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Archive for August, 2011

Radio gaga

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

I GREW up with the transistor radio as my best friend. I was the loner type, which means that while the other kids in the neighborhood were beating the hell out of each other in imitation of a wrestling match they just saw on TV, I stayed home glued to the radio set, crying over the story of a peasant girl who had to leave home after she got pregnant by, of all people, the parish priest.

Mother: Wa ka nauwaw sa imong gibuhat? Nakig-relasyon ka og pari, usa ka-alagad sa Diyos! Layas! Sukad karon, wala na koy anak! Layaaaas!

Daughter: Igo na mama, igo na. Uhuhuhu… Imo kining sala. Ikaw ang nagtudlo kanako nga way gipili ang gugma. Nahigugma ako ma, ug way gipili ang pinitik ning akong kasingkasing. Apan sige, molayas ako. Ug sukad karon, wala na pud koy inahan! Ari na ko nang!

On Sundays, when radio stations didn’t air soap operas, I switched to musical shows and felt the weight of the world on my shoulders while listening to Imelda Papin’s “Kung Liligaya Ka Sa Piling Ng Iba.”

The Flunkers

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

A COLUMNIST is most sincere when he writes about something he knows from experience.

That’s why early morning yesterday, before I sat down to write this column, I went outside the house, lay face down on the ground, placed my palms flat against my sides and had the wife take photographs of me performing what is probably the most noble and self-sacrificing act of this generation-–planking.

The neighbors, who wouldn’t normally stop for anything that would delay their trip to work even if it was their house burning, became seriously worried and paused to check if there was anything wrong with me and our family.

Boy Tuko

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

I GREW up in a town where people considered the tuko, or Tokay Gecko, as part of the family. A house was considered blessed if a tuko lived there. We respected the tuko not because it rid the house of pests. We respected the tuko the way we respected the objects of faith inside the house: with a mixed feeling of fear and awe toward something mysterious and powerful.

We had a least one tuko while I was growing up. The whole time he was with us, I can only count with my fingers the times I saw him in the flesh. When he chose to reveal himself, he only exposed part of his head, and only for a few seconds, but long enough for me to take a good look at his large, brown eyes. He would sneak out from a hole or a crack and quickly disappear when I tried to get close.

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