Saturday, March 17, 2012

Bye, Bear

today will be the day we turn the last pages of the book on how we, mother and daughters, had, for quite some time, become the two-legged home minorities since the dog-families became part of our extended family with the cats.

in the days and years to follow, it will be quiet.

being the only survivor that had outlived her brood that first came into our lives more than 15 years ago, Bear has become "the one:" our mother's baby, our company and center of energies.

in a few more moments, she, like the spirit she and her brood had been to us, too, will simply become energy.

by this time, it's all reactive.

"not with a bang but with a whimper," as if the whimper is that of the puppy dog she once was and has come to be.

despite knowing one day this will come but more so because there's nothing we can do to ease the pain of separation from body and earth, we are helpless. that pains us, too. going the "natural" way is not without suffering.

i couldn't find chinx, here with you and mama below, soon enough to see you go –  he'd be the only cat you could be friends with, though you know pooch came to your side to keep you warm the other night. for the first time that night, you did not mind her.

smv will understand but not without regret of being so immersed with commitments as to not get the chance to see you one last time.

she trusts that you, as with those who went before you, had all the best we could provide. you knew.

at your last breath, you went so quietly and made laying you to rest effortless for mama and i, as if you were aware of how the hours of separation was so privately heartbreaking enough as it was for us all.

thank you, Bear. sleep now, with Maki, Rebo, Socks, Bubbly, Jjay, Mouser, Aga, Ms. M and the four-legged friends – yours and ours – that all once enjoyed the sun in the the garden, the especially-prepared meals we'd be all too pre-occupied with; the special bring-home pasalubong* bags from smv, mj and all our human friends, the playful moments, our tender loving and care.

there'll be none of that for us after today but for you, perhaps the state of joyful pet days and eternal tranquility.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Photo taken in a Metro Manila public elementary school near where we used to live.

When my colleagues and I were at the school, I brought one to the back of it to show a mini-park. It still sits there, a quiet witness in the noon-day sun of how that part of the city has transformed.

Gone is the impressive ancestral home, west of the park, of the city's most influential family. Even before the family matriarch passed away some years ago, they built in its place a row of townhouses that bear extra-ordinary scale and proportions than most urban "townhouses."

Across is the compound owned by another family from which members have contributed invaluably to the social sciences and education, art and architecture. Some of the family's descendants were friends of mine back in high school.

The property gate facing the park used to welcome Manila's literary and artistic personages. Inside it was one of the pioneering and most unconventional private galleries to have ever been established in the country and I am proud to be part of its roster of exhibitors. Founders of present-day artist-run spaces acknowledge the gallery as a major influence. It is now hushed.

Nearby the park is the historic church but the solemnity of its facade has been removed by the looming presence of a new high-rise condominium in the background.

Otherwise, some pre-war houses are still along the park perimeter, as are the medium-height park trees that provide shade to the usual vagrants who retire on benches for siesta.

The photo above, however, has its own story. Read it on my first "real" story-entry which I posted on a new awesome site called here.


Page Navigation