes every ounce
Of air that I breathe?

Let me love you now
Until the end of forever.

Let me never fear love
Let me hold you in my heart...

I will never let you go.


- John Emmanuel T. Manalo, 2003


[thanks to Ranier Icasiano for the photo]

Infidelity


We can't be talking about love!
But in a world of infidelity
Where you have a lover
And I have another
What difference does it make?

I still believe this is love
Hoping you would stay
Long after common sense
Has prevailed.


- John Emmanuel T. Manalo, 2003


[thanks to marjutsha1 for this photo]


Rush Hour


The train rushed
From one stop to another
Filled with people
Wearing different faces
With minds locked in dreams
Of home, fortune and love
While you in your stance
As if in a trance
Slowly glided a finger
To touch my hand
And as our eyes met
We secretly smiled.


- John Emmanuel T. Manalo, 2003


[thanks to Rodney Jimenez for the photo]

Pillow


I woke up crying last night
Embracing the pillow
That cradled our dreams
And for the first time
My lips trembled in fear
For I began to realize
That you are never to return.
This is where it is going to hurt
For now I understand
How frail a heart can be
And I was too blind to see
There was never you and me.


- John Emmanuel T. Manalo, 2003

[thanks to paranoidmonk for the photo]

Funny How The Rain



Funny how the rain
Resembles human tears
As it falls from the heavens.

Funny how the wind
Reminds me of the lips
That used to kiss mine.

An eternity of loneliness!

Please send me a message
That I may be reminded
Of your existence.


- John Emmanuel T. Manalo, 2003

[thanks to Gonzalo Saenz (gonzalo_ar) for the photo].

Cycles



It's raining once again
And nights like this
Only remind me of you
And your promise to return
On the last day of summer
Come back soon my dearest
Before my heart starts to forget
Come back soon my darling
Before your memory fades
In cycles of summer and rain.


- John Emmanuel T. Manalo, 2003

[thanks to Arturo Alessandro Dinardo for the photo]

Saturday, June 16, 2012

THINGS I AM GRATEFUL FOR




I am grateful for many things, even those that are too small, too common, that sometimes get unnoticed.




1.
I am grateful for breakfast on the table.




2.


I am grateful for green lights and parking spaces, especially when I am running late.




3.


The reliable umbrella, my savior from sun and rain.





4.

A full tank, it makes me feel I am going somewhere, and back again.




5.


A safe touchdown, after an uneventful flight.




6.


Maps and instruction manuals, they are antidotes to my ignorance.




7.


Discounts, freebies and rebates, and extra cash just when I am short of resources.





8.
I am grateful for alarms with snooze, remote controls and water heaters.




9.


I am grateful for satiety, a night of good sleep, and gastrocolic reflex.




10.


I am grateful for mucolytics, antihistamines, antacids and pills that ease pain.




11.


I am grateful for sunshine, moon beam, and a little bit of rain.




12.


I am grateful for the sight of my door at the end of my journey, telling me that at last I am home.




13.


I am grateful for old friends, they remind me how good life was before.




14.


Older friends, they teach me to be humble.






15.


Younger friends, they remind me how wise I have grown.




16.


I am grateful for birthdays.




17.


I am grateful for my family: we may have our ups and downs, but in a world where many have none, I am too grateful that I grew up in a loving family that taught me the virtues of humility, generosity, kindness and honesty.




18.
I am grateful for the immensity of memories. 




19.


Memories, made up of tiny segments of moments that are intricately woven into my bloodstream.




20.
I am grateful for the specter of memories that little by little I may somehow soon forget like sand sifting in my hands, memories that I hope to hold on to and to cherish for the rest of my life, or for as long as I can.




21.
Memories of innocence and humble beginnings.




22.


Memories of tall trees, fireflies, rivers, oceans, bridges, rugged roads, farms and carabaos.




23.


Memories of dreams, memories of games and battles fought, memories of victory and of defeat.




24.


Memories of reckless youth, of getting drunk, of songs, dances, and fleeting romances.




25.


Memories of meeting people for the first time, not knowing what the future had in store for us.




26.


Memories of meeting people for the last time, and the elusive hope of someday seeing each other again.




27.


Memories of loved ones, of those who have come and gone, memories that make me laugh when I think of the times we cried together, memories that make me cry when I think of the times we laughed together.




28.
On the other hand, I am also grateful for the comfort of forgetting.




29.


The art of letting go, the bliss in moving on, knowing that everything will eventually be alright, after all.





30.
I am grateful for options, solutions, reasons, answers and explanations - things that put sense and bring order to a world that has turned into a ball of confusion.




31.


I am grateful for my teachers, mentors and critics.




32.


I am grateful for a job well done, for words well said, and words left unsaid just to spare the feelings of a friend.





33.

Music and smiles.




34.
Reassurance.




35.


A helping hand and a pat on the back, just when I am about to break down.




36.


A hug.




37.


Forgiveness.




38.
A second chance, because everybody deserves one.




39.


A spark of hope.




40.
Sanity, serenity, enlightenment.




41.
I am grateful for whatever respect I earned, and for all the lessons learned.




42.
I am grateful for being part of the race: I may not finish first, but I am sure to get there, on my own gentle pace.




43.
Come to think of it, I am grateful not for having things I want, but for having things I need.




44.
I hope to be grateful, until the day I die.


And in being grateful, I thank God for making me understand why.







- John Emmanuel T. Manalo, MD
  October 14, 2010



Friday, June 15, 2012

The Trouble With Dreams

The earliest dream I can remember was somewhere in my 6th or 7th year of life. I thought I was flying, because I saw trees passing below me. I saw hills, and grass on the hills, and more trees, and everything was quiet.

And on the horizon, I saw the sky. A vast, colorless image of vastness beyond the horizon.

Funny, but apparently, I cannot remember any color in any of my dreams. I must be living in a black-and-white universe when I dream. But that is not actually my point.

Back to my flying dream. I still can vividly remember how I tried to reach for the sky, how I tried to stretch out in my effort to defy the law of gravity. But it became clear to me that I only reached a height of about 30 to 40 feet.

The best part was, my friends and other people were there, and they kneeled and bowed in my presence. In my record, that was the best dream I can ever recall.

Fast forward to 2004. Age: 33. Most remembered as the most tumultuous time in my life. First there was silence, then came the thundering rush of all the rivers of the world, crashing against each other, falling down from a mountain, to my direction. I had to jump somehow, until I realized I was down on the floor, as I woke up due to the pain on my forehead, thanks to the wooden table beside my bed.

Fast forward again, a couple of weeks ago. I was convicted of something, probably a grave crime or misconduct or whatever, I didn’t know what for, nobody told me. Then I realized I was on death row. Alone.

I had no choice, but to wake up.

I can also remember one time, when I was looking at a ball, gradually enlarging, with a high-pitched sound, until it popped in front of me, then I woke up with a high-grade fever and a severe headache.

The nice thing about dreams, is that there is no limit as to what you can dream. In my dreams, I could be king, or god, or whatever.

The trouble with dreams, I don’t know how each story started. And most dreams just don’t make sense. The sequence of episodes don’t make sense. And some are terrifying and ugly.

But be it a good dream or a bad dream, the best thing about it is that eventually, it all ends by waking up.

Somebody once told me, “May all your dreams come true!”

I said, “Bullshit.”

When I was young, I wanted all my dreams to come true.

But now I am convinced, I don’t want all my dreams to come true.

Because some of them are nightmares.


- John Emmanuel T. Manalo, MD
  September 8, 2008

Lessons From A Shooting Star

Once in a while, you might have the rare chance of seeing a shooting star, as it briefly blazes across the evening sky.

=====

Likewise, you might also have the similarly rare chance of meeting someone who is probably the one you have been looking for - the love of your life.

Someone who is probably sent to you from the heavens, as an answer to your prayers.

There is always a chance that this someone will fill the emptiness in your life, thus completing you, creating that ever elusive happy fairy tale ending, and if you were lucky, you would live happily ever after.

But the lucky ones happen to be locked in the pages of children’s books.

You might be not one of them.

===

Then you start to ask yourself. Why is it, that just when you find that special someone, just when you are ready to take the risk of falling in (and out of) love, that special someone simply vanishes in mid-air?

===

I call it the Shooting Star Phenomenon.

Everytime (although on rare occasions) I see a shooting star, I realize that it just appears without warning. In a blink of an eye, it is gone. And the evening sky becomes just as it was, as though nothing happened.

I understand that when I see a shooting star, not everyone around may have had the chance to see it too.

This is what makes a shooting star special.

It is a sight to behold. For me alone, I guess, and not for everyone. Spectacular. For one brief moment in the night, it appears, then even before I gasp and jump for joy (or even before I make a wish), it is gone. Without a trace. Without a sound.

Then the shooting star just becomes a memory. And everything around is still.

===

Love is probably like a shooting star after all.

It may come without warning, then after blazing into your life for one shining moment, it fades out of sight.

But you have to be thankful.

Not everyone may experience love, be it long or brief. Not everyone may find love. You should be glad you were given the chance to see one.

Think of that special someone as a shooting star. No matter how beautiful it is, you cannot hold it in your hands. It comes and goes no matter how hard you try to keep it for yourself.

Just be glad it showed up in your night sky. Be glad that you were able to see it.

===

But a shooting star never leaves a mark as it traverses the sky. On the other hand, love does. Once it goes, nothing is ever the same. So when you hear someone say, “I will always be the same person you knew,” or “I won’t change, and I hope you won’t change,” or “we will always be friends”, or “take care, keep in touch and I hope to see you again”… if you ever hear these words, don’t listen. Because it’s all bullshit. Likewise, try your best not to promise these words, because you know you would be lying.

There will be a growing distance henceforth, and the world is no longer the way it used to be. Trust me on this.

The moment you parted, you both started to change already. And the world around you… it changed too. And the distance keeps on growing, even if someday you meet again, even if you try to remain friends, even if you say you still love each other. The saddest part is that what I am saying is darn true.

===

A shooting star does not last longer than a second (or so I observed). So much like love.

And neither does love last forever, contrary to popular belief that it does. But it doesn’t.

Because sadly, forever is not for mortals like us.

But that would be another topic. I will explain it later.


- John Emmanuel T. Manalo, MD
  May 28, 2008