The List

"And by the time I reach 80
I would have fallen in love with
An entire city."

-27, Nerisa del Carmen Guevara

I'm turning twenty-seven this month. A year older, but not necessarily wiser. And who cares? 

The birth month is always a good period to wax nostalgic. I'm reserving that part for other entries. Right now, it's enough to say that the past years of my life were dedicated to reaching for things I want for myself - lawyerhood, a published work or two and rakets to keep me alive. Close friends would add "stress", because they know how lack of stress could be detrimental to my health. 

The following years, I'm expecting, will not be any different. Instead of asking for things I can (and will) work for anyway, I'm wishing for those I can't fulfill on my own.

1. Support my happy birthday project. Magastos magpa-party. If I had the money, I'd treat the 400+ kids to a Jolly Kiddie Party. But I'm not yet (uy, yet, sounds hopeful) rich. So I came up with the idea of asking the help of The Barrister, official student publication of San Beda Law and Kaeskwela, an organization that helps public schools. An organization from Bataan has also offered help. Pa-birthday ko na sa mga bata 'yung effort ko. Why FAMES? Because this is a small public elementary school that does not have enough resources but still tops tests like the NAT. Because we got to do something even if we have to start in a small way.  

Poster by Gideon Villar Pena

2. Dear Mayor Lim, I hope you do something about the motorized padyaks that are becoming a danger to pedestrians and motorists in our beloved metro. First, they act as if there's a right to counterflow. Second, they're using banca motors which are not that noisy IF you're at sea. I know I should be addressing this to the city council. But I don't know their names! Love, Ada. P.S. Astig shades n'yo, Mayor, as always.  

Kings of the Road meet the Princes of Counterflow

3.  Who teaches them the song? If you ride jeeps traversing Taft, between Buendia and V. Cruz LRT terminals, you'll see street children giving envelops to the passengers. Then the children would sit and sing "Gitara" by Parokya ni Edgar, usually starting with these lines:

Bakit pa kailangan ng rosas
Kung marami naman ang mag-aalay sa'yo
Uupo na lang at aawit
Maghihintay ng pagkakataon 
Have you heard of any case of conviction under Article VI, Section 10 of Republic Act 7160?

4. One hundred percent passing rate for San Beda Law in this year's bar exams, 100% passing rate for all my examinees-friends. And, though it may sound impossible, 100% "graduating rate" this academic year.  

5. Love. One that would take an ordinary bus down EDSA at midnight just to smell the chocolate coming from the Ricoa Factory. That would not notice we already walked from Katipunan, thru UP, to Philcoa, while we're talking. That won't move mountains for me, but would climb them with me any day. That would let the weather plan our weekends. That would ride my shopping cart and roll down aisles of a supermarket. That would survive paradigm shifts and changes of jobs. That would last my bar examinations. That'd understand that I'm a work in progress and love me even for my dreams. Love that is whole, because I won't take it in any other way. One that is enough to redefine concepts of power. The kind of love that can be my power.

Closer Than They Appear

Oo na, romantic shit. But the older I get, the more I refuse to become hopeless.  And, didn't I say I'd only wish for things I can't fulfill on my own?

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