08 November 2007

in loving memory of

oh my. just saw the bad news about rene saguisag's wife passing due to a vehicular accident. that means lara's mom...is dead. oh man.

lara, if you're reading this, my deepest condolences...

geezus...

i don't think i can handle it if my own mom died. oh man. no, never. i have the right to go nuts if that happens. that's how much i love my mom, even if it's not too obvious most times. but she knows.

*

this piece of news got me thinking more of the thoughts i started thinking of back during the undas holidays.

as i made my way through the tombstones and mausoleums in cemeteries, i always see a common wording there: "in loving memory of." it was also so unfortunate that i attended the funeral of a 7-month old infant during undas, the child of my girlfriend's kabarkada. man, i tell you, there's nothing like seeing a small, small coffin like that... makes me think of life in retrospect talaga...

*

things like this always get me talking to my friends and acquaintances of our own time, should our time be up already, meaning time for wakes and mourning and all. like me, i've always said that i don't want an open casket during my wake. i don't want anybody peeking at my dead and lifeless mortician-beautified body and face during my wake. i want a closed casket, much like what journalist and cmc journ prof luis beltran had before when he died (and his favorite white cowboy hat was placed atop his closed casket). yun ang gusto ko. if people wanna see me, i'll make a video of myself talking about myself and addressing the wake audience, kinda like an avp running all throughout my wake. and then my girlfriend tells me that there's this company that already has that idea of a "package funeral service" where an avp of the deceased is thrown in. wokey, naunahan na naman ako sa ideya...pero okay lang. ang ideya ko lang naman ay sarili ko ang nagsasalita sa avp.

and then of course i don't want to be buried underground. i want to be cremated, and i want my ashes sent to NASA so a space shuttle mission could take it in space and throw out my ashes deep into outer space. and no, i am not kidding on this one. sabi ng girlfriend ko, magkakalat pa ko sa space niyan. sabi ko naman, not exactly, kasi baka ang ashes ko ang maging core ng isang future planet, nakatulong pa ako sa cosmos niyan at sa universe in whole. malay mo, maging new earth ang ashes ko, makatulong pa sa future human beings. and she agreed.

although now, i am rethinking that NASA concept. sabi kasi niya, she wants something naman daw as a marker for the loved ones she left to grieve for her, so kahit type din niyang ma-cremate like me, she prefers being in a mausoleum or something para may dadalawin ang loved ones niya, something to remember her by, a marker of her and all that. now i'm thinking of the same thing, na baka kelangan nga ng some kind of marker na puwedeng puntahan ng mga taong nais akong dalawin at alalahanin kahit isang araw lang sa isang taon. puwede na...

strange lang to put those words "in loving memory of." medyo hindi ko bet. i guess by that time, makakaisip na ko ng better wording which i will myself have inscribed in my lapida or whatnot. in loving memory...sigurado kaya yung namatay na he or she is thought of with love? e kung hate, contempt, disgust? ang labo nun di ba? kaya lang napakabait natin bilang catholic nation at by default nilalagay natin yung ganun sa mga lapida ng mga tao, kahit hindi nila deserving. e di ba nga turo sa atin ng simbahan ay mag-repent ka lang right before malagutan ka na ng hininga para ma-guarantee ka na sa heaven ka pupunta, kahit gaano pa kasama ang naging life mo sa earth.

hay... i don't believe in that one dahil naaasar ako sa repentance mode ng katolisismo, dahil by default nabubura lahat ng nagawa mo pag humingi ka ng tawad??? nakakainis. kaya i subscribe more to the hinduist concept of repaying in the next life regarding this one. meaning kung punyeta kang tae ka sa life na ito, next life mo ay putanginang ipis ka na tatapak-tapakan makailang ulit bilang retribution. at least in that belief, there is justice. and, like the buddhists, kung mag-try kang mag-meditate to achieve inner peace and a higher form of existence, mas bet. ibig sabihin, pinaghihirapan mo ang sarili mong salvation, unlike sa catholicism na hingi ka lang patawad sa diyos, walang kahirap-hirap, granted agad ang wish mo lang. hindi kabaitan ito e. spoiled bratisismo ito no. ibig sabihin, kahit makailang ulit kang magkasala, walang harm kung hihingi ka lang ng tawad sa diyos tapos ulit-ulitin mo yung kahayupan mo...where's the justice in that??? napakatamad na relihiyon talaga ng katolisismo...

but back to my query. sino ba dapat ang nasusunod, yung namatay, yung namatayan o yung mga kilala ng namatay na alam nila kung ano ang gusto ng namatay? i remember reading ms joanne maglipon's column way back when ishmael bernal died (teka, or was that lino brocka?). basta the one whose mother survived her son's death. she mentioned kasi na either ishma or lino...wait, now i remember, it was ishma, kasi the idea sounds so ishma-ish, na gusto daw niya, pag namatay siya, isuot sa kanya ang isang pink na underwater swimsuit /dive suit or something like that, basta para daw di siya magmukhang deds. tapos she and other ishma's friends were out choosing for a casket, tapos sabi nung isa "eto na lang o, kamukha nung kay lino" or something like that. basta, that column piece was so wonderful that it made me smile and sad at the same time. ms joanne narrated it so well.

before ishma died kasi, we were able to hang out with him at his old kanto bar in kalayaan called kasalo, kami ng ilan kong film major batchmates na naging housemates ko. it was just an open bar back in the mid-90s, parang bukas na pares eatery ang bar, at laging pula ang ilaw doon, na parang 70s pubhaus atmosphere. lokasyon nito doon sa kanto ng kalayaan at ng korean school na blue ngayon, pasok ka sa kalyeng iyon at nasa kanto iyon ng kalyeng iyon at ng first street parallel to kalayaan, which is maginoo yata.

bilang young film majors, nahihiya pa kaming lapitan siya minsan pag mag-isa siyang umiinom sa mesa at tulala siya o nakatingin sa kawalan na para bang nag-iisip ng bagong conflict sa film concept niya. minsan bubuyuin ko ang friends kong mas makapal ang fez at sasabihing "bilis! itanong mo na sa kanya kung ano ba talaga ang major conflict sa nunal sa tubig!" minsan naman nakaka-chika namin siya pero di lang ako sigurado kung naaalala niya kami kapag umaga, may flourescent light o daylight, bilang creatures of the night din kami tulad niya na nagha-hangout doon sa bar. mura kasi ang beer doon. siguro alam niyang taghirap at dugyot ang mga tunay na artist-filmmaker tulad namin kaya nagbukas siya ng ganung lugar para may matambayan ang mga tulad namin...at tulad niya.

kaya natuwa ako noong bumalik na ako sa peyups para magturo sa aking alma mater at makitang ang isang bahagi ng lumang film center ay binansagang "bernal gallery" in memory of him. as in, truly loving cinematic memory of him. noong una, naisip ko, bakit hindi kay lino brocka? pero sa kalaunan, naisip kong tama rin na kay ishma, dahil mas na-embody niya ang pagiging pasaway at nakiki-ride na may ere na humble na artist na filmmaker na tahimik at maingay na nagtataguyod ng mga naaapi at nasa marginalized sectors ng society, at di siya nahihiyang i-admit din ang mga kahinaan niya bilang nilalang na paminsan-minsa'y nalululong sa tawag ng laman o droga o natural high of artistry. yan ang ishmang naabutan ko. idol, sobra.

*

i have this ex naman who used to ask me na kung mamatay kaya siya, may pupunta kaya sa wake niya. hindi ko alam kung out of vanity ang tanong na ito o self-validation of one's worth, pero i guess it's both. hindi ko rin alam kung maiinis o maaawa ako sa kanya tuwing itatanong niya ito. sinabi ko na lang, sa pagkakakilala sa kanya ng mga tao, may pupunta sa wake niya, i'm sure. so na-pacify na siya ng sagot na ito.

ako, hindi ko na iniisip yan. i don't really care if people come to my wake or not. i'm just concerned if people will remember the works i did or the minute contribution i donated to this earth in whatever endeavor i am involved in. iniisip ko lang na sana may isang nilalang man lang na natulungan ako sa kanyang buhay o art sakaling mamatay ako. at sana, yung maiwan kong body of works ay makatulong din sa mga tao in a positive way. i guess yun lang ang iniiisip ko. happy na ako if i was able to affect a life in a positive way somewhere out there.

oh well. so on to life...

2 comments :

  1. Once again, Libay, your piece speaks to the heart of the matter. You have fond memories of Ishma. Well, I have fond memories of Lino Brocka. Tuwing birthday niya (April 3, the day before mine), pinupuntahan namin siya ng Nanay ko (Aida Carmona) sa bahay niya sa QC at ang dala lang namin, isang bungkos ng bulaklak, tapos buong magdamag na kaming eentertainin nun. Hinding hindi ko rin malilimutan ang "Jaguar" (Philip Salvador-Amy Austria)dahil dito ako dinirek ni Lino when I was 9 years old (1979). After the 1st day of shooting, sabi niya sa talent coordinator, "Magaling itong batang ito, taasan ang talent fee." So from 100 pesos a day, naging 150 pesos a day ako, eh nakailang shooting days din ako dun, kaya siguro laking tuwa ng Nanay ko sa naging suweldo ko (na umapir din sa Jaguar as my mom). Sinusundo pa ako sa PNU (dun ako nag-eelementary noon) ng van ng Regal para pumunta sa shooting site (Dagat-Dagatan, Tondo). In loving memory indeed. Sumalangit nawa ang mga bituin sa sining na nauna na sa atin.

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  2. "girlfriend ko," present ba ito? If so, bakit hindi ka nagkukwento? :o)

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